Steam 'console' in pipeline for 2013, says boss

Valve boss Gabe Newell has revealed there are plans to introduce a Steam living room device in 2013. It is currently working on integrating the Big Picture TV-friendly version of its platform with Steam Linux.

This will allow Valve finally to work on its own hardware, and for other PC manufacturers to build gaming devices to take on the Xbox 360, PS3 and next-generation equivalents.

Speaking to games site Kotaku, Newell said the Steam platform would be a valid competitor to current and future games consoles because developers would welcome the unification of a console-like experience and the PC.

"I think, in general, that most customers and most developers are going to find that [it is] a better environment for them," he said.

"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 going to unify those environments."

The living-room Steam "console" won't be as open a platform as a conventional PC, though. It is unlikely you'll be able to create an Excel spreadsheet on one, for example.

"Our hardware will be a very controlled environment," Newell told Kotaku.

"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 going to want for their living room."