Sections

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.

Latest

  • Half-life 3 in VR: “We’re not saying no,” says Valve

    Half-life might work in virtual reality, or it might not. That’s Valve’s stance on the matter. Half-life 3 in VR makes perfect sense and should definitely happen, but Valve says it hasn’t made any decisions yet. “We’re not saying, ‘no’ but we don’t know what the right thing is [yet],” Valve programmer Jeep Barnett told […]

  • Why Diablo 3 had such a bad launch

    Diablo 3 is now a byword in disastrous launches for online-only games. How did Blizzard mess it up so badly? Diablo 3 game to us from a developer with experience running one of the world’s biggest massively multiplayer online games – World of Warcraft – and the infrastructure to back it up. So why were […]

  • ID@Xbox: “no problem” if devs can’t sim-ship, says Xbox indie boss

    ID@Xbox boss Chris Charla has said the famous parity clause isn’t as draconian as it sounds. Back when ID@Xbox was first launched, it was said to have a pretty unpleasant caveat: developers had to bring their games to Xbox One first, or simultaneously with other platforms, to be eligible for the scheme. Games released on […]

  • Microsoft working with Sony and Nintendo to combat DDoS attacks

    Xbox Live may be a rival to the PSN and Nintendo Network, but that doesn’t mean Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo can’t work together. Xbox boss Phil Spencer has said that he’s been talking to Sony, Nintendo and other companies about keeping gaming networks stable in the face of DDoS attacks and other malicious activity. Speaking […]

  • Destiny animations are designed to reduce motion sickness

    Destiny developers worked hard to avoid one of the common pitfalls of first-person games – motion sickness. Destiny senior animator David Helsby gave a presentation at GDC 2015 in which he discussed the challenges of animating first-person games. The problem with fist-person perspective is that if the camera bobs naturally as your head does, some […]

  • Xbox One peripherals will work wirelessly with Windows 10 via adapter

    Microsoft has announced a new adapter allowing you to use Xbox One peripherals with your PC. Announced at GDC, the adapter will allow you to use your Xbox One controller to play PC games, without having to have a USB cable stretched between the two. “The wireless devices you use on Xbox One will work […]

  • Pokemon developer, Sega collaboration teased

    Pokemon developer Game Freak is apparently working on something with Sega. The Sega Twitter published the following teaser image this week: pic.twitter.com/12XtR6f9LM — SEGA (@SEGA) March 5, 2015 Game Freak is, of course, the team behind the Pokemon games, and we often forget that it’s independent rather than a Nintendo studio. As such, whatever the […]

  • Rock Band 4 “feels almost like coming home”, says Harmonix

    Rock Band 4 has been a long time coming, and Harmonix is as excited as we are. Or it would be, if that were possible. Harmonix announced Rock Band 4 overnight to massive excitement, especially in the vicinity of me. It’s something we’ve all been waiting for, but no less has Harmonix been waiting for […]

  • Destiny Weekly Update – what’s coming in the pre-House of Wolves patch?

    Destiny guru Arekkz Gaming runs down what Bungie’s mysterious update means – and could mean. This week’s Destiny Weekly Update was kind of light on information, but sometimes even saying nothing is really saying something. What are your theories for what’s coming soon to Destiny?

  • Ashes of the Singularity is “the most advanced RTS ever”, says Stardock

    Stardock has revealed Ashes of the Singularity, a new take on sci-fi RTS. Ashes of the Singularity is described as “not an RTS battle, an RTS war” which sounds pretty exciting. Built on Oxide Games’ Nitrous Engine, Ashes of the Singularity boasts of thousands of units on screen at a time, each with multiple targeted […]

  • Disgaea 5: meet Zeroken and Christo

    Disgaea 5 developer Nippon Ichi has dropped a ton of new information regarding its next RPG. Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance is coming to PS4 in Japan this month ahead of its western launch in northern autumn. Gematsu has gathered all the latest intel on the RPG from a recent Nippon Ichi press release. Head […]

  • Skyworld VR strategy game looks kind of like playing with toys

    Skyworld is a new turn based strategy designed for use with VR headsets. Skyworld comes to us from Vertigo Games, and will be compatible with Valve’s Vive headset. IGN reports Vertigo has worked in close collaboration with the SteamVR project, so Skyworld will support both seated VR and full-room features. Think about that while you […]

