Valve is working on its own hardware offering - a 'Steam Box' - that will play PC games and Steam games, according to a new rumour.
Citing anonymous sources, The Verge reports that Valve has been working on nailing down the hardware components and software that will make up a Steam Box, having held behind-the-scenes meetings at CES with potential partners.
According to the report, the Steam Box will include a Core i7 CPU, 8GBs of RAM and an unspecified NVIDIA graphics card, along with a proprietary controller and compatibility with a 'wide variety' of USB peripherals.
The report claims that the device will not only run Steam, but be able to run any standard PC game, and would be open to allowing rival services such as EA's Origin to be brought to the system.
The site says that setting a baseline for hardware would offer potential developers 'a clear lifecycle for their products' - with new iterations of the box coming every three to four years. There would also apparently be no licensing fees for anyone wanting to develop for it, and they wouldn't need to fork out for dedicated dev kits - making it a cheaper proposal than the current console offerings from Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony.
Alienware's new console-like gaming PC, the X51, is said to have been designed with an early version of the Steam Box in mind, and 'will be retroactively upgradable to the software' that will power Valve's machine, says The Verge (via MCV).
If the rumours turn out true, we could hear something about it at next week's GDC expo, or E3 in the summer.