You might have heard about the “Steam Box”, a supposed game console that Valve is working on, but from all we’ve read, it’s not actually a console.
It’s an open-source hardware standard. And that’s even better.
Let’s rewind and review. Rumors of a Steam Box have been percolating for a few days, but Valve, of course, was being rather opaque about the whole thing, and the closest we’ve gotten to actual evidence was that weird controller with the swappable sockets they patented and have been working on for a while.
The reality is, Valve makes more money right now selling other people’s games than developing their own, and they don’t want to get into the console market. That costs billions, at this point. Why would Valve invest money they don’t have in a product they have no experience building? It’s not their style.
Now, getting other people, who do know the hardware, and who can build it cheaply using mass market components, to make small PCs that sell your products? That makes sense. And you can guarantee them that they’ll have literally hundreds of games available for download, no third party squabbling, no BS cross platform problems, nothing? You’ve eliminated two big financial problems with console gaming in one fell swoop.
And, since it’s just a hardware standard, you can shove it into anything that takes a processor. It’s not just a Steam Box. It’s a Steam Tablet. It’s a Steam TV. It’s a Steam everything.
A while back, we pointed out that the console gaming industry was going to be facing increasing challenges from companies like Apple and Google. Since we’re not profound people, we aren’t the only ones who noticed this. At least a few of them probably work at Valve.
So don’t get excited for the Steam Box. Get excited for Steam dramatically expanding.
image courtesy Valve