  • Link and Ganon battle in new Legend of Zelda fan film

    The Legend of Zelda fans are clearly a very clever bunch. The production values on this Legend of Zelda fan film are through the roof. This is only the teaser, with the full movie from PlayerPiano to follow, and we’re pretty excited. By the way, Netflix is said to be working up a Live action […]

  • Underworld Ascendent backers unlock Lizardmen, more stretch goals available in final hours

    Underworld Ascendent’s Kickstarter has just 15 hours left on the clock, but backers have already unlocked some great stretch goals. One of the latest Underworld Ascendent stretch goal milestones was $750,000. By passing this post, backers have ensured the inclusion of Lizardmen in the final game. Developer Otherside will now add the Dire Grove environment […]

  • Early Access version of MX vs. ATV Supercross Encore lands on Steam

    MX vs. ATV Supercross Encore has landed on Steam Early Access. The game popped up on Amazon last month for PlayStation 4 before Nordic Games had the chance to announce it was reviving the former-THQ property for current-gen. It still hasn’t by the way, to our knowledge. According to information sent over today, the initial […]

  • Avalanche is making sure Mad Max stays “true to the collective body of work”

    Mad Max developer’s Avalanche Studios sat down with Game Informer, as part of its month-long exclusive coverage, to discuss the game’s development and physics-based car combat. In the video below, director Frank Rooke and senior producer John Fuller explain the process of designing the open-world game; how the narrative was fully integrated into the gameplay […]

  • Destiny will get another update before House of Wolves drops

    Destiny got a major update with patch 1.1.1 last week, but Bungie isn’t done. The next major Destiny update will arrive before the House of Wolves expansion. In this week’s Bungie Weekly Update, the developer said it wasn’t ready to share details yet. However, more information will be shared in the coming weeks. The update […]

  • A beta version of Guild Wars 2′s streaming client releasing soon

    ArenaNet has announced a beat version of its streaming client for Guild Wars 2 will be released alongside its upcoming update. How it works is explained in the latest blog post, but in short, it gets players into the game faster, much the same way the streaming client works in World of Warcraft. “Our goal […]

  • Steam storefront updated with Steam Machines, other product pages

    Valve has updated the Steam storefront with a list of various Steam Machines on offer, which range from $460 to $5,000. There is also a store page for the Steam Controller and Steam Link, both of which are out in November for $49.99 each. Steam Machines listed on the service feature a link to the […]

  • Finally, we get a look at Necropolis in action – video

    No longer content with releasing only gifs of Necropolis, Harebrained Schemes has decided to provide a short video. The upcoming third-person action rogue-like with procedurally generated levels is headed to Linux, Mac and PC sometime next year, with a possible console release as well. If you made to PAX East despite the weather, don’t forget […]

  • Super Dungeon Bros will be one of the first cross-play titles for Xbox One, Windows 10

    Another cross-device multiplayer game for Windows 10 and Xbox One has been announced, and it’s Super Dungeon Bros – a “rock-themed, co-op dungeon brawler” from React Games. Super Dungeon Bros tasks four “bros” with raiding underground crypts built by the gods through an ever-changing layout. There, they will be up against “dangerous foes, deadly obstacles, […]

  • Pre-ordering State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition in US nets an in-game knife

    Those who pre-order the State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition will net a bonus, according to Undead Labs. Select retailers in the US will offer the following knives as in-game pre-order bonus content: GameStop -  The Avalonian :  A true work of art, taken off the body of a fantasy enthusiast whose excitement at having […]

  • Rollercoaster Tycoon World gameplay teaser video released

    Today, Atari has provided a look at gameplay for Rollercoaster Tycoon World. Set for release during the first part of this year, the game allows players to build their own rides and which can be shared with other players. It will also feature four-player co-op.

  • One Heist challenge in GTA Online pays out $10 million in cash

    GTA Online’s new Heists content was previewed by various outlets at GDC 2015 this week, and according to hands-on with the free upcoming content, there’s over 20 hours worth of things to do and quite a bit of money to gain. Oh, and a VTOL Hydra jet too. According to a really informative piece from […]

  • Activision Blizzard makes Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list

    For the first time, Activision Blizzard has been named to Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list for 2015. The survey conducted by Fortune found the company “ranked highly with its employees” which felt the atmosphere was friendly and place in which they could “be themselves.” “We have always considered Activision Blizzard to be […]

