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Valve has gone on ahead and done it – either they're trolling by 10,000% or they are serious, and while we all know the former is possible, I doubt they would want to rage out the PC gaming community by doing something like that. Anyway, the official Steam website has an official countdown meter and confirms that Steam Box is coming next year.
Now before we all start saying “But, but, but the website might be fake” don't worry because the countdown is hosted on the official steampowered website and the announcement for the box is set to arrive 70 hours from the publishing of this article. Rejoice Glorious PC Master Race, for you're about to step into the competitive domain of the Prestigious Console Gaming Kings.
Valve sent along a press release noting that there are three major announcements inbound and one of them is obviously the Steam Box. In fact, Valve doesn't even hide it, they just plaster all over the site that 2014 is when everything changes and at the bottom they show a controller and a cat and have the following message available...
The Steam Universe is Expanding in 2014. Last year, we shipped a software feature called Big Picture, a user-interface tailored for televisions and gamepads. This year we’ve been working on even more ways to connect the dots for customers who want Steam in the living-room. Soon, we’ll be adding you to our design process, so that you can help us shape the future of Steam.
Previously we just did an article noting that Gabe Newell, Valve's acting president, had mentioned that the company had some big announcements to make regarding living room PC solutions and elevating the Linux platform so more people will have access to it and more people will be willing to access it.
It looks like Valve has finally abandoned Valve-time to hunker down and get serious about invading the casual living room entertainment space. However, we're only addressing the obvious elephant in the room and ignoring the other two elephants: What are the other two announcements?
Of course, we can always point to Half-Life 3 – it's confirmed! Okay, now that we have that out of the way let's look at some more logical companion announcements for the Steam Box: I'm going to hazard a guess and say Left 4 Dead 3. Valve trolled us all leading up to GamesCom with some L4D3 teases that went absolutely no where. I imagine maybe it was a pre-announcement trolling and they actually have something big planned for the series? Besides, it's been long enough.
The third and final announcement will probably either be Portal 3 or Team Fortress 3. However, given that Team Fortress 2 is still as iconic as it is, I don't see Valve stomping on the honey pot to throw something out there just because. That's not to mention that Team Fortress 3 isn't really a system mover. I would have said Counter-Strike but a new one has already been released, so I doubt they'll retread on that property so soon. That leaves us with Portal 3.
My belief is that it will be the Steam Box, Left 4 Dead 3 and Portal 3. Two big, exclusive launch titles and a home PC console. I think that will be enough to get the masses excited.