Valve is known for keeping their cards close to the vest, but every once and awhile, founder Gabe Newell opens up a bit. The legendary CEO was on hand at Friday night’s VGA awards, and confirmed during an interview with Kotaku that a Steam Box would go head to head with the next generation of consoles.
Valve seems to have been empowered by consumer interest in “big picture mode” , and is actively researching new and interesting ways to make PCs work better in the living room. The fact that Steam now runs on Linux could also help keep costs down. The prospect of a Steam Box in the living room brings to mind endless possibilities, but Newell was careful to manage our expectations when it comes to added functionality.
"Well certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environment," he said. "If you want more flexibility, you can always buy a more general purpose PC. For people who want a more turnkey solution, that's what some people are really gonna want for their living room. The nice thing about a PC is a lot of different people can try out different solutions, and customers can find the ones that work best for them."
A locked down Steam Box running Linux probably wouldn’t be all that useful, however, Newell made it clear that third party OEM’s were welcome to join the party as well.