  • Evolve Hunt for Gold Weekend nets players special monster skin

    A Evolve community event is taking place this weekend, and participants will receive a special skin for Goliath, Kraken, and Wraith. Dubbed the Evolve Hunt for Gold Weekend, it’s the first in a series of upcoming online community challenges and events taking place over the coming months. Those who log-in starting today at 9pm PST […]

  • This video teases contents of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 3

    A teaser video and images for Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 3 have been posted by Capcom. The assets can be considered potential spoilers, so just be aware of that before having a look. The game’s Season Pass costs $20, and the disc version releases March 17 in North America and on March 20 […]

  • GTA Online Heists teaser video is extremely short

    With Heists coming to GTA Online next week, Rockstar has released one of the shortest teaser videos we’ve seen in ages. Hopefully you didn’t blink. Heists, along with Daily Objectives and Adversary Mode, arrive next week on March 10. The PC version of Heists will arrive on April 14 when the PC version of the […]

  • The Division rumors claim Dark Zones support up to 100 players – video

    With the recent leak of older, pre-alpha footage of the The Division, rumors over the game’s contents have been swirling, and today we have a video for you discussing said rumors. Once of the rumors pertain to the game is that it contains 50-100 Player Dark Zones, which are PvP areas. Supposedly, these areas also […]

  • Here’s a look at MGS5: The Phantom Pain emblem creation, limited edition bionic arm

    A look at how to create your own emblems in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain was demonstrated in the latest Kojima Station broadcast, along with a look at the bionic arm replica included in the limited edition. A Venom Snake emblem will come with the limited edition version of the game, parts of […]

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.

  • Rock Band 4 confirmed for Xbox One and PS4: supports old instruments and 2,168 songs

    Harmonix has lifted the lid on the long-rumoured Rock Band 4, stating it will support 2,168 previously released tracks and last-gen instruments on PS4 and Xbox One. The game will be out this year. Harmonix has yet to reveal specific features for the game, but it has been built with a completely new engine. As […]

  • First run of Rodea the Sky Soldier copies on Wii U come with Wii version

    The first print run of Rodea the Sky Soldier on Wii U will come with the Wii version packed in, NIS America has confirmed. The publisher confirmed today in a press release that anyone who buys the first run of the retail version of Rodea the Sky Soldier on Wii U will find the Wii […]

  • Unreal Tournament 4 lets modders sell cosmetic items to players

    Unreal Tournament 4 is a game built with the help of the modding community. So it’s only natural that it will feature a marketplace where all cosmetic items can be sold. Epic Games has confirmed that it will allow modders from the community to sell the cosmetics items they’ve created on the game’s marketplace. The […]

  • D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die is coming to PC – rumour

    SWERY 65 has shown off D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die running on PC at GDC this week, teasing that a possible port may be on the way. D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die is SWERY 65′s latest project. An episodic detective affair, D4 came out on Xbox One last September and utilised Kinect as its main […]

  • Valve’s Lighthouse, VR controllers and more explained

    Valve’s less-talked about prototype VR controllers and its Lighthouse technology have been shown in more detail. When HTC announced Vive, the VR headset it’s working on with Valve, it mentioned “base stations” and ergonomic controllers. Now we know what they meant by that. The controllers are still in prototype phase, and will look better when […]

  • Listen to two professional Counter-Strike players explain why Dust2 is so popular

    Hear what makes iconic Counter-Strike map Dust2 one of the most popular maps in shooter history from two former eSports players. Sal “Volcano” Garozzo and Shawn “FMPONE” Snelling are both retired professional Counter-Strike players who are currently working as designers. At GDC this year, the pair hosted a panel titled “Community Level Design for Competitive […]

  • Core Morpheus hardware locked in, no plans for wireless version

    Sony has finalised the core hardware for its VR headset Project Morpheus, and does not currently plan on releasing a wireless version. SCE Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida spoke to Gamespot at GDC and confirmed that the core hardware of Morpheus is “pretty much done” but that “lots of tweaks and improvements” are still being […]

  • Watch the full Phil Spencer keynote from GDC 2015

    The full GDC 2015 keynote of Xbox boss Phil Spencer is now available to watch. In case you missed last nights’s Phil Spencer keynote at GDC 2015, the whole thing has been made available to watch on YouTube. The address is titled “The Future of Gaming Across the Microsoft Ecosytem,” and it’s where Spencer announced […]

