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Valve Set To Launch "Steam Box" Gaming Product At GDC?

Popular online gaming service Steam could be looking to launch a gaming product at the Game Developer Conference which starts today although E3 has also been earmarked as a potential release date.

The Verge reports that the gaming platform which has more than 40 million active user accounts and includes most of the popular game publishers has been working on a hardware configuration and software that would form the blueprint of a so-called Steam Box.

Steam is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, PlayStation 3 as well as iOS and Android when it comes to games management and intra-community communications.

Early rumours indicate that a Dell Alienware X51 PC may have been used as a prototype with an Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB RAM and an Nvidia GPU.

But plans may also include compatibility with USB peripherals as well as a proprietary controller with swappable components and what the Verge calls "biometric" capabilities.

Whether the box will be something as compact and lounge-friendly as the BT-backed Onlive remains to be seen.

But the company has already hinted last year that it wants to go beyond just gaming and could end up facing Apple and its Apple TV (as well as both Sony and Microsoft and their respective consoles).