In an interview with Kotaku, Valve boss Gabe Newell revealed Valve's current goal is to figure out how to make PCs work better in the living room. The company's TV-friendly "Big Picture" feature for Steam was a first step, and now the game developer's next step is to get Steam Linux out of beta and get Big Picture on Linux. Accomplishing this would give Valve more flexibility to create a console-like PC designed to compete with next-gen consoles from Microsoft and Sony.
Newell says the nice thing about a PC is that a lot of different people can try out different solutions, and customers can find the ones that work best for them. He also hinted that a future PC-based console from Valve will be a very controlled environment, similar to consoles. Full details at Kotaku.
He also expects companies to start selling PC packages for living rooms next year—setups that could consist of computers designed to be hooked up to your TV and run Steam right out of the gate. And yes, Newell said, they'd compete with next-gen consoles from companies like Microsoft and Sony.
Newell said he's expecting a lot of different companies to release these types of packages—"We'll do it but we also think other people will as well," he told me—and that Valve's hardware might not be as open-source or as malleable as your average computer.
"Well certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environment," he said. "If you want more flexibility, you can always buy a more general purpose PC. For people who want a more turnkey solution, that's what some people are really gonna want for their living room.