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2013 – the year PC gaming disrupts the console business

Monday, 7 January 2013 10:01 GMT By Patrick Garratt

The console market is begging to be broken, says Patrick Garratt, and Valve is more than aware of the opportunity. This is the year that could change video gaming for good.

We could be about to see the biggest disruption to the console market since Microsoft launched Xbox in 2001.

We may have seen one of 2013′s strongest themes emerge in the weekend’s news, that of the traditional console space being disrupted by PC gaming firms such as Valve and Nvidia.

Talk of Valve’s “Steambox” is accelerating quickly. It was reported on Saturday that a Valve employee has said the machine is Linux-based and console-like. A 2013 announcement was also mentioned, and we’ve heard similar talk – specifically related to E3 – in the past 48 hours.

Tellingly, Nvidia used its CES keynote last night to make first mention of Project Shield, a twin-stick handheld based on the firm’s new Tegra 4 mobile chip and Android.

The implications of the PC mind-set democratising the console space are potentially enormous. If the Steambox reports are true and Valve is capable of cutting a hardware deal that delivers a meaningful machine at a reasonable price, we could be about to see the biggest disruption to the console market since Microsoft launched Xbox in 2001.

Fear and loathing

I’ve been sceptical of Valve’s designs on the console space. Big Picture launched last year, and at the time I wrote about how the TV-aimed app shouldn’t worry Microsoft and Sony as there was still an issue over the affordability of hardware. Steam can run in the living room all it likes, but if you need a £700 PC to make it look pretty it’s still for the desktop hardcore, right? If Valve delivers an affordable Steam-branded box, that argument gets thrown out with the bathwater.

There’s logic in Valve making a hardware move this year. Microsoft and Sony are both about to announce their new boxes, and neither piece of kit is likely to be cheap. This means Valve will be able to come forward with a PC in the higher range of launch prices and get away with it. Tactically, if this is going to happen it should be now.

Hardware affordability aside, and far more interestingly, the console market is begging to be smashed. Microsoft and Sony’s eco-systems are fascist states, brutal regimes in which partners may be decorated with medals and lavished with mansions and dancing boys, or tortured with impunity and locked in the deepest dungeons to fester and die. Indie gaming, famously, has been whimpering in PlayStation and Xbox’s oubliette for years. Few extra-publisher independent titles make it outside of Steam. Microsoft and Sony are only interested in big deals.

That Microsoft and Sony are unshakably linked to brick and mortar retail hardly helps them. Console manufacturers believe they need shops to sell boxes. Shops need to make money, so they have to sell games. Because of the costs involved in putting a disc in the hands of a consumer through a shop, the price of games stays artificially high. The relationship the console-makers and high street chains currently enjoy with each other is summed up best by this picture. You can bet the media owners are going to pull the trigger at some point in the coming generation.

Console manufacturers and high street
retailers, pictured this morning.

Steam, conversely, is an everything-to-everyone platform which offers downloads of thousands of games, ranging from a few pounds up to the triple-A libraries of the big publishers, and suffers none of the constraints of disc-based retail. It’s about as democratic as a gaming platform gets right now. Indie’s oculus and a necessity to all publishers, Steam is home to an army of gamers, both core and light. The service achieved a concurrency of almost 7 million players in the last 24 hours.

Users cannot wait any longer for something to disseminate Steam’s openness away from the PC monitor, both in terms of their homes and their general lives. The need is blatantly obvious. We live in a world of Spotify and Netflix, and yet consoles have heretofore inextricably coupled games to discs. Nevermore: the internet generation demands its content on tap and everywhere. It stands to reason that Nvidia is savvy of Valve’s plans – Nvidia cards account for more than 50% of all Steam usage – and likely knows there’s a gap for a Steam-playing handheld in the coming year, hence the Project Shield announcement today. With Project Shield and Steambox, we have a giant, discless habitat on your desktop, your TV and on the train. With two hardware launches we have, in theory, competitors to Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, across all their formats, coupled with one of the most robust multiplayer and matchmaking services on earth, a service that carries no sub. It makes sense, and if you’re any of the current big three it’s incredibly dangerous.

For the gamer, however, the prospect of a new challenger is thrilling. We could be about to see the ludicrousness of inflated digital delivery prices popped with the neatest of pins, of double-A games making sense at £10 launches, of indie going mainstream, of increased sales for triple-A. E3 this year is guaranteed to be pivotal, but if Valve arrives with a console offering it may destroy our current perceptions of video gaming wholesale. Fingers crossed.

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51 Comments

  1. frostquake

    While I 93% Disagree with you, I clearly see where your “hoping” the PC Market will go.

    1. American Homes, will only Adopt a “Steam Box” if it comes in a Plug and Play mode. Most Americans are still Tech Dumb, though the 10-15 year old age group is coming along quite nicely. Had a Concerned Mom email me wanting to know how to turn off the “Smart” part of her TV because her 8 year old son was talking to strange voices coming out of it, turned out it was the Xbox Connect…LOL…Then she realized it was watching them come out of the shower and turned the Kinect to face the wall…LOL!

    2. Google TV, the Dumber you Dumb down the TV, the more the Unwashed masses will buy it. Apps, Apps, and Apps, make a Steam App, then the Tech challenged will adopt it.

    3. Steam Box=$$$=Terrible Economy=Disaster. I think The PC Core will buy the Hell out of the Steam Box, but after the “Elite” have purchased it, it will plummet in sales, UNLESS, it is priced right!

    4. Make Half-Life 3 or L4D3 and exclusive for Steam box, and you sure will sell a ton up front, but once again the Elite Core, up front.

