We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

“The Steam Universe is Expanding in 2014” - Steam Box cometh?


Valve have just released a speculative countdown page titled which suggests big changes are on the horizon for Steam and the living room. Inside is a huge-ass tv with some sort of blue nebula. Below that are three circles with cryptic symbols etched into each one. A 72 hour timer is already ticking down on the first one, which should ding at 18:00 BST on Monday the 23rd. All of this is accompanied by a message using words such as “Big Picture”, “televisions and gamepads” and “soon”.

What does this all mean? Well I’ve delved deep into the websites source code to dig out some clues.

That blue thing is a planet, and it’s going to change.

First of all, lets take a look at the pretty blue thing. Upon closer inspection, it’s actually a planet according to the images url. Also it’s going to change depending on which of the three days it’s on, as seen here:

.livingroom_home .tv.day1 {

background-image: url( ‘http://cdn2.store.steampowered.com/public/images/promo/livingroom/01_planet_image.jpg’ );


.livingroom_home .tv.day2 {

background-image: url( ‘http://cdn2.store.steampowered.com/public/images/promo/livingroom/02_planet_image.jpg’ );


.livingroom_home .tv.day3 {

background-image: url( ‘http://cdn2.store.steampowered.com/public/images/promo/livingroom/03_planet_image.jpg’ );

There will be three separate announcements.

The three circles with weird symbols, known as glyphs, represent three different days. Each announcement has its own countdown timer, the first being the one that’s counting down today. The only thing we know for sure is that the symbols will light up on their corresponding days, like this.

You should follow this man on Twitter, he has information.

A chap going by the name Greg Coomer tweeted some interesting stuff yesterday; notably the three glyphs that we see today. He’s a Valve employee, and so we can guess he’s in on the whole thing. If Valves Portal 2 ARG was anything to go by, they love to throw out tidbits in convoluted tweets.

What do we think this is all about?

The Steam Box. Valve’s Gabe Newell dropped some pretty big hints when he spoke to the LinuxCon audience just the other week.

It’s going to revolve around Linux, which is why Valve have been pushing Linux compatibility and it’s own Steam client. Next up is Big Picture mode: a demonstration that you can move your PC to the living room and enjoy some good old couch gaming.

But it doesn’t just stop there. A PC, especially one built for gaming, is often monstrously huge. This just won’t do for a living room space, so Valve needed to come up with their own hardware to fix that. That’s where the Steam Box comes in. We’ve known about the concept for over a year now, and it looks like Valve are ready to spill the beans.

In any case, we will be keeping a close eye on the countdown page, reporting on any further shenanigans.