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So, it looks like Valve will be releasing a Steam-centric console after all...well, maybe it's more like a PC-console? Maybe it's a console-style PC? Well, whatever you want to call it, it's coming soon and it will coincide with the launch of Steam for Linux and next-gen consoles in 2013.
Speaking with Kotaku, Valve's frontman Gabe Newell, had some very interesting things to say...
"I think in general that most customers and most developers are gonna find that [the PC is] a better environment for them," .... "Cause they won't have to split the world into thinking about 'why are my friends in the living room, why are my video sources in the living room different from everyone else?' So in a sense we hopefully are gonna unify those environments."
And by “unify” he means an affordable, semi-closed environment PC that runs Steam right out of the box. It's not really going to be a full-fledged PC but it will contain enough to get you up and going and gaming with PC titles without worrying about upgrades and system reqs.
Newell further stated...
"Well certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environment," ... "If you want more flexibility, you can always buy a more general purpose PC. For people who want a more turnkey solution, that's what some people are really gonna want for their living room.”
Valve is also hard at work on the next-generation of the Source Engine, which Newell confirms will be compatible with next-gen consoles. For those who don't know, the Source Engine is probably the most adopted, mod-friendly engine of the past two generations. Both Crytek and Epic have tried playing catch-up via the UDK and CryEngine SDK, but Valve rules all when it comes to being mod-friendly, and it'll be interesting to see how the new engine is adopted for the next-generation of consoles... and PC.
By all accounts, the next-gen of gaming will be very fascinating. It's also cool to note that Valve is strong-arming the PC and PC game culture into mainstream whether other big corps like it or not. Thank goodness.