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Valve Working on “Steam Box” Console?


Posted on March 3rd, by raymond padilla in PC Gaming, Videogames. 30 comments

Valve Steam1 Valve Working on Steam Box Console?

Here’s the frontrunner for the hottest videogame rumor of 2012: Valve is working on a Steam-powered console and could reveal more details next week at GDC 2012. That’s the word from the excellent Joshua Topolsky from The Verge. It will be interesting to see if Valve can succeed as a console manufacturer. Certainly videogame publishers and developers would benefit from a more diverse, flexible, and open system. Valve is a phenomenal developer and Steam is a fantastic service, but selling, marketing, and supporting console hardware is a Herculean undertaking. It would be a huge risk, but it could also reap huge rewards.

Obviously I want this rumor to pan out. The ramifications are just tremendous. Imagine Valve suddenly becoming a major player in videogame development, publishing, and console manufacturing? It sounds crazy, but it would be fantastic to see Valve try to change the “Big Three” of console gaming (Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony) to the “Fantastic Four”. A videogame system that’s a bit more open has the chance to help fix console gaming’s broken publishing model. For that reason alone, I’m thrilled by the potential of a Steam Box.

Are you geeked out by the potential of a Steam Box console from Valve? Do you see a Steam-based console changing the videogame business? Are you interested in buying a “less closed” console from Valve?

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  • BigBlak

    Would this be digital only because if it is my interest level would go 60 to 0 in a millisecond.

    • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

      I'm guessing it would digital. It's Steam, after all.

    • Smartguy

      Who cares when they are selling you the content at a steep discount with a nonpenalizing method of using the content?? Compare a Steam sale to Origin.

      Edited to remove any snideness cause we are cool

      • BigBlak

        Lol! That means nothing to me (sales, not our digital friendship) because I only use cash and would prefer to have physical media when it comes to games.

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

        The penalty is that you can't loan it to someone or even play it on another identical console in your house.

        • Smartguy

          I would argue that if you get the title for considerably less than $60, what is the harm in buying 2? I would hypothesize that Steam/Valve would then allow a PC or Mac as well as their supposed machine operate on the same account simultaneously. Just a guess though. I mean they could stick to only one account allowed at a time.But as I mentioned to BB, if you sell me the game at 30% of the face value, I don't mind some restrictions like 1 single license, no resale, etc.What would be funny about all of this is if it is somewhat connected to the new AppleTV that is supposedly making a debut next week.

          • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

            Most of my tech analyst/journalist friends say that Apple TV is not part of this week's press conference. At least, not the proper Apple TV that's rumored for holiday 2012.

            • Smartguy

              Bummer. I was kinda hoping for an appletv tie in. Steam app on the device that allowed gaming with peripherals woulda been a good way to go :)Sent from my iPhone 4

              • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

                Of course, they could be wrong.

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

            First and foremost, I personally rarely buy a game at $60. Since there are ways to get games cheaper, I take advantage of them. I usually pay around $30 (on average).

            Second, I have a family of 4 (which as you know during tax season, is typical) so I'm really looking for about 25% of half of what you consider "normal" to be at least a consideration under your logic.

            Also, kids are where it's at if gaming is to have a future. Where would we be as gamers if our friends didn't come over nor did we go over to friends house to play games? Once we found girls, we wouldn't want to stay home with "single user" games. This is what future generations are looking at and the gaming market will then only cater to pre-pubescents and senior citizens (which will actually only be us until we all die off).

            I can understand your point (as usual) and it is valid… From ONE perspective that is indeed not the average one. Have your 2.3 kids and get back to me. I'm not saying a household with one gamer shouldn't be a consideration, I'm saying the industry is shooting themselves in the foot with single user liscenses. I took a picture last night of my wife and 2 kids all asleep on the same couch because they were all playing Sims 3 Pets… A rather good and affordable family activity. My kids will grow up with fond memories of gaming in communities (like we did). Keeping that community online only is dangerous. About a week ago, I caught my 9 year old playing Fable 3 with a 40 year old man. I took his mic, filed a report, and reamed his pedophile ass out as long as I could before he disconnected (which incendentally was as soon as he heard an adult voice).

            And as for the same account thing, I want MY cheevos (or whatever Steam calls them) and kids want THEIR cheevos. Not to mention that computers are the kind of thing that people should own individually nowadays for various reasons (no explanation needed here I assume).

            Plus… You can tout the ethics of Valve all you want, but I'm a musician who's heard all this before about independent record labels. They pull you in with grand ethical talk a d offer the 50-50 publishing split, but at the end of the day, they're whores just like the rest of them, giving the same BJ's in the same back alleys to put an equal amount of macaroni on their table (metaphor of course).

            • lceman

              O.K., first of all, what is .3 of a kid? Did your wife give birth to a minicon or something? Second, that's a pretty messed up situation with your son playing Fable 3 with an old dude. This is why I think I'm not going to let my kid play any online multi-player games until he's like 15 or something ridiculous like that. Third, you should have said "you are looking at 12.5% of what you consider 'normal' to be at least a consideration…" instead of the confounding way you put it.
              Lastly, I'm bored… also, hungry.