    5. Nvidia Tegra 4 and Tablets and OUYA and Samsung in Bed with Intel with new OS Tizen. Lots of New Stuff for Consumers to look at.

    6. Gaming on the Go, Can Steam Game on the Go??? Hate to say it, but All my Nieces and Nephews play games on their Phones and Tablets. I’ve even quit buying Console games at Christmas and gave iTunes and Google Play cards. Portable Steam??? One can Dream, but I think most Teens will not want to be tethered to a Home TV!!

    Lots of Competition=Very Exciting!!

    I Don’t Always Game on the Go, But when I do, I game on an Android Transformer Tablet, Stay Frosty My Friends!!

    #1 2 years ago
  2. RandomTiger

    Yep, certainly looks to be an interesting year, about two years I would have bought a nextbox without thinking about it too much now I want to see everyone put their cards on the table. To me MS seem to have the most to lose, they’ve let their standing on PC decline and are IMO alienating hardcore gamers on the 360 with their media box and casual focus.

    I’d prefer a steam box to be windows for back compatibility but if Valve are in a position to drop Half Life 3 as a steambox exclusive (at least timed) that would be a big deal. Thats a big if though.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Cryss

    The flip side of the argument, where PC prevalence results in the decline of PlayStation and Xbox. The lack of sales for PC games dooms GAME and GameStop, putting thousands out of work.

    Sony’s gaming devision takes such a large hit that the company faces bankruptcy and the mobile, television and camcorder sections are changed irrevocably.

    Valve continue their “democracy” have a fuckton of money, still don’t release Half Life 3. EA keep them in check by having “Origin” haha that last part was a lie.

    The days of splitscreen with friends are long gone, PC Elitism at it’s best….

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Telepathic.Geometry

    I think that there is a huge market of guys like me who wanna play PC games but can’t be arsed with the hassle of PC shenanigans, and also wanna play on their TV. Come on Valve, don’t let me down…

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Belmont

    Good read Pat. As you mentioned there is a major potential,but I doubt that there is anything interesting at the end of the tunnel. If valve wants to release its console, it will probably be a rather well specced pc with Linux on board and then there is the Steam to sell games at prices way cheaper than on street retailers.Great !
    The challenge is that will Valve be able to put out a console that has better hardware? They certainly can,but at the same price with Orbis,I don’t know. And if it has almost the same hardware capability at roughly the same price.Then the fight gets to Marketing, Exclusive titles and Services. Where Valve will face even greater challenge with Sony,Micro and Ninty all armed to the teeth with many talented and strong studios and great franchises. And both Micro and Sony equipped with plethora of their own services(Xbox Music,SEN,..). You can argue that Steam will sell a Steambox game much cheaper than retail. Good,but what prevents Sony from selling it for same price at PS Store??

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Lahanas

    PC gaming this, PC gaming that… When the new Xbox and PS hit, PC gaming will once again go to the sidelines, like always. Consoles are the center of gaming, whether you like it or not.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Da Man

    #3 Well said.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. frostquake

    I actually see Valve releasing a Computer, and laptop, that comes stamped with Steambox on it. The big thing that has the Cable Box companies quaking is A-La Cart Mode that Google TV is going for this year, DirecTV, Dish, Cox, and others keep telling USA customers there will NEVER BE a Pick only the channels you want, and Just having Google announce it has the Lawyers ready to go…LOL

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Erthazus

    Project Shield with it’s new Tegra 4 tech and new handheld already killed Vita for sure in terms of power. Sony is left in the dust, 3DS will survive with Monster Hunter, Zelda and etc.

    I want Steam Box badly. If it’s going to be out with Exclusive Half-Life 3. PS4 and Xbox 720 good bye.

    @6, “When the new Xbox and PS hit, PC gaming will once again go to the sidelines, like always”

    Owww, someone butt is hurted. Oh well, I hope next Xbox and PS4 will have games with at least 30 frames per second this time.

    Center of gaming. Center of casual shit, for sure.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. loki

    Same song every year, but console still not broken, PC gaming still sucks and fail

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Erthazus

    I just hope that Valve box is not just a media hub with indie games. Half-Life 3 on that system will make millions to buy it at launch.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Patrick Garratt

    It’s all down to the cost of the box, in my opinion. If they can get it into people’s hands at an affordable price, I doubt they’ll be able to make them quickly enough. So many people are massively invested in Steam. Taking it to the TV in a controlled way could be huge.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Diingo

    2013 will surely be one of the most interesting years in gaming history. This is HUGE because the fate of where each company stands in the market will be determined by the end of this year. At least one company is going to be bumped off the market, and it’s either a tie between Nintendo or Sony.

    The last time the Console War truly mattered was back in 2006, but now a 4th contender is showing up. The 3DS & Vita will be the last of their kind, and the Wii U isn’t catering towards the soccer moms like the original Wii. As for Sony, they’re merely relying on their megacore fanbase from the PS2 era to keep them alive, because the PS3 isn’t exactly selling like it’s younger brother.

    This is really good, in the end corporate competition benefits the consumer. May the best team win!

