Valve’s PC Gaming Console

Valve’s first entry into hardware has been hailed as the console that will kill off consoles. Although, the Steam box is technically not a console, rather it is a full powered gaming PC server. With the current major consoles getting old and their successors well on their way could the steam box compete and do we need another console?

With the Steam box being a dedicated gaming PC it is capable of outperforming consoles like the xbox360 and ps3 but you would expect that from a modern piece of kit. What really sets it apart from the consoles is that while a xbox or ps3 can serve just the television it is plugged in to, the steam box would act as a games server with multiple monitors plugged into it. So you could be surfing the internet from one connected screen and playing a myriad of games on several others, no more need for having your laptop on your lap and a controller in your hand. It also leaves the TV screen free for DVDs and your favourite shows…the height of multitasking.

Sony and Microsoft have established markets for their consoles and Valve will be coming in with a fresh product, this would normally make it very hard to compete for a new console but Valve have a base of loyal users and a catalogue of games that is unrivalled in size and variety which can give that much needed initial boost.

Since the announcement of Windows 8, Steam has been moving towards a Linux platform and that is what OS will be on the steam box, this will likely be a flavour created specifically for Steam. Valve have been working hard on having the Steam client working on Linux and porting the majority of its own games while helping developers with porting their games. Due to the box being a PC based on completely free, open-source software, there are no constraints as to what you can do with it. You would be able to buy a steam box and install a different OS on it and use it as a normal PC. This also means that in a decade the box will still be as useful and up-to-date (hardware set aside) as it was when you took it out of the box.

The news of a dedicated PC gaming console, that should rival Sony and Microsoft’s next consoles for price, will be greeted excitedly by hardcore gamers who have always maintained games look and play better on a PC than on any console.

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