In truth, the future of the Xbox (and the PlayStation too, if Sony is smart) will not differ from that of pretty much everything else in the space. The Valve vision for Steam is that it further evolves into a connected service that delivers entertainment to users wherever they want it. This latest development from the company demands a more controlled Linux-based environment than we currently see from the service, but that’s less about Valve exerting its business muscle (though that’s certainly an aspect) and more about it exerting control over the all-important user experience. By demanding specific Steam Box versions of software, it can ensure that the games are optimized for the environment in which they’re played, and with the controls tweaked for the appropriate input device. If anything, the most important, proprietary, and contested part of the next-gen hardware war will be centered on controllers and input devices more than the processing power of the new boxes.