Gabe Newell has basically confirmed what many thought was on the way already.
Big Picture mode on Steam? Yeah, apparently it’s working out pretty well, because there is indeed a living room targeted Steam console on the way. In fact, Newell says there might be a few…
He says that the easier to navigate console-like mode of Steam has been such a big hit that it’s actually caused the company to push forward with perfecting the Linux version of the frontend so they can have more maneuverability in the development of what’s basically a console.
Touting the PC as a platform in general, Newell told gaming site Kotaku that not only will Valve be developing a Steam-box, but that he imagined that other companies will have them coming down the pike fairly soon too. Reminds me of the 3DO and the multiple tech manufacturers that had the license to make the originally Panasonic-built box. Newell then added that the new console will indeed be a controlled environment, much like console and Steam users are used to now.
Interesting stuff. Adding another console to the three that are (or will be in 2013) on the market really doesn’t sound like a great idea at first – after all, how many consoles can the industry actually support before it gets too fragmented to survive?
Consider this though: there’s already a dedicated PC gamer community. All a Steam-box would really be doing is giving that group a choice; would you rather play at your desk or on your couch? With that in mind, the Steam console could be a winner right from day one.