Coming This 2013: Valve Steam Box

The Big Picture Mode | Steam Official Website

Just after the Big Picture mode was surprisingly well-received by the public, Valve confirmed that they will release a “Steam Box” console next year. Speaking at the Kotaku 2012 Video Game Awards, Gabe Newell confirmed that Valve is working on a living room-friendly PC that runs Steam.

In relation to this, He said that reception to Steam’s TV-oriented Big Picture mode has been “stronger than expected”. It was also reported that the company is working to bring a full blown Steam for Linux to the public.

Living Room-friendly PC is Coming Next Year

During a brief interview with Jason Schreier, Newell said that Valve’s goal as of the moment is to know how PCs could work better in the living room. After their Big Picture mode, their next step is to get Steam Linux out of beta and bring the Big Picture on the operating system. In turn, Valve will have more flexibility when developing their hardware.

In relation to this, he expects that other companies will also sell living room PCs next year. The design could consist of computers that can be hooked up to a TV, and then it will run Steam right out of the gate. Newell also said that these living room PCs would compete against next-generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft.

I think in general that most customers and most developers are gonna find that [the PC is] a better environment for them. ‘Cause they won’t have to split the world into thinking about “why are my friends in the living room, why are my video sources in the living room different from everyone else?” So in a sense we hopefully are gonna unify those environments.

A Controlled Environment for Valve’s Steam Box

As what Steam Box has in store, Newell shared just a little. According to him, the hardware will be “a very controlled environment”. This means that Steam Box will be a console instead of a PC that users can upgrade.

Well certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environment. If you want more flexibility, you can always buy a more general purpose PC. For people who want a more turnkey solution, that’s what some people are really gonna want for their living room.

As to whether 2013 will be a year for living room PCs—as well as whether they will compete against game consoles—or not remains to be seen.

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