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Just kidding. Maybe. About the winning, not the Steambox, that's apparently quite real.
The many rumours were right and Steam is developing a compact PC unit to sell to consumers. It will be Linux-based (which is concerning for some, since Linux support on Steam is still in the very early stages). It is highly likely to be more expensive than Sony and Microsoft's consoles (since it will basically be a gaming PC that you connect to the teeveez).
It will be revealed sometime this year, probably at E3 (June), but maybe GDC (March).
The way we sort of think of it is sort of "Good, Better," or "Best." So, Good are like these very low-cost streaming solutions that you’re going to see that are using Miracast or Grid. I think we’re talking about in-home solutions where you’ve got low latency. "Better" is to have a dedicated CPU and GPU and that’s the one that’s going to be controlled. Not because our goal is to control it; it’s been surprisingly difficult when we say to people "don’t put an optical media drive in there" and they put an optical media drive in there and you’re like "that makes it hotter, that makes it more expensive, and it makes the box bigger." Go ahead. You can always sell the Best box, and those are just whatever those guys want to manufacture. [Valve's position is]: let's build a thing that’s quiet and focuses on high performance and quiet and appropriate form factors.
Prototype unit on the left. Controller is just a generic third-party one.
Linux-based out of the box, but...
if you want to install Windows you can.
On evolving how you control the game
We also think that a controller that has higher precision and lower latency is another interesting thing to have.
We’ve struggled for a long time to try to think of ways to use motion input and we really haven’t [found any].
On the controller side, the stuff we’re thinking of is kind of super boring stuff all around latency and precision. There’s no magic there, everybody understands when you say "I want something that’s more precise and is less laggy."
[there's potential in] biometrics. We have lots of ideas.
Do you think you can really disrupt the home entertainment space and compete with Microsoft and Sony?
The internet is super smart. If you do something that is cool, that's actually worth people's time, then they'll adopt it. If you do something that's not cool and sucks, you can spend as many marketing dollars as you want, [they] just won't.