Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Tighten the Valve on that Box



fish[2]So the Steam box. That is a thing that might be happening, if the rumours are to be believed. Thats right apparently Valve are looking at entering the console market with their own set top box. Of course pc's that go under your telly are nothing new, hell Alienware announce a range of them not to long ago, so why should we get excited about the prospect of a Valve Alienware-X51-Puts-Gaming-Desktop-Power-In-A-Console-Shellconsole.

It could be claimed that Valve, more than anyone, are the biggest proponents of PC gaming. They "own" that space essentially, and if they expand into the console market it will only have a positive effect. I say this because chances are it will still be linked to a Steam account, and I would hope that any game you buy for your PC, with also be on the console. With the Steam cloud service, we might even get to the position where you can play a game from laptop, to pc and then to console, and pick up exactly wher you left off.

Valve-Steam-Box-ConsoleAlso if the rumours are to be believed the tech would be easily upgradable. If it can reach the holy grail of plug and play hardware, such as pulling graphics component outs and replacing it wth another, that’s an exciting prospect. And one that could give new PC sales the much need shot in the arm.

Finally it would encourge even more devolopers to create PC games, be it new titles or just a PC versions of the PS3/360 version. Given the success of PC games of late, it is hard to believe that isn't going to happen more anyway, but every little helps.

However I find it unlikely that Valve are actually making a console. Bear in mind the pure costs of building and marketing a console is phenomenal. Valve are undoubtedly very wealthy, however they would have to Steam-Box-original-copyrisk practically every dollar they have to make a go of it. That seems a pretty outrageous risk. However if Valve were to have a strong word with hardware manufacturers  about creating a hardware standard, especially given the hardware survey data they have, the tech people are going to listen.

Either way, an exciting prospect.

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