Steam continues to show growth despite steady “year-over-year unit declines in PC sales,” says Newell

Tuesday, 17 September 2013 17:51 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Steam as a platform continues to grow despite a steady “year-over-year unit declines in PC sales,” according to Valve boss Gabe Newell.

Speaking during Linuxcon yesterday, Newell believes the PC market will eventually see “significant restructurings, or market exits,” by top-five companies in the PC space, which is “pretty grim.”

However, the silver lining according to the Valve man, is that PC as a games format is quite “immune” to such declines.

“So despite the huge declines in PC sales, on the gaming side there’s growth,” he told the audience. “Steam is going up 76% year-on-year while PCs are going through double-digit declines. Several years ago we got very concerned about directions that the PC was going. We thought there was some bad thinking.

“There were these new platforms that started to emerge, and they had this nice characteristic that [they] could control access to those platforms. If you didn’t like competing with Google, you just didn’t let them ship on your device, or you could determine how often they update. You could have control on things like pricing, and that was a very seductive opportunity which led to some poor decisions by the key players in the PC space.

“I think they should have doubled-down on the openness of the platform, rather than going the other way.”

Newell went on to state that he believes PC is where innovation in the games space is occurring, and not on “consoles [or] closed systems.”

He feels Linux is part of gaming’s “future,” noting that at present Steam has around 200 games available for the platform.

You can watch his presentation through the link above via our previous post.

Thanks, CVG.