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Rumor Report: Is Valve Working On Their Own Console?


Rumors are pouring in that Valve, the legends behind the Portal and Half-Life series, are making plans to join the hardware front with their own console. Dubbed the "Steam Box," Valve's Steam-powered console would be competing with the likes of Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft. Now THAT is quite a challenge...

"We'd rather hardware people that are good at manufacturing and distributing hardware do [hardware]. We think it's important enough that if that's what we end up having to do, then that's what we end up having to do" said Valve co-founder Gabe Newell in an interview with Penny Arcade. If the rumors are true, then perhaps now is indeed the time that "that" is what they end up having to do.

According to these rumors, Valve is currently building up a hardware spec and the associated software that the Steam Box will be made of. And supposedly, meetings were held at CES 2012 to demo an early version of the system.

Speaking of the specs, the Steam Box supposedly includes such specs as a Core i7 CPU, a NVIDIA GPU, and 8GB of RAM. As for what the system would be compatible with, it would basically be like a console version of a PC, with standard PC games being playable on the console, along with everything you can get from Valve's own Steam service.

There is also word that the Steam Box will have its own re-configurable controller. And one reason that you might have to believe in these rumors is a patent that Valve filed for the controller at some point last year.

This is only speculation at the moment, but for all we know, it could be true (especially considering that patent). If it is, then perhaps Valve will unveil the Steam Box at this year's Game Developer's Conference (GDC) in the coming days. And if not that, then maybe E3 2012? Anything can happen. All we can do right now is keep an eye and/or ear out for the possibility of such an announcement.

What are your thoughts on these rumors? Would you be interested in a new console from Valve?

Source: G4 TV


6 Comments

It would be interesting to see how this would play out. I'm not sure how adding in a 4th console would work out as there's already so much competition and they would be competing with the 3 already renowned consoles. Though steam does have a lot to offer and if they can come up with something new and exciting it might do really well. The re-configurable controller seems like it could be a neat idea as well.

We will just have to wait and see if they are going to follow through with this and see if it goes anywhere as more news comes our way.

I might be interested in the Steam Box, I was never a hardcore console fan, so if something that appeals to me more comes out, then I'm sure I'd be more than willing to give it a shot.

Im curious though, would steam go the multi-platform route as far as gaming goes? Or have many exclusives? If they release the console but then it just plays the same games we already have out, just on a 4th console, would that even do well? Or is it designed to handle games that most consoles can't, giving more options for it than other consoles? That would give it a leg up over the others. Instead of having to port games onto 3-4 discs as they are having to do for the 360. So many questions!
I don't think this is a good idea. Anybody remember the whole Phantom fiasco? They tried to get the same exact thing into stores and it never got off the ground. I'm sure Valve would have better luck but they should stick with Steam and making games.
I think it would be fine if this happens because there's nothing wrong with more competition. Still, with everything that's said about this it hardly sounds like a "console" and more of just, a living room closed PC. Of course, if you really think about it our modern consoles are technically PCs too... Weird.

Anyway, if this turns out to be nothing but a huge fib on The Verge's part I'm going to be angry. Why? I mean, it's nothing new to the gaming "journalism" world to write stories to be click-bait, but The Verge is supposed to be something special. At least, that's what the writers themselves seem to think. From what I remember The Verge gaming section is hosted by Vox Media people, who are mostly high up writers brought from other sites (Kotaku, Joystiq, etc).

Now, when all that Vox stuff was getting announced people wondered why we needed yet another site. And from what they were saying basically they wanted something better than what's available. No doubt we need sites that are better on average than Kotaku and Destructoid. But if it turns out this was just a generated rumor (the Penny Arcade article really doesn't say anything that can be construed as "proof" to me) by Vox people then it's shameful. This is no better than the sites they came from.

If it does turn out that they had real sources though, then that would be great. If so then I'll be surprised but pleasantly so that they were able to break this story so early. It just seems suspect the way they twisted supposed "proof" and never mentioned that the sources were remaining anonymous or anything, just simply "sources say". Who knows though? We'll probably hear stuff about it this week at GDC if it's real, so that's not a long wait.
I don't think I'd be interested in a console from Valve. I play all my Steam games on the PC and honestly already have enough consoles to keep me busy.
This Steam Box sounds very similar to Onlive in my opinion! Plus I doubt that it would be a fully fledged console as that would not be ecomnomically viable given the fact that the world is still in recession!
I am always excited about diversification, and if another console is being integrated into the mix, then I say the more the merrier. Xbox, PS, and Nintendo have dominated the market for so long regarding consoles that someone should take the plunge. I do have reservations about the success of such a new console, however, given the grip that the existing companies have over gamers thus far; the incentives of a new console would have to be mind blowing in order to sway loyalties or...if not loyalty, inevitable servitude simply due to the lack of flexibility of cross-platform gaming.

As a side thought though, I don't know if a controller patent is enough to support the rumors of an entirely new console. Intellectual property is unbelievably valuable these days, and companies would be ridiculous not to patent an idea, even if it wasn't intended for production until some years later.

 

 

 

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