  • Elite: Dangerous won’t be “dumbed down” for Xbox One

    The Xbox One version of Elite: Dangerous will in fact be the same as the PC one. Elite: Dangerous developer Frontier came out on stage last night at GDC to announce the game making its console debut on Xbox One. Some have feared that the port would not provide the same experience as the PC […]

  • Virtual reality: by gum, it’s really happening

    Virtual reality has exited the realm of peripheral gimmick and turned into something that just might go mainstream. VR has an uphill battle ahead of it. The tech is going to be expensive, and there are a number of problems that need to be solved before it could be considered an inclusive technology (motion sickness, […]

  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor takes Game of the Year at GDC Awards 2015

    And the winner is: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor beat out Alien: Isolation, Bayonetta 2, Destiny, and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft to win Game of the Year at the Game Developer’s Choice Awards 2015. Elsewhere in the awards, Ustwo’s mobile hit Monument Valley was a stand-out favourite, with wins in the Innovation, […]

  • Alien: Isolation was prototyped in third-person – video

    Alien: Isolation is one of the most effectively scary triple-A games in years, but it didn’t start off a perfect creation of pure terror. Creative Assembly prototyped Alien: Isolation in third-person perspective before they nailed down the final approach. The developer revealed this during a GDC 2015 presentation, and it’s a good reminder that games […]

  • Madden 15 added to EA Vault

    Madden 15 is now included in EA’s all-you-can-eat subscriber service. Madden 15 is the ninth game to be added to the EA Vault, a stash of games available on demand for EA Access subscribers. It's still Madden Season for EA Access members – Madden NFL 15 is now in The Vault for all members. Go […]

  • Source Engine 2 doesn’t have hidden costs or royalties – but is Steam exclusive

    Three major engines went free at GDC 2015, and each of them is monetising in a different way. There’s been a heck of a lot of discussion about development tools and the costs associated with them during GDC 2015. First Epic announced that Unreal Engine 4 would be free, bar royalities on successful releases. Then […]

  • Final Fantasy creator hates sequels

    Final Fantasy, a byword in prolific franchises, was created by a man who hates sequel. Final Fantasy games are famous for being reinvented with each core release, and it was not until series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi began to withdraw from the franchise after Final Fantasy 9 that we started seeing regular sequels and spin-offs. Speaking […]

  • Guardian complaints led to the closure of Destiny’s Loot Cave

    Destiny players are to blame for the shuttering of the much loved Loot Cave. Early in Destiny‘s history, many players got hugely excited about the “Loot Cave”. Accessible shortly after starting the game for the first time, this high-volume spawn point allowed players to stand in one place, taking out waves and waves of low-level […]

  • Xbox and PC games boss Phil Harrison to leave Microsoft – rumour

    Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business VP and EMEA head of games Phil Harrison is rumoured to have thrown in the towel. Microsoft has not issued a statement on Harrison’s alleged departure, despite repeated questioning by press at GDC 2015. Instead, word comes via multiple sources speaking to GamesIndustry at the show. According to the rumours, Harrison […]

  • Metal Gear Online commentated trailer explains stuffed dog – but not invisibility

    Metal Gear Online developer Kojima Productions has provided significantly more insight into how the multiplayer side of The Phantom Pain works. Metal Gear Online is the online multiplayer component of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. Konami hasn’t shared a great deal about it yet, but we did see a very cool Metal Gear […]

  • Elite: Dangerous Xbox One trailer shows off space MMO

    If Elite: Dangerous looks this good on Xbox One we have nothing to complain about. Microsoft revealed Elite: Dangerous is coming to Xbox One this year during its GDC presentations today. We don’t know very much about the port, but I suppose we ought to have expected it; Frontier Developments has a very close relationship […]

  • Battletoads to appear in Shovel Knight Xbox One

    A Battletoads remake must be on the horizon. Right? Right?? The Battletoads will appear in the upcoming Xbox One version of Shovel Knight, Yacht Club Games revealed today. The Battletoads drop in for a fight! Shovel Knight is headed to Xbox One and meets up with @RareLtd brawling trio! pic.twitter.com/OCQIuWbH3W — Yacht Club Games (@YachtClubGames) […]

  • The Division pre-alpha footage leaks, Ubisoft says it’s well out of date

    The Division fans finally got a look at Ubisoft’s MMO this week, but the publisher has said the footage is not in any way representative. Pre-alpha footage of the The Division was leaked this week, but has since been thoroughly smacked down by takedown notices. All that remains are a few screenshots and a GIF: […]