    #13 2 years ago
  14. gomersoul

    PC gaming is not gonna touch consoles for a while yet. It is only for the more dedicated of gamers. I can’t be arsed with it… It’s too expensive and complicated. Also there aren’t that many PC exclusive games that are that exciting. The gaming community will be set alight with excitement with nextbox/ps4. Not a PC.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Dragon246

    Anyone (except pc overlords) would be fooling themselves if they think steam will decimate others. Here are the reasons-
    1. Linux CANT run windows games. It will force the devs to develop for a system and os that hardly anybody will use at that point, and they have design engines specially for that too. Now its possible if you are a behemoth like big3, with all having large, proven hardware based user-bases. Steam, not so much.
    2. Sony and MS didn’t jump into console market head first. They made necessary contacts with dealers, promoters, pubs etc. beforehand. A hardware is only a part of the equation.
    3.Steam has 50 million users who have steam and are pc gamers. Why would they buy another box just to play those same games?
    4. Retailers. Why would GAME, Gamestop etc. sell a system that has no future profits for them. In other words, no promotion from shops for a steambox. Neither Sony or MS will implement a strict anti-used games policy in next-gen. Which essentially means the steambox wont be have access to the biggest market for gaming- retail . Retail will stay the biggest market for a few more years and steambox will have 0 share in that pie.

    Steam is doing this not for fun, but because (potentially) their survival as an online retailer depends on it. MS has effectively started the process to monopolize pc market with win8, which was steams main biz, so like any good company, they are diversifying.
    Its not going to be easy, especially because steam is nothing in size in comparison to the big 3. They wont be able to take losses like MS, Sony, even ninty took.
    Although one thing their arrival may change is the rip-off online prices and force others to offer sales more frequently, which will be good.

    @Pat,
    Completely non-related but have you received the results of the voting yet? We can expect a announcement soon right?

    #15 2 years ago
  16. manamana

    Thanks for the article Pat. Steambox with an exclusive HL3 is begging to be launched.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. G1GAHURTZ

    Way too many ‘ifs’ in this article already, but here’s another…

    Newell had better had better have some sort of super third world sweatshop up his sleeve IF he wants to release a £700 spec PC at an affordable price.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Christopher Jack

    @15.

    #1, You can develop games for Linux, Mac, Windows, Android, iOS & pretty much everything in between using OpenGL.

    #2, Have you even seen how large the Steam library is? It’s already got the games & dev support, all it needs is an attractive price & reasonable graphics.

    #3, Because they’re not only aiming at current users but the console users, many hardcore Steam gamers may purchase a Steam box if it offers enough bang for buck.

    #4, Those stores do make SOME money from Valve, Steam games are still sold in retail outlets & the retailers are always looking at different ways to benefit from digital distribution.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. viralshag

    Why would any PC gamer with a decent rig want to buy a Steam Box?

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Belmont

    As I said,imagine that Steambox is out.Why should I prefer it over Orbis or Xbox which will have a great library of Exclusives?
    I agree with Pat that it depends on the cost,but again,How likely is it to be cheaper than Nextgen?
    @Erthazus: So,I get the ugliest,most ridiculously designed hardware in the world and couple it with blazing fast 4G to play Witcher 2 or worse,a bunch of shitty android bleh on the bus? A scenario in which I can enjoy straining my eyes to read the Witcher 2 text on that display. For that to work you need every PC title to optimized for it,which is next to impossible.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Da Man

    Time for Sony to counterattack with teh second cell and proprietary API.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. livewired500

    @19 We won’t. Was playing Assassin’s Creed on the TV with home theater system, with a controller, from my i7/660ti rig. Then a with a couple I’m back to my monitor(s) to play a little FTL (or whatever).

    I have a bluetooth mini keyboard and mouse I keep next to the TV and a long HDMI cable.

    Of course, that TV also has a 360 and PS3 hooked to it. So no, I can’t think of a reason to buy a Steam box.

    However, fully support the idea. Competition is always good.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. RandomTiger

    “Why would any PC gamer with a decent rig want to buy a Steam Box?”

    A decent rig is a steambox now with big picture if you want it to be.
    This isn’t about selling hardware, this is about Valve making a grab for the livingroom and what OS is the future of PC games development.

    “Have you even seen how large the Steam library is? It’s already got the games & dev support, all it needs is an attractive price & reasonable graphics.”

    How many of them have steam linux and full controller support? If Valve is going to succeed it needs to offer an uncomplicated console experience for those who dont care about OS’s, drivers etc.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. sh4dow

    Yikes… bit of a Steam fanboy, are we?

    I agree with most of the article talking about the horrible policies of Microsoft and Sony (although – where is Nintendo with it’s gimmicky consoles that add virtually nothing to the gaming field?) and that increasing PC gaming might be a positive turn but… Steam? Seriously?

    -) Always-on DRM.
    Virtually. I know there is an offline mode but it sucks to no end that Steam is incapable (or more like “unwilling”) to detect when there is no internet connection and simply launch whatever game you already activated previously. Although… I seem to remember that it would sometimes work. But sometimes not. Which brings me to the next point.

    -) Shitty client.
    Broke three times on two different computers for me already. Unable to launch any of the games I bought until I fixed the CLIENT. Which is why client-less digital distribution (GamersGate, GOG) is ESSENTIAL.

    -) Shitty client #2.
    Ever seen the list of programs that may interfere with Steam?
    https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=9828-SFLZ-9289
    Seriously… Are you fucking kidding me?! Why do people put up with this shit?!

    -) Shitty client #3.
    This is related to the first point. When there is a connection issue, it may take like half a minute for Steam to get that there is an issue. And then it seems to be pretty much “Do you feel lucky, punk?” whether it’ll show an error message about some connection issue or actually launch the game.

    -) Almost as awful as Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo for indie developers.
    Unfortunately, I don’t remember when or where I read that but allegedly, indie developers can consider themselves lucky if they get 50% of the earnings. Which is allegedly still quite a bit better than what Sony and Microsoft offer but… come on! Is it really that much better to have only three fingers cut off instead of four?

