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Valve chief confirms Steam-centric console-killing PC

'We will do it,' pledges Newell

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Expect to see a Steam-brand console-style living room PC in 2013, Gabe Newell, the head of Valve, has revealed.

There have been hints the company is working on such a box. The debut earlier this year of a TV-centric UI for the Steam client, called Big Picture, which came out of beta last week, is perhaps the most important one of them.

But now we have Newell’s own confirmation. Various vendors are going to be pushing compact living room PCs during 2013, he suggested, some with Stream pre-loaded. But here’s the clincher: Valve is going to join the fray.

"We'll do it but we also think other people will as well," Newell told Kotaku. "Our hardware will be a very controlled environment. If you want more flexibility, you can always buy a more general-purpose PC.

"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."

Valve’s Steam PC - SteamBox? SteamStation? Steam U? - may not be imminent, however. Newell implied Valve is working to get the Linux version of the game download store and library manager fully up and running first.

That will undoubtedly suggest to some - as has been mooted in the past - that the Steam machine will run Linux rather than Windows. Newell’s not keen on Windows 8 for gaming, and that’s a strong reason to look elsewhere for an OS, quite apart from the additional cost of the Microsoft product.

And Linux certainly gives Valve the scope it clearly wants to define and control the user experience. ®

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