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Gabe Newell shrugs off Xbox One sales figure, touts Steam user count

Tuesday, 7th January 2014 10:18 GMT By Dave Cook

Valve founder Gabe Newell has shrugged off Microsoft’s announcement that 3 million Xbox One consoles were sold last year, using the opportunity to remind everyone just how many of us have Steam accounts.

It follows Microsofts announcement that it shifted some 3 million Xbox One consoles in 2013.

CVG reports that during a Q&A session at CES 2014, an audience member asked Newell what he thought of the milestone, and if the company’s Steam Machines line-up could reach the same figures.

He replied, “Well, it’d take a while for them to catch up. I mean, we’re at 65 million,” touting the amount of users currently signed up to Steam.

Handbags at 20 paces gentlemen?

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36 Comments

  1. Gekidami

    As i’ve already said in the past;

    65 million users in just under 10 years for a service thats free to sign up to on a platform billions own. Sorry Mr. Newell, you have nothing to boast about.

    Remind me again how Steams user count compares to PS3/360 sales, which actually cost money to own and came out after Steam began to exist. By claiming that a free service thats been out for so long has more free accounts on it than a 500$ console thats been out for 2 months, he’s really just showing how dishonest he is.

    #1 12 months ago
  2. Zares

    I’m interested to see if Gabe actually wants to fight the console war head on.
    First off, Steam has the larger user base, but that very base is comprised primarily of people who already rejected consoles in the first place. Not everyone is going to jump ship so easily, you can’t get the same level of monopoly on PC no matter how good your standing is.
    Secondly, the range of steam boxes he just unveiled are both pricey and intimidating in selection. Its hard to see how that’s going to appeal to anyone beyond the core selection of high end PC gamers who have their own rigs already.

    In spite of this he seems confident. It will be interesting to see how this three way choice plays out.

    #2 12 months ago
  3. absolutezero

    Its an off hand comment thrown out when some twat in the audience asked about something completely un-related to the subject he was there to talk about.

    Am I wrong?

    #3 12 months ago
  4. Harrow

    @1 was that you defending console service and pricing!!!

    Free service. check
    Cheaper games. check
    Yearly super sales. Check
    Free multiplayer. check
    65 million users. Check
    Constant frequent updates. Check

    Now add standardized PC’s
    And actually innovation in the controller space.

    Terrible!

    #4 12 months ago
  5. Gekidami

    ^ That isnt even remotely relevant to anything i said, not even a little.

    “was that you defending console service and pricing”
    No. Where did i do this exactly? Where did i even suggest this? Try actually reading, PC fanboy. Rather than quickly getting emotional.

    #5 12 months ago
  6. Harrow

    Sounds right to me.

    #6 12 months ago
  7. Harrow

    1. Everything I said he has to boast about.

    2. Look at ps3/360 sales which actually cost money to own. Sounds like a vailed defense or just bitterness. At a service MS/Sony immatate yet charge for hmmm.

    #7 12 months ago
  8. Gekidami

    ^ Reading comprehension: 1/10

    #8 12 months ago
  9. Dave Cook

    I give this entire thread 1/10.

    #9 12 months ago
  10. Harrow

    How longs live and psn been up and running now.

    #10 12 months ago
  11. Panthro

    Many people have bought a gaming PC to primarily use steam, so technically it does cost money to use, I jumped ship last gen… Both companies lost it and began churning out recycled crap.

    I dont even consider what he said as boastful, someone in the crowd threw an irrelevant question his way and he just answered it, until I see the video he is innocent until proven guilty.

    #11 12 months ago
  12. Gekidami

    @9 Maybe you shouldnt have started it then? Its sort of non-news to begin with and “Handbags at 20 paces gentlemen?”, so really you knew what type of responses this might have gotten off the bat. Though quite frankly i doubt it’ll cause that much of a stir, what i said in the first comment is nothing more than undeniable fact.

    I’m just sayin’ that comment you made right there is a bit empty and pretty patronising to your readership.

    @10
    Lives been around longer than Steam, PlayStation had something with the PS2, but PSN only really came about with the PS3, so after Steam. Of course i’m considering console sales Vs. free Steam accounts, if you want i could take PSN & Live accounts… But you really dont want me to do that.

    @11
    “Many people have bought a gaming PC to primarily use steam.”
    Citation needed. That will only become valid with Steambox sales.

    #12 12 months ago
  13. TheBlackHole

    Saying ‘we’ve got 65 million users’ in response to a hardware sales question is idiotic. I like Gabe, but this is just petty and ridiculous.

