Valve may be working on a set-top gaming console to support its popular Steam gaming service, The Verge reports.
The company is rumored to be at work on hardware and software specs for the "Steam Box," which may be manufactured by "a variety of partners." The device was apparently demonstrated during exclusive meetings at CES.
The specs of the Steam Box reportedly include a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GPU. Back in November, a Valve employee who is reportedly on the Steam Box team tweeted a photo of a gaming PC he built with similar specs. That photo (above) is the closest thing so far to an image of the console.
Even more interesting, Alienware's X51 gaming PC may have been designed using an early spec of the Steam Box, and may be able to run Valve's Steam Box software when it's released.
The device may also have a control pad featuring swappable components, so you can reconfigure the buttons to suit the game you're playing. It may also feature biometric feedback, either through the controller or an accompanying bracelet. Valve filed a patent for such a controller in 2009.
Although Valve hasn't officially confirmed it's working on a console, co-founder Gabe Newell recently told Penny Arcade, "We'd rather hardware people that are good at manufacturing and distributing hardware do [hardware]. We think it's important enough that if that's what we end up having to do, then that's what we end up having to do."