For once, a rumour currently doing the rounds does not concern the iPad 3, but rather, Valve Software, which may be dipping their feet into the hardware business and developing another console of sorts to rival the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, currently dubbed the Steam Box.
Valve, which is the powerhouse behind digital distribution network Steam, as well as the much played Half Life, Team Fortress and Left 4 Dead series, recently showed its willingness to embrace hardware development if need be.
In an interview with Penny Arcade
, the company’s co-founder, Gabe Newell is quoted as saying that “we need to continue to have innovation and if the only way to get these kind of projects started is by us going and developing and selling the hardware directly then that’s what we’ll do.”
More than a twinkle in the eye
has indicated that the Steam Box console is already in early stages of development, boasting a Core i7 CPU, 8 GB of memory, and an NVIDIA graphics card. The Steam Box, if more than just a prototype, is apparently envisioned as being able to run PC titles and gaming services such as Steam and EA’s Origin.
The site elaborates that the Steam Box would probably include a proprietary controller, that could accommodate interchangeable components. These would then allow players to be configure the controller to cater to different types of games.
As to what motivation Valve could have for possibly developing its own hardware platform for games, one need only look at comments
Newell made towards the end of last year, indicating dissatisfaction with the current status quo of game platforms.
"On the platform side, it's sort of ominous that the world seems to be moving away from open platforms," he told the Seattle Times
. "They build a shiny sparkling thing that attracts users and then they control people's access to those things," he added.
To the point
While the Steam Box is currently a rumour rather than a confirmed fact, if true, this year’s E3 Expo could bring not a PlayStation 4 or Xbox 720, but an even more disruptive technology in the form of yet another significant player competing for attention in gaming enthusiasts’ living rooms.