    -) Just as little respect for their customers.
    Remember e.g. this?
    http://www.cinemablend.com/games/How-Valve-Respond-Desist-Declaration-Steam-EULA-47171.html

    So… there are really more reasons to fight Steam tooth and nail than to support it. I would much rather hope that gamers would embrace stuff like GamersGate and GOG and that companies would work out a community system that either does not require a separate client (maybe a framework that everybody uses like DirectX but for community purposes?) or a client completely separate from the games (as in – it reads savegame information of games but does nothing else) and host leaderboards on their own damn servers, so that they can be used independently of Steam.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. stretch215

    Yeah, I can’t see this steambox taking any business from the big 3. I’m not interested at all, and I have friends that don’t even know what steam is. A large part of the console market just won’t care about steambox, regardless of price. Then you have the control schemes, especially for fps guys who play on console. There’s no way those guys are taking the game to steam, where it’s kb&m or DIE. And I will never play with kb&m. Ever.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. Mike

    Skyrim is still €50 on Steam. How much on Xbox/PS? That’s the bottom line for me, and will remain so until Steam prices follow retail.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. freedoms_stain

    @26, Skyrim is a Steamworks game, you can buy it at retail for £15 on PC (cheaper than either consoles cheapest price – £18.95), enter the cd key on Steam, bam, you have the game on Steam, throw away disc.

    There are also now multiple 3rd party resellers who undercut Steam on Steam games, Amazon, Greenmangaming, Get Games, Gamers Gate.

    Steam is far less of a closed economy than XBL or PSN, you have options.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. polygem

    so it seems to be true then. great! pricing is key here but i am so ready for this. i think timing is just right. i can really see myself having a wiiu as my homeconsole (yeah, splitcreen is indeed long gone. multiscreen all the way for local same room coop)…and then owning a steambox as well. i am tired of ms and sonys stuff actually. not hating them but i really kind of like the idea of skipping nextbox and ps4.
    holding back half life for so long finally makes perfect sense.
    @25: you can easily design a game around that. for your online there could be keyboard/mouse lobbies and controler lobbies. i bet if a steambox will happen it´ll come with a unique, steambranded controller too.
    overall very interesting news indeed and a great article.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. SlayerGT

    I will always own a Playstation as long as Sony is intent on retaining and creating its own exclusive ips, but after this Gen I’ve sworn off MS. I had enough of their business and since they’ve all but abandoned any exclusive games that interest me..a Steam Box might be a second console for me. If it doesn’t require too much tweaking, and or maintenance. I hate computers. Hate. Mostly because I don’t understand them. And they never work “correctly” for me. There is always some optimization I’m missing or some drivers or whatever. Anyway, if all of the headaches were eliminated and all you were left with were the games..then it would just be down to price for me.

    Would I be able to play Guild Wars 2, Torch Light 2, Sim City? Not ALL PC games would be available huh?

    #29 2 years ago
  30. Phoenixblight

    If people actually think they will be able to play all games with the steambox. They are one sandwich short of a picnic basket. The steambox if anything will be for only games that are playable on Linux.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. freedoms_stain

    @29, it’ll be entirely down to individual studios to build Linux compatible versions of their games. Right now it’s mostly smaller studios and indies that are in the Steam Linux beta line up.

    I think you’ll probably be looking at quite a small line up at launch, but probably one that is much much bigger than a standard console launch.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. SlayerGT

    @31 I see. Guess it’ll be a wait and see. Do a lot of big name games come out on Linux?

    #32 2 years ago
  33. Dragon246

    @30,
    Exactly. Still looking out though. Steam as an online retailer will live or die based on this bet imo.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. Eddie Rodrigues

    @30 But wouldn’t that cost Valve’s chance of fully dominating the gaming market?

    #34 2 years ago
  35. Phoenixblight

    @32

    No not at all. Steam games will be the only triple A games.

    @34

    No? Linux is only a few percent of the market. And Linux users have always had a way to play games that don’t go on Linux by either booting another OS like WIndows or emulating it which Steambox can’t do.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. Eddie Rodrigues

    @35 Yes but this would make it more an alternative than a replacement, which would not motivate PC gamers with a powerful/above average machine to get it.

    Also in your reply to @32 this would take out the appeal mostly, AAA games are cool, but the indie titles are a true comfort, that is just my opinion though.

    #36 2 years ago
  37. SlayerGT

    @35 & 36 the AAA games are fine if they’re of the PC variety like I listed. If it’s the GTAs, CODs, Assassins, Bioshocks..I’ll pass. Have my Playstation for those.

    #37 2 years ago
  38. Cobra951

    “Hardware affordability aside, and far more interestingly, the console market is begging to be smashed. Microsoft and Sony’s eco-systems are fascist states, brutal regimes . . .”

    Someone scheduled a full broadside on the console market today at VG247? I didn’t get the memo.

    #38 2 years ago
  39. Phoenixblight

    @37

    All those games are multiplatform and because of that if you have a powerful enough PC there is absolutely no need for a console unless you want the exclusives and/or media player which is exactly what my PS3 is for. I have absolutely no need to get multiplat games on the console unless its like GTA V which will be out only on the consoles at least 6 month to a year before the PC variation.

    #39 2 years ago
  40. Eddie Rodrigues

    @37 Well I only use my PS3 for exclusives and Japanese games (Dark Souls, Resident Evil), although those games listed are a complete different experience on PC, and just like @39 said, console titles tend to launch a MILLENNIUM before the game’s PC ports, so it is up to the gamer to decide whether machine he or she will be using.

    #40 2 years ago
  41. DSB

    I don’t think you can really underestimate how hard it is to put together a successful console, and certainly in the case of a hypothetical Steambox, there are so many variables that need to come out just right if it’s gonna make a dent.

