by Anton Shilov
03/05/2012 | 06:07 PM
While some market observers believe that one of the current game console designers may quit making hardware, other say that Valve Software, a well-known game developer and the owner of Steam video game delivery system may enter the market with its own game console. In case Valve introduces its own game platform, it may redefine the market of home entertainment.
Valve's game console is projected to be based on off-the-shelf hardware, but will allow it to ensure high performance in games provided that game developers design their titles with the system in mind. Valve has already started to hold meetings with other industry players to discuss the console and The Verge web-site even reports that it demonstrated a system powered by Intel Corp.'s Core i7 microprocessor, Nvidia Corp. graphics adapter and 8GB of memory behind closed doors at the consumer electronics show.
The "Steam Box" hardware will reportedly be able to run any standard PC titles, and will also allow for rival gaming services (like EA's Origin) to be loaded up. The boxes will not require special devkits, and there will be no licensing fees to create software for the platform. Unfortunately, it is unknown what will be the difference between "Steam Box" and typical systems with installed Steam software. At present it is only reported that Steam Box will feature proprietary controllers.
Zeebo game console
The system from Valve will not exactly be like Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation or Nintendo Wii, but will rather be a platform with rich set of features that will allow Valve to sell not only video games, but other types of content and/or provide different non-gaming services. In any case, with Valve going hardware business, the competition on the market of home entertainment will be significantly different than it is today.
Many companies tried to enter the market of game consoles in the recent years, but all of them failed due to intensifying competition between Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo and consequent inability to offer something truly different and competitive.
Valve did not comment on the news-story.