Seemingly everyone's favorite PC developer-publisher hybrid, Valve, is planning to ship out prototypes of its so-called "Steam Box" micro gaming PCs within four months' time. The Steam Box — of which there will be many varieties produced by different manufacturers, including one from Valve itself — aims to transplant the PC gaming experience into a living room near you.
Dedicated game consoles have dominated that space ever since the Nintendo Entertainment System brought the industry back from the precipice of what many prognosticators of the time thought was a no-continue bottomless pit the home console business had fallen into in 1985. Microsoft entered the console business in 2001 and has been anything but shy about its designs on owning the living room. Its next console, believed to be launching this holiday season, is no doubt being discussed by some individuals in Redmond this very moment. In addition to the usual competition from Nintendo and Sony, Microsoft's next-gen Xbox will have to deal with Valve's boxes attaching themselves to the back of consumers' televisions like some sort of hidden bloodsucking leach.
Microsoft isn't worried.