Sunday, March 4, 2012

Valve Console

Rumored Hardware Prototype from Steam Employee Greg Coomer's Twitter

Yep, you read that title correctly. Rumors are currently circulating that Valve is working on its own console to bring Steam to the living room of gamers. Currently known as the "Steam Box", this console could bring the great services of Steam such as driver and software updates, the massive communities, and of course game purchasing (including those always addictive Steam deals). This console is said to be a kind of "bridge" between console and PC gaming, bringing the innovative usage of games with PCs such as editing and modding while utilizing the cheap(er) hardware and portability of consoles. This console would also open up the possibility of game developers releasing their software with reduced startup cost since the need for a devkkit console is not needed. Additionally, licensing fees are either non-applicable or greatly reduced from the console counterpart. The above image was taken from the Twitter account of Valve employee Greg Coomer. He has only stated he was working on a tiny PC for his job, but with these rumors floating about and other intriguing tweets, it is not difficult to see this being a prototype. Valve has also used this PC in a few demos to press, though, so take this with a grain of salt as nothing is official yet.

According to The Verge, the console is said to be based on Alienware's X-51 (which looks more like a console as it is, don't you think?). This would be Valve's first break into the world of gaming hardware, and could add an interesting, new opponent to the everlasting console wars. To go with this console, Valve filed for a controller patent three years ago. The controller has snap-on customization, allowing a gamer to change out d-pads, joystick toggles, and/or buttons depending on the game and gamer's personal style. Employees of Valve have remained very tight lipped for comment on this rumor and may wait until this year's Game Developer's Conference to reveal any concrete details. Though knowing Valve this'll probably be delayed until at least E3. Yes I know, it's a bit insulting to say Valve would delay anything of an important nature to gaming, but if the shoe fits, do as the Romans do, I say.
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