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Will You Be In There Long? Valve’s Steam Box Could End Bio-Breaks Forever

Valve CEO Gabe Newell provides the skinny on what's in store for the new living room PC/games console/streaming video platform that is the 'Bigfoot' Steam Box. It'll be quiet, versatile and waterproof (maybe).
This article is over 11 years old and may contain outdated information

An interview with Valve supremo Gabe Newell by The Verge has revealed insights into a planned new entry into the console market: The Steam Box.

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Essentially a PC for the living room, Valve aims to “build a thing that’s quiet and focuses on high performance and quiet and appropriate form factors.”

Newell explained that they’re aiming to deliver a Linux-based platform but users will have the option to run Windows if that is their preference, “if you want to install Windows you can. We’re not going to make it hard. This is not some locked box by any stretch of the imagination.”

Although, as a former Microsoft employee, he made his feelings on the most recent Windows iteration quite clear, describing Windows 8 as “a giant sadness” and “unusable”.

Looking at the Bigger Picture

Steam’s Big Picture mode, already available as a way of browsing content on the digital distribution platform, seems very sofa-friendly and easy on the eye. Newell wants to use it as a platform to encourage more user-generated content;

“Our view is that, in the same way users are critical in a multiplayer experience, like the fellow next to you is critical to your enjoyment, we should figure out how we can help users find people that are going to make their game experiences better. Some people will create team stores, some people will create Sony stores, some people will create stores with only games that they think meet their quality bar. Somebody is going to create a store that says ‘these are the worst games on Steam.’ So that’s an example of where our thinking is leading us right now.”

Control Freaks

Valve’s approach to control is rooted in creating a connected experience, with the recent trend toward motion-control being seen as a development misstep, “Your hands, and your wrist muscles, and your fingers are actually your highest bandwidth — so to trying to talk to a game with your arms is essentially saying ‘oh we’re going to stop using ethernet and go back to 300 baud dial-up.’”

The Valve controllers are likely to be designed around the principles of higher precision, lower latency and the use biometric data.

Other potential innovations that may find their way onto the Steam Box include using Miracast to communicate with multiple screens around the home with “effortless transitions between rooms to enjoy gaming and other content.”

So with this new technology, internally codenamed ‘Bigfoot’ by Valve, we could be looking at the possibility that pause buttons and awkward AFK moments may become a thing of the past.

Now if they can also produce a Steam bidet, that would really streamline the process (or possibly cause discomfort and/or injury).

Source: The Verge

Source: Gizmodo

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Mat Westhorpe
Broken paramedic and coffee-drinking Englishman whose favourite dumb animal is an oxymoron. After over a decade of humping and dumping the fat and the dead, my lower spine did things normally reserved for Rubik's cubes, bringing my career as a medical clinician to an unexpectedly early end. Fortunately, my real passion is in writing and given that I'm now highly qualified in the art of sitting down, I have the time to pursue it. Having blogged about video games (well, mostly EVE Online) for years, I hope to channel my enjoyment of wordcraft and my hobby of gaming into one handy new career that doesn't involve other people's vomit.