    At the very least, there’s no way you can enter that market without a huge spectacle. Will the Steambox be coming to every Walmart, Best Buy and fifty different European retail chains? How many millions of dollars does Valve really have for advertising and third party support?

    On the other hand, console gaming barely has its foot in the 21st century right now. The “fascist” regimes has obviously meant that they could willfully ignore every advance in design and online that have been ubiquitous on every other device for the last ten years, but that never stopped people from buying consoles anyway.

    It’s a bit like East Germany selling everybody Trabants in my opinion, and that’s obviously open to challenge. It all depends on how succesful their next generation Trabant will be, and whether Valve are willing to go absolutely all in on a Steambox capable of doing all that and more.

    #41 2 years ago
  42. OlderGamer

    Two things:

    One; BDH is looking like a prophet of the gaming gods at this point. He knew it would happen, he told us to mark his words!

    Second; Perhaps if a new gen of consoles had launched three years ago, we wouldn’t be having this talk? Many watchers and analysts will tell you that this gen peaked in 08/09. Well it is 13 now, and this gen has worn out its welcome. New tech and new ideas have passed by consoles.

    I think, and have been saying for a couple years now, Console Biz needs a rethink. But I have to wonder if it is too late? Lets face it folks consoles and PCs have been heading for a collision from day one. Acsessability and mass market appeal meets Power, versitilty, openess.

    Maybe we will end up with hybrid console/pcs/tablet devices. I think we will. But will consoles lose their identity in the process?

    #42 2 years ago
  43. manamana

    @DSB as far as I know, east germans had no options than buying a Trabant. Maybe a Wartburg. But thats it. When the border fell, they had lots of options and only the hardcore still bought Trabant for nostalgic reasons.

    So yes, I welcome any new player in this somewhat small circle of console manufacturers. If only, as you mentioned, they have big enough pockets to fight the established 3-4. Yes, I am willing to count Apple into this, as they make huge profits with their small game Apps and steal from Ninty *and* Sony.

    #43 2 years ago
  44. fearmonkey

    It will be interesting to see if Steam/Valve can overcome the Linux gaming issues, as that would be a huge boon to Linux, and a terrible blow to MS. It would probably have to start off slow as publishers would either need to port or create their games on Linux/Steambox, thats the catch that might inhibit it, it will be interesting to see how Valve could fix that.

    I love Steam now, I didn’t always love it, but its my digital distribution service of choice. I have never had any issues with the client though I have had issues with individual games, mostly older title. The prices make gaming buying games as an impulse purchase possible, something that MS seems to not care about. They would rather keep a stranglehold on prices than give a decent price, and thank heavens Steam doesn’t use that horrible point system!

    I would love to see this take off and do well, and scare MS to death so that they try to compete again. MS is happy with the place the Xbox 360 is in, but they aren’t really trying to be competitive anymore. If noting else, maybe the Steambox might make MS worried enough that they might have to make concessions on pricing, and that would be great for consumers!

    I hope MS can get me jazzed about the next xbox, I hope its a powerful box. If It’s lacking in power and focuses on those glasses and kinect 2, the Steambox and my PC looks more appealing. I’m excited about the new Nvidia handheld unit that can stream PC games, Id love to see the Steambox have that ability too, as your PC might have better hardware than what is in the Steambox itself!.

    #44 2 years ago
  45. fuchikoma

    What’s with the absurd slant? If MS and Sony’s ecosystems are “fascist states,” what does that make Steam? It’s the same as XBox Live or PSN, except even if you buy a disc in a store, it’s still treated like a downloadable game – you can’t even run it if you don’t sign up for an account with them and bind the game to it. If you get locked out of your PSN or XBL accounts, you can’t play and chat online, but with the exception of some Capcom games, you can still play what you bought. If you get locked out of your Steam account, you could lose thousands of dollars worth of games. You can’t chat or play online. You can’t play offline. You can’t even install anything. Steam may be conveinent and much-loved, but make no mistake, it’s bad for gaming, and the most controlling regime in the industry.

    And of course MS and Sony are choking indies to death… Never mind all the big newsmakers released on both of them that came out of the indie scene, or the $1 indies that flood XBL, or even the free games Sony is putting out now. This reads like it was written in an alternate universe, or maybe by someone who hasn’t touched a console this generation…

    #45 2 years ago
  46. Raziz

    While some of you make good points, they are ultimately flawed. The major problem with the console industry that people play right into is the fact that Sony and MS are massive publicly traded companies. First and foremost they need to protect their profits and the interests of their stakeholders. Steam truly offers gamers what Sony and MS can never do. The indie content on Steam is amazing… It’s a true rarity. Steam realizes the potential in indie games because there are some true gems among them. Sony/MS do not see huge sums of profits attached to indies, so they get swept away. Sounds like pure capitalism to me. That’s why console fanboys hate Steam, it’s something that you guys can’t understand. If it’s not made nor published by a huge developer, it’s shit right? We all know how far that logic does. ME3 anyone…

    #46 2 years ago
  47. Trapless

    Steam trades dollars for cents the same way indies do. The console makers see the market for what it is. People use steam not because they get the machine for it, but because its a free bonus. The same way people do not buy a smartphone to play angry birds.

    The fact is steams demographics and indies are overrated. You are trading dollars for cents and in the end what matters? The AAA titles do. If those devs can’t find a reason to make games for your system, then its game over. Grand Theft Auto 5 on pc missed the entire holiday season, never mind Christmas, it will probably miss January too. Steams “amazing” to a certain demographic, but it doesn’t really have the impact you might think it does for the rest of the industry. Just as matinee movie watchers don’t affect the rest of the movie going audience which tends to go in the evenings, its a supplemental market that exists off the back of the primary market. Its a mistake to think it can flip around.

