SteamBox to be available next year.

Valve boss Gabe Newell has said that Steam’s recent big picture mode was received “much stronger than expected” by consumers, and the company will now push ahead to get Steam Linux out of beta and onto specially designed PC packages, which he expects to be available next year.

He expects that along with Steam-manufactured boxes, third party manufacturers will also bring similar devices to market, which will be able to be hooked directly up to a TV and run Steam right out of the box. He confirmed they will compete with next-gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft.

“I think in general that most customers and most developers are gonna find that [the PC is] a better environment for them,” Newell told me. “Cause 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 gonna unify those environments.”

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