1. Post #1
    jwk94's Avatar
    February 2010
    593 Posts
    Recently there's been chatter that Valve the company behind the massively popular gaming service Steam has been considering getting into the hardware business. Specifically, there have been rumors that the company has been toying with the idea of creating a proper set-top console which could potentially pose a threat to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Valve co-founder Gabe Newell even recently told Penny Arcade: "Well, if we have to sell hardware we will."


    At a glance that would simply be interesting fodder for a gaming forum debate, but we've uncovered information that suggests that not only has Valve been secretly working on gaming hardware for the living room, but that the company is actively pursuing a strategy which would place Steam at the center of an open gaming universe that mirrors what Google has done with Android. Backing up that concept, in the same interview we quote above, Newell says that Valve doesn't really want to do hardware on its own, stating, "We'd rather hardware people that are good at manufacturing and distributing hardware do [hardware]. We think it's important enough that if that's what we end up having to do, then that's what we end up having to do."


    That jibes pretty well with this rumored arrangement.


    According to sources, the company has been working on a hardware spec and associated software which would make up the backbone of a "Steam Box." The actual devices may be made by a variety of partners, and the software would be readily available to any company that wants to get in the game.


    Adding fuel to that fire is a rumor that the Alienware X51 may have been designed with an early spec of the system in mind, and will be retroactively upgradable to the software.


    Apparently meetings were held during CES to demo a hand-built version of the device to potential partners. We're told that the basic specs of the Steam Box include a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GPU. The devices will be able to run any standard PC titles, and will also allow for rival gaming services (like EA's Origin) to be loaded up.


    Part of the goal of establishing a baseline for hardware, we're told, is that it will give developers a clear lifecycle for their products, with changes possibly coming every three to four years. Additionally, there won't be a required devkit, and there will be no licensing fees to create software for the platform.


    We're hearing that a wide variety of USB peripherals will be compatible with the boxes, though it will likely ship with a proprietary controller. It's possible that the controller will even allow for swappable components, meaning that it can be reconfigured depending on the type of game you're playing. Think that sounds odd? Well Valve filed a patent for such a device last year.






    Additionally, we're told that the kind of biometrics Valve uses in game testing will somehow be incorporated into these devices. Sources of ours say that the realtime biometric feedback in games will be a sea-change for users. To put it more succinctly, the sentiment we've heard is: "You won't ever look back." These biometric devices could come in the form of a bracelet, or be part of the standard controller.


    The consoles will also take advantage of Steam's "Big Picture" mode, a feature Valve touted last year at GDC, but has yet to release to the public. According to the company's press release in 2011 "With big picture mode, gaming opportunities for Steam partners and customers become possible via PCs and Macs on any TV or computer display in the house."


    The most interesting piece of this puzzle may be related to that statement. According to sources, the Steam Box isn't intended to just clash with current gaming consoles. Rather, Valve wants to take Apple and its forthcoming new Apple TV products head-on. Newell has clear questions about Apple's strategy, telling the The Seattle Times "On the platform side, it's sort of ominous that the world seems to be moving away from open platforms," adding that "They build a shiny sparkling thing that attracts users and then they control people's access to those things."


    The Steam Box could be unveiled at GDC, though we're also hearing that the company may wait until E3 this year to show off what it's been working on.


    One thing is for sure, however: if these rumors turn out to be correct, there could be a whole new kind of battle for control of your living room happening in the near future. Of course, much of this is pieced together from a variety of sources, and there could be moving parts which we can't see. Some of this information could change.


    We've reached out to Valve for comment, and will update the post with any new information we receive.
    Exclusive: Valve working on 'Steam Box' gaming console with hardware partners, could announce at GDC | The Verge


    If Valve did this (assuming that it's basically a PC with the steam platform backing it up) this would sh*t on every other game system out there. PS3 and Steam Box in the living room? Aint nobody touching that combo. Please, I pray to God that this is true.
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  2. Post #2
    Gold Member
    sHiBaN's Avatar
    April 2006
    4,109 Posts
    I would buy it.

    Don't give me bullshit monthly subscriptions for online usage and keep being Steam and they have my money
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  3. Post #3
    Gold Member
    tehperzon's Avatar
    January 2009
    969 Posts
    I would buy it.