    Steam users: 65 million

    Xbox Live users: 48 million (around half of whom also paid for Gold subscription at some point in the last year, and let’s not forget ALL of these people will have paid for a console too)

    PSN users: 110 million

    Given that Steam’s users have been accumulated over a much longer period of time, Valve’s numbers don’t look as big as Gabe likes to make out.

    Until he sells 65 million Steamboxes, he ought to quit making silly comments like this. Comes across as childish.

    #13 12 months ago
  14. TheBlackHole

    @11 The question is perfectly relevant. The guy is asking whether he feels Valve’s hardware has the potential to shift as many as the next gen consoles.

    Knowing that he doesn’t want to publicly bait the other companies (and that he knows he won’t sell 3 million units in one month), he answered with a daft response that does himself an injustice.

    #14 12 months ago
  15. Gekidami

    @13
    Which is exactly the point (and sole point) i made. What Gabe is saying is just pandering to the fanboys.

    #15 12 months ago
  16. Harrow

    Yep

    #16 12 months ago
  17. Panthro

    They solely asked him about Xbox and he replied with Xbox in mind, why are you bringing PSN into this?

    Seem like all you guys ever do is try to start a massive war between steam, psn and Xbox whenever you get the chance…

    #17 12 months ago
  18. Gekidami

    ^ Ok.

    As i’ve already said in the past;

    65 million users in just under 10 years for a service thats free to sign up to on a platform billions own. Sorry Mr. Newell, you have nothing to boast about.

    Remind me again how Steams user count compares to 360 sales, which actually cost money to own and came out after Steam began to exist. By claiming that a free service thats been out for so long has more free accounts on it than a 500$ console thats been out for 2 months, he’s really just showing how dishonest he is.

    PS3 mention removed. Better? What exactly is the difference, then? 360 still has more sales in less time as a paid device than Steam has users for a free service. Its still ridiculous and dishonest to compare the free account number of a 10 year old service to the 2 month sales of a console.

    So what exactly does the exclusion of PlayStation change?

    #18 12 months ago
  19. Harrow

    Its disgusting ;). I don’t think he(gabe) thinks of the steam box in the same way as MS/Sony do there machines anyway I mean alienware and others have been at it for awhile now. Its more about service, innovation and freedom so if that was being called into question or baited as the question sort of suggests it wouldnt be an argument.

    #19 12 months ago
  20. manamana

    1/10

    #20 12 months ago
  21. absolutezero

    -10/10

    In other news League of Legends.

    #21 12 months ago
  22. Elvis71

    These are just the accounts that have paid games on it and have been online the last month. So actually there are more than that. Even when i look in my friendlist, there are many who been offline for some months now.

    PSN / Xbox Live active users should be compared to active Steam Users to really talk about that. And even than .. who cares ?

    #22 12 months ago
  23. wishdokta

    Early. Gaming news were about games. Those days were bonkers.

    #23 12 months ago
  24. Cobra951

    The handbags at 20 paces were entertaining, as usual.

    If a standardized game PC could take off, and achieve high enough sales numbers for economies of scale to kick in (read: lower prices), I’d be all for it. This is a hardware question, though. The number of Steam accounts is irrelevant, Gabe’s skillful deflection notwithstanding.

    #24 12 months ago
  25. TheBlackHole

    “These are just the accounts that have paid games on it and have been online the last month. So actually there are more than that.”

    No, that’s a flat out lie. Sorry. That’s all-time account creation. Some sites misinterpreted the press release and said active accounts, when that was actually referring to the 30% year-on-year growth.

    #25 12 months ago
  26. Kreion

    @24 A standardized game PC IS a console, it’s already taken off. That’s my biggest problem with the Steam Machines – they are removing the biggest strength which a console has by having it be so free and open (like a PC should be, but not necessarily a console).

    To Gabe’s point – you’re right his answer was irrelevant. As of right now he has no sales figures to be touting, so he should have said something else. Because no, 65M users are not going to get Steam Machines – mainly because a good proportion of them already HAVE gaming PC’s.

    #26 12 months ago
  27. Dragon

    @13,
    And steam box is a fancy rebranding of pre-assembled PCs, nothing else.
    Its clear Valve has invested hardly anything here.

    And as you said, he is just blabbering here.

    #27 12 months ago
  28. DarkSoulz

    Lame LOL Overpriced PCs with code word Steam.

    As a Steam user I’ll stick with my PCs.

