Multiple Steamboxes Coming To Market; Valve Will Make Their Own

By Ishaan . January 8, 2013 . 4:00pm

Xi3 and Valve’s “Computer Game System” won’t be the only Steambox on the market. Valve are partnering with multiple companies to allow them to put Steam-optimized devices out into the market, but are also planning to release an official Steambox of their own, which will run on Linux.


“That’ll be a Linux box, [and] if you want to install Windows you can,” Valve boss, Gabe Newell, shared in an interview with Polygon.


“We’re not going to make it hard. This is not some locked box by any stretch of the imagination. We also think that a controller that has higher precision and lower latency is another interesting thing to have.”


When asked about Netflix on Valve’s own Steambox, Newell replies: “Oh absolutely. You can fire up a web browser, you can do whatever you want.”


That “do whatever you want” comment is important because, previously, Newell stated in an interview with Kotaku: “Well certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environment. If you want more flexibility, you can always buy a more general purpose PC.”


So, just what “do whatever you want” means remains to be seen, with regard to Valve’s own Steambox project.


Newell also touches upon the future of the Steam service itself, indicating an intent to make it more open to user-generated content, and the idea of multiple stores, created by users themselves. “Some people will create team stores, some people will creates Sony stores, some people will create stores with only games that they think meet their quality bar,” Newell envisions.


“Somebody is going to create a store that says ‘these are the worst games on Steam.’ So that’s an example of where our thinking is leading us right now.”

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  • SirRichard

    Lot of interesting ideas coming out of Valve lately, what with simplifying the PC market, Greenlight, taking interest in the Oculus Rift, revamping Steam for use in different set-ups and now this idea of user-created and run stores. Hopefully they’ll take care with it, though, the likes of Greenlight and WarZ (or whatever zombie game it was that was horrible recently) show that some restraint or control is needed.

    • LynxAmali

      -Lot of interesting ideas coming out of Valve lately

      Yet no Half-Life 2 Episode 3 yet.

      I kid, I kid.
      Nice ideas but I don’t think they’ll make much of an impact, especially this considering it’s a glorified computer. Albeit, limited at that too.

  • I know this might sound stupid because of the way I say it but with it’s own stores and apps Steam sounds like it might turn into a “Gaming OS” or something like it.

  • Banshee832

    I think “do whatever you want” refers to the software/OS, and its the hardware that is going to be the controlled environment. That way, new releases of games can be “SteamBox” certified, meaning they will run (smoothly?) on a SteamBox.

  • CirnoLakes

    Sounds like they’re really getting into this idea and going into it wholeheartedly.

    Which is good, because it would be a completely failure otherwise. The console market was hard enough that SEGA dropped out of it and Microsoft took a while to finally get in. The original XBOX was a complete flop for the most part. And the XBOX 360 still needs to do more in order to win over the Japanese market.

    I want this to be a success because I prefer to play games on my PC. And considering that the PlayStation 3 this generation has had shockingly few exclusives, and the XBOX even had a few Japanese exclusives of its own. That’s hugely promising. I really hope that Valve will try to get some Japanese developers on board.

    As well, while it is largely trying to break into the console market. This whole project seems like the honest, first major attempt to blur the lines between consoles and gaming PCs. As in it isn’t a completely console. It’s like it’s sort of in between the two but also very, very serious. And if it is successful, I can see the worlds of console gaming and PC gaming blurred more than they ever have before.

    And in the end, this all sounds good. Anything in this would that would improve my chances of owning a Tales of Shin Megami Tensei game on the PC would make my world. Owning, for the PC. Not having to resort to emulators to play games I like.

    • Wolframium

      I too hope that they will attract some japanese developers with tis new Steambox, it has been fun playing Ys on my PC, but imagine playing things like Tales of , Final Fantasy, Vanquish, Okami, Castlevania on your PC without emulation, that would be awesome.

      And the whole open, linux running, easily moddable platform really makes me happy, it’s a hackers dream, sort of like the PS3 was before the removal of OtherOS but better because this time without restrictions to access the hardware.

      The only thing that makes me kinda sad is that it would be kinda clunky switching from XBMC and Steam Big Picture, currently you cannot switch between the two with just the click of a button, you hav to close one to launch another, but that is kind of a non issue since I’m talking about two different pieces of software working together who weren’t designed to work together in the first place.

      Yay! A Steam console running on Linux. Hope that theres japanese games on it to make me even more happy, also I love you gaben

  • kupomogli

    If you can log into a Steam account on the Steambox while remaining logged into your account on PC then it would be worth it to some people. If you have a capable PC though, then it’s something really not worth getting.

    I have HDMI out on my PC so I could hook it up to my television if I wanted to.

  • drproton

    The Linux box currently in my living room boots straight into XBMC. I could see myself doing the same with Steam. Even more interesting would be a full desktop environment that blurs the line between media center and game platform.

    I’m extremely excited about Valve’s support of Linux as a gaming platform, mainly because the only reason I keep Windows around is for PC games and I’d rather be rid of it.

  • FetusZero

    I thought I knew where Valve was headed with the Steambox, but now I’m not sure anymore..

    It’s like they’re going against the consoles.. but then again not really.. but going against the PC isn’t really something you can do when you already dominate that market hands down, so their goal must be the console market.. but console gamers expect to click “play” and everything is top notch, yet if it’s a “do whatever you want” box, welcome compatibility issues that thousands of PC gamers experience every day.. not really suitable for the console market, but PC gamers are used to that stuff so it won’t bother them.

    Really I’m lost and confused as to what Valve is trying to do here. I’ll have to agree with CirnoLakes saying “blur the lines between consoles and gaming PCs” then.

    • Mr_SP

      What I think he means is that while the Steambox is restrictive from a hardware perspective, it’s open from a software perspective. Like a tablet, but for gaming.

  • Göran Isacson

    Got no idea where this is heading, but I will say this- I am expecting it with bated breath.

  • So basically it’s a PC line optimized for steam? Because it has a web browser, runs programs like netfilx, can have other OS’s installed…

  • so it’s basically a computer?

    • You Are Tonga

      Yes, you can also install Windows as alternative OS =)

      • seyEliveD

        Of course, you’ll need to buy it first!

        (which will add significantly to the cost of the “Steambox”)

        • drproton

          Or put another way, leaving it out of the SKU significantly reduces the cost.

  • Haku

    Even if I sticked to console’s my whole life, i cant deny my fascination behind the Idea. Like having all my Steam games on that box and just take it with me to play it on any TV I want.
    Its just something diffrent to carry a smaller box with you than a laptop or a whole PC.

    Crossing my fingers that it wont be some Overpriced BS, having big hopes in Steam lately.

  • Jonathan Keycross

    So in the end this is an upgraded OUYA with steam support? Not trying to sound sarcastic or anything, the features of both consoles seem very similar if you ignore the hardware.

  • hmm, they might just be on to something.
    it will never be a hit like regular consols, but i bet they will ship a good amount.

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