    Anyways anyone logged into steam this Christmas and tried to do trades or even buy things from the store got a taste of steam “service”, half the time you couldn’t check out, vote, or even load your inventory or user profile. This isn’t a new issue, its happened EVERY christmas and during other holidays. Basically its an indication of how the company runs, always neglecting things while moving onto others stuff.

    Steam is not open, its a DRM store.

    #47 1 year ago
  48. Jerykk

    @47

    What are you talking about? If you build a gaming PC, you do so because you want to play games. If you want to play games on PC, chances are you’re going to use Steam because almost every publisher and developer uses Steamworks these days. Therefore, if you have an interest in PC gaming, you have an interest in Steam (unless you avoid any games that require Steam, which is 95% of new games).

    As for traditional, big-budget, AAA exclusives, no, I don’t think PC will have any (assuming you don’t count strategy games and MMOs). But then, big-budget AAA exclusives have become pretty rare on consoles too. It simply doesn’t make any business sense for publishers to limit their audience to a single platform, especially when AAA budgets are rapidly growing.

    Also, you say that PC is largely irrelevant. I’m sure the developers of Minecraft, DayZ, Starbound, LoL, DotA2 and other very successful PC games would say otherwise. The vast majority of AAA games struggle to be profitable because their budgets are so inflated. If you’re a developer doing contract work for a publisher, good luck ever seeing any royalties or bonuses once development is finished. That’s why independent developers flock to PC. No publisher required so you can actually generate revenue from the sales of your games.

    #48 1 year ago
  49. nollie4545

    I agree with Jek

    Steam is NOT the only way to purchase games or media or content. Steam is a free service useful to all community members to keep a friends list, obtain free content or mods or even free games, and play demos, there is no need to purchase anything with steam, it pays for itself as a marketing outlet. Only a fool would refuse to use it and use origin or windows LIVE etc instead, they are vastly inferior concepts.

    Whilst most titles are now available on steam, only dick head developers or publishers refuse to provide them through steam, mainly because people like EA want you to use their highly draconian service instead.

    PC gaming is a lot more open and there is an entire ecosystem of free mods and content waiting for people who move to the PC platform away from consoles. For this reason alone, forgetting the hardware completely, this is why so many gamers run a PC.

    For the small indies, who have a small game and a small budget, Steam is a godsend. With it you can get your very small almost insignificant game in front of every steam user on the planet, highly focused and effective marketing. These guys cannot afford the TV ads of a big budget AAA maker, they can even get sales for games still in development. Can you see the console companies ever doing that? Christ no, imagine the scores of 12 year olds crying to their mothers about how they just smashed their parents credit card on an as yet unfinished game.

    Console gaming is a medium designed to cater for the lowest common denominator- whingey, whiney 7 year olds who just want to play COD until they hit puberty. PC gaming is a completely different world, a more diverse universe where people aren’t always gasping for the next AAA title, but rather gradually accumulating a range of titles they play and love, entire communities build up around popular games, then come mods, content, re-designs, some games even turn up having been massively changed and released as abandonware, totally re-written for modern operating systems.

    Ultimately no PC gamer gives a shit how many PCs are sold or how many consoles are sold. Gaming PCs are costly to own and buy, its not a mass market device it was never designed to be.

    #49 1 year ago
  50. sebastien rivas

    Same as many, I am intrigued and I want Steambox as early as possible, yet, I want it fully operational and again with a boat load of franchises and a variety of indy coming for it.

    Only a fool takes Steam business model with a negative eye.
    They think gamers, they are gamers, they want gamers, unlike many other business who claw on gamers for their wallet with similarities of one or some of Steam functions.
    Now I do not only shop with Steam only but again, Steam is a platform of choice, and even a blind man would chose Steam to play games.

    Will PC re-surge, I truly hope so. Console realms need to understand they make consoles for gamers and not only for new comers to game realms nor for dads wanna show their kids. As I stated many time, and beside Nintendo, the 2 other giants almost got me but after several reflections and thoughts, I do not see each as pure next gen console but in spite of being completely changed hardware I see them as half way through next gen. And on top of it, I see both as pure hurdle for developers’ creativity and race to realism and a massive hurdle and time consumption for optimization which regardless or not a 7990 can only go that far with or without APU exceptional ideal and assistance.

    Something in the realm of a A8-6600K or A10-6800K should have been the bare fucking minimum to avoid the fucking mess that both giants are about to promote in next couple of years. Instead developers will have to put a halt and stop at lower graphic mesh density, tink and toy and hope a remotely appreciable result.
    Yes, Sony and MS, the 2 giants are leaving a fucking highway wide opened for Nintendo, PC, and upcoming Mac and other consoles.
    The only issue to that is that Dad, mom, and their 12 years old will have already spent for their blond hair kid so both giants should retain some propelling momentum, but this is being OPTIMISTIC. MS clearly shown us through articles they want their Xb1 to be profitable ASAP, cute but this is a console war, there are ways to make a console profitable and rashly running for it through lowest hardware component choice only grab blind men, dads, and true followers.

    There is one among many other reasons why PC gamers are considered Elitist. One reason is because they just change components inside their mahcine to keep up with the graphic race which also promote PC components sells and ultimately help developers to provide further vision of their next title. To some lower extent, it is a syncratic execution for consoles in spite of being finite hardware choice, every 5 ~7 years they evolve which can be felt and seen but unfortunately they promoted profitability instead of evolution, what do you want me to do? say yes to that? No, can’t do. I am very happy for all XB1 and PS4 owners having a good time with their machines but I did not, do, and will not promote this kind of business. No way, it is NOT MEANT for gamers, and put some fucking hurdles on a vast majority of developers period!
    At least Sony understood this early on, and did everything they could through and out with DDR5 that would alleviate some of the burden the APU would suffer from. Not best, not best ideal, but at least it was something.

