Valve is gearing up to officially launch the Steam Box, a console-like gaming computer running on a variant of Linux dubbed SteamOS. If the Steam Box is successful, we could see the integration of PC’s into the living room space – finally realizing the dream of many a PC manufacturer keen to see home computing take pride of place in the living room. But it looks like Steam OS’ reach is extending beyond the battle for the living room and onto buses, waiting rooms, cafes and anywhere else.
Enter the Steamboy, a handheld SteamOS device and the first of its kind.
The device, which can be seen in the screens and trailer below, borrows design elements from the SteamOS controller. This includes two touch pads where you’d expect to find analogue sticks, 8 action face buttons, 4 trigger buttons and 2 additional action buttons molded into the handgrips.
Project Steamboy’s creators insist that final specs will be:”[…] a good balance between performance and cost, that will permit Steam users to play the majority of current games in Steam”.
In contrast to the Nvidia’s mobile PC gaming solution the Nvidia Shield, Project Steamboy is being pushed as a device that will natively play PC games as opposed to primarily streaming them. It’s an unusual move given the poor battery life of other dedicated handheld gaming devices such as PS Vita, which manages only 3-4 hours on a full charge.
At the moment there are no details on the screen panel type, resolution, battery life or memory expansion options but we expect to hear more in the coming months. Including, hopefully, a firm release date.