The Gaming community has been in a frenzy due to this article from The Verge:
Exclusive: Valve said to be working on ‘Steam Box’ gaming console with partners, could announce at GDC.
Many HTPC users already have such a device though the benefits for something embedded are enormous – especially for those unwilling to invest in the process in creating such a device. I also think Steams Big Picture mode will be defining factor throughout all of this as the Steam Engine is possibly a Hardware Guideline which can be mass produced like most HTPC’s or created like the typical PC.
My Idea of the Perfect Steam “Engine” Console
- A Small formfactor Mini ITX / Micro ATX HTPC like box mass produced by any interested manufacturer in line with Valves specifications. Possible to have high end , middle and low end configurations and pricing.
- Running something similar to Windows 8 Embedded. At around US$25 a license or lower this would make sense. Valve could brand this version of Windows whilst retaining all gaming requirements in regards to existing Windows compatibility and library.
- You could also make your own box like any PC and have the option to buy a Valve Windows 8 embedded license or simply use Windows 7.
- Steam gets the BigPicture update that allows any user to invoke this mode via their Steam client regardless.
That would be a perfect scenario, a small PC box for the lounge sounds great, throw XBMC on it and you have the ultimate HTPC gaming system with full modding support, and it will be a device that anyone could use (and abuse).