This morning brought some eagerly-awaited details about Valve's upcoming foray into the console/set-top box gaming world from the company's apparent partner on the so-called Steam Box, hardware manufacturer Xi3. The company, which specializes in tiny, high-performance PCs was on hand with a Valve-branded piece of hardware known for the moment as 'Piston.' What else do we know about the little box that might be Valve's inroad to living rooms across the nation? Precious little, for now.
Not too long ago, word spread around the ole Internet that vaunted game developer Valve is working on a game console, dubbed the "Steam Box," which would allow users to play Steam games (just PC games) on their television from a set-top box. Not the worst idea in the world, in that the console would appeal to gamers who would rather sit back on couch than hunch over a desk, as well as gamers who couldn't exactly afford a top-of-the-line PC in order to play games, but could afford a single console. Unfortunately for current and would-be fans of Steam, Valve marketing director Doug Lombardi seems pretty adamant that this Steam Box isn't happening -- at least not anytime soon.
Late last night, The Verge posted an interesting article claiming that game developer and distributor Valve might be readying for a foray into the hardware business with a gaming console. Called a "Steam Box," the hypothetical set-top device would bring Valve's online game distribution system Steam to TVs similar to how the Roku and Boxee brought online streaming video into the living room. If true, such a device could drastically change the distinction between PC and console games.