Steam Machines — the official term for the long-rumored ‘SteamBox’ — will start hitting stores next year from multiple partners, Valve said Wednesday. It stopped short of naming the companies it’s working with on the hardware.
The publisher announced plans Monday to launch a Linux-based standalone operating system called SteamOS. Due in 2014, the platform is designed to help further the service’s move into the living room.
Valve, the creators and caretakers of the incredibly successful PC game distribution service Steam, has been hinting around its plans to move into the living room for more than a year. Apparently, the company has finally put its money where its mouth is.
Valve has invested in the fledgling hardware company Xi3, the maker of small desktop PCs, to create a mini gaming PC.
With Nintendo having launched its next generation system and Microsoft and Sony waiting in the wings, plenty of analysts, observers and thumb-suckers are rubbing their worry beads about the impact of mobile and tablet gaming.
The PC is mentioned in passing, though few believe it will be a viable threat, due to the challenges that come with different hardware specifications. They also note that things like driver updates and the perception of more frequent component updates can be intimidating for the mass audience. But if the recent whispers of Valve’s plans to launch a game hardware system prove true, that could upend the playing field.