Following a bout of rumour rumbling on plans for a Valve-branded Steam games console, the game publisher has spoken out to say it won't be producing the dream box any time soon. You'll have to make do with your Xbox 360s and PS3s for now.
Doug Lombardi, Valve marketing director spoke to Kotaku, saying that while the team is working on getting PC-based Steam games looking better on TVs, no micro-PC or OnLive-style set-top box is heading to shelves soon. He said, "we're prepping the Steam Big Picture Mode UI and getting ready to ship that, so we're building boxes to test that on… it's a long way from Valve shipping any sort of hardware."
However, Lombardi also refused to deny that the Valve console isn't being worked on at all. Although predictably careful about his wording, he essentially admitted that bespoke hardware has not been ruled-out as a possibility.
Valve's Doug Lombardi
Quite how it would work is a problem. Steam is a digital delivery platform for PC and Mac games, with each demanding its own specification requirements. Short of using a remote gaming system infrastructure like OnLive, the Steambox would need to have beefy hardware in order to play the latest games. And therefore would not be cheap.
In January 2012, Valve announced that the Steam platform had passed 40 million users, making its userbase comparable to that of a successful games console. The platform is home to more than 1,800 games and is the most popular digital distribution service for PC games. Hands-up if you think Valve should buy OnLive and make the Valve Steambox dream a reality…