  • Microsoft HoloLens designer killed in hit and run accident

    Very sad news out of Redmond this week, as Mike Ey was killed in a tragic accident. Ey, 30, was one of the key project designers on Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset. He was killed on Saturday morning in a rear-end collision. The driver of the second vehicle fled the scene but was tracked down by […]

  • AMD throws support behind VR with new low-latency anti-nausea tech

    GPU manufacturer AMD has released a new SDK compatible with “a broad set of VR devices”. Called LiquidVR, the tech is designed to “bring better content, comfort, and compatibility to VR applications” including games, simulation, entertainment, education, social media, travel, medicine, real estate and ecommerce, apparently. AMD said maintaining comfort and realism in VR environments […]

  • Danganronpa 3 in the works, but a long way off yet

    A new Danganronpa is happening. Danganronpa 3 is in the very, very early production stages, writer Kodaka Kazutaka has confirmed. Nothing about the project is “set in stone”, Kazutaka told Polygon, so there are no details to share yet; the characters and story may change several times before being finalised. The writer said he’s weighing […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League 2015 schedule announced

    Major League Gaming has announced the full schedule for the 2015 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League. The eSpots firm revealed two more seasons of Pro League, a live Relegation tournament for Season Three, and a season ending World Championship with $250,000 up for grabs You can watch all the action on MLG.tv […]

  • Happy Birthday PlayStation 2, you are almost old enough to drive

    Amidst all the GDC 2015 hoopla today, we forgot to wish PlayStation 2 a Happy Birthday. The system turned 15 years old today, going by its March 4, 2000 launch date in Japan. It was released in the west that autumn, and had shipped 100 million units in less than six years post launch. PS2 […]

  • Here’s what the final version of Valve’s Steam Controller looks like

    A look at the updated Steam Controller has surfaced via a hands-on post from Polygon. Valve said what you see in the images below is the final version of the controller. The controller has gone through numerous revisions since it was first revealed, but it seems Valve has decided on two touch pads which work […]

  • The Sims, SimCity developer closed down

    The Sims 4 developer Maxis has been shuttered, EA has confirmed. The Sims, SimCity and the rest of the Sim franchise has traditionally been helmed by Maxis, which had its flagship studio in Emeryville, California. Now EA has confirmed with Kotaku that this studio is being closed. “Today we are consolidating Maxis IP development to […]

  • Gigantic MOBA coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One with cross-play

    Today during GDC 2015, Microsoft announced that the new IP from Motiga called Gigantic will be cross-play enabled. Slated for Windows 10 and Xbox One, the five-on-five third-person battle arena game allows the player to select from an array of heroes with distinctive powers and play styles. Players will then make their way through areas […]

  • Here’s a look at Unreal Tournament DirectX 12 gameplay

    Epic Games is creating Unreal Tournament using Unreal Engine 4 running on DirectX 12, which Microsoft says “sets a new bar for visual fidelity.” DirectX 12 is a single API developers can access across Windows devices, which can result in a 20% improvement in performance over DX11 running on the same machine. The Unreal Tournament […]

  • Wireless adapter for Xbox One controllers out later this year

    Microsoft announced at GDC 2015 today it will that all wireless Xbox gaming accessories will be designed for and supported on both Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs moving forward. Later this year, a wireless adapter will be released, allowing current Xbox controllers and future devices to be used wirelessly on PCs. This will […]

  • Microsoft offers up more details on Spencer’s GDC 2015 talk

    Microsoft has provided more details on Cross-Buy functionality between Windows 10 and Xbox One as well as the Xbox Live SKU and other announcements made during Phil Spencer’s talk today. During the session, the head of Xbox shared “the next step” in the company’s plans for a unified platform across all Windows 10 devices which […]

  • Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 this summer

    Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 as a Game of the Year Edition. inXile Entertainment announced the news on the PS Blog, noting the edition contains enhancements and improvements. The game has been ported to Unity 5, which was announced over the weekend, providing upgraded visual effects, “improved character models, upgraded environments, and Unity […]

  • Cross-Buy detailed for Windows 10 and Xbox One; Elite: Dangerous coming to Xbox One

    During Xbox boss Phil Spencer’s session at GDC 2015 today, it was announced Elite: Dangerous would release on Xbox One. Spencer also outlined cross-buy functionality across Windows 10 and Xbox One. Spencer’s talk started off with Frontier Developments announcing Elite: Dangerous for release this summer as a console debut on Xbox One, suggesting the Elite: […]

