A new console-like platform for Valve's massively popular storefront and game distribution system could be arriving as early as this year according to a report released Saturday by German website Golem.de.
The site quotes Valve electronics engineer Ben Krasnow, who announced a Linux-based PC-game-console, codenamed "Steam Box" will be released in 2013. Rumors have been abound for months that the "Half-Life" developer has been working on a hardware platform of its own to compliment its digital distribution system. The real shocker is that the new system will be based on open-source operating system Linux instead the more popular Microsoft Windows. Founder Gabe Newell has been outspoken as of late against the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant's latest release, Windows 8. Combined with the recent release of a Linux Steam platform and compatibility with some of Valve's most popular games, this news is more believable.
"The hardware lab has some secret projects that will be released in 2013. We have a good group of electronic -- and mechanics -- engineers and we are glad to build some really cool things," Krasnow said.
There's no word on how the console will work. It could be something as basic as a medium-range computer built in a small case with controllers, or mouse and keyboard support. Or it could be something more substantial, such as a full console with a Linux-based operating system that would sit alongside the "big three" of the new Xbox, Playstation and Wii U consoles.
The two most obvious events to debut the "Steam Box" will be the upcoming Games Developer Conference (GDC), which begins March 25 in San Francisco, Cali., or the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), which begins June 11 in Los Angeles. Both Sony and Microsoft are expected to reveal their next platforms this year as well, making for a packed 2013 for video game fans.