Gabe reveals new details about Steam Box: multiple manufacturers, different hardware

Steambox (Valve prototype)

By on January 9, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Yesterday we posted that Utah-based hardware manufacturer Xi3 had received investment from Valve to build a Steam box in one of their grapefruit-sized modular chassis. Today, however, Gabe Newell has explained that there will be multiple different Steam boxes, some from third-party manufacturers, and some from Valve themselves (an early prototype of which is pictured here).

“We think that there are pluses and minuses to open systems that could make things a little messier, it’s much more like herding cats, so we try to take the pieces where we’re going to add the best value and then encourage other people to do it,” said Newell in a lengthy interview with The Verge “So it tends to mean that a lot of people get involved. We’re not imposing a lot of restrictions on people on how they’re getting involved.”

“We’ll come out with our own and we’ll sell it to consumers by ourselves. That’ll be a Linux box, [and] if you want to install Windows you can. We’re not going to make it hard. This is not some locked box by any stretch of the imagination.”

In the same interview, Newell also discussed how he feels that biometric controllers are the way of the future, and the place of Steam as a user-generated content provider, as well has his continued disappointment in Windows 8. It’s worth a read if you have the time, so take a look.

Source: The Verge

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8 comments (Leave your own)

This whole exercise has been very interesting to watch. Valve are pushing Linux with full gusto and there are a lot of shocked gamers who have never comprehended the value of Linux to anyone until now, and are being challenged in their preconceptions. Heck, people on (a very pro Microsoft site) basically hate Gabe Newell now for his negative views on Windows 8 and some has reverted back to poking fun at his appearance (always the last refuge of an ability to argue).

Whether the console succeeds or not is anyone’s guess. But I still enjoy seeing the clash of opinions. :)


Interesting read of the original article. Many people seem to be wary of the steam box as they think they are trying to just make a console, but valve aren’t really trying to make a console as the article indicated. They are really trying to make a dedicated game/multimedia box that can stream to any device in your house with multiple users (even multiple users playing games from the box).

I would be unlikely to use it as i’m a die hard dedicated high performance pc user, but i can see the appeal for many people who want a HTPC that can stream anywhere in the house with the ease of a closed environment.


Will read the original article later but I like this idea of having multiple steam boxes.

Provides an option for people that only want a low end low cost device for PC gaming in the lounge room and also provides an option for people with a bit more money to blow to get a high end one.

If that is the way they are going to be designing them.


Disappointed that there was no mention of HL3 in the interview.



HL3 will be the selling point of the steam box, they won’t give away just yet. =)



I doubt it. That only works if a game is made exclusive to a platform, and I doubt Valve is stupid enough to make Half-Life 3 a Steambox-only title, at least during its initial release. Odds are they’ll release it on Windows/Mac/Linux at the same time, and so they’ll be little motivation to buy it just for one game.

Though if they DID make it exclusive, I’d lose all faith in them. I don’t like being manipulated by my desire for a game to go along with their bait.


They’re going to make HL3 have intensive graphics, and the Steambox will be able to run it for a lower price than upgrading your PC. That’ll be what they’ll do. They’ll make it an alternative, but not the only option.


What they’ll probably do is bundle a Steam code for HL3 with the Steambox when (if?) it releases.

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