The Verge is reporting that Gabe Newell and the fine folks over at Valve could have their eyes set on the console market with the creation of a brand set top box unit allegedly dubbed the "Steam Box" and that it could be revealed to the public sometime during GDC, which takes place next week. But, this "announcement" could also be held over until E3.
According to the report's "unnamed sources", this would be a streamlined console, which would grant users access to Steam's vast gaming library. However, it is also being said that it could possibly be compatible with other platforms such as EA's Origin software as well (think about irony).
The "Steam Box" also supports a variety of USB peripherals, including it's own patented controller, which is said to be similar to Mad Catz's MLG Pro Circuit Controller, in the sense that users will be able to fully customize it, thanks to its swappable parts.
Here's an alleged picture of the controller's patented design (which I found on Destructoid):
As far as the system's hardware is concerned, it's said to boast an Intel Core i7 CPU, NVIDIA GPU and 8GBs of RAM.
If this console is real, it'll definitely serve as some major competition for likes Onlive and Apple TV. But could Valve honestly compete with Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony? That remains to be seen. However, if what the report says about Valve not charging software development fees is true, that's definitely going to give them an edge.
One thing is certain though, Valve is definitely going to be the developer to watch at GDC.
» Source: http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/03/02/report-valve-developing-steam-box-console
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