Multiple Steamboxes Coming To Market; Valve Will Make Their Own

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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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Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.