Gabe Newell, the big guy in charge of Valve Software is currently at CES trying to get hardward support for the companies new “Steam Box” Whilst they are not actively engaging in interviews, Gabe did sit down with the team from The Verge. Check it out, its a good read. Even if there is no mention of Half Life 3
So you’re working on your own Steam Box hardware. Why work with so many partners when you have your own ideal design in mind?
What we see is you’ve got this sort of struggle going on between closed proprietary systems and open systems. We think that there are pluses and minuses to open systems that could make things a little messier, it’s much more like herding cats, so we try to take the pieces where we’re going to add the best value and then encourage other people to do it. So it tends to mean that a lot of people get involved. We’re not imposing a lot of restrictions on people on how they’re getting involved.
We’ve heard lots of rumors about the Steam Box, including that Valve’s own hardware would be “tightly controlled.” Can you tell us more about Valve’s own hardware effort?
The way we sort of think of it is sort of “Good, Better,” or “Best.” So, Good are like these very low-cost streaming solutions that you’re going to see that are using Miracast or Grid. I think we’re talking about in-home solutions where you’ve got low latency. “Better” is to have a dedicated CPU and GPU and that’s the one that’s going to be controlled. Not because our goal is to control it; it’s been surprisingly difficult when we say to people “don’t put an optical media drive in there” and they put an optical media drive in there and you’re like “that makes it hotter, that makes it more expensive, and it makes the box bigger.” Go ahead. You can always sell the Best box, and those are just whatever those guys want to manufacture. [Valve’s position is]: let’s build a thing that’s quiet and focuses on high performance and quiet and appropriate form factors.