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Valve's Steam Machines Are More About Safeguarding PCs Than Killing Consoles 296

Posted by Soulskill
from the protecting-a-business-model dept.
An anonymous reader writes "CES has come and gone, and we've gotten a chance to see many different models of Valve's Steam Machines. They're being marketed as a device for a living room, and people are wondering if they'll be able to compete with the Big-3 console manufacturers. But this article argues that Valve isn't going after the consoles — instead, Steam Machines are part of a long-term plan to keep the PC gaming industry healthy. Quoting: 'Over the years, Valve has gone from simply evangelizing the PC platform — it once flew journalists in from around the world pretty much just to tell them it was great — to actively protecting it, and what we're seeing now is just the beginning of that push. Take SteamOS. To you and me, it's a direct interface for Steam based on Linux that currently has poor software support. To Valve, though, it's a first step in levering development, publishing, gameplay and community away from their reliance on Windows and DirectX (and to a lesser extent Mac OS), systems that cannot be relied upon in the long term. ... As for Steam Machines, they are a beachhead, not an atom bomb. They are meant to sell modestly. ... The answer is that Valve is thinking in decades, not console generations.'"
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Valve's Steam Machines Are More About Safeguarding PCs Than Killing Consoles

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  • by DaTrueDave (992134) * on Saturday January 11, 2014 @07:50PM (#45928885)

    Isn't keeping the PC game industry healthy by putting SteamBoxes in the living room the same thing as a console-killer?

    The more open platforms available, the better.

    I just need Steam to create a Plex app on Steam and I'm all in.

    • by master5o1 (1068594) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @07:57PM (#45928917) Homepage

      SteamOS is Debian, so if there is something for Debian that sorts out Plex.

    • I just need Steam to create a Plex app on Steam and I'm all in.

      Here you go. https://forums.plex.tv/index.php/topic/87253-linux-builds/ [forums.plex.tv] Feel free to send me money if you want. :)

      • No, I want a Steam app that is integrated. I'm already running a Plex server on unRaid. I want living room convenience, not command line hell.

    • by TeknoHog (164938)
      IMHO, a computer primarily designed for gaming is a console. If it's an open system, then great! But it's not like a closed system like an N64 doesn't compute in the same way. Though you might want to draw a line so that it's a console when the manufacturer spends extra effort to limit its computational abilities in order to make it cheaper. Which, IMHO, does not compute.
      • by tepples (727027) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Saturday January 11, 2014 @09:14PM (#45929301) Homepage Journal

        IMHO, a computer primarily designed for gaming is a console.

        So is a Wintendo [catb.org] a "console". Another definition of a "console" is a computer whose case and UI are designed for use with a TV as its display.

        Though you might want to draw a line so that it's a console when the manufacturer spends extra effort to limit its computational abilities in order to make it cheaper. Which, IMHO, does not compute.

        To me, a "personal computer" is a piece of computing hardware where the person who owns it controls what computing it performs. For example, a device running SteamOS (or other X11/Linux distributions), Windows, OS X, or Android is a personal computer. A device running operating system whose publisher has veto power over apps, such as Windows RT, Windows Phone, Apple iOS, Nintendo iOS (Wii, Wii U), Sony GameOS (PS3), Sony Orbis OS (PS4), is an "appliance".

        • by TeknoHog (164938)

          To me, a "personal computer" is a piece of computing hardware where the person who owns it controls what computing it performs. For example, a device running SteamOS (or other X11/Linux distributions), Windows, OS X, or Android is a personal computer. A device running operating system whose publisher has veto power over apps, such as Windows RT, Windows Phone, Apple iOS, Nintendo iOS (Wii, Wii U), Sony GameOS (PS3), Sony Orbis OS (PS4), is an "appliance".

          This! I hate the way "PC" is often used to refer to a Windows box, when a Linux/BSD installation is generally much more personal(ized) than the same old Windows you see everywhere. That said, this is a matter of degree, so it's hard to draw a line -- a closed OS makes computing more limited, but even a Free OS is often handicapped by non-free BIOS and firmware.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Isn't keeping the PC game industry healthy by putting SteamBoxes in the living room the same thing as a console-killer?

      Not quite. The primary goal is the protection of the PC platform (which is Valve's revenue source).

      The console killing properties are just an added bonus.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Isn't keeping the PC game industry healthy by putting SteamBoxes in the living room the same thing as a console-killer?

      The problem is, if you want to define a SteamBox as a console, the PC industry is done for.

