Valve might be working on Steam games coming to console, or a new Steam console itself
By Chad Norton on May 15th, 2021 at 11:00am - original article from game-debate

Valve, the creators of the biggest PC storefront as well as the developers on many beloved single player games, looks to be expanding to consoles soon. What exactly that means is unclear, but it hasn’t stopped users online speculating on what it could be, even unearthing rumors of a proper Steam console.

During a Q&A at a school in New Zealand, CEO and founder of Steam, Gabe Newell, was asked whether they will be putting Steam games on consoles or just stay on PC: “You will get a better idea of that by the end of this year,” he said in response, “and it won’t be the answer you expect.

Now the first assumption is that Valve will be bringing their games to consoles, however most of their games are already on consoles. The obvious one would then be to bring Half-Life: Alyx to PlayStation VR (since Xbox does not have a VR headset at the moment), but just one game does not fit very well with the comments mentioned above.

So maybe Newell is simply just saying that more of their games in the future will be coming to consoles, but that’s not particularly exciting or noteworthy. Instead, some users speculate that Valve will be bringing some form of the Steam store to consoles that lets you play them via the Cloud, which would be exciting for console players who miss out on PC exclusives.

However, it seems that the speculation has also surfaced some more ‘out there’ rumors from a former Valve employee, who claims Valve was working on their own PC console much like the Steam Machine, but with many more improvements.

They were working on a real PC “console”, akin to a properly done Steam Machine,” they said. “Too bad it never saw the light of day :/

When someone commented that it might be a standalone VR headset like the Oculus Quest, the former Valve employee said: “Valve was very much working on their own home console. Whether they still are is up in the air...but they were, and pretty far along in development.

Interestingly they seemed to have some information on when the supposed console was supposed to launch and how it would work: “they might’ve pivoted. The “new” Steam machines were pretty far along, though. The plan was to sell them alongside the Index and Alyx, and make the cost palatable with installment plans similar to phones, available via Steam. Shame it never got out the door.

That conversation sparked up an image, which is apparently a case design for the Steam Machine that was spotted in the Half Life Alyx Final Hours Valve tour:

Steam Machine new console design

That looks vaguely similar to mocks I might’ve seen,” the former Valve employee said. “It’s also why Valve spun up an entire new hardware lab/production line in Factoria, WA. Maybe they’re still coming, just taking longer than expected :)

What do you think? What was Gabe Newell hinting at? Valve games on consoles? A Steam Store on consoles? A new Steam console? A standalone VR headset? Or something else entirely? Let us know your thoughts!