Valve, creators of (among other things) the Half-Life franchise and Steam, the gold standard for digital game distribution, are said to be getting into the hardware game. If The Verge's tip is to be believed, the company is working with partners to establish a base PC gaming standard to sell as a packaged deal, a sort of set-top box PC that would run Steam or other download services and run most PC games.If true, it would be a major step for Valve, which has always been a software company. They haven't ruled out moving into hardware, but their expertise is in software, so they're more likely to be collaborating with an established gaming PC brand like Alienware. In fact, Alienware's compact X51 system is said to have been designed with a spec like this "Steam Box" in mind. read more..