      Because the cheapest one is $500. And the CES announcements show them going to $1300. Tell me how many "cheaper games" you have to buy to justify the $800 premium over an Xbone? (Especially since well, both PSN and Xbox Live also run sales).

      And how long are they going to last? I mean, the Xbone and PS

      • by RoLi (141856)

        The 1300$ model is of course for those who want a status-symbol, i.e. the high price is a feature.

        Basically the classic consoles are the printer/toner sales-model: You get the hardware relatively cheap, but you pay through the nose afterwards.

        For an open platform that is impossible, so for the Steambox, you have to pay a little bit more for the hardware (i.e. about 500-700$), but you save money on the software.

        Surely, there is a place for the printer/toner sales-model, therefore the PS3/XBone have their pla

  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @08:01PM (#45928947)

    I'm all for building my own gaming box, especially if it removes Microsoft from the picture.

  • Explain (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aaronb1138 (2035478) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @08:08PM (#45928995)
    This quote makes zero sense:
    "...reliance on Windows and DirectX (and to a lesser extent Mac OS), systems that cannot be relied upon in the long term."

    Really, because my experience with Linux and backwards / forwards support for both software and hardware has been vastly worse than Windows from XP through 8. Sure before XP, Windows 9x was terrible, but are we really going to keep basing derp derp FUD on a 5 year window of hard lessons from nearly 15 years ago?

    Can we just fess up and admit that SteamOS is an effort predicated on a personal beef Gabe Newell has with Microsoft and especially the fact that Windows 8 included it's own store and that store was not Steam. The story is well documented and the whole industry is going to blow a lot of money on development just to satisfy one man's ego.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Escogido (884359)

      Whatever his true motivation is, it makes sense from a business standpoint. Microsoft would love to become for Windows what Apple is for OS X / iOS, and Valve doesn't want that - it's understandable. From a certain angle, Steam machines are not unlike Google+: there are some diehard fans that would kill for it, many go like "why do we need another [social network / console platform]?" and the company behind it is big enough and has enough mindshare that the product is guaranteed to have some visibility even

    • Unfortunately Microsoft seem to be looking to looking to emulate Apple by taking a cut on every piece of software released for the platform, and raising the barriers for entry for indie developers in the process. I think that the competition for their traditional gaming market by players such as Steam has the potential to persuade Microsoft not to backtrack on their previous business model. Either we get what we have been used to as gamers and developers from Microsoft, or we have a new place to go which is
      • Unfortunately Microsoft seem to be looking to looking to emulate Apple by taking a cut on every piece of software released for the platform, and raising the barriers for entry for indie developers in the process.

        How is an entry barrier necessarily unfortunate? Entry barriers exist for a large part to prevent conditions like those that led to the 1983 crash [slashdot.org].

        • Unfortunately Microsoft seem to be looking to looking to emulate Apple by taking a cut on every piece of software released for the platform, and raising the barriers for entry for indie developers in the process.

          How is an entry barrier necessarily unfortunate? Entry barriers exist for a large part to prevent conditions like those that led to the 1983 crash [slashdot.org].

          It's quite simple, the market for computer games was very naive back then, people believed hyperbolic quotes on the back of games, and the misleading screenshots and cover art. We are now dealing with at least 2 generations of tech savvy consumers, and poor games simply won't sell, it's not like poor releases can taint the industry anymore on the same scale as the early days of cheap computing. Barriers to entry enforced by dominating entities such as Microsoft just mean that they get to define the playing

    • Re:Explain (Score:5, Interesting)

      by neuro88 (674248) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @08:48PM (#45929199)

      This quote makes zero sense: "...reliance on Windows and DirectX (and to a lesser extent Mac OS), systems that cannot be relied upon in the long term." Really, because my experience with Linux and backwards / forwards support for both software and hardware has been vastly worse than Windows from XP through 8. Sure before XP, Windows 9x was terrible, but are we really going to keep basing derp derp FUD on a 5 year window of hard lessons from nearly 15 years ago? Can we just fess up and admit that SteamOS is an effort predicated on a personal beef Gabe Newell has with Microsoft and especially the fact that Windows 8 included it's own store and that store was not Steam. The story is well documented and the whole industry is going to blow a lot of money on development just to satisfy one man's ego.

      Linux supports older hardware than windows 7 and 8, no question. Regarding the software... You definitely have a point there. Almost. The Linux kernel itself actually has backwards compatibility for userspace software going back quite a bit. It's mostly glibc that breaks this. If it isn't happening already, it will eventually. You'll be downloading games from that simply ship with their own libraries. I believe a lot of Windows software works this way.

