Valve are poised to release their speculated and much talked about hybrid games console/PC (Steam Box) and will come to market next year adding more competition to the next generation war as Microsoft and possibly Sony are also likely to release new hardware as well. The Valve games console currently has no name or any details regarding size and specs, but we can expect more info as we move into 2013.
The Steam based PC will be a closed system, with the aim of playing PC games at high settings within the living room environment. The console aims to effectively offer gamers a condensed system at a reasonable price although it’s not clear if the console will ever be upgradable, or whether Valve would plan on releasing different versions over time.
Whilst the idea is sound for people not interested in the technicalities of PC gaming, it does seem like a hard sell considering Sony and Microsoft have impressive user bases for their Xbox and Playstation brands. That said, if Valve were able to showcase and release their console prior to Microsoft and Sony, with the announcement of some exclusive games – Half Life 3 anyone? – then the console does stand a good chance.
What could potentially be a main selling point other than the online service being free and Steam being well recived and popular, is the pricing. A next gen machine on par with the next Xbox or PS4 in terms of gaming power – without any of the fluff – and at a lower price point would certainly be a tempting proposition for many. The only hurdle Valve has is in its marketing and how it can tap into the mainstream like the Playstation and Xbox already are. This is obviously going to take huge resources, which as long as Valve are well committed could pay off over the longer term.