    #28 12 months ago
  29. Erthazus

    Look at that Gekidami, Playstation warrior in full force.

    “Remind me again how Steams user count compares to PS3/360 sales, which actually cost money to own and came out after Steam began to exist. ”

    For your knowledge, you need to buy PC to play Steam. Right? Right.

    65 milion users is a record that no Sony or Microsoft has achieved. They sold only consoles that are irrelevant after the next bunch comes out which was the point of the discussion while Steam “Users” can easily migrate from one hardware to another. So in other words what Sony or MS achieved? They sold 150 million consoles together in 8 years when There are 450 million PC’s sold EACH year.

    In fact, right now there are 5 million people onlline right now on Steam and that is not even Origin, League Of Legends (the most popular game in the work that has 70+ million accounts), UPlay, Battle.net and etc.

    #29 12 months ago
  30. Erthazus

    @Dragon, “And steam box is a fancy rebranding of pre-assembled PCs, nothing else.
    Its clear Valve has invested hardly anything here.”

    Same as current gen Playstation 4 or Xbox One. They are fancy new PC’s with PC like architecture. In fact you can even change HDD to SSD on the PS4, everything else is custom made (CPU, GPU, Motherboard and PSU) to protect it’s console closed environment and that’s it. This is the same thing Apple does with Mac’s but with Mac’s except they offer much more freedom.

    the strength in Steam machines is not in the hardware but in the new OS that will be powered by these “Steam machines” that has console configuration and console like Power-consumption and optimization. OS is a huge investment and it’s a Gamer’s OS with clans, guilds, chat’s, mods, emulators, TWITCH, Share thing (WITH DECENT RESOLUTION, not like on the PS4 or Xbox one) and stuff. It’s not just a Big Picture mode.

    Steam OS is The Thing with Steam controller.

    Yeap. You can install Steam OS on your PC because you CAN, but on consoles you can’t do even That. Sony tried that in the past, but console was so weak that no one used Linux before except for some hackers and Sony stripped that feature in the past for “Protection”.

    Closed eco-system’s exist only to protect companies, not customers.

    #30 12 months ago
  31. _LarZen_

    I am a PC gamer, and this made me laugh.

    #31 12 months ago
  32. rrw

    there you are Erthazus, I wondering where are you when 13 Steambox is been introduce what you think about them?

    also tell me why should we buy steam box over console and PC?

    #32 11 months ago
  33. Gekidami

    “65 milion users is a record that no Sony or Microsoft has achieved”

    “So in other words what Sony or MS achieved? They sold 150 million consoles together in 8 years”

    Oh wow. Keep on truckin’ PC master race.

    The number of PC’s sold is irrelevant because the majority are sold as tools, not gaming machines. Still, as i said, Steam is free to download and make an account for, considering the number of PC’s out there (billions) their number of accounts should be higher, instead they’re making (less than) console numbers. Its a testament to just how little gaming gets done on all of those PC’s sold.

    #33 11 months ago
  34. Kalain

    @33
    Not all game players have steam installed or even an account. I have 2 friends who do not have anything on steam since they are, primarily, MMO players, so would you count them?

    If you want to compare active user statistics, you should compare the platforms overall. So PSN and Xbox Live for the consoles, Steam/Battle.net/Uplay/MMO’s for the PC, of which you will probably find that the PC as a platform probably has more ‘Active Gaming User Accounts’ than both PSN and Xbox Live together.

    On topic of what Gabe said, yeah, it sounded like an off the hand answer to a question he should’ve been prepared for. Not his greatest of moments I have to say.

    #34 11 months ago
  35. Panthro

    @34 +1

    Its pretty funny that people think Steam is the only option for games on PC and that the number of Steam users is the stat people should consider when thinking of how many PC gamers there is.

    #35 11 months ago
  36. bradk825

    I might be the only one who seems to get what Gekidami is trying to say, and it’s not so bad.

    Of course he has more members, it’s free.
    See? That’s not so bad.

    Valid point too. Gabe makes this “my dick is bigger” comment which seems petty to begin with. Then throw in that the service he’s comparing himself to charges money. It’s not apples to apples.

    Gekidami also mentioned that Xbox charges. This means people saw enough value in it to pay money. He illustrated the difference between having enough sales to be proud of your product, and having enough free sign ups to be proud of your product. Again pointing out this is not an apples to apples comparison.

    In short Gabe, wait for Steam Machine to hit the market and make some sales before you bring out the tape measure.

    #36 11 months ago

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