      You can actually get a lot of old loki games to run in linux by installing older versions of various libraries. Although, you do encounter some issues. For example, Simcity 3000 won't give you sound since it wants to use esd (which hasn't seen use in years), but the game will otherwise run. This takes some work to setup, but if the games on steam do this for you, it's a non-issue.

    • Can we just fess up and admit that SteamOS is an effort predicated on a personal beef Gabe Newell has with Microsoft

      I'll consider that when you answer this question: Is it easier for a startup video game developer to get a game greenlit on Xbox One or on Steam? Is it easier for a user to install a community-maintained game mod into a game from Microsoft stores or from Steam? Perhaps Gabe N.'s beef is not with Microsoft as much as it is with the concept of people being locked into unmoddable major-label games. Case in point: had Half-Life been a console exclusive or otherwise lacked modding tools, there would be no Counte

      • You're confusing the SteamOS with console gaming. My point is more in the direction of SteamOS vs Windows or OSX gaming which was the largely false statement.

        As far as Indie developers go, they can self publish pretty easily to the PC or sell on Steam without the need of a dedicated SteamBox or SteamOS right now. The end user generally benefits from keeping everything on their preferred platform, Windows or OSX. The issues I take with SteamOS are the propaganda and a lot of reinventing the wheel.
        • As far as Indie developers go, they can self publish pretty easily to the PC or sell on Steam without the need of a dedicated SteamBox or SteamOS right now.

          That's true of single-player or online games. But for games designed around local multiplayer, such as fighting games, how many potential end users have a PC connected to a suitably large (television sized) monitor? The advantage of a Steam Machine over a Windows PC or a Mac is that the median monitor on a Steam Machine is expected to be bigger.

    • Yes, MS may eventually go out of business, or discontinue Windows. They also might eventually change the way it works so substantially as to break things. However, it is a pretty unlikely scenario, they have pretty good history and a good definition of their support lifecycle.

      Nothing in the universe is certain, of course, but neither would be something like Steam Box. Being Linux based doesn't mean anything. I mean, suppose all of a sudden Intel, AMD, and nVidia got together and decided to totally change ev

      • Re:Pretty much (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Grishnakh (216268) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @10:07PM (#45929603)

        I mean, suppose all of a sudden Intel, AMD, and nVidia got together and decided to totally change everything. New ISA, no more DirectX or OpenGL, etc, etc. Everything would need to be reported, redeveloped, and it would be a massive problem.

        This wouldn't happen, because, as you say, everything would need to be re-developed, and it would put these companies out of business. I don't just mean Linux software would need to be re-ported, I mean they'd have to wait for all-new software of every kind to be developed to run on their chips. It's not like MS can port Windows to a whole new ISA in 3 months and the companies which use OpenGL/DX would be able to get together and develop a new graphics API and port all their software to it in that time. It would take years for the dust to settle, and I'm just talking about proprietary software here, and totally neglecting open-source stuff. So the very idea is just ludicrous.

        This idea that a Steam Box is needed for some kind of stability is silly.

        No it's not. It's about control. With Win8, MS is trying to take more control over the PC software ecosystem by emulating Apple's "app store", and they're also moving development in a new direction with the Metro UI. Independent software companies which are mostly tied to the MS platform, and don't like the way it's going, would be stupid to put all their eggs in one basket, which of course is why you see more software for Macs these days that 10 years ago. Valve's direction makes total sense: they're trying to get more control over the platform their software runs on, and that's pretty easy to do with Linux since it's open, allowing you to build custom OS builds easily, and also allowing software vendors a certain amount of power in dictating the direction of development of the OS if they wish (and the existing players agree with them and accept their patches), which you simply don't get with a proprietary OS vendor.

        The parent has it right: It is an ego thing, and a thing to try and protect Steam.

        That's not an "ego" thing, that's good business sense. Putting your company's future in the hands of another company which doesn't have your interests at heart, and which actually competes with your company in some ways (MS has their own games division), is utterly stupid.

        • by msobkow (48369)

          You see more software for MacOS because Apple has achieved a significant market share, so there are now enough users for it to be profitable to port to the platform.

          SteamOS portends to do the same for Linux -- provide a large enough user community that it's worth writing software for. More importantly, it standardizes the gaming APIs so that game developers have a known platform to code to. Right now, there is too much divergence on the particular sound APIs and display software versions in what is col

      • by RoLi (141856)

        Microsoft breaks things all the time, just look at Windows 8.

