Earlier this week the internet was abuzz with rumors that Valve was working on a Steam Console, Valve has come forward to put these rumors to rest. Doug Lombardi, Valve’s marketing director explained to Kotaku “We’re prepping the Steam Big Picture Mode UI and getting ready to ship that, so we’re building boxes to test that on”.
The Big picture Mode UI is a new interface for Steam that will allow people to get an experience that is more designed for TV’s enticing users to have their PC’s connected to their TV’s. So it is easy to understand how that made people jump to the idea that Valve was building a console.
Lombardi also stated “We’re also doing a bunch of different experiments with biometric feedback and stuff like that, which we’ve talked about a fair amount. All of that is stuff that we’re working on, but it’s a long way from Valve shipping any sort of hardware.”
Kotaku also goes on to state that Lombardi refused to flat-out deny that Valve is working on a console, but said the confusion most likely came from the fact that the company has reference boxes in use for testing and development, and that someone put two and two together to make 15.
Clearly the idea of a Valve console is an intriguing one, and no company will come out and say “No we’re not doing that” when it’s something that could make very good sense. But with options like Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Wii already dominating the console market there isn’t much room to get in on the action. Companies like On-Live have taken a separate approach with their streaming consoles, and Valve could certainly go that route or even work directly with On-Live for a full Steam experience. Either way, the console & gaming market is an ever evolving landscape and Valve has been a big player for years so there is no reason to believe that they won’t be in the future.