Rumor Mill: Valve Working on Steam Box, Will Challenge Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo

Company plans to create a device that is easy to set up and use

There are suggestions that video game developer and Steam creator Valve is working on a set-top device called the Steam Box, which will allow the company to deliver video games to a wider audience and will put it in direct competition with the Microsoft made Xbox 360, the Sony developed PlayStation 3 and the upcoming Wii U home console from Nintendo.

The Verge is quoting sources, although it is not clear whether they are linked to Valve or potential partners, who are saying that Valve plans to do something similar to what Google has done with the Android mobile operating system.

This means that a number of partners will be able to create Steam box hardware according to a number of specifications while Valve would focus on creating a simple to use and powerful software package that would allow the boxes to deliver quality video game experiences to the general public.

It seems that meetings were already held at the CES show earlier in the year, with Valve and partners working on a model for the Steam Box, which is set to include a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM and an NVIDIA made graphics card.

The specs seems pretty solid and would allow the Steam Box to run all currently available PC games.

The sources also mentioned that other gaming services, like the Electronic Arts supported Origin or GameStop, could be used with the Steam Box, which is seen as a device which will push PC gaming forward rather than a simple Valve attempt to dominate the market.

The Steam Box would also put Valve in direct competition for living room gaming with the likes of Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony.

In a recent interview with Penny Arcade Gabe Newell, the overall leader of Valve, said that the company might eventually go into the hardware selling business, adding, "We'd rather hardware people that are good at manufacturing and distributing hardware do. 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.”

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