        In fact they not only break things accidentally, they quite often do it on purpose to force upgrades. They already promised to delete all downloadable support software for Windows XP when support runs out. Why? Because the bandwidth costs so much?

        At my workplace the IT department is already struggling for over 2 years with the transition from XP to 7 because there is just so much software and hardware that doesn't work with 7. The "solution" is to

    • I think his point is that right now, if Windows dies, PC gaming basically dies.

      He wants to get a non-trivial number of Linux PC game boxes out there so that more people are targeting PCs, not Windows.

    • by X.25 (255792)

      Can we just fess up and admit that SteamOS is an effort predicated on a personal beef Gabe Newell has with Microsoft and especially the fact that Windows 8 included it's own store and that store was not Steam. The story is well documented and the whole industry is going to blow a lot of money on development just to satisfy one man's ego.

      Yea, because Gabe is a jedi master who makes other people do things he wants.

      Please, stop the nonsense. I can bet my left nut that Gabe and people working on Steam machines know a thing or two more than you about PC hardware and/or gaming, and are not just mind-controlled by Gabe.

      Reasons and everything else have also been well documented, and are certainly not based on a hunch that someone has about Gabe's ego.

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      This quote makes zero sense:
      "...reliance on Windows and DirectX (and to a lesser extent Mac OS), systems that cannot be relied upon in the long term."

      Really, because my experience with Linux and backwards / forwards support for both software and hardware has been vastly worse than Windows from XP through 8. Sure before XP, Windows 9x was terrible, but are we really going to keep basing derp derp FUD on a 5 year window of hard lessons from nearly 15 years ago?

      If this was early 2012 I would have agreed with you. However in the past 2 years Microsoft have shown what appears to be an attempt to abandon the PC / monitor model of computing chasing endlessly the touch/tablet cashcow that others are milking. They have almost self destructively released a new version of Windows which has almost universal hate, is difficult to use with a mouse / keyboard and have thrown 20 years of UI design lessons out the window in the process. Worse still when the users complained th

  • This + tablets = even lower PC sales.

  • Oh, well (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mephistro (1248898) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @08:17PM (#45929053)
    You can build your own steam machine for peanuts, if you are technically inclined. If you aren't, you can request the help from a friend, and if you can't/don't want to do that, you can still buy a suitable PC an add SteamOS on top. If you're too lazy even for that and have money to expend, you can purchase one of these pretty Steam machines. At the very least you'll be free from the Windows tax and still you'll end up with a full fledged PC with a serious OS (Linux) that can run lots and lots of 'serious apps' + a growing number of games. I think Valve has hit the nail in the head with this one. Kudos to them.
    • Yes. And there is one major point: Hiding backdoors like the ones implemented in the consoles and Windows is not as easy on linux. After NSA, even though I am gamer, there is no way in hell that I'll be running a closed source OS on my machines in a year or so except for dual boot from time to time. Starting steam could unmount the drives with my data on linux, the reast is more or less open, so a backdoor is harder to hide.

      To me, that counts. A closed source device that listens to every word spoken in my r

  • Let's be honest (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @08:57PM (#45929235)
    Let's be honest, here is one major advantage of a Steam Machine.

    Teenagers and pre-teens rock at getting viruses, malware and such on a Windows computer. This is why everyone buys them tablets.

    Windows is starting to be its own worst enemy, Windows 8 is terrible (and I have it on 2 machines) and Windows 7 --- while almost perfect --- at the hands of an inexperienced user the default settings aren't the best.

    Typical users ARE NOT looking to tweak, break-in a system, uninstall crapware.

    This is where the Steam Machines can excel --- bringing PC quality gaming to the masses without Windows update installing countless GB of mostly unwanted stuff at 3 AM. And Mac computers, while great, are not mainstream economical (I have 2 Macs and I love them. But they are pricey).

    Consoles are a trade-off --- they offer gaming with training wheels (no mouse, can't offer bleeding edge graphics, overly sandboxed and limited from a developer perspective at times I would guess) --- SteamOS can offer PC quality gaming without the drawbacks of Windows maintenance/OEM crapwares.
  • I was mistaken (Score:3, Informative)

    by sgt scrub (869860) <saintiumNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Saturday January 11, 2014 @09:24PM (#45929379)

    I have always believed that Linux deserves to be a gaming platform. I use my machine for games. They are fun, exciting, and most are open source. I've never had to go online to sign up for an account to play any of them. I don't need to maintain an online presence so as to provide someone with information about my behavior. Games I play are available without having to buy a box specifically designed to satisfy the DRM needs of the games I am playing. If games on Linux comes at the loss of those benefits, or the Linux desktop is replaced by some java user interface that pushes the user towards signing up for things, I'm not seeing the benefit.

