Final Thoughts and Cementing a name into history for Valve?
These are my thoughts on the Steam Box, if Valve does it, it would give us a reason for a few things. First, the delay of Half-Life 2: Episode 3. This could be used as a bridge-gap game released at E3: "here you go fans, here's Episode 3, with Half-Life 3 debuting with our Steam Box, and PC at the same time". Can you imagine the excitement if this happened?
Secondly, it could explain why we've only seen incremental upgrades of the Source engine baked in every so often. A truly next-gen Source engine is really needed if they want to release Half-Life 3. Waiting for the Steam Box would make perfect sense, now, wouldn't it?
Thirdly, it would be the smartest thing Valve has ever done. It creates not only an entire new revenue stream for them, but it has trickle down effects. These effects would be larger volumes of sales from the influx of Steam Box-based customers, which would in turn make Valve even more money.
Valve would not be charging royalties and other cuts into profits like Microsoft and Sony do for their respective consoles. Valve would also have tens of millions more customers to shower with constant Steam sales, eclipsing anything Microsoft and Sony could do.
Steam is built from the ground-up to be ready for this move. The next question is, are you?