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Valve Reportedly Working on “Steam Box” Console: Debut at GDC Possible

Steam Box Console PictureValve is rumored to be working on a “Steam Box” console, and it could debut at the GDC 2012

Is it possible that Valve is working on a device that is similar to the recently announced Alienware X-51 console? Basically, a small-sized PC capable of running Steam PC games?

Insider: Valve is working on a ‘Steam box,’ which could debut as early as GDC this year

Steam Box Console Controller 1
Picture: Possible Steam Box controller concept?

Valve have largely remained quiet on producing a console, but when a recent interview with Penny Arcade Valve co-founder Gabe Newell said that “[I]f we have to sell hardware, we will” fans got excited.

It seems that Newell wasn’t teasing for the sake of teasing either: The Verge reports that Valve are developing a console to go against Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo.

Valve’s console, featuring Steam of course, will mirror the approach Google have taken to open source software for mobiles with Android. While the device may be made by external companies, the software – centered around Steam, hence the name “Steam Box” – would be available for anyone who is developing games for it.

If you’re thinking there’s something similar to this, well there is: the Alienware X51 (which pitches itself as a ‘PC in a box’) was apparently designed with early specs of the Steam Box in mind. It will also apparently be upgradable to the software Valve puts inside the Steam Box.

Basic Specs Of Steam Box: i7 CPu, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GPU

The Verge also says that meetings were held at CES this year to potential partners. The basics specs, they say, are a “Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a NVIDIA GPU.” Adding to the open source rumour, the Box will be able to run other services – such as EA’s Origin – and will run standard PC games.

New changes to the hardware will come every three years, apparently. No licensing fees will be needed to develop for the platform.

A large amount of USB peripherals will be compatible, The Verge report. They also say the controller could also allow for swappable components, depending on the type of game you are playing. Valve filed a patent for this last year, showing the analogue sticks being removed from a controller.

Steam’s Big Picture mode will also be used by the device, allowing users to navigate Steam easily with a controller on “any TV or computer in the house.”

On when the Steam Box could be announced, The Verge say that Valve are considering GDC or E3 this year.

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Published: Tuesday, March 6th, 2012 Last Modified: March 6, 2012

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