Valve boss, Gabe Newell, finally confirmed that the company is working on the rumored “steam Box” console and that it will be released no later than next year.
The greatest challenge Valve faced while designing Steam Box was figuring out a way to make PCs usable in the living room. The company has since released its TV-friendly Big Picture mode, solving the usability issue.
Next, the company plans to get “Steam for Linux” out of beta and preinstall it on Steam Box consoles
The Steam Box should be out by next year and Newell expects other companies to release similar PC-based living room consoles around the same time. The Valve boss believes that those PC boxes will be able to compete favorably with next gen consoles from Microsoft and Sony. "I think in general that most customers and most developers are gonna find that [the PC is] a better environment for them," he said. "Cause they 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."
Although Steam Box is essentially a PC in a box, it won’t be as open as PC users are used to. "Well certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environment," noted Gabe Newell. "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."