I have a decent desktop setup but I really prefer to sit on my couch and play games with a controller. I mainly do this with 360 now but I was considering sitting out the next generation of consoles and instead setting up a new machine to serve as a Steam box.
In general I'm wondering if the technology is there yet - Can I effectively build my own console where I can sit down on the coach, hit a button on the controller to wake up the machine, play a game for a while, shutdown the machine and switch over to watching TV?
Or am I going to need to walk over to turn it on, use a keyboard to navigate around, fuss with it cause it won't hibernate properly, etc.? Would I be better off waiting a year to do this?
I'm aware of the Piston. But, it will run Linux and I'd rather use Win7 to maximize game compatibility. At $999 it will cost more than it will for me to build my own (especially since I've got parts I can use already). Lastly, I don't think Valve is building or selling this.. it's just a 3rd party machine that meets Valve's recommended standards.
I would follow the guidelines for building a media PC, but instead of a media remote use a wireless controller of some kind. I don't see any reason why you couldn't do what you are describing. I'd think hard about an SSD to hold the OS so you get the snappy response you are after. Are you looking for specific recommendations?