Between working on new engines and not talking about the next Half-Life, Valve Software
also had rumblings about getting into the hardware business. Gabe Newell, at the Spike VGA's, spoke with Kotaku
and confirmed that they are indeed getting into hardware.
More specifically, Valve's looking at producing a box that'll sit in your living room to compete with consoles. Before that though, they want to get the Big Picture feature on the Linux side of things so they'll have some flexibility when they do put out a HTPC.
I've been using an HTPC with the power to play games in my living room for a few years now, and I absolutely love the experience. My Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 haven't been used in a very long time. In fact, I haven't paid for Xbox Live Gold since it ran out last December.
But with my PC and Steam, I've been playing everything on there with my friends who all have mostly went back to their PC as well. Now, this will probably change once the next generation of consoles comes out, but it's great to see companies like Valve try and push the PC platform into a living room experience where it does work out well. They'll make it a lot simpler than it is now and more esthetically pleasing, so I'm excited to see what they have planned and how they are going to try to attract more people into using a PC type setup for the living room.