Steam console confirmed

News Aaron Birch 10 Dec 2012 - 19:17

It’s been rumoured for a while, but Gabe Newell has finally confirmed the possibility of a Valve-created console device…

Talking to Kotaku, Valve bigwig, Gabe Newell has confirmed that the Steam platform may grace the living room as its own platform in the future.

Already making waves in its TV-based ‘Big Picture’ incarnation, the digital distribution service, Steam, has been hugely popular with PC users for several years now, long after its debut as a conduit to provide the hungry masses with Half Life 2.

Now distributing an astonishing catalogue of software, and offing some of the best gaming deals on the market, Steam could become a real competitor in the console market, taking Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo head-on, with the might of the PC behind it.

In the short interview, Newell commented that the performance of The Big Picture was stronger than expected, and that the company’s next move is to look into the possibility of getting the package onto a Linux-powered box. If this was to happen, it would then mean that Valve had full control of their own hardware platform, and it would become a very real threat to the existing consoles.

Newell also commented that he foresees living room-based PCs will become more and more popular, and that these platforms could become more conduits to pipe Steam into the living room domain.

"I think in general that most customers and most developers are gonna find that [the PC is] a better environment for them." Newell said to Kotaku.

"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."

The idea of a Steam-powered console would certainly raise the PC-gaming bar, and whilst the home console currently enjoy the lion’s share of the gaming market, a more affordable and accessible PC platform would have a very good chance of boost the appeal of PC-based gaming.

Few would argue that many genres are at home on the PC, despite consoles now demonstrating impressive performance. The likes of RTS, RPG and FPS titles are rarely found in better shape than on the PC, and if users can get Battlefield 3 to look as good on a console-like option, it’s a no brainer. We’ll bring you more news as we get it.

Kotaku

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This is huge, and shows just how far Valve have come from putting their money where their mouth was back in the early days. Then, Steam was just a mechanism to get Half Life 2 onto your PC ready for day one play. My friends would proudly inform me that HL2 was raring to go on their machine; just needing to be unlocked.

It's a superb service today, and if Valve really can get the majority of Steam games running on some custom variant of Linux, this is a no brainer from an R&D perspective and a total win for the consumer. All Valve have to do is release a decent specced box every few years. When customers upgrade, they'll get more than backward compatibility. Many of their old games will look better. I'd expect "forward capability" to be a big tagline in this machine's marketing push.

What would really intrest me is if they could het the pc and this console to allow cross play for example on gta iv

Get not het

Not for me. I prefer my gaming away from the living room, but I suppose I am lucky enough to have a dedicated gaming room but even if I didn't I don't like sitting far away from the monitor and using controllers, which is why I use a PC for gaming - up close and keyboard/mouse for me for the foreseeable future.

best news ever ! (at least in the gaming world)

gytftfttyfyyt

Sensational headline is sensationalist. This proves nothing. There is absolutely no confirmation of a steam console anywhere in this article. In fact, most paragraphs have "idea" in it.

PC in your living room !== console

Damn cat...

pc will still be the most powerful as console have to be cheap to sell :( so there power will have to be reduced

There are some games that do this to some degree already.

Portal 2 on PC/PS3 for one.
Shadowrun on PC/Xbox360
I am sure there must be more.
But yeah, I think Sony and Microsoft should strike some sort of deal for x-platform play although it will inevitably turn into a xbox vs ps fanboy war. But this already occurs anyway.

I agree this headline should be changed, it is intentionally misleading.
Clearly the interview is about them looking into possibly of creating a console.
This is as much confirmed as the PS5, Xbox4 or Wii3

I can't help but feel this is a little pointless.
It will be very difficult for Valve to find the right balance between cost and power and they will find it very difficult to compete with the likes of Sony, Microsoft & Nintendo. They would need several tiers as the highest spec would be too expensive for casual gamers whilst a lower spec wouldn't be powerful enough for hard-core gamers.

A real high-spec machine could cost over £600 potentially.

They would need to offer a less powerful machine for under £300 which wouldn't be enough to run games at the highest spec.

This would fragment the market defeating the purpose of the device.
You would still have situations were the games don't work that great as the machine isn't the most powerful available.

What is wrong with just hooking up your laptop to a TV anyway?

Since most people tend to have a laptop/PC anyway, I think it'd be best just to buy a really good laptop/tablet and hook that up to the TV when you want to play games like people have easily been able to do since HDMI came on the go. Steam currently offers a 'big picture mode' that makes it like a console anyway.

Personally, I just to think there is any room for this device in the market.

small PC + controllers + TV out in living room? smells like a console to me

A decent PC for gaming need not cost much at all.
PC hardware components are cheap due to wide competition.

No. A console is a proprietary piece of hardware with proprietary software. An Xbox is obviously a console. Your HTPC tucked away under your TV is /not/ a console. Putting a high end graphics card into it and using a controller with it doesn't magically turn it into a "console"

I don't like steam.

Components can be cheap but the latest ones don't
Currently a decent gaming rig costs £1000+
To get ultra-high specs can cost well over £3000.
Check out Alienware for their current offerings.
Heck even the latest graphics cards can cost over £500.

With Microsoft and Sony both due to release new consoles soon, I just don't see a place for a new device that plays games to the same level that most laptops can manage. The main players have the resources to develop new technology and components for their latest machines - Valve don't.
Imagine what PS4 and Xbox next are going to be capable of, a steam console just won't be able to match it at a similar price point.

the best news for me would be if the vrmmo(the console for Sword Art Online) console came out, but this is freaking awesome too xD

then wtf are you doing here -.-

Dont rely on Alienware for price comparisons, they are some of the most expensive computers on the market, simply because they carry the Alienware name.

Newegg, Pcspecialst, Dino PC etc all offer great prices on gaming rigs.

I could make a powerful gaming rig on any one of those sites for under £2000.

The original motivation behind this is, that windows 8/and iOS forces its own software/games shop upon the users and Valve has no way arround these rival shops...Gabe thought Steam needs a hardware without MS and Apple able to suck money from his sales.

Lol microsoft and sony are allready "giving away" their consoles... as in they only lose money on selling consoles. Can steam compete with this?

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