According to website The Verge (which is made up of some of the top gaming and hardware journalists on the planet, so don’t think this is coming from some blog) Valve is planning on entering the console market. The Verge sights sources that claim Valve is already developing a piece of hardware that would be a “Steam Box”, essentially placing a Steam-driven console into your lounge. The unit will be made by a variety of partners.

There are more rumours that say this “Steam Box” will be an open platform for developers, meaning there’ll be no licensing fees charged for the privilege of making games for the console. This goes against what Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are currently doing with developers and publishers. Evidently, the “Steam Box” will allow other digital distribution programs to run on it, such as EA’s Origin.

The Verge claims that a basic demo unit was already shown off to partners at the Consumer Electronics Show back in January. The basic specs of that unit included an Intel Core i7, nVidia GPU and 8GB of RAM. The unit would have a standardised hardware setup to streamline game production for developers.

The “Steam Box” will supposedly allow for a number of USB peripheral devices to be added to it, but it will ship with its own controller. That controller, according to The Verge, will have swappable components to it, meaning you’ll be able to pop out analogue sticks and swap them with alternate input methods depending on the game you’re playing. Valve recently filed a patent for such a controller. The “Steam Box” will also make use of biometric inputs; this might be made possible through the inclusion of a bracelet that reads biometric signs such as your heart beat.

According to the report, Valve might reveal this new console at GDC, which starts today, 05 March. If not, then look towards E3 for answers seeing as how Valve has confirmed that they will be present at this year’s event. Until then, file this in the Rumour Drawer. Still, it’s quite an appealing thought, isn’t it?

Source: The Verge