ValveHere you go, from earlier this week:
As we’ve been working on bringing Steam to the living room, we’ve come to the conclusion that the environment best suited to delivering value to customers is an operating system built around Steam itself. SteamOS combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen. It will be available soon as a free stand-alone operating system for living room machines.
Entertainment is not a one-size-fits-all world. We want you to be able to choose the hardware that makes sense for you, so we are working with multiple partners to bring a variety of Steam gaming machines to market during 2014, all of them running SteamOS.
My initial inclination is to dismiss this, but that would be a mistake, because Valve has demonstrated in the past that they are both shrewd and highly adaptive. Anything they do has to be taken seriously.
Steambox? Get it down to $400 and allow HD access to a huge catalog of games, most of which will be deeper and more involving than a console game, and the Steambox starts to look pretty damned interesting.
It will cost way too much, at first, and there will be huge teething pains, but since Valve isn't making the hardware, their financial exposure is seemingly limited. And how many people would be willing to install SteamOS or buy a Steambox to play Half-Life 3?
This doesn't seem half-ass or careless. And if anyone can pull this off, it's Valve.