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Valve offering competitive Steam-enabled PCs next year

Big Picture is only one part of Valve's plan to bring Steam to your living room.

Gabe Newell revealed to Kotaku at the Spike Video Game Awards that the response to Steam's Big Picture mode has been "stronger than expected." The next step is to remove Steam Linux from beta and get Big Picture working on that operating system.

He also expects companies (including Valve) to start selling PC packages that would compete with next-gen consoles — set-ups designed to connect to your television and run Steam from the moment you power on.

"I think in general that most customers and most developers are gonna find that [the PC is] a better environment for them," he said. "'Cause they won't have to split the world into thinking about, 'Why are my friends in the living room? Why are my video sources in the living room different from everyone else?' So in a sense, we hopefully are gonna unify those environments."

The hardware probably wouldn't be as open-source or malleable as the average computer, though.

"Well, certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environment," Newell 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.

"The nice thing about a PC is a lot of different people can try out different solutions, and customers can find the ones that work best for them."

But what about cost? Not every household can afford a separate computer mainly for gaming purposes. If this PC package is going to compete with next-gen consoles from Microsoft and Sony, it's going to need to be priced fairly as well.

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Stephanie Carmichael Twitter: @wita
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