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Newell says TV PCs to compete with consoles

Gabe Newell thinks several manufacturers will offer pre-made PCs built for the living room in 2013, and Valve will eventually join them. Whether consumers get their hardware from Valve or not, Newell will be happy to give them a couch-friendly experience with Steam's Big Picture, which he told Kotaku has enjoyed a "stronger than expected" reaction.

He said it's a matter of when, not if, these "turnkey solutions" begin competing with next-gen hardware from Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony.

"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."

Newell said Valve's current goal is making PCs work better in the living room. After that, they hope to ramp up work on Steam's Linux version, which would make it easier for the developer to create custom hardware. While the hardware will by design have a more controlled environment, Newell said general purpose PCs will still be a valued part of the ecosystem.

Valve's new engine will also be compatible with next-gen consoles, Newell confirmed, so don't worry about the maverick PC developer going totally off the grid. Yet.

11 comments

  • KnowYourPokemon - December 11, 2012 2:06 p.m.

    Combine this with wireless hdmi and you have the potential for something pretty amazing here.
  • laurenhiya21 - December 11, 2012 11:30 a.m.

    Interesting, although I won't be jumping on this for a while... Not that I don't like the idea of playing computer games on a big screen while sitting on a couch... It's just I only have a small, fat TV right now haha Plus (even if I had a big screen), I'm not sure I like the idea of hooking up my personal computer to a TV in the living room (while I'm living at home at the very least...).
  • freddy-fingers - December 11, 2012 9:16 a.m.

    I moved my tower to the living room months ago and tested "big picture" mode. Its an amazing experience, i do my email, spreadsheets and everything actually on a big screen. Of course the gaming is amazing. Contrary to popular belief a PC is much cheaper for gaming when you take advantage of Gabes big sales. From the perspective a family watching their costs it becomes way cheaper to get a gameing rig when everyone can use it for their particular needs as needed. Mom for Facebook, dad for porn and number crunching and the kiddies for games etc..
  • ultimatepunchrod - December 11, 2012 8:08 a.m.

    Maybe I just fear change, but I really don't want to invest so much money into a PC that I will eventually have to upgrade and modify. I'd rather have a console that doesn't require any kind of tweak. It may just be me.
  • KnowYourPokemon - December 11, 2012 2:02 p.m.

    My PC cost 700-800 last year to build and can run pretty much anything on high settings or up. And considering it also doubles as you know, a full on computer along with being a gaming machine. The cost isn't really that bad when you look at the PS3 release price.
  • ultimatepunchrod - December 12, 2012 4:22 p.m.

    But, like most gamers, I didn't buy a PS3 at launch. When I finally did they were $299 (after I bought one from a buddy used). Once I get a real job I'll get a gaming PC, but I can't justify $700 on anything. Just can't do it.
  • KnowYourPokemon - December 13, 2012 3:03 p.m.

    And that's completely understandable. I just wish more people would look at buying gaming PCs as both a PC and a gaming platform when they look at the price tag instead of just comparing it to the price of consoles. (You know, after I just compared it to the price of PS3 at launch...haha)
  • Cramtheman - December 11, 2012 12:30 a.m.

    I've had my gaming pc tower hooked up to my 42" tv in the living room now for about a month and its an amazing experience.Ive invested in a Xbox controller wireless receiver aswell and using Steam big picture mode is a great and easy experience.Playing Skyrim on the tv on ultra settings,I've got 2 x GTX 670s ,with about 40 mods installed is an awesome gaming experience and looks almost next gen.Ive not touched my Ps3 or Xbox in that time and I've actually double dipped on a few games just because the pc version of some games are so much better..Sleeping Dogs,Skyrim,Arkham City..etc plus we also have Steam sales to look forward to.So yes this for me is the way forward..bringing the pc gaming experience into the living room and been able to play games like Diablo 3, Starcraft,World of Warcraft,Guild Wars 2 and many more on your big tv laid on the settee.
  • shawksta - December 10, 2012 10:41 p.m.

    Valve is really doing some interesting things with their PC development, this, Wii U, and Sony's Wonderbook is gonna make things really interesting
  • wadesmit - December 10, 2012 8:40 p.m.

    That's... a pretty big change for the industry. I'm curious to see how PC's could work in a living room environment if there are still keyboards and mousesmice, and you're seated on a couch :?
  • KnowYourPokemon - December 11, 2012 2:04 p.m.

    Well for now big picture really is best for the games that also work with controllers. I guess if you got a small foldable table you could also add Keyboard and mouse.

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