With the games industry gripped by widespread rumours that Valve is building its own home games console, it has been discovered that an employee at the company last year published a picture of what could be a prototype device.
Greg Coomer, a product designer who has worked at Valve for about fifteen years, now finds himself at the centre of the latest storm of speculation after it was discovered he had posted onto his Twitter account a picture of the so-called ‘Steam Box’.
Games site Kotaku has also published further claims from an anonymous source who suggests that the console project has “just 5-10 people working on it”.
Meanwhile, tech blog the Verge says that the Valve games console could be made by a variety of partners, including Alienware.
“Apparently meetings were held during CES to demo a hand-built version of the device to potential partners,” read the Verge report.
“We're told that the basic specs of the Steam Box include a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GPU. The devices will be able to run any standard PC titles, and will also allow for rival gaming services (like EA's Origin) to be loaded up.”
In his most recently published interview, Valve managing director Gabe Newell said “if Valve has to sell hardware, we will".
“We’re thinking of trying to figure out how to do the equivalent of the incremental approach in software design and try to figure out how would you get something similar to that in the hardware space as well,” he added.
He went on to claim that the current model for releasing hardware was too inflexible.
“The sort of old method of, you know, let’s go make a giant pile of inventory and hope that some set of applications emerge to justify this giant hardware investment doesn’t seem to be very consistent with what we’ve seen to be the fastest ways to move stuff forward,” he said.
Valve, which has a company culture that encourages R&D, product incubation and design experiments, has not commented on the latest wave of rumours.