While we expect the next console generation to shrink the technical gap between PCs and their couchy counterparts, Valve's Steam Box (opens in new tab) initiative continues to pick up buzz. Its mission to make PC gaming living-room-friendly may represent a new market for motherboard and video card manufacturer MSI, who says it thinks Steam Box will change PC gaming as we know it. Speaking to Gaming Blend (opens in new tab) , Associate Marketing Manager Alex Chang states an expansion of the "PC landscape" could result.
"It's kind of expanding the PC landscape in terms of slowly pushing the gap between the average console users that may not ever want to touch a PC versus some of the hardcore PC gamers that will never want to touch a console," he says. "It's definitely exciting. I'm interested more in will people be interested in PC hardware and upgrading and the modifying perspective. Because as you know, consoles—once it's out—it's stuck for several cycles of [PC] hardware upgrades until the next set of consoles comes out."
Though Chang's preference for the PC's modular features are pretty strong—MSI is in the business of crafting and selling upgradeable hardware pieces, after all—the importance of acknowledging the ever-important audience of gamers out there unfamiliar with buying and swapping in upgrades could play an important role in widening the PC gaming community.
"If we can get more users to accept the fact that, 'Hey, you can buy a PC and have incremental upgrades that would have a big impact on gaming performance,' and if people can actually realize that then that would expand the PC gaming market by several magnitudes," Chang says.
Can the Steam Box become some sort of missionary for the flexibility of PC gaming hardware? We'll have a better idea after Valve starts deploying prototypes (opens in new tab) in about four months.