With the recent launch of Steam Big Picture, it hasn't taken long for the words "Steam Box" to enter the collective gaming community's brain space. Valve boss Gabe Newell reignited that discussion when speaking on the red carpet at last night's Video Game Awards ceremony about the company's plans to enter the hardware business.
Newell told Kotaku that he sees multiple companies entering the hardware space, and that "most customers and most developers are gonna find that [the PC is] a better environment for them." His reasoning is that consumers "won't have to split the world into thinking about 'why are my friends in the living room, why are my video sources in the living room different from everyone else?' So in a sense we hopefully are gonna unify those environments."
The Valve boss suggested that companies would launch PC bundles in 2013 designed to run Steam in the living room and compete with next gen consoles. Newell added that Valve is one of those companies, and its efforts may not be as open-source as some might expect:
"Well certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environment. If you want more flexibility, you can always buy a more general purpose PC. For people who want a more turnkey solution, that's what some people are really gonna want for their living room. The nice thing about a PC is a lot of different people can try out different solutions, and customers can find the ones that work best for them."