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Valve's Steam Box gets big push at CES as Gabe Newell meets with major hardware partners

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Gallery Photo: Valve Steam Box prototypes
Gallery Photo: Valve Steam Box prototypes

We just stopped by Valve's small booth at CES, and the company has confirmed to The Verge that it is meeting with a number of hardware and software partners to push forward with its plans to release its own console-like PC for the living room. The company isn't showing off much to the press this year, but we managed to take a look at some prototype hardware Valve has sitting out, and it's not all too surprising; right now the Steam Box looks like a small-chassis PC. Valve representative Tom Giardino says that the company came to CES to meet specifically with hardware partners, and it has roughly 15 to 20 lined up — while he couldn't name specifics, he says we "wouldn't be surprised" with anybody on the list.

Valve confirmed plans to create its own console-like PC for the living room last month, but the company also wants to get other manufacturers on board to make their own hardware capable of running Steam. It's rumored that Valve will tap Linux for its own version of the Steam Box. The company says that any of its partners are welcome to introduce their own hardware and call it whatever they like — including the term "Steam Box" — but it's meeting with select partners to optimize the hardware.

Valve's presence at CES isn't a huge surprise considering that major hardware manufacturers are here, and with the company's hint at a timeline. In December, Valve CEO Gabe Newell told Kotaku that he expects companies to start selling PCs designed for the living room in 2013.

One possible partner? Felicia Day, who just stopped by to drop off her business card at the Valve booth.