Digital game distribution king Valve said today it will be making an announcement Monday about Steam in the living room.
The company said it will talk about making Steam, Valve’s highly successful digital game distribution service, more “accessible on televisions and in the living room.”
Valve said the announcement is one of three coming. Gabe Newell, the managing director of Valve, said last week that Linux is the future of gaming despite its tiny share of the market today. That led to speculation that Valve would do a “Steam box” based on PC hardware and the Linux operating system. The idea is to make Valve’s PC-focused Steam system easier to use and display on TVs and to head off attempts by Microsoft to make Windows and Xbox into the kings of the living room.
Newell fueled speculation in January about using the Xi3 gamer PC as the basis for a possible Steam box, but then he went quiet. Valve also had a number of layoffs, and Xi3 tried to dispel wrong assumptions people made about whether its Xi3 Piston was itself the Steam box.
Valve has set a countdown timer for its announcement. The page says, “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. Soon, we’ll be adding you to our design process, so that you can help us shape the future of Steam.”
The image below with the controller suggests that Valve has some kind of game box.