Steam Box. Gabecube. Steam Engine. And, of course, Orange Box. If Valve Corporation is planning to offer a so-called PC gaming "console," the gaming community has already focus-grouped the brand names for it. "Companion Cube" would also seem to be perfect.
Nothing is confirmed. Valve's intentions in hardware are as opaque as its timetable for Half-Life 3. So the potential of the "Steam Box,"—if it exists—spans the range of niche product to the label everyone in this industry seeks: game-changer. It depends greatly on Valve's actual willingness to enter the hardware market, its aggression once there, and its leadership in establishing a standard specification for PC gaming. Those are three huge variables.