  • Longbeards Culture Pack available now for Total War: Attila

    The Longbeards Culture Pack is now available for Total War: Attila and it comes with three new playable factions. The Langobards, the Burgundians and the Alamans can be played in both single and multiplayer campaign modes as well as custom and multiplayer battles. A new feature called The Lay of Ybor is also included. It […]

  • Nvidia unveils Titan X as world’s “most advanced GPU” – video

    Nvidia revealed Titan X as “the world’s most advanced GPU” during Epic founder Tim Sweeney’s State of Unreal session a t GDC 2015 today. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang took the stage during the panel stating it contains “8 billion transistors,” and has 12GB of RAM. Pricing wasn’t announced, but it was rumored back in January […]

  • Steam sale discounts titles announced for SteamOS

    With many of the year’s most popular games heading to SteamOS, Valve has decided to host sale in celebration. Here’s a short list of titles on sale. The full list of PC, Linux, Mac and SteamOS discounts can be found through the link. The Banner Saga Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Batman: Arkham […]

  • PayDay 2 announced for SteamOS, celebrating with franchise sale

    PayDay 2 is coming to SteamOS, Overkill has announced. Still under development, a release date will be announced at a later date. “Making sure PAYDAY 2 is available on SteamOS felt like a no-brainer,” said Bo Andersson Klint, CEO of Starbreeze in the press release. “With PAYDAY 2: Crimewave Edition coming to the next generation […]

  • Magicka 2 has a release date and a crazy new trailer

    Magicka 2 has a release date for PC and the PlayStation 4, and Paradox Interactive has released a trailer featuring “Vlad’s latest lyrical triumph,” which is his rendition of the Game of Thrones theme. Magicka arrived on PC and PS4 May 26 and the game can be pre-ordered on PC beginning today, with PS4 pre-orders […]

  • Nintendo eShop schedule: Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone, others

    Nintendo has sent over a list of titles heading to the eShop in 2015. The schedule contains titles such as Affordable Space Adventures, Runbow, Swords & Soldiers 2, Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone and Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars. Below a preliminary list of games scheduled to launch in the Nintendo eShop on […]

  • Week 8: Can you win the weekly VG247 GTA Online playlist? Play tonight at 8pm UK time!

    We’re hotdogging tonight. I don’t even know what that means. Eight weeks of ridiculous death. Such a brave, true milestone. We’re going to celebrate two entire months of playing weekly GTA Online playlists with VG247 readers with Hotdogging, a set of six jobs I named completely at random. This one ends with a straight-up border […]

  • Puzzle platformer Four Sided Fantasy coming to PC, consoles in early 2016

    Curve Digital and developer Logan Fieth’s studio Ludo Land are bringing puzzle platformer, Four Sided Fantasy, to PC all major consoles in early 2016. Ludo Land are developing the PC version, with Curve Digital handling the console and Vita versions. Four Sided Fantasy tasks players with venturing across “dreamlike levels” by controlling and manipulating the […]

  • Tropico 5 arrives on PS4 in April – video

    A release date for Tropico 5 on PlayStation 4 has been announced. This is the franchise’s first foray onto PlayStation consoles. It arrived in Europe on April 24 and in North America on April 28. A Limited Edition has also been announced, and it includes The Big Cheese DLC and the Bayo Del Olfato sandbox […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Limited Edition PS4 releasing in Asia

    A limited edition Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain PlayStation 4 system will be released in Asia. The system and its DualShock controller were designed in collaboration with Konami Digital Entertainment and targeted for the Asia region, per Gematsu. It will be released as part of PS4 Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain […]

  • This video shows Sid Meier’s Starships being played on iPad

    Sid Meier’s Starships will be released on iPad alongside Mac and PC, and to give you an idea on how it plays on the tablet, a new video has been released. Watch below as Pete Murray and lead producer Stuart Zissu show off the iPad version. The 4X space-strategy releases on March 12.

