Steam console: Five ways it could change gaming forever
Rumours of a Steam console from games maker Valve have been smouldering on for months now, only to burst back into flames today with word from the company that it’s jumping into the hardware business. But what could a Steam console or PC do differently to make it stand out from top end gaming rigs and next gen consoles alike? We’ve got a few ideas…
Pick your own model
When word first broke that Valve might be making its own type of gaming PC or console, it wasn’t going to be an own-brand effort. Rather, it’d be a set of specifications that any PC manufacturer could meet in order to run its software – presumably the version of Steam meant for big screen TVs it’s been working on for a while now. Imagine being able to buy a PS3 or Xbox 360, but made by your favourite brand…
High end graphics, low end price
One of the problems Valve likely sees with the current generation of games is how restricted they are by the now ageing hardware of the Xbox 360 and PS3. Modern PCs are much more powerful – but they’re not as cheap either. This is where Valve could step in, creating a new type of PC gaming platform that doesn’t require Windows (and the cost of a Windows license) – and it’s been working on that too, recently showing off how fast its games now run on open source Linux.
Check out our video review of best games this Autumn
Upgrade it yourself
A Steam console working off PC hardware would also have another advantage over standard games consoles: you could upgrade it. As times go by, games will look better and better with more powerful hardware, and you could keep up with the pace as much as you please, adding in more memory or even a new graphics card whenever it takes you.
A new type of controller
Valve’s job listing this week clearly indicates that it’s fed up with the current control system on computers. Why do we use QWERTY keyboards made for typing to play first person shooters? The company’s been looking at different forms of input recently, from wearable computers to gamepads with modular components so you could swap out thumbpads for buttons and other gear as you like. Those experiments are bound to end up in this mysterious Steam console or platform.
No more discs
Valve’s existing Steam game download service for PC and Mac puts Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo’s efforts in this area to shame. Not only does it get all the biggest titles, but they’re not overpriced, and you can even download them in advance so you can play them straight away on launch day. Imagine this plugged in under your telly, and you’re probably starting to see why we’re excited…
What would you like to see from a Steam console? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments below.
- Ni no Kuni
- Far Cry 3
- Halo 4