The web is once again awash with rumours that Valve, the game developer behind titles such as Portal and Half Life, is working on its own console hardware.
Valve's founder Gabe Newell has previously expressed the company's willingness to enter the hardware market if they thought it was necessary, and now The Verge reports that the games developer is planning to load its online games distribution service Steam on a host of hardware devices, similar to Google's Android OS.
According to The Verge's sources, Valve is working on a hardware specification for its 'Steam Box' – and the Alienware X51 might have been designed as an early, upgradeable version of the system itself.
Valve has also toyed in the past with the idea of configurable controllers and biometrics, opening up a world of possibilities, each one more drool-inducing than the last – in our imaginations at least.
News of Valve moving into the hardware market with a Steam Box, together with yesterday's screenshots showing off the graphical capabilities of the next-gen PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 consoles, points to some very exiting times for gamers up ahead…