My hunch and some deductive reasoning is telling me, this is going to happen. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some sort of modular linux powered “steam box console” on the market in the future.
If we think about the market: Windows 8 creates a more monopolistic approach on software, with the Windows new marketplace (somewhat similar to Apple’s App Store). Of course that’s a big threat to Valve’s steam. That means Valve must adapt & change too.
- getting the Steam client onto Linux with full functionality
- optimizing a version of L4D2 running at a high frame rate with OpenGL
- porting additional Valve titles
Let’s think these for a moment:
- Newell trashes Win 8 as crap, as it’s not open and aims to destroy their dominance.
- Valve rumours bringing Steam & Games to Linux
- Hardware folks being hired
Connect the dots and what you get: A Linux powered Steam box.
There’s couple of major IFs: first they must also get other major players to bring their games to linux. Indies alone won’t probably be sufficient. And also, linux has very many distributions and getting proper video card drivers there might be a challenge too. Valve has resources to make this stuff happen though… and they’ve been working with NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel to improve graphic driver performance on Linux.