'Steam Box' To Feature Core i7 CPU?
Gabe Newell recently said that Valve will 'sell hardware if they have to,' and The Verge reports that this could happen sooner than some might expect. According to (as always) anonymous sources, the Software juggernaut is currently developing a set top box console known as the "Steam Box," which contains a Core i7 processor, will allow for rival stores such as Origin to be installed and supports the recently announced Big Picture Mode. Future-proofing for biometric inputs will also be a core part of the design, which is something that Valve have been very passionate about in the past.
This is very much a rumour at present, but it's an interesting one nonetheless. More deets after the break.
According to The Verge's sources, the 'Steam Box' will include a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GPU. It will be able to run any current-generation PC title, use Big Picture Mode as standard and in an interesting twist, support rival gaming services such as Origin and other client-based retailers.
Proprietary USB controllers with moddable, swappable components has been tipped for the design - and it will ostensibly support biometric peripherals down the line.
Sources claim that the AlienWare X51 is based on the same fundamental design, and will be upgradeable to use the same software.
Most excitingly, dev kits will be unnecessary (it's basically a PC), making it a truly open platform. This would be an attractive selling point compared to Apple's rumoured streaming game console, which Newell is already concerned about.
If true, 2012 could mark the beginning of an entirely unexpected console war between Steam, OnLive and Apple. We'll have to wait and see, but we really hope that Valve do the right thing and call it the Steam Engine.