Valve to Take on Next-Gen Consoles with "Living Room PCs"

Valve, which makes more money selling PC games of others (over Steam) than making them (for both PCs and consoles, ironically), has every interest in keeping the PC gaming platform alive, especially against the impending onslaught of next-generation consoles from the likes of Sony and Microsoft, in 2013.

Speaking to Kotaku, CEO Gabe Newell said that his firm's approach to 2013 will include a PC that's designed around the living room, which works very much like consoles, sold like them, and probably even costing in their price-bracket (subsidized with plans). According to Newell, Valve's newly-launched Steam Big Picture mode was better received by customers than expected, and that the next logical step would be to pull Steam for Linux out of beta, and get Big Picture on that operating system.

"I think in general that most customers and most developers are gonna find that [the PC is] a better environment for them," Newell said, adding "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."

Also hinting at "Steambox" using a decentralized OEM-based model, in which multiple companies will build hardware using a common software à la Google's epic-win Android project, Newell said "We'll do it but we also think other people will as well."

Unlike Android, which practically runs everything from $99 handsets, to $700 flagship tablets, Valve hopes to maintain a strict code of hardware, so consumers don't end up with varying gaming experiences, which is a known shortfall of the PC gaming platform, that the console industry took advantage of. "Well certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environment," Newell said. "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."