In a recent interview, Valve CEO and co founder Gabe Newell hinted that his company would go into the hardware business if it had to, something that many jumped on saying that Valve might be making its own closed system. While concluded as more speculation than anything, there’s further rumours circulating that this could be closer to the truth than previously thought.
While it’s expected due to Gabe’s hesitancy to take on hardware manufacture, that Valve would look for a partner when making its own platform, a Steam console could be in the works. Fudzilla has some whispers that Alienware could be making a boxed system based around Intel’s i7 processors, featuring Nvidia graphics and 8GB of RAM. This mini PC would support Steam, potentially Origin and other direct download platforms, making this Mini PC an impressive little gaming machine. If you could hook it up to a TV, plug in mouse keyboard or console controller, this could be an interesting little device.
One interesting bit of speculation however is on the chosen storage medium for such a device. Presumably it would need to include a hard drive of reasonable size in order to store several games at once, though an SSD would twin beautifully with a high powered CPU and GPU to make a very fast little system. Load times are the bane of a good game and they would be massively reduced with that ammount of RAM and a little solid state interaction.
The rumoured name going about at the moment is the Steam box. As long as Microsoft doesn’t attempt to claim that it has the copyright on any sort of console with “box” in the name, everything should be alright there.
Expect any official announcements to come later this year, perhaps at E3.