With every major game publisher coming up with its own content distribution platform to rival and undercut Steam, Valve had to diversify to survive. The company rattled the industry by porting Steam to PC Linux in 2012, and talking about its very own game console on several occasions, which the press went on to label "the Steambox," a compact x86 hardware and Linux software-based console that lets you play games on Steam.
Apparently, we're not too far from the announcement of that "Steambox," and it's being touted by Valve not as a game console, but "Steam for the living room." The statement is going with another, much wider-implying one, that "the Steam universe is expanding in 2014." Does it mean what we think it does, that Valve could be distributing/renting movies, music, and TV shows? We know that the company already distributes non-gaming software, and so it's willing to look beyond games.
What adds to our suspicions is Valve's mentioning the Big Picture mode, a UI mode in Steam that lets you browse through your game library and Steam social profile in glorious full-screen, suited for TVs. The statement reads:
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.
We'll not have to wait too long to find out what it all means.