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Valve co-founder Gabe Newell

While most of the next-generation console talk is about the future of PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo products, there could be another player in the mix: the PC.

That’s at least according to Valve’s Gabe Newell. Speaking to Kotaku’s Jason Schreier at Spike TV’s annual Video Game Awards, Newell briefly discussed “stronger-than-expected” reactions to Steam’s TV-friendly “Big Picture” mode and said he expects PC companies to soon start selling computers designed to hook up to your TV and run Steam immediately.

From Kotaku’s post:

“I think in general that most customers and most developers are gonna find that [the PC is] a better environment for them,” Newell told me. “Cause they won’t have to split the world into thinking about ‘why are my friends in the living room, why are my video sources in the living room different from everyone else?’ So in a sense we hopefully are gonna unify those environments.”

Newell also told Kotaku that Valve will build its own gaming computer, but added that its hardware package “will be a very controlled environment.”

After nearly three months in beta mode, Steam made its free “Big Picture” mode available to public last week, giving PC gamers a new option for playing PC games on large-screen displays such as TV sets.

The new Big Picture mode adjusts the Steam interface for the large screen, but the neat trick is that it also works with existing console controllers. Users can hook up their PC or Mac to a TV with an HDMI cable. Big Picture also includes a new web browser.

Newell said that Valve wants to get Big Picture on Steam Linux and that the company is working on a next-generation software engine that would work with next-generation consoles.

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