Steam has been growing in popularity since it first launched on Windows in 2003. The current version contains games playable on Windows, Mac, and Linux, with over 6.6 million users. Last year, they rolled-out a new system called ‘Big Picture’, which allowed for a 10-ft user interface. In other words, it changed the design of games traditionally played on a PC so that they could be played (and easily navigated) from a distance, for instance, on a big-screen television.
Now Steam are teasing a new launch on their website. And the rumour mill has gone crazy. What is it? The winning rumour is that Valve will finally announce the launch date for the long-awaited Steam Box. If you don’t know what the Steam Box is, don’t worry. You aren’t alone. No one really knows… yet. Valve (the corporation behind Steam) have been developing their own console for some time. The idea being that it would support all of the features that Steam as a desktop application supports, but on a native environment (most likely running Linux). This ‘box’ would then be hooked up to your living room television set, much like your Playstation or Xbox.
You might think that they have no hope at competing against such big names, but you might be surprised. As it stands, rumours suggest that the Steam Box launch will coincide with the long-awaited Half Life 3. Almost all games that are available on other standard consoles are available on Steam, and you can play them using standard controllers as well (or a keyboard and mouse, depending on how you prefer to play). The upcoming launches of the Xbox One and the Playstation 4 have been fraught with controversy since they were first announced. The fans aren’t happy. So, if Steam launch their Steam Box around the same time, we might see some really interesting changes in the gaming industry.