Valve CEO Gabe Newell has given The Verge the lowdown on the Steam Box: probably the most anticipated piece of hardware at the moment.
According to Newell, the so-called Steam Box will be based on a Linux OS – but you are welcome to install Windows if you prefer. And it won’t be a closed PC console limited to use in your living room.
“The Steam Box will also be a server, so you could have one PC and eight televisions and eight controllers,” says Newell.
Talk about multiplicity - Valve's rumoured Steam Box has been confirmed and it'll connect everything in your home.
Apart from the Steam Box’s varied capabilities and connectivity, Newell gave insights into Valve’s plans for groundbreaking controllers, drawing on the untapped potential in biometrics.
“I think you’ll see controllers coming from us that use a lot of biometric data. Biometrics is essentially adding more communication bandwidth between the game and the person playing it, especially in ways that the player isn’t necessarily conscious of,” says Newell – typically cryptic and an oh-so-tantalising detail. We could speculate for hours about what biometrics might bring to the table.
Newell even let slip the target pricing for the Steam Box. Valve defines three tiers of hardware specifications: ‘Good’, ‘Better’ and ‘Best’. According to Newell, the goal is that a ‘Good’ Steam Box would be a free device, although, it would most likely start at a price of $99 and eventually become cheaper. The ‘Better’ device would probably cost about $300 and the ‘Best’ box’s price will depend on just how much someone is willing to pay for it.
Is the Steam Box the console we have been waiting for? The true first step towards the Connected Home?
In 2012, the concept of the connected home, office, and everything else has become super popular – a concept that everyone has tried so hard to grasp completely and has struggled to get a foothold on. It seems as though most companies have only just begun exploring the concept – with little technology available to us now or that which is available is extremely expensive – putting the connected home outside of my reach.
It seems the Steam Box might be the console of the future and the answer we have been looking for. Recently, I explored the idea that console gaming might be dead. And while it seems we still have a few good years with the current and next-gen ‘traditional’ gaming consoles, the Steam Box seems to be stepping straight into the future of gaming.
By connecting and engaging with different platforms and devices simultaneously and seemingly separately too, the Steam Box could offer us a new beginning in the console experience.