Valve’s trio of recent announcements – first details of Steam OS, its hardware beta and controller – has added an extra sense of the unknown to the future of videogame hardware. Though the face off between PS4 and Xbox One continues to attract the greater number of headlines, Valve is deliberately and defiantly steering clear of that particular race; it has become a platform holder, like Sony and Microsoft, but a most unconventional one.Steam’s all-encompassing presence in the PC games market has spurred a renaissance that few would have foreseen years ago, when consoles were the dominant force and the death of the PC was forecast by so many. In fact, we’re seeing a complete reversal of that trend, says one research specialist.“In the battle being fought between consoles and PCs at the moment, the PC is winning,” Kantar Worldpanel analyst Jules Williams tells us. “Console game shoppers switched £3 million of their spending to the PC this year, which has meant that declines in computer game sales have been far less severe than other platforms.“Shoppers have switched to PCs because at the moment the PC offers better graphics and a wider range of games at lower prices than its rivals. The only downside for PC gamers is that often playing on their computer involves leaving the comfort of the living room.”