Here’s the frontrunner for the hottest videogame rumor of 2012: Valve is working on a Steam-powered console and could reveal more details next week at GDC 2012. That’s the word from the excellent Joshua Topolsky from The Verge. It will be interesting to see if Valve can succeed as a console manufacturer. Certainly videogame publishers and developers would benefit from a more diverse, flexible, and open system. Valve is a phenomenal developer and Steam is a fantastic service, but selling, marketing, and supporting console hardware is a Herculean undertaking. It would be a huge risk, but it could also reap huge rewards.
Obviously I want this rumor to pan out. The ramifications are just tremendous. Imagine Valve suddenly becoming a major player in videogame development, publishing, and console manufacturing? It sounds crazy, but it would be fantastic to see Valve try to change the “Big Three” of console gaming (Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony) to the “Fantastic Four”. A videogame system that’s a bit more open has the chance to help fix console gaming’s broken publishing model. For that reason alone, I’m thrilled by the potential of a Steam Box.
Are you geeked out by the potential of a Steam Box console from Valve? Do you see a Steam-based console changing the videogame business? Are you interested in buying a “less closed” console from Valve?