The raging battle of words between PC gamers and console gamers has never quite reached PC vs. Mac levels of animosity, but it's come close. Could those angry days be coming to an end? Probably not, but if anybody could convince the two camps to pick up their virtual arms in unison and start singing "Kumbaya," it's Valve -- and rumors floating around say that Valve is developing a console-esque box designed to let gamers get their Steam on in the living room.
The so-called "Steam Box" even has some specs attached to it: a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GPU. TheVerge (who broke the news) also points out that Valve filed for a patent on a gaming controller with swappable components in 2011, although the publication says that several USB-powered peripherals would also be compatible with the Steam Box. Biometric feedback is also rumored to be involved in some way. As far as software goes, the Steam Box is reported to be able to run any PC title and even competitor services like EA's Origin.
Rather than building Steam Boxes on its own, Valve is said to be developing a Steam Box spec and allowing hardware suitors to build Boxes themselves. (Kinda like *shudder* the 3DO?) TheVerge reports that an early version was shown to potential behind closed doors at CES, and Valve could officially unveil the Steam Box at the GDC or E3 gaming conventions.
Sound crazy? Remember that Gabe Newell said “Well, if we have to sell hardware we will," just a few weeks back -- although he quickly followed it up with "It’s definitely not the first thought that crosses our mind; we’d rather hardware people that are good at manufacturing and distributing hardware do that." While that may be taken as a denial, the wording fits into the rumored spec-based multiple-manufacturer plans for the Steam Box.
What do you think: is the Steam Box the next hip thing or just next year's contender for best vaporware? Would you be interested in hooking up a PC gaming console to your flatscreen? How much would you pay?