Rumor – Valve readying set-top system called “Steam Box”

Saturday, 3 March 2012 13:36 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Saturday’s rumor du jour is that Valve is prepping its own set-top box which can run PC games on Steam and possibly competing services. A source close to The Verge called it the Steam Box.

According to the site’s sources, Valve has been plugging away at the system’s components,  and its hardware and software specs would allow the long-awaited “Big Picture” mode announced at GDC last year, allowing Steam games to be played on televisions or any other large screen.

The source also claims Valve wouldn’t charge developers a licensing fee to release games on the system, unlike current console manufacturers, and further information from the smoking man or woman states the box could even support game controllers and sensors which pull the players biometric data into a game.

Schematics for the controller were posted by the Verge, which also noted the patent Valve filed last year for a “video game controller having user swapable control components.”

Furthermore, the source states Valve held meetings during CES to demo a the device to possible partners, and the specs shown for the first mock up included an NVIDIA GPU, 8GB of RAM and a Core i7 CPU.

Last month, Valve boss Gabe Newell told Penny Arcade that is the company “have to sell hardware we will,” but he also said the firm had “no reason to believe we’re any good at it.”

“It’s more we think that we need to continue to have innovation and if the only way to get these kind of projects started is by us going and developing and selling the hardware directly then that’s what we’ll do,” he said. “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.

“We think it’s important enough that if that’s what we end up having to do then that’s what we end up having to do.”

We’ve shot off a mail to Valve.