Valve boss Gabe Newell has talked openly about the oft-rumored Steam Box mini PC, saying that his company will make its own official version of the device and help other companies, like Xi3, create their own versions of it.Valve has won over many gamers with great franchises like Half-Life or Portal, but also with the extremely popular Steam digital distribution service, which offers access to all sorts of great games for PC, Mac, or Linux.
In the last year or so, however, rumors said that Valve was preparing a special Steam Box mini PC, designed to take over the living rooms of gamers and offer them a better experience than on consoles.
Now, after lots of speculation, Valve boss Gabe Newell has talked about the Steam Box with The Verge and revealed that not only would his company create such a device, but the studio would also work alongside other hardware makers so that they could also develop their own versions of it.
According to him, partners are looking to deliver different types of experiences and Valve will endorse them with advice.
"The way we sort of think of it is sort of 'Good, Better,' or 'Best.' So, Good are like these very low-cost streaming solutions that you’re going to see that are using Miracast or Grid. I think we’re talking about in-home solutions where you’ve got low latency," he said.
"'Better' is to have a dedicated CPU and GPU and that’s the one that’s going to be controlled. Not because our goal is to control it; it’s been surprisingly difficult when we say to people 'don’t put an optical media drive in there' and they put an optical media drive in there and you’re like 'that makes it hotter, that makes it more expensive, and it makes the box bigger.' Go ahead. You can always sell the Best box, and those are just whatever those guys want to manufacture."
Valve's position, however, is to "build a thing that’s quiet and focuses on high performance and quiet and appropriate form factors," according to Newell.
He also mentioned that the official Steam Box would be made by Valve itself and run on Linux, although owners can install another operating system, like Windows, and do more things with it, since it's not locked by different measures.
"We’ll come out with our own and we’ll sell it to consumers by ourselves. That’ll be a Linux box, [and] if you want to install Windows you can. We’re not going to make it hard. This is not some locked box by any stretch of the imagination. We also think that a controller that has higher precision and lower latency is another interesting thing to have."
Valve's future plans are quite interesting, according to Newell, but he declined to mention any concrete announcement date for the Steam Box.