Rumor: Valve To Debut Linux-Based Steam Box This Year

According to an unconfirmed report from the German site Golem, Valve will debut their rumored Steam Box (a PC-based set-top box that uses Steam’s Big Picture Mode to easily connect to televisions) sometime this year. Additionally, the report claims that the Steam Box will run on the Linux operating system — which is not all that surprising considering Gabe Newell’s recent statements about Windows 8 — and that it will be announced at either GDC in March or E3 this June.

The Steam Box news in the report supposedly comes from Ben Krasnow (Valve’s electrical engineer), who was said to have made the statements during a talk at the EHSM 2012 conference in Berlin last month.

While the Steam Box has never been outright confirmed by Valve its existence has been strongly hinted at over the last year. In April 2012 the company posted a job listing for an electronics engineer to work on an unspecified hardware project. That engineer search was followed by a September job listing for an industrial designer who could join their team of “electrical, mechanical, software engineers and designers” to develop “both hardware and software.”

Aside from the job listings, Valve’s Jeri Ellsworth has stated that the company hopes to hold a 2013 beta for controllers that make “Steam games more fun to play in your living room”, and Gabe Newell has recently hinted at ways the PC can move into that space to compete against video game consoles.

None of this amounts to an official confirmation of the long-rumored Steam Box, however, all the evidence seems to suggest that Valve is in fact working on a PC set-top box.

If Valve does announce that type of hardware at this year, it should make for a very interesting E3 as both Microsoft and Sony are expected to reveal their next generation consoles at (or around) the gaming convention.

We will keep an eye out for any additional talk of Valve’s Steam Box and let you know as soon as anything turns up.