Perhaps the rumours just got a bit too much. Valve CEO Gabe Newell has revealed that his company is in fact working on hardware in the form of a ‘Steam Box’ games console, at this year’s CES show in Las Vegas.
From an interview with The Verge, we’ve learned some interesting stuff about the company’s plans. First and foremost, what they’re building isn’t just going to be a console for your living room – it’s also going to be a server that streams games to other TVs, PCs and devices in your house.
“The Steam Box will also be a server, so you could have one PC and eight televisions and eight controllers” Newell confirmed. He also spoke of the company’s plans to launch an exciting new type of controller, which uses biometrics as well as the traditional button/stick input;
“Biometrics is essentially adding more communication bandwidth between the game and the person playing it, especially in ways that the player isn’t necessarily conscious of.”
The company has prototypes of the Steam Box console and controllers in its booth at CES, but it hasn’t settled on anything just yet. Instead it’s hoping to meet with potential hardware partners to help develop the console before it’s released to the general public. One thing we do know for certain is that the console will be based on the Linux operating system, with the option to install Windows if you wanted to.
Newell also confirmed that their console will have web browsing and app capabilities, but what we’re most excited about is the option to run eight games on separate TVs with separate controllers from one single console – it would be LAN heaven!
At the moment the company is looking to make devices in three tiers, described as “good, better and best” by its CEO. The entry level “good” device is hoped to be free, while the mid-range console will be priced at around $99. The top end model sounds as though it will be customisable, as Newell says the price will only be limited by how much a person is willing to spend.
If you’re into your PC or console games then we’d suggest you watch this space. For more of the latest news from the Consumer Electronics Show 2013 click here>>>