Yes, Valve is prepping a Steam Box

Gamers have drawn lines in the sand over platforms for years. It’s always been PC gamers versus console gamers and even in the console market you have Xbox versus PS3 fans.

And now Valve chief Gabe Newell has gone on record as stating that PCs in the living room  will compete directly with next-generation consoles.

Newell made this claim pointing to Valve’s own Steam big picture mode which allows PC owners to play games on large screens from across the room using a wireless controller, gaming keyboard or mouse.

Newell stated recently that his company’s current goal was to work out a way to make PCs work better in the living room. He also noted that the reaction and support for Steam Big Picture mode was “stronger-than-expected,” with the next step to get Steam for Linux out of beta and running on the open-source OS.

Newell also said that he expects computer manufacturers to start selling PC packages for the living room next year, some of which will apparently be designed to run platformds like Steam Big Picture  right out-of-the-box. He promises that the systems will compete with next-generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony.

“I think in general that most customers and most developers are gonna find that [the PC is] a better environment for them,” Newell said. “‘Cause they won’t have to split the world into thinking about ‘why are my friends in the living room, why are my video sources in the living room different from everyone else?’ So in a sense we hopefully are gonna unify those environments.”

Newell also conformed Valve would be offering its own computer hardware for living room gamers. However, Newell did emphasize e that hardware from Valve might not be as open source or malleable as a typical desktop computer. This  could indicate the machines will be running Windows and may not have hardware that is as flexible as your typical PC.

“Well, certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environmen… If you want more flexibility, you can always buy a more general purpose PC. For people who want a more turnkey solution, that’s what some people are really gonna want for their living room,” he added.