Valve's boss, Gabe Newell, has made a speech at LinuxCon 2013 suggesting the company could be announcing a hardware device as early as next week.

The Valve Steam Box console has been in the rumour mill for quite some time but it looks like an outing could finally be on the cards. The Linux-based system will keep the gaming platform open so users can tinker with its workings.

At this stage it's unclear whether Valve will be unveiling a fully developed piece of hardware or a specification for how that should be made. Could this be Valve's version of Intel's ultrabook guidelines?

What it certainly will do is delineate gaming. Going from your console to your tablet, in and out of the house, will be unified as a seamless experience.

"The next step in our contribution to this is to release some work we've done on the hardware side," Newell said, adding that next week would see it release that information and details of the "hardware opportunities we see for bringing Linux into the living room". He went on to say Valve had plans to deliver a "grand unification" of mobile, desktop and living room gaming.

With Ouya's open platform gaming console still not having shaken up the industry and the new Xbox One and PS4 about to be released, this might be a tough time for Valve to shake up gaming. Or perhaps this time of flux, when people are considering an upgrade, is the perfect moment to strike.

We expect an affordable open-source console that offers Valve's myriad games from its library with options for Linux expansion.