              I think I'm going to have some macaroni that's on my table that my wife got from BJ's.

              … and before you get any unhealthy ideas inside that twisted head of yours (you sick freak), this is what I am literally talking about: http://www.bjs.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Prod

              -M

              P.S.- Sick freak.

              • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

                More specifically, it's $7.50 that I'd probably pay per person… and hell, I might even go up to $10.

                The .3 thing has been a joke for quite some time. It's the average amount of children an American couple has (it may be higher now though, I'm old). Since it's an average, it's 2.3.

                The BJ's thing is actually a metaphor my dad used to use to describe independent record labels. It's a totally valid point when put in context. However, my version here is a little bit more PG than my dad would say it. It's like how you can claim democrat or republican all day, all year… but when it comes down to it, the elected officials do the same crap to get to the same place regardless of what they tell us.

                But yes… I am a sick freak… thank you for noticing. My wife hasn't caught on yet though (so please don't tell her).

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

            Hey… sorry if my earlier post came off a little harsh.

            I had just woken up and hadn't had coffee yet (which is still no excuse), but I apologize none the less.

            Also, my wife was sleeping where I usually sit to play video games… I was kinda mad about that (still, no excuse).

            • bsukenyan

              I get mad about that too, or should I say my wife gets mad about it when I take up the living room since that is where my xbox (and all important save content) and computer are kept.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

    My first prediction, is that some jealous, ugly, crack pot "journalists" are going to get personal and say Mr. Topolsky made it up and has no real credentials… kinda like what happened when another excellent person scooped a handheld story.

    My second prediction, is that these very same jealous, ugly, crack pot "journalists" will not apologize in an equally public manner when Valve announces that it's true.

    After that, I like the idea, and I need to know more. I do see this as something Newell would do, however.

    • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

      Josh has a really solid rep from his Engadget days. It would be foolish for others to doubt him…but there are always those that will. Hope I bump into those idiots again at GDC. HA!

  • bsukenyan

    My deal breaker would be whether or not I could play a game on the Steam Box with someone who is playing on PC. Could I use Steam Box to jump aboard the PC players in TF2? Or would this be a separate community? If the communities are integrated, then I would be greatly interested in this. Digital content only would be the only way I see this panning out, which would tackle another hot topic in the video game industry, and would hopefully be a big step in the right direction to lead other console manufacturers towards a similar less exploitative digital market.

    • Smartguy

      I wouldn't see how them segregating the communities would be beneficial. Ultimately it's not up to them though. Sony and MS woul have to also agree.

      • bsukenyan

        I meant would the Steam Box community be segregated from the Steam Mac/PC community. I don't see a reason for that either, but it hasn't been brought up to be confirmed or denied yet as these are still just rumors, and that is one aspect that would need to be cleared up for certain. I don't really care what MS or Sony would have to say about the matter.

        • Smartguy

          I couldn't see Steam sponsoring a device that didn't utilize their already large community.

        • Sandrock

          Valve has already shown their intent to do just that with Portal². PS3 players played co-op with PC and Mac players through Valves Steam service.

  • Lunias

    This. Is. Great! I'd love to have a console that can play PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 games! But wait, would that be classified as a computer, a console or some freak combination of the two?

    • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

      It seems like it would run most games available on Steam. There are some genres that wouldn't make sense for a gamepad, like real-time strategy, though I suppose USB peripherals could take care of that.

      • Lunias

        Sure, of course! Hey, if this rumor is true, what do you think would happen to the “Big Three”? Would you anticipate a response (say, more exclusives and such) or feigned disinterest?

  • Smartguy

    So a cheap PC with Steam stamped on it? Neat. I have a few already :)

    All seriousness though this would bring the mobile app type market to the home entertainment market. I mean they did release their mobile app recently…

  • lceman

    A steam-based console? Ugh… why can't these green hippies just use electricity like every other normal console?

    Sorry… I couldn't help myself.

    -M

  • lceman

    Although this console from Steam is a bit of fanciful thinking, it's not likely to become a reality any time soon:
    http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2012/0

    -M

  • Lunias

    Eh, too bad. Valve just denied the rumors, and said "We are simply creating test boxes to run the new system UI on. We do this every time we make a game!" Sadly, that has been confirmed. No Steam console.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0 N8R

      That doesn't sound fishy to you?

      Valve has been fairly open in the past when it comes to how they develop. Don't you think SOMEONE in the press would have known that and been outspoken about it? If they would have said "We are going to start doing this every time we make a game", it would have sounded better.

      The next question is, would Mr. Newell and co. straight up lie to cover their tracks in a market that's obviously ready for a console like this (digi distro, cheaper publishing, etc.)? I would say yes.

      I'm saying, I don't know if I'm buying that. I've been wrong before though. There's evidence to the contrary and where there's smoke, there's USUALLY fire. But as I said, I could be wrong.

      • Lunias

        I would love to see it happen, but there are many reliable sources saying that they always make a custom system when they test new games/software, even simple things like new UI. I hope they're lying, but I am not quite sure this time. I would rather the rumors be true.