Steam Box Rumours Have Lost Steam

Valve puts those console rumours to bed.

There have been some rumours going about that Half-Life publisher Valve was going to take their extremely successful Steam client and put it in a convenient lil’ box that you can hook up to your TV.

A Steam box that would compete with the big 3 — PlayStation, Xbox and Wii.

Fans were getting excited and threw around all sorts of possibilities. And now they’re all smushed.

Stephen Totilo of Kotaku asked Valve marketing director Doug Lombardi if there’s any truth to the rumours. Lombardi explained that they were using new hardware to test out their new Steam Big Picture Mode UI, which will allow folks to easily run Steam on PCs hooked up to televisions. However, he didn’t flat out say that they weren’t working on a console. In fact, he pretty much said in the Kotaku interview that while there’s nothing on the horizon, he wouldn’t completely rule out the possibility of Valve creating their own hardware.

I’m wondering if making their own console would make sense to them. Would they really benefit from throwing their hat into the console arena? What, exactly, would Steam Box bring to the table that one wouldn’t be able to get from the three other consoles currently on the market?

I suppose these were the same thoughts running through people’s minds when Microsoft announced that they were going to make their own consoles, and look at ’em now! So who knows?

Source: Shooting Down Rumors, Valve Says They’re Not Making a Game Console Any Time Soon, [Kotaku]

Oh, The News!


Do you think there will be a Steam Box in the future? How do you think the Steam Box would change things in the Console Wars? Share your thoughts in the Comments Section!

  • The Steam Box would more than likely eliminate physical gaming media altogether. I feel Valve more than anybody has a chance in the modern market to join the console game, but I doubt they’ll do it soon because consoles aren’t too profitable in the current state of the industry.

    Which is just fine, because I’ll just keep picking up kickass games for a couple bucks during their holiday sales 😀

    • Mineeva

      Hee, hee! Hooray for Steam Sales! xD

      I think perhaps another potential hiccup would be brand recognition. Folks tend to gravitate towards the familiar, and the Big 3 are (for lack of a better way of putting it) household names. Unless people know who Valve are and what they’ve done, they probably won’t buy it.

      Valve will certainly get their current fanbase (and would be fine at first), but at some point, I think they’d want to try and target “everyone else”; convince them that Steam Box is the better than, say, Xbox 720 for example. And that might take some finessing (again, people can be quite stubborn when it comes to change). Not saying it can’t be done, but it’ll certainly be a tough sell, methinks.

  • Simon

    Without the financial clout of Microsoft, they wouldn’t have many opportunities to get it right.

    • Mineeva

      I suppose Gabe Newell will have to dip into his $1.5 billion dollars to make sure it does go well instead of investing in that gold-plated yacht 😛

      I guess if there’s anything I’ve learned about Valve, is that they’ll take their time to make sure they get it right. Given their rep in the industry, I’m sure they probably wouldn’t have trouble getting consultation if need be.

      Still, it doesn’t erase the fact that a company would have to sell a crapton of consoles in order to break even and start to make a profit, so yea, risky business is risky.