Thoughts on Valve's recent series of announcements regarding SteamOS, Steambox PCs, and their new gaming controller... (originally posted on Broken Forum):
I have this weird analogy in my head... all the stuff that PC games on Steam already did -- 360 controller support, standard K+M controls, basically all the PC-centric stuff -- was painting in broad strokes. Now they're adding in piece-by-piece the stuff to paint the edges and the corners. Big screen mode if you don't have K+M in your living room. Steambox if you don't want to buy an existing dedicated PC gaming rig for the living room, and SteamOS to run it. Now Steam controller if you want to play K+M games in your living room, which makes big screen mode less important.
This all feels less like an "all-in-one" offensive like XBone or PS4 and more like a toolkit that gamers can use to build the living room gaming experience they've always wanted, brought to you by Valve.
Considering how all of these parts are hackable and customizeable, and how Valve has talked about removing the internal oversight barrier to entry for games and making everything more community-driven, I think we're going to see a future where one gamer's Steam experience can vary quite wildly from another's. In terms of platform, gaming environment, control scheme -- everything. It's like Steam is becoming a meta-console that you can use to build whatever console you want.