The 3 Established Consoles vs. Steam Box: How Could Valve Win Next Gen?

E-mpire Writes: Before we even get started, it must be acknowledged that Valve's recently announced console/PC hybrid's specifications are a mystery. We are not going to go into spec comparisons or any of that. Rather, we will take a look at some of the known hurdles that Valve and the other console manufacturers are going to have to jump this coming generation, and the potential outcomes.

DigitalAnalog3999d ago (Edited 3999d ago )

Valve's MAIN source of revenue is STEAM. The "steambox" acts as an extension of the service to people who want to get into PC gaming without the quips and quirks of driver updates and the like. The big 3 on the other hand MUST SELL THEIR CONSOLES as their source of revenue (hence the slim revisions). Valve, by these standards are immune and any steambox sold is simply extra profit on top of the main distribution service which is STEAM.

Secondly, the "steambox" is made by off-the-shelf materials and since STEAM is platform agnostic ANY 3rd party company like Asus/Razer, etc can create their OWN steamboxes which in turn brings more and more people to STEAM which is the end goal. It is not about "beating" or "winning" next-gen. It's about finding alternative ways to make the service more palatable to the potential gaming masses in the living room.

More competition drives more sales, the next xbox or ps4 must find other ways to make the multi-plats favor their side since STEAM supports mods/big picture/dd/kb/mouse/x-game chat/free online and a variety of 3rd party controller support OUT of the box without hassle!

solar3999d ago

The Gabe Cube is another way Valve is trying to expand Steam to console gamers. I think it's a great idea.

xyyyr3999d ago

Steam sales are going to be a fantastic selling point for the console. It will be interesting to see how Sony, Microsoft & Nintendo compete now that they are all going to be in direct competition. I personally think the system will be very successful.

darthv723998d ago

that had been tried before. difference between then and now is now seems like a more accepting time to do such a thing.

in fact, there have been many great ideas/innovations that failed due to their time of release. But its nice to know that those ideas arent completely forgotten. they just have to find their right time to make a comeback.

Over the console history, it has been shown that three is the magic number when it comes to consoles on the market. Granted one may exceed the other two but the market cant really support four or more and it gets to divided when its only two.

There has to be that entry level, mid grade and high end to balance things out.

@solar...gabe-cube. i like that. it seems to roll off the tongue better than steam-box.

Rhythmattic3999d ago (Edited 3999d ago )

Im really trying to get my head around Valves move...

It still wont play MS box, PS or Nintendo exclusives..... So a steam box wont stop me from buying other platforms, as I imagine most gamers....
Now thats out of the way...

Steam Users are generally a tech savvy gaming bunch,, gamers that already have a Gaming Pc. So why would they think people need a steam box? Is it aimed at the apple TV crowd? Possibly so...... But.

Could Valve use an efi/bios/firmware that it specific to their Steambox hardware, and in turn, allows certain specific Valve games to run on it..... Only on it.

Before anyone says it, Im sure it would be cracked , even before release , because of the valve devotee's backlash..

Can they really penetrate a market if its not based on some form of proprietary hardware/software?

Imagine if HL3 was not on any other platform but steambox ...

What would I do? Probably build a hack to run it, but we all know how steam works...

Im thinking valve is going to move to a more apple-ized ecosystem.

Im probably wrong, and hope I am, but the questions still cant be answered......yet.

So let the discussion be just that.

RedDragan3999d ago (Edited 3999d ago )

Valve devotee's will not produce a backlash because of this Steambox, we already know it is not marketted to us.

We are happy carrying on with our PC version of Steam and are happy to let Valve expand if they wish. It doesn't negatively impact us so why on earth would we set out to negative impact the Steambox?

The only people who will try to crack it are those who never have any intention of purchasing games. And with 5 million people online virtually every day at the same time, there is no way Valve are going to stop us PC gamers playing Half-Life 3 on the PC Steam platform.

Rhythmattic3999d ago (Edited 3999d ago )

No, Im not agreeing , nor disagreeing....

But its the hypothetical....

What If HL3 was only available through Steam, and only playable on a Steambox ?


Gabe denounced the Steambox, and here it is... Gabe publicly trashed the PS3 , suggesting no interest at all, only for Valve to release Portal 2, which was the best console version mind you......

No matter what you or I believe, until its released and available, we both are neither right, nor wrong....

I think it is a discussion worth delving into.

deafdani3999d ago

I see Steambox as Valve's attempt to get more people to use the Steam service aside from the core PC gamers. It would be like a low end entry PC that would be able to play any PC title, without the hassle of upgrading parts. As in, a more console-ized PC gaming experience.

