According to information uncovered by The Verge, Valve may be working on its own home console to be announced as soon as GDC next week. This "Steam Box" will obviously be able to play all the game's on from Steam, but it could feasibly run software from rival services such as EA's Origin. Taking the competition a step further, Valve is in talks with several companies all in the hopes of competing against Apple and its Apple TV hardware.
Current specs indicate the console will include a Core i7 CPU, 8 GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GPU. There will be no licensing fees for software development, and tons of USB peripherals will be compatible. The box may also come with a dedicated controller that features swappable parts, as demonstrated in the patent image uploaded to the gallery below.
If all this is true, Valve could become a major player in the multimedia business. On the other hand, I keep thinking about OnLive the more I read. We'll see, I suppose.
Excl.: Valve said to be working on 'Steam Box' gaming console with partners [The Verge] (Thanks, Dan!)