Valve made waves in the tech industry when it announced that it was entering the console battle in an effort to out-duel Microsoft and Sony this coming fall – when both companies are expected to release the PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720.
Valve is entering the console wars with a revolutionary device called the ‘Steam Box.’ And over the past few months, we’ve learned more and more about the Steam Box. A prototype of the Steam Box recently appeared on the floor at CES 2013, giving reporters an in-depth look at some of the machine’s specs – along with its potential to attract hardcore gamers.
The Steam Box is a computer in a compact, console-shaped box. It’s designed to bring PC gaming to the masses, which means console players will be able to experience better graphics, better multiplayer functionality, and all sorts of other features that PC gamers have enjoyed for years.
Despite its miniscule size, the Steam Box will pack a powerful punch. In an interview with ExtremeTech.com, Valve CEO Gabe Newell revealed that the Steam Box would come in three different versions, including ‘Good’, ‘Better’, and ‘Best’. You can guess which one will be the most expensive and provide the best performance.
However, it’s important to note that users of the ‘Good’ and ‘Better’ Steam Box won’t be forced to run games on ‘low’ graphics settings. Instead, the Steam Box will function as a streaming console. It will stream content live from remote servers, allowing gamers to play the latest games without necessarily having the hardware they need to run them.
Meanwhile, the ‘Best’ version of the Steam Box will function like a ‘normal’ gaming PC – which means it will have its own dedicated CPU and GPU and may not require online streaming.
In that interview with ExtremeTech, Gabe Newell also revealed that his company was working on more than one Steam Box. And no, we’re not talking about the different Steam Box versions we mentioned above. Instead, there will be a mobile Steam Box version that could resemble a portable gaming controller.
So far, the mobile version of the Steam Box is codenamed Little Foot and very few details have been released thus far. Newell has said, however, that Valve was interested in including biometric data and gaze tracking features – which would make any sort of gaming device very futuristic.
2013 could be an incredible year for Valve. We’ll learn more about the new Steam Box as the year goes on, but from what we’ve heard now, gamers should expect something completely different from what they’ve seen before.