The holiday season is once again in full swing, and with only two weeks left until Christmas, the rush for the best gifts is already on.  For many, this includes a coveted Wii U, which seem to be disappearing from shelves as quickly as they arrive.

On the software side of things, Valve has long been known for their Steam holiday sales, and ending the calendar year with a bang. While these events make for great holiday gifts, it seems Valve has an ace up their sleeve this year: confirmation of a Steam-powered home console, or Steam Box.

Valve’s eventual foray into hardware has been long rumored, but was recently confirmed by legendary CEO Gabe Newell, during an interview with gaming news site Kotaku. After the launch of Steam’s Big Picture Mode for existing home entertainment systems, as well as its recently added Linux support, it only makes sense that the next big move for the ground-breaking developer is into hardware.

However, when asked if this Steam Box would be as “malleable” as a PC Newell had some interesting things to say:

“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.”

While Valve already seems to have a specific idea in mind for the Steam Box, Gabe Newell has said that third-party OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) are welcome to work with them. Needless to say, the idea of a dedicated system running Steam is both an exciting and a potentially frightening one.

On one hand, easy consumer access to games and content without checking a system requirements guide is a huge plus. However, with DRM and region lock-out concerns, will everyone be eager to jump on board a brand new system?

The upcoming generation of consoles is certainly the most curious yet, with massive paradigm shifts in gaming currently under way. Projects like the Oculus Rift headset and Leap Motion sensor are poised to change how we interact with home entertainment and professional workspaces alike, so what might we expect from Valve in the coming months to help push technology to the next logical step?

Ranters: are you excited for the Half-Life developer to make its way into hardware development, or do you feel more comfortable with the existing home entertainment options? Post your thoughts here!

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Source: Kotaku

tags: PC, Steam, Valve