Yes, hardcore PC users aren't the target here. They already have their own awesome setups and have been using Steam since long ago. That leaves the middle Joe and Jane that can't be arsed with learning to build or maintain their own PC setup.

Regarding your question about game exclusives: aren't there many PC exclusives that aren't available on any home console, that could make the Steambox an enticing purchase for the intended market, provided those games run on said Steambox?

Rhythmattic3999d ago

Firstly, I don't get the phantom disagree person...

Its an open forum, which is so far a mature , intellectual debate...

"hardcore PC users aren't the target here"
Do i know ? , Do you?
Maybe both Casual AND Hardcore are....

Why do people dismiss the fact Valve could be making a platform to sell there own exclusive content ?

Is it so far fetched ?

I almost feel dirty, to suggest that Valve would like to make money of a System they ultimately control...

As for Jo and Jane analogy, how about if i said thats why they own a Mac?

I dont know, and either do you.....

Its easy for me to just think its another Linux box running steam, but I'm still going to question the reason why, because for me, its doesn't add up.

Its an Iceberg, all we can see is whats on the surface.

My opinion .

aliengmr3998d ago


I've been using Steam for a lot of years now, about 8. While wouldn't call myself an "expert" on all things Valve, I think I have a pretty good grasp of how they operate.

That being said, I just can't see Valve making HL3 exclusive to the "Steam-box" only. At most they might make it exclusive to Steam (PC and Console) for a short time then release to other platforms. Even that might be pushing it.

The thing about Valve is they are extremely secretive. They really took the HL2 source leak personally. Valve went into an information lock-down after it and hasn't eased up since.

Valve isn't just some rookie startup attempting to break into the console market. They have a proven record and plenty of cash backing them up. They also have a good amount of experience in combating piracy and have done the best job dealing with it. Valve is one of the very few companies that don't treat their customers like criminals. Steam isn't DRM free, but it doesn't get in the way either.

I don't know what they plan, but Valve has the experience and knowledge to pull it off. I would say they are probably in a far better position than MS and Sony when they were releasing the PS and XBOX for the first time.

Oh_Yeah3998d ago

Microsoft only has 3 retail exclusives (halo, gears, forza) ... Just saying. Do you know how many pc exclusives there are? More than Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft combined... Thus the steambox is not lacking in exclusives.. Valves games will most likely be exclusive too, there will be mods, multiple choice of controller, great discounts on games.. All available just click and download, that big library of older games, the cheaper price point and simplicity of consoles. This is not a fail in anyway no matter how you put it. If consumers do their research or once word of mouth of how kick ass it is gets spread I have no doubt this will be the number 1 selling console of next gen.

shutUpAndTakeMyMoney3995d ago

"Imagine if HL3 was not on any other platform but steambox ... "

What platform is steambox? pc right?

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 3995d ago
Somebody3998d ago

That reminds me of the frustrating situation I've seen in PC gaming: there are millions of PCs out there but not all of them are cut to play a lot of games (that use a lot of power). I'm also tired of developers and gamers complaining about the "millions of PC settings" as an excuse to turn to the consoles so see Steam Box is there to give them the hassle free option.

If Steam Box can set a standard minimum hardware requirement for PC games to follow then it'll be great news for developers and gamers alike. If your next laptop or PC is equivalent or slightly more powerful than Steam Box then you know you can play Steam games on them. A whole line of affordable Steam Boxes that you are sure will be capable of playing games right off the box. This isn't a limiting factor since PC games tend to have a maximum graphical quality that high end custom PCs can exploit.

So in the end PC gamers who can't afford the money or time to build their dream PCs can play games on an acceptable level with Steam Box while the hardcore builders can continue on gaming with their own machines with Steam.

fr0sty3999d ago (Edited 3999d ago )

@ DigitalAnalog (Post #1, I accidentally made a new post rather than replying to yours.) You do make a very good point. The points outlined in the article are still just as valid without that info, however. Even without taking the platform agnostic approach into account, the Steam Box still has what it takes to beat the big 3 consoles at their own game. We all know this is a Trojan Horse for Steam much like PS3 was for Blu-Ray. That makes Valve's position in the upcoming console race that much better for them. They really don't have anything to lose, as they don't even have to win. That doesn't mean they won't, however, for the reasons outlined in this article.

Npugz73999d ago

Valve will definately not be console king but it might leave its mark! I would rather see Valve than Nintendo along side Sony and Microsoft.

3999d ago Replies(1)
ALLWRONG3999d ago

I don't think Valve will be trying to win. They need to get their foot in the door first and establish a nice install base. Stop trying to crystal ball this.