    Don't give me bullshit monthly subscriptions for online usage and keep being Steam and they have my money
    It's valve, they obviously won't do that.
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  4. Post #4
    FuryBlitz's Avatar
    May 2010
    1,841 Posts
    I hope this is true. I will spend all of my money on it.
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  5. Post #5
    So we can expect a 'Console based steam'? Nice.
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  6. Post #6
    Kid Cudi's Avatar
    July 2010
    1,170 Posts
    yo honestly i'd buy this in a heartbeat and i'm hardkore cansale gameur. damn valve's on their grind.
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  7. Post #7
    One of these days, I'm going to cut you into little pieces.
    AJisAwesome15's Avatar
    May 2011
    5,929 Posts
    sure why not
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  8. Post #8
    Daemon's Avatar
    February 2010
    1,217 Posts
    Custom download content for a console would be amazing.
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  9. Post #9
    Gold Member
    jordguitar's Avatar
    July 2007
    11,070 Posts
    Oh god this is going to get interesting
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  10. Post #10
    Gold Member
    Ericson666's Avatar
    May 2011
    3,486 Posts
    16 times the RAM of a PS3... Time to show these consolites how eez done!

    Also, it can play PC games? Cough, related to CS:GO cross platform, cough?
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  11. Post #11
    Needs more suspension.
    Dennab
    February 2006
    4,484 Posts
    Watch origin make a pile of shit similar to this with 1 game on it.
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  12. Post #12
    OvB
    Facepunch resident scientist
    OvB's Avatar
    March 2007
    13,198 Posts
    They should call it the Steam Engine. Steam Box reminds me of a sauna.
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  13. Post #13
    Gold Member
    The Aussie's Avatar
    May 2010
    4,009 Posts
    i would sell the peice of shit xbox, and grab one on day 1. I love steam enough as it is, but the additon of console gaming to the already brilliant steam platform would make me so damn happy.
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  14. Post #14
    Gold Member
    jordguitar's Avatar
    July 2007
    11,070 Posts
    16 times the RAM of a PS3... Time to show these consolites how eez done!

    Also, it can play PC games? Cough, related to CS:GO cross platform, cough?
    it might as well

  15. Post #15
    dis gun be gud
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  16. Post #16
    SJW 4 lyfe
    DaysBefore's Avatar
    December 2009
    7,361 Posts
    I'd buy the fuck out of a Valve console. It's good to see them expanding into such a rich market, it'll bring in a lot more money that'll help them build on existing games and release new ones.
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  17. Post #17
    Gold Member
    MacD11's Avatar
    April 2009
    4,940 Posts

    i dont care if its a console i will buy this
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  18. Post #18
    Gold Member
    Populus89's Avatar
    September 2009
    2,432 Posts
    I would buy five.
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  19. Post #19
    Gold Member
    Mr._N's Avatar
    July 2006
    4,911 Posts
    They should call it the Steam Engine. Steam Box reminds me of a sauna.
    I wouldn't doubt that it's name is going to be in line with the whole plumbing theme that Valve's got going on.
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  20. Post #20
    install gentoo's Avatar
    May 2011
    499 Posts
    Am I the only one who isn't even slightly excited about this? It's just another console.
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  21. Post #21
    BenJammin''s Avatar
    December 2010
    6,437 Posts
    Make it have higher specs than my slightly above average gaming pc and I am set.
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  22. Post #22
    Needs more suspension.
    Dennab
    February 2006
    4,484 Posts
    Knowing valve, they would probably make the Steam Engine incredibly easy and intuitive for game developers just to stick it to the other consoles.

    Hell, I wonder if they'd even go as far as letting third-party games (free and paid for) be developed on it; like indie games for PC, or source mods.
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  23. Post #23
    One of these days, I'm going to cut you into little pieces.
    AJisAwesome15's Avatar
    May 2011
    5,929 Posts
    Am I the only one who isn't even slightly excited about this? It's just another console.
    you may have seen other consoles, but you have never seen a valve console
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  24. Post #24
    ask me for a rust key :~)
    LordCrypto's Avatar
    December 2008
    18,466 Posts
    The (unavailable as of yet) big screen mode seems to support this.
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  25. Post #25
    Needs more suspension.
    Dennab
    February 2006
    4,484 Posts
    I love Valve. They're such a wrecking ball to the horrible ass-backwards policies and habits of other game dev giants.
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  26. Post #26
    Gold Member
    Ericson666's Avatar
    May 2011
    3,486 Posts
    Am I the only one who isn't even slightly excited about this? It's just another console.
    I played Gears of War 3 and I was like OHMYGODBEAUTY
    Then I looked at a wire. It was jagged as hell.

