The three big console manufactures: Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, may soon have some serious competition on their hands. According to an article over at The Verge, Valve Software (Half Life, Portal) is currently working on its very own set-top console, named “Steam Box”.
The site’s source claims that the Steam Box will be able to run PC games and use Steam or even EA’s competing service Origin. It also appears that Valve will only be creating the console’s hardware specs and core system software, leaving the actual devices to be made by professional manufactures, such as Alienware. Valve co-founder Gabe Newell was quoted saying “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.”
Furthermore, game developers won’t have to pay Valve licensing fee for creating games for the console, unlike other console manufactures which charge for that privilege.
The article points out to a Valve patent from last year: a USB configurable game controller that allows play to swap out different components to suit different types of games. It is possible that this controller will be a part of the rumored Steam Box, alongside some sort of biometric sensor that will read the player’s vitals and make real-times changes to the game accordingly.
As for the console’s actual hardware, it seems that the baseline specs will include a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GPU. With that in mind, check out this Tweet by Valve employee Greg Coomer, boasting about a tiny PC he built with oddly similar specs. Could it be a protoype version of the Steam Box?
Anyway, we may not have to wait too long to find out the truth, since the article states Valve will be showing off its new creation next week at GDC, or maybe later year, at E3.
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