Rumors abound that Valve is currently neck-deep in the design of some kind of hardware. Of course, besides an obnoxiously coy job posting, Newell and his merry band have been predictably tight-lipped on the subject. What are those tricksy hobbits up to, damn it?
If you ask me, it’s almost certainly a console of some kind. I know some people are going with the biometric controller, but I don’t think that’s as plausible, and I’ll explain why. Why would Valve even bother with a console in the first place? Probably for the same reason they made Steam: they weren’t satisfied with the current state of things, and wanted to change them. I don’t think Valve is dissatisfied with the current state of controllers.
On the other hand, we know that Valve supported Xbox 360 for a long time, then kinda leaned into the PS3 camp, but in all likelihood they’re probably not perfectly content with either. Microsoft is secure and reliable but closed off to their free-thinking distribution ideas, and while Sony is looser, they’re also less stable and secure.
So if you were Valve, you might find yourself asking a reasonable question: why am I putting up with this crap? I’m Valve, and I want my customers to have my games on my terms, so I’m free to update them whenever I want, and they’re free to mod and build on them whenever they want. That’s never gonna happen with these guy in Redmond, or those other guys in Japan who are busy bowing and apologizing all the time, so now it’s time for me to do what I’ve done many times before: strike out on my own.
I think the so-called “Steam Box” is a likelihood bordering on a certainty, if it ever gets out of R and D. It may function something like the OnLive console, although hopefully a little more successfully.
If all of this is true, it’s the most exciting new development in gaming in decades, and could permanently alter the landscape. Imagine being free of the Kinect and the PS Move other such gestures at the casual market, and being able to game on a console built specifically and only for you, the hardcore gamer.
Be still my heart.
giant evil gods