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Valve’s Gabe Newell expects living room PCs to compete with next-gen consoles

Saturday, 8th December 2012 19:27 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Valve’s Gabe Newell is of the opinion that PC companies will release living room friendly packages next year which will ultimately compete with next-gen consoles.

Speaking with Kotaku at the VGAs last night, Newell said Valve is looking into ways in which PCs can work better in the living room now that Steam’s Big Picture mode interest has been “stronger than expected.”

Newell said PC packages for the living room could be systems designed to plug into users’ television sets which could ultimately run Steam out of the box.

“I think in general that most customers and most developers are gonna find that [the PC is] a better environment for them,” he said. “Cause they won’t have to split the world into thinking about ‘why are my friends in the living room, why are my video sources in the living room different from everyone else?’ So in a sense we hopefully are gonna unify those environments.

“[Valve will ] do it but we also think other people will as well. Certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environment. If you want more flexibility, you can always buy a more general purpose PC. For people who want a more turnkey solution, that’s what some people are really gonna want for their living room.

“The nice thing about a PC is a lot of different people can try out different solutions, and customers can find the ones that work best for them.”

Newell said Valve is currently working on its next-gen engine, which will provide the firm with “interesting opportunities” for both PC and next-gen consoles.

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19 Comments

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  1. freedoms_stain

    Since Intel seem hell bent on eliminating user upgrades with their next generation of CPU’s, he could be right.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Beta

    I’d like to hear Garry Newell’s opinion on the subject..

    #2 2 years ago
  3. CyberMarco

    @1 What do you mean exactly, can you explain?

    #3 2 years ago
  4. TheWulf

    @3

    There was a rumour for a while that Intel was switching to soldered only CPUs. But when someone actually bothered to talk to them about it, their response was pretty much:

    Uh. No. Soldered CPU boards are only one of the hardware choices we’ll be offering. We’re committed to providing socketable CPUs for the foreseeable future.

    So we’ll see how that goes.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. CyberMarco

    @5 So you say, there’s a possibility that future PC will ship with a non swappable CPU, like an all-in-a-box solution? Don’t really like the idea…

    #5 2 years ago
  6. mad1723

    Intel confirmed that this was not the case yesterday. These rumours are probably speaking of laptop CPUs or ULV (Ultra low voltage) packages. No worries about desktop for now.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. TheWulf

    @5

    Except that it would make no sense. None of the sense.

    Microsoft with app store envy being able to take a cut from all application sales by restricting what can be installed on future OSes is something that makes sense. Keep in mind that they have an almost total PC OS monopoly with very little to challenge them. It’s powered by greed. Risk and reward, et al. If the risk is low and the reward is high…

    If Intel were to do this soldered-only thing, however? They’d be shooting themselves in the foot. It doesn’t appeal to most of their target demographics. Their marketing team would likely all quit in a huff. AMD would revel in the insanity and take over as the sole producer of socketable processing units, and Intel would become a much smaller business.

    From a greed perspective, there’s no point in Intel abandoning sockets. And that’s all you need to look at. Does their greed benefit from it? In Intel’s case, the answer is: No.

    As #6 pointed out, this is probably for notebooks and tablet devices, where it would make sense for their greed because those don’t need to be upgraded. In that market they wouldn’t stand to lose out on anything by changing the architecture. In an upgradeable PC world with AMD breathing down their shoulder, they would.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. polygem

    i kinda like this idea. i am a bit sick of my 360 and ps3. really would love to see another option for the next gen and i am thinking more and more about going back to pc. my “machine” seems to die sooner or later. it´s an old can. would love an alternative like this. combined with wii u and 3ds it would be a great gaming set up for me…

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Phoenixblight

    Most of my gaming is 80% PC and the rest on the PS3 because of Sony’s Exclusives. I honestly don’t see myself picking up a next gen console for awhile at least 2 years after their release and it will probably be the next PS.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Erthazus

    @9, Same opinion and Most of my gaming is 80% PC and the rest is on the PS3.

    Can’t wait for the next year The Last Of Us and God Of War while playing multiplat and exclusive titles on my PC.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. rainer

    Who on earth is going to buy this box from Valve ?

    * The PC market is broken down into 3 groups, laptop users, DIY users and boutique PC makers like Maingear, Alienware and now Valve. Alienware already sell such a box Valve is describing.

    * HTPC’s have been around forever and not gone anywhere in fact they have been in decline.

    * If your the tech geek in the family you may love your HTPC but the rest of the family hates it, they are awkward to use, maintain and noisy.

    * To build and very effective HTPC like an Apple Mac Mini means making serous tradeoffs in performance and not being able to update the hardware.

    * You still have OSX, Windows or Linux to deal with and maintain as the underlying OS.

    * People are moving away from PC’s in general when it comes to set top boxes or tablets, phones.

    So a device that is more expensive the game console, more awkward to maintain and not upgradeable, what person is going to buy this over a games console or even a tablet ?

    #11 2 years ago
  12. apollyonbob

    I would hope that statements like this would get people to realize that Gabe Newell is just a guy. He really doesn’t know that much more than any other average gamer about what’s coming up next.

    If he wants to go big into the HTPC business, then by all means, he should start that right up. He can explain to Gateway how people really do want to surf the Internet from their couch. Yeup! That’s what people really want!

    See, he’s making the classic mistake. “If you want more flexibility, you can always buy a more general purpose PC.”

    Or … you could buy a kickass gaming rig, and use it for your general purpose PC. Which is what every gamer everywhere does.

    It’s not that people have their PC and go, “Oh I should use this for games.” People have to buy a PC with games in mind or they probably can’t play any.

    People use their gaming rigs as a PC. Not the other way around. What he’s suggesting is that people spend $$$ on a gaming PC, and then … not use it for the Internet or general PC uses because it’s tethered to their TV.

    Yeah okay buddy. Good luck!

    #12 2 years ago
  13. blackdreamhunk

    I hear some of the news smart tv are going to come with steam setup when you buy it from the retail store.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Erthazus

    “Which is what every gamer everywhere does.”

    Which is not true at all. There are even statistics at STEAM.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. apollyonbob

    @14 A hyperbolic statement. I will stipulate that there does exist people with the money to purchase multiple computers, each one purpose built, some perhaps plated with gold.

    I would bet that there are more gamers gaming on an HD 3000 card than have a purpose built gaming rig that sits solely in their living room – and there aren’t many of those. (I don’t see any Steam stats that point to home theater setups, but feel free to link them.)

    Don’t get me wrong – I’ve got my own HTPC. It costs me $500, or the price of one middle tier gaming video card. You see what I mean right? This HTPC thing has been around a very long time.

    If purpose built gaming PCs for the home theater were going to be a thing, I don’t think gaming laptops would be doing such good sales.

    I mean, in any event, they still don’t compete with consoles.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Dragon246

    Isn’t it bad for intel if they sell soldered cpu ? I mean, most people who upgrade would be buying a intel cpu again, so providing more cash for their coffers.
    I just hope the “next-gen” game they are developing is HL Episode3.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. blackdreamhunk

    @15

    I am going to add this link here

    Apple TV “Jailbreak” with Valve creating a Steam Box to Compete Against XBOX

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLaggDCKh9I

    #17 2 years ago
  18. ManuOtaku

    If it is STEAM on a box console, i rahter pass thank you, but if it is a PC-Console with also physical media as well, then iam in, colour me interested.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. TheDarkWeapon

    Big screen + 360 controller… YES, my PC is my best console ever.

    #19 2 years ago