By Alexandra Burlacu | Dec 10, 2012 08:43 PM EST
Valve Software has revolutionized the world of PC gaming with its Steam service, and now it is entering the hardware business.
Valve will now go up against popular game consoles from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, raising the stakes in the living room entertainment segment. While rumors have been floating around for quite some time that Valve is preparing to enter the hardware business, nothing was for sure until now.
In an interview with Kotaku, Valve co-founder Gabe Newell has confirmed that the company has big plans when it comes to hardware. While he offered no details, he did mention that it will be a "very controlled environment," which would be somewhat similar to the approach typically taken by console makers.
Consoles typically come with several limitations, but Valve's vast collection of games might revolutionize the environment yet again. Valve service on Valve-branded software may just take things to the next level.
"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," said Newell.
On the other hand, one potential issue with Newell's view is how to bring a PC into the living room, where nearly all modern TVs already feature cloud streaming of advanced video games. Moreover, Microsoft has already made an attempt in the late '90s to bring a PC into the living room, but failed majestically and in the end decided to stick to the Xbox hardware console business instead.
Valve, however, seems to have an ace up its sleeve, some secret recipe for bringing the PC into the living room. The strategy includes its own hardware, reportedly some type of console, which may feature fewer limitations than current consoles.
"We will do it but we also think other people will as well. Valve's hardware might not be as open-source or as malleable as your average computer. 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. The nice thing about a PC is a lot of different people can try out different solutions, and customers can find the ones that work best for them," Newell further explained.