After hearing on Saturday a rather elaborate rumor that Valve is preparing a console that’s a sort of mini-PC centered around its Steam online service, the first image of a prototype device has surfaced on the web.
Valve is famous for game franchises like Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Portal or Left 4 Dead, not to mention the hugely successful Steam digital distribution service that’s currently available on the PC and Mac platforms.
As we heard over the weekend, however, Valve is gearing up to enter the actual console hardware market, with a special mini-PC that’s going to bring Steam gaming to living rooms across the world, eliminating the need for actual consoles like the PS3 or Xbox 360.
While the rumor was relatively far fetched, a Kotaku tipster crawled through the Twitter account of Valve employee Greg Coomer, who is apparently in charge of the actual Steam console project.
The source found a message from November, when Coomer shared a photo of a small PC that has a configuration extremely similar to the one featured in the actual rumor.
The device, which you can see in the image above, has an Intel i7 quad core CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a Zotac Z-68 motherboard with onboard Nvidia graphics. According to Coomer, the device was already tested with Portal 2 and the results were very satisfying.
The rumor from last week also hinted at a similar configuration, with an Intel i7 CPU, the same amount of RAM, and an Nvidia graphics card.
This is far from an official confirmation, but it’s extremely likely that Coomer shared those details because he was certain nobody figured out that Valve was working on such a console.
As of yet, neither Valve nor any of its employees has commented on this rumor. It’s safe to say, however, that Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo should certainly prepare for a new rival on the console market.