    Do you ALL understand I can build a PC better and for less than a Xb1?
    Better APU, potentially equal or better Ram, at least a better OS drive and a comparable or bigger Hard drive.
    Seriously.. and when I see those machines selling $X for so long makes me cry in sadness for all console owners.
    But hey…PC elitist heh?!?!?
    At least Sony understood this fact whereas it would be a monstrosity to sell a box for more than a what can 1 build a PC for.
    I really wish for MS to find a solution to this mess that does not result in a pure PR bullshit, nor pathetic excuses.
    I am still a firm MS believer, but remember this, it is really easy to make me dream and gobble ANYTHING, though the dream has to pertain with and through analysis and single little red alert just wakes me up to reality and skepticism is likely to arise, I am a passionate gamer, I am for all developers in the world wishing for BETTER & MORE .

    Here we go looking no more than 2 minutes
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1504969

    #50 1 year ago
  51. fearmonkey

    Oh my, I got fooled into thinking was a new article lol.

    #51 1 year ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Google has brought us one step closer to our inevitable slaughter or enslavement by machine overlords. Google has developed an AI that can learn to play video games and devise brand new strategies. Let me just rephrase that: Google has created an AI that can teach itself new skills, including how to play video games. […]

  • First footage of Renowned Explorers: International Society surfaces

    Renowned Explorers: International Society is a turn-based strategy game from the team behind Reus, and it looks great. Renowned Explorers was announced almost a full year ago, but has been pretty quiet since then. Developer Abbey games has now announced that the game has hit alpha, and will be open to select testers soon. You […]

  • Cities: Skylines developer commits to mod support

    Cities: Skylines will fully support the modding community. Hailing from famously mod-friendly publisher Paradox, Cities: Skylines is a no-brainer for mod support – especially as a lack of mod support is one of the things SimCity was so heavily criticised for when it firts launched. In the developer diary below, Paradox’s Jakob Munthe is joined […]

  • Nosgoth update adds Vanguard, many fixes

    Nosgoth, the free-to-play multiplayer brawler set in the Legacy of Kain universe, has been given a significant makeover. The major feature of the latest Nosogth game update is a new playable human character called the Vanguard. “Equipped with mighty throwing axes and a shield, the Vanguard can take more punishment than any human class that […]

  • Xbox Live Gold 12 month sub $40 on Microsoft store

    Microsoft is offering $20 off 12 month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions at the moment. An Xbox Live Gold 12 month subscription will normally set you back $60, but a Microsoft Store promotion has it on offer for $40. The offer is restricted to the US store. Although you can opt to grab your sub as […]

  • Tomb Raider movie script to be penned by TMNT writer

    Tomb Raider will be Evan Daugherty’s second reboot of an established universe. The Tomb Raider movie reboot has signed on a writer and a distributor. Deadline reports Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Divergent, Snow White And The Huntsman and G.I. Joe 3 writer Daugherty will write the film. Additionally, Warner Bros. has signed on to distribute, […]

  • Shelter 2 pre-orders open, launch trailer debuts early

    Shelter 2 is a game in which you are a mother lynx and must protect a den of kittens. Yes, it’s delightful. Shelter 2 is coming to Mac and PC on March 9. Pre-orders are now available on Steam at 10% off or on GOG.com with a free skin and soundtrack, or 20% off if […]

  • That Batman: Arkham Knight trailer is full of codes

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s trailer is like a Transformer – there’s more than meets the eye. The new Batman: Arkham Knight trailer contains a number of codes. Eagle-eyed users have spotted four so far, and work on cracking their meaning is progressing. According to an /r/games thread rounding up results so far, the codes pertain to […]

  • Assassin’s Creed haystacks won’t save you from a fall

    Assassin’s Creed fans, don’t try this at home. Assassin’s Creed characters can survive falls of almost any distance as long as they aim for the haystacks scattered handily throughout the environment. As you probably deduced from your familiarity with common sense, this isn’t a real thing: falling from heights kills you, the same way a […]

  • Why are people buying PS4 and not Xbox One?

    PS4 is outselling Xbox One – but why? A new report may have the answer. Last month, the PS4 outsold the Xbox One in the US again, returning it to the top of the charts after just two months away. Why? What has caused this reversal in fortunes in Microsoft’s home territory? According to a […]

  • Toejam and Earl are back with a new Kickstarter

    The early 90′s are alive and well in a new bid to bring back Toejam and Earl. Toejam and Earl released for Mega Drive (Genesis, Americans) in 1991, and the eponymous characters went on to count among Sega’s best-known characters. They appeared in a platformer, a light gun shooter and finally a 2002 Xbox game […]

  • New Wander trailer shows off Azertash form

    Wander is a collaborative, non-combat MMO in which you can take on a number of unique forms. Wander players begin as an ambulant tree called an Oren and can progress through several different bodies as they explore the environment, learning its secrets. One of these, which we’d not seen before this trailer, is the amphibious […]

  • SOMA approaching beta phase on PC and PS4

    SOMA, the new horror game from the Amnesia: The Dark Descent crew, is getting close to playable. Frictional Games has apologised for its recent silence over the project, but said it’s focused on reaching beta. Sorry all for the silence! We're closing in on Beta and everyone's working hard to get there. Once that's done, […]

  • Square Enix does not condone Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest HD Remaster

    Square Enix has said it’s not involved with a fan remake of Final Fantasy spin-off Mystic Quest. 1992 SNES game Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest is being remade by Dark Design as Mystic Quest HD Remaster. The developer is even taking pre-orders for the project. Unfortunately, it looks like it is in no position to be […]

  • New Hunger teaser released by LittleBigPlanet Vita co-developers

    LittleBigPlanet Vita co-developers Tarsier Studios have released a teaser trailer for Hunger, which was announced in May 2014 at the Nordic Game Conference. The game has been rumored to be the firm’s unannounced Sony project since 2010. Platforms are still to be announced, but the studio became a first-party SCE developer a few years back, […]

  • Here’s two Mario Party 10 overview videos, one featuring amiibo

    Overview videos for Mario Party 10 and the amiibo which work with the title have been released by Nintendo Japan. Obviously each one is in Japanese, but you get the gist all the same. Mario Party 10 releases on Wii U March 20 in North America and Europe. Thanks, AGB.

