Gabe Newell confirms existence of Valve ‘Steam Box’ hardware for your living room

Valve Steam Box

By on December 10, 2012 at 11:40 am

Well, the rumour have been swirling for ages — but thanks to some fairly candid chats with Gabe Newell at the recent VGAs over the weekend, it looks like Valve’s console-like PC for the living room is actually confirmed.

“Certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environment,” Newell said to Kotaku. “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.”

“The nice thing about a PC is a lot of different people can try out different solutions, and customers can find the ones that work best for them.”

Gabe also explained that he expects companies to start selling living-room-friendly, ready-to-go PC packages within the next year. “I think in general that most customers and most developers are gonna find that [the PC is] a better environment for them,” claimed Gabe. “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.”

Source: Kotaku

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17 comments (Leave your own)

“Certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environment”

I seem to remember Gabe heavily criticising Microsoft for having a ‘controlled environment’ (aka. Windows Store) in Windows 8, yet, it’s okay for Valve to have a ‘controlled environment’.

Pot. Kettle.

 

schikitar,

Hardware. Operating System. ;)

 

schikitar:
“Certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environment”

I seem to remember Gabe heavily criticising Microsoft for having a ‘controlled environment’ (aka. Windows Store) in Windows 8, yet, it’s okay for Valve to have a ‘controlled environment’.

Pot. Kettle.

Yeah, the hypocrisy of this entire situation bothers me so much. Honestly Gabe.

 

I am generally pretty suspicious of any company, but I think Valve’s position makes sense. They sell a single hardware configuration which gives you the basics you need for most (all?) Steam games. They are able to support this device by avoiding multiple hardware configs, and in so doing, give the lazy console gamer market a way to play sweet, sweet PC games in their living room.

Meanwhile, Steam continues to support anyone else who wants to play on a PC running whatever flavour of hardware and OS suits the user.

In short, I see this as helping get console gamers over to PC, rather than attacking the existing PC market. And that sounds good to me.

 

I am so pissed at steam for bashing windows 8 so heavily but they have just jumped on the same bandwagon anyway.

The windows 8 bashing needs to stop, all companies are moving in these directions because there is growth there.

I tried using Valves big screen system but it was still far inferior to their normal offering even on my PC. Seems like someone didn’t tell them about these things called wireless keyboards and mice.

I think it’s completely legitimate for both Valve and Microsoft to both offer alternatives. I play half my PC games on the TV and I have been using Windows 8 just fine. Everyone needs to stop bashing each other up.

 

You guys are comparing an operating system to a hardware device =/

 

It’s funny, I was just googling last night if steam were looking to make a ‘Steam Console’. Funny how the world works some times. Looks like I’ll be holding off doing anything console/pc-wise for my living room until this comes out.

 

I think it is an interesting development that they would bring out a “console” when it would see we are likely in coming into the last generation of consoles at least as they are now. I wonder what the specs will be like as PC games are always pushing for new higher hardware requirement wheres consoles tend to get the best hardware available at the time and try and grow into it. Would it be upgradable I wonder?

I would think the real issue may be that the majority of actual PC game are not really designed for controllers with most designed for mouse and Keyboard and so the only games they are likely to have are just ports of console games anyway. But I guess if they do build it then developers may well focus some energy to making more controller friendly PC games if there is a platform to release on.

 

Awesome, been waiting for this.

Gamepad recommended games would be needed for sure but this is definitely a step in the right direction.

DIY Console basically with the option to skip the hard stuff and buy one that works as Valve intends.

 
James Pinnell

If it’s not easily upgradable, it’s going to be a disappointment.

 

This platform should be compared to a console, as that is essentially it’s competition. And when compared to a console it is likely to be a much more open platform than any of the main competition. The article mentions restrictions in the hardware space which is completely reasonable, consoles at the moment aren’t known for their hardware upgrade opportunities. There are good reasons for this and Steam Box should still greatly improve gaming in general for various reasons related to the static hardware platform. Game developers will have a set platform to target, just like a console, so the ability to just buy a game and know it will run will rival other consoles and the Apple iDevices (this is considered a good feature by many gamers, especially the target console gamers in this case). While there will be a static platform, it won’t be a major additional cost like exists with consoles because the platform will be able to run standard computer games, and won’t require as much platform specific development.

I would argue that Steam is giving more freedom and choice than any other platform at the moment because it can be run on any of the major desktop operating systems. The hardware restrictions mentioned in this article already exist in devices made by all the other popular game console developers, and they also have significant software restrictions which will likely be avoidable in this case. (see relevant Phoronix article: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTI0Njk). Combine all this with the fact that you can still use Steam on any of it’s other platforms (Windows, OSX, Linux).

Of course there is still money at play and this platform won’t be worthy of the Open and Free St. iGNUcius, but it will likely be much better than any of it’s direct competition (the major consoles).

 

avant:
You guys are comparing an operating system to a hardware device =/

I’m guessing this Steam box is going to be preinstalled with a custom version of Linux, a browser, obviously Steam, and limited funcionality outside that. If it’s just a mini-PC with a standard install of Windows 7 (or no OS preinstalled) it’s achieving absolutely nothing new, it’s just another non-upgradeable mini-PC.

So, yeah, I don’t think it is just a hardware device, it will have a Valve-controlled software environment too.

 

James Pinnell:
If it’s not easily upgradable, it’s going to be a disappointment.

You could just make your own. Probably for cheaper too.

 

James Pinnell:
If it’s not easily upgradable, it’s going to be a disappointment.

I don’t think that’s the point of the Steambox. PC building already gives you the crazy customisation. The Steambox looks to be a way of bringing console gamers over to PC gaming. Kind of like a gateway mechanism.

schikitar:
“Certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environment”

I seem to remember Gabe heavily criticising Microsoft for having a ‘controlled environment’ (aka. Windows Store) in Windows 8, yet, it’s okay for Valve to have a ‘controlled environment’.

Pot. Kettle.

Closed/Controlled hardware is very different from Closes/Controlled software =\

 

jambo: I don’t think that’s the point of the Steambox. PC building already gives you the crazy customisation. The Steambox looks to be a way of bringing console gamers over to PC gaming. Kind of like a gateway mechanism.

Yea but in saying that, as someone else has previously mentioned, if this is designed for current spec games, what happens when next gen games come out which need more powerful hardware to use? Do we then have to go out and buy a “Steambox V2″?

 

Great first step towards more of a focus on PC gaming in my opinion.
I always hated console to PC ports… they were so poor x.x

Not being able to upgrade components will e a pain in the ass though.
This is just having a normal console in that regard and will need to be upgraded all the time.

Still… a step in the right direction none the less.

 

ooshp: I’m guessing this Steam box is going to be preinstalled with a custom version of Linux, a browser, obviously Steam, and limited funcionality outside that. If it’s just a mini-PC with a standard install of Windows 7 (or no OS preinstalled) it’s achieving absolutely nothing new, it’s just another non-upgradeable mini-PC.

So, yeah, I don’t think it is just a hardware device, it will have a Valve-controlled software environment too.

So a ‘Gaming OS’?

Called it

 
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