Intel throws its support behind Valve's Steam Machines

Intel's Brian Krzanich and Valve's Gabe Newell

Above: Intel's Brian Krzanich and Valve's Gabe Newell

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

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In another move that will make Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer blow his top, Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich welcomed Valve CEO Gabe Newell on stage today at the huge 2014 International CES tech show to support Valve’s attempt to create Steam Machines, or alternatives to Microsoft-based Windows gaming PCs.

Krzanich said that Intel is striving to take gaming to the next level and that Steam Machines, which will be based on Intel processors and Nvidia graphics, will be a welcome addition to the living room when they debut later this year.

Newell showed a demo of a working Steam Machine, which uses the Linux-based Steam OS, a Valve-designed Steam Controller, and a Steam Machine designed by Valve’s hardware partners.

He said more than a dozen hardware partners are building Steam Machines, including Dell’s Alienware division, Gigabyte, and Digital Storm. Newell asked, “Why aren’t we seeing continued growth? We attribute that to the openness of the platform.”

Newell said that he was getting worried a couple of years ago about the openness of the Windows PC, which might be influenced by the success of closed platforms (like Apple’s iOS) on mobile devices. That’s why Valve started working on its independent Steam Machines platform for gamers in the living room.

Krzanich made the announcements during his opening keynote speech in the vast Palazzo Ballroom at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.

Intel also showed off its support for a dual operating system computer, running both Windows and Android. That’s another blow to the old “Wintel” alliance of Microsoft and Intel.

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