It’s been the stuff of rumors for a while now, that Valve would try and jump into the console races with their own PC-based solution. With the release of Steam’s Big Picture, designed to tie your PC and TV together with console friendly games, some thought that might be the end of it, that Valve was only going to go so far. Gabe Newell, the enigmatic and some times crazy leader of Valve shocked the console industry today by announcing a new Steam console, that will directly compete with the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4.
While Steam has a deathgrip on the PC digital download industry, broken only slightly by EA’s Origin, they remain a minor player at best in the world of gaming on the TV. With the lines between consoles and PCs constantly disappearing though, this is a move that makes sense for them. After all, most console games come out on the PC, and therefore Steam, at the same time as their console release nowadays, meaning Valve can compete with the console juggernauts for new games.
The yet-unnamed Steam console will not function like a normal PC, but rather be much similar to a normal console. Generally console gamers expect to “plug and play” without the graphics and settings tweaks that commonly accompany starting up a new PC game. While we have no details yet on hardware, software, or anything else, it makes sense that the console’s interface will be nearly or exactly similar to the Big Picture already available through Steam.