    I can have non shitty looking games in my living room as well as being able to play with friends who are "lolpc"
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  27. Post #27
    wari65's Avatar
    August 2009
    1,509 Posts
    As much as I would love to buy it because it's Valve, I see no reason to actually buy it if you have a computer.
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  28. Post #28
    Bleach Qeef's Avatar
    June 2007
    1,715 Posts
    They should call it STEAM ENGINE.
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  29. Post #29
    Mr.Ken's Avatar
    December 2010
    365 Posts
    I knew they would do something like this one day, but I thought they would call it something like 'Vapor' instead of steam

  30. Post #30
    OFFICIAL DEAN of MAX PAYNE
    Dennab
    July 2009
    9,002 Posts
    This sounds incredibly strange.
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  31. Post #31
    Gold Member
    I_Forgot's Avatar
    January 2006
    2,393 Posts
    That's a fantastic idea, although I wouldn't buy one because my pc is basically a steam box already.

    From what I gather, it's like a media pc for use in the living room, but instead of whatever media OS, it runs steam. So a pc. for the living room. That runs steam and plays pc games.

    I still don't see how it compares to consoles, though, apart from being used in your living room with a tv.
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  32. Post #32
    Sickle's Avatar
    November 2009
    6,600 Posts
    Turbine

    That should be the name.
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  33. Post #33
    install gentoo's Avatar
    May 2011
    499 Posts
    you may have seen other consoles, but you have never seen a valve console
    So it's a console with better ports of Valve games, fullscreen steam, mouse+keyboard support, probably user made applications. None of that brings any real advantage over a decent PC.
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  34. Post #34
    rrerr~
    FelixDragon's Avatar
    January 2009
    3,464 Posts
    Go Valve!
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  35. Post #35
    Gold Member
    I_Forgot's Avatar
    January 2006
    2,393 Posts
    So it's a console with better ports of Valve games, fullscreen steam, mouse+keyboard support, probably user made applications. None of that brings any real advantage over a decent PC.
    If I'm reading this article right, it's not a console, it's a pc, that runs steam, and pc games. It's just meant to be used like a media pc/console, hooked up to a tv and controlled with a controller/wireless keyboard+mouse.
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  36. Post #36
    install gentoo's Avatar
    May 2011
    499 Posts
    If I'm reading this article right, it's not a console, it's a pc, that runs steam, and pc games. It's just meant to be used like a media pc/console, hooked up to a tv and controlled with a controller/wireless keyboard+mouse.
    So they're entering the HTPC market, again kinda pointless with SFF cases and wireless peripherals so widely available.

  37. Post #37
    Gold Member
    Jzzb's Avatar
    March 2007
    1,917 Posts
    Console companies restrict your ability to release content as you please

    Solution: Make your own console





    (User was banned for this post ("Image macro" - Orkel))
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  38. Post #38
    Glod Menber
    Amez's Avatar
    June 2008
    6,722 Posts
    The devices will be able to run any standard PC titles, and will also allow for rival gaming services (like EA's Origin) to be loaded up.
    I love how Valve is just fucking with them.
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  39. Post #39
    Gold Member
    jordguitar's Avatar
    July 2007
    11,070 Posts
    Ok I am not getting all that excited. Vox Media was founded just last year and this is the first time I have heard of them. They only started to cover video game stuff in January so I am not that sure anymore.
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  40. Post #40
    Gold Member
    I_Forgot's Avatar
    January 2006
    2,393 Posts
    So they're entering the HTPC market, again kinda pointless with SFF cases and wireless peripherals so widely available.
    Well I imagine it's not made for the people that would build their own HTPC. I would assume it's for the not as computer-literate people to be able to enjoy pc gaming on their tv.

    And it could perhaps provide a minimum spec. for developers to make games for.
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