  • Clan Raids announced for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Companion App

    Activision has announced a new Clan Raids mode will be made available through the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Companion App. According to the CoD community blog, raids are time-based challenges where success earns you a spot on the Clan Raids leaderboards and new Clan Raid-exclusive in-game gear like the Equilibrium set. Clan members will […]

  • Play Battlefield Hardline starting March 12 through EA Access

    Xbox One users with an EA Access subscription will be able to play 10 hours worth of Battlefield Hardline starting March 12. EA Access members will are being granted access to the game five days before the street date, with full multiplayer and all saves transferring over into the main game. It was announced yesterday […]

  • This video summarizes the contents of Destiny patch 1.1.1

    With Destiny patch 1.1.1 now available, here’s a video summary of what to expect. In the video above, Arekkz Gaming gives you a rundown of the important bits in the update. Subscribe to Arekkz Gaming for more Destiny tips and trick through the link.

  • Destiny 1.1.1 patch notes out, update is live

    Destiny’s 1.1.1 patch arrives today, so if you have been kicked from activities, it means you will need to download the patch now that it’s live. We will be pushing the 1.1.1 patch for Destiny shortly. Players will be kicked from activities and required to download the patch. — Bungie Help (@BungieHelp) February 25, 2015 […]

  • Payday 2 packs based on Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number coming

    Starbreeze has announced another collaboration with Dennaton Games which will see masks based on Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number appear in Payday 2. The collaboration consists of two free updates when you acquire Hotline Miami 2 or its deluxe version on Steam from February 25. The two updates, called Hotline Miami Mask Pack and Jacket […]

  • Velocity 2X making its way onto Linux, Mac, PC and Xbox One

    Velocity 2X will be released on Linux, Mac, PC and Xbox One Futurlab has announced. The developer is in charge of the port, which will be published by Sierra. According to Futurlab, the deal with Sierra came about when self-publishing proved to be difficult due to spending “more time doing PR and marketing on Velocity […]

  • Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number finally has a release date

    A release date for Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number has been announced, finally. The game will arrive on Linux, Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PS4 and Vita March 10. It is now available for pre-order on GOG, Humble and Steam for 10% off for $13.49/£10.99. There’s also a Digital Special Edition available which includes tracks from […]

  • Warhammer 40,000: Dark Nexus Arena is a twin stick shooter MOBA for PC

    Warhammer 40,000: Dark Nexus Arena has been announced as a twin stick shooter MOBA blend from Whitebox Interactive. Set for a 2016 release on PC, the game’s beta will be on show at PAX East next month. An Early Access release is slated for Q2 2015 and you can already purchase early access for a […]

  • More information, videos for cancelled Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun surface

    A trailer for the cancelled Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun title from Climax which was reportedly set for an E3 2012 reveal, has surfaced. Along with the above video is another which is described as a pre-boss battle cutscene. It’s below. According to a source of NeoGAF’s Mama Robotnik, the game was being developed under […]

  • Three additional games added to Square Enix Humble Bundle

    Kane & Lynch Collection, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light and Startopia have been added to the Square Enix Humble Bundle. All three are made available when paying the average price of $7.69. Those who have already purchased the bundle will automatically be granted the titles. All three are available for PC only. The […]

  • Forza Horizon 2 gets Fast & Furious with standalone expansion

    A Fast & Furious tie-in and standalone expansion to Forza Horizon 2 will arrive for Xbox consoles next month. Titled Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious, the downloadable title does not require the base game to play. “We’ve been talking with the folks at Turn 10 for a number of years and have always […]

  • The Evil Within: The Assignment has a release date, new trailer

    The Evil Within: The Assignment will be released on March 10 in North America and March 11 in Europe, it was announced today. Along with an exact release date was a trailer detailing more information about the first set of DLC. The Assignment is the first of two DLCs centering on Detective Castellanos’ mysterious partner, […]

  • Steam and GOG cross-platform multiplayer added to AvP Classic 2000

    Steam and GOG have announced Aliens vs Predator Classic 2000 owners will be able play multiplayer with each other across both platforms. With the recent online multiplayer update for for AVP Classic 2000, Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley has made good on his promise from June to offer cross-platform play between the Steam and GOG platforms. […]

  • OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood arrives on PS4, Vita next week

    Roll7 has announced it will release OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood next week. The developer announced the dates on Twitter this morning alongside the launch trailer. You will be able to download the game for PlayStation 4 and Vita March 3 in North America and March 4 in Europe.

  • Week 7: Play GTA Online with VG247 tonight at 8pm UK time!

    Heists got a date! Come play GTA Online with us to celebrate. We’re playing GTA Online on PS4 tonight with whoever else fancies it. That means you. This week’s playlist is Happy for Heists, because we kind of are. The six jobs involved will last about 45 minutes. Anyone can turn up. Here’s how. We’ll […]