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood announced as standalone prequel to Wolfenstein: The New Order

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a standalone prequel to The New Order, will release May 5 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The game takes pace in 1946, and and players take on the role of B.J. Blazkowicz as he embarks on a two-part mission in Bavaria. Part one, Rudi Jäger and the Den of Wolves, […]

  • Observer Mode coming soon to Evolve as a free update

    Observer Mode will be released for Evolve as a free update for all platforms, 2K and Turtle Rock have announced. The community feature was designed to give Evolve players the ability to observe and add commentary as well as livestream, allowing a sixth user to “passively enter a custom game” with the ability to switch […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes and PS4 top Media Create charts in Japan

    The PlayStation 3 and PS4 skus for Dragon Quest Heroes were the top sellers on the Media Create charts in Japan, moving a combined 594,749 units. Elsewhere on the chart, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D was in third place with 39,751 units moved, and last week’s top seller, God Eater 2: Rage Burst, […]

  • Watch Hideo Kojima answer lots of your burning Phantom Pain questions

    What’s better than learning the official release date of MGS5: The Phantom pain? Hideo Kojima talking more about it, of course! Hideo Kojima has decided to answer a few fan questions about Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, to help boost everyone’s hype to insane levels. He talks about the game’s story, his relief […]

  • MGS5: The Phantom Pain Day 1 and Collector’s Edition revealed

    Konami has officially revealed the release date of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain alongside the game’s Day 1 and Collector’s Edition. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain will release September 1, worldwide, as previously leaked. It will be available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. The PC Steam […]

  • EU Club Nintendo: Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack back in stock

    Club Nintendo members in Europe can once again pick up The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack. For 3000 Stars, members of the program will receive the double-CD soundtrack which features 89 tracks with liner notes from Ryo Nagamatsu and 12 sheet music excerpts. It also comes with 16 Milk Bar Musician pieces. […]

  • HTC apologises over “confusing” Half-Life VR comments

    HTC has misspoke when it talked about Half-Life coming to VR headset Vive. HTC chairwoman Cher Wang has apologised over the comments she made yesterday about the possibility of Half-Life coming to Vive, the VR headset it’s manufacturing with the help of Valve. Sources close to Valve, have indicated to the BBC that the developer […]

  • What do Heists and Daily Objectives tell us about the future of GTA Online?

    Daily Objectives could be more important to GTA Online than Heists. These theories and more, from a giddy Matt Martin. Yesterday Rockstar dropped a bombshell. Not only is it releasing Heists next week – the mythical 4-player missions for GTA Online – but it’s also going to be introducing daily challenges and more modes to […]

  • Breaking down Hardline Premium, is it worth it?

    Having been announced just a few days ago, the Premium service for Battlefield Hardline has been a topic of constant debate among the Battlefield community. Many look at Hardline as a Battlefield off-shoot that will just tide everyone over until Battlefront comes out in the fall. EA has other plans however, announcing a $50 Premium […]

  • Watch Dogs sold more than GTA 5 and FIFA 15 in Australia in 2014

    Watch Dogs outsold GTA 5, and FIFA 15, at retail in Australia last year. According to data obtained by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) from the NPD Group Australia, last year’s year retail sales charts look a bit different in Australia. The top-selling game was Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, followed by Watch […]

  • Watch PC footage of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt from GDC 2015

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a new gameplay video available that shows a bit of action from the PC version. The video below was captured from Nvidia’s GDC conference live-stream. Developer CD Projekt RED was on hand to show off The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt‘s graphical prowess running on a PC. Thanks, GamesHQMedia.

  • Dying Light: Hard Mode and Ultimate Survivor Bundle out March 10

    Dying Light’s second DLC drop, the Ultimate Survivor Bundle, and the free Hard Mode, have been given a solid release date alongside a new trailer. Dying Light developer Techland has confirmed that the Ultimate Survivor Bundle, the game’s second DLC drop, will release March 10. The DLC is part of the season pass, but will […]

  • Exploration puzzler Ether One is coming to PlayStation 4

    Ether One, the first-person exploration game that puts you in the minds of other people to help change events of their past is coming to PlayStation 4 this year. Ether One is coming to PlayStation 4 this year, developer White Paper Games announced at GDC 2015. A retail version will also be available alongside the […]

  • Larian “murdered” Divinity: Dragon Commander to focus on Original Sin

    Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian talked very candidly about the business side of development and the many unfortunate events that took place for the game to come out as it did. Larian Studios founder Swen Vincke gave a post-mortem on the troubled development of Divinity: Original Sin, and how it managed to overcome all of […]

  • Firewatch probably has the most natural dialogue of any game to date

    Firewatch developer Campo Santo has revealed the first ever gameplay footage of the upcoming exploration game. Firewatch is the first game from super indie studio Campo Santo. The game is set in the Wyoming forests where the player will be exploring the environment and act as a fire lookout. The game features extensive voice-acting as […]