    • Games I play are available without having to buy a box specifically designed to satisfy the DRM needs of the games I am playing. If games on Linux comes at the loss of those benefits, or the Linux desktop is replaced by some java user interface that pushes the user towards signing up for things, I'm not seeing the benefit.

      This article [slashdot.org] states that SteamOS users can close the Steam client and bring up a GNOME desktop. At that point, the user can install any game made for Debian.

  • Isn't the desktop PC market actually declining?
    The reality is that most people never needed a desktop PC and can get by without one just fine.

    Home PCs are now only for old people who are used to that sort of thing.

    The desktop workstation wil become a specialty item used for science,
    and engineering. The rest of the population will be using thin clients on
    remote apps, or smaller, more ergonomically suitable, portable devices.

    It's difficult to believe that desktoip PC gaming actually has 'decades' to survive.
    I

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Seumas (6865)

      Nope. Hardware sales are projected to decline very slightly over a couple of years and then start to return. For a market that is constantly under the claim of "dying", they sure are selling an awful lot of $1,000 video cards and $300 CPUs and $300 chassis' and making whole businesses out of catering to even more niche markets like water cooling nuts.

      Steam has 65,000,000 users. That is more than XBOX (but less than Playstation). That's not PC gamers. That's just *Steam* gamers.

      Consoles are $300-$500. The lo

      • by stoicio (710327)

        Interesting.

        But aren't they selling an aweful lot of video cards pretty much for bitcoin mining and not gaming?
        Bitcoin is about to go flop because the designer of it percieved that the computing world
        would stay static, which it logically couldn't. The perception that desktop computers will
        always be PC boxes, required by the world, is pretty much the same kind of situational bias.

        I am guessing the 65 million number for Steam are a count of people who have logged on to try it
        out of curiosity. The daily user n

    • The desktop PC market is *not* declining. Shipments of new PCs are declining because the PC market is stable.

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @09:42PM (#45929489) Homepage Journal

    I wonder if when the first Nintendo Wii was released people accused it of having "poor software support". They only had a small fraction of the number of games that are available already for SteamOS.

    Funny what a little money spent on marketing can do. Even "independent" voices in the media will treat you differently if they see you throwing money around.

    The Wii got a nice tongue bath from the media whereas Steam boxes get a lot of "where are the games?"

    It's a good thing that we don't put the popular media in charge of anything. First, because they're barely even able to perform the one task they are charged with, but also because they are so easy to con.

  • by shastamonk (2453530) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @11:39PM (#45929913)

    Think about up the next generation of game developers - kids growing up right now. If they're gaming on a console and using a tablet or smart phone for their other computing need, they have no real exposure to programming, 3D modeling, audio software or any of the other things that go in to designing games. If Windows and MacOS are moving towards closed software ecosystems and a mobile interface type of simplified UI that hides everything but Twitter and a browser from the user as they both seem to be, Linux is going to have to play a larger part in gaming development in the future. The more devices and distributions tailored for different purposes and specific hardware while still allowing users to peel back the curtains to access everything available on the OS, the better off we'll all be. Kids are curious and will do what they've always done since the advent of personal computing; making cool stuff for fun and to impress people, and unless some change like this takes place, fewer and fewer people will ever be exposed to these tools.

    I know my nephew got his parents to buy an iPad just so he could play Minecraft. While the mobile versions of Minecraft make it hard (impossible?) to use addons and mods, I'm sure more than a few kids have been pushed in to building a PC or getting a gaming laptop to really take advantage of what that game has to offer. It'll just take one killer app that allows people to be creative and do things on a Steambox(/Windows/MacOS/Linux) that can't be done on a closed platform to start moving these things.

    And in the meantime, Valve will be taking things slow and steady like they always have and building partnerships with hardware and software developers to get SteamOS ready to take over when the inevitable decline of support from MS and Apple for desktop users pushes the hardcore audience over where the games will necessarily follow. Totally agree with the article's author, Valve isn't trying to win a war but positioning itself for a future that's seeming pretty likely if not certain. The Steam machines that are launching now are a low risk investment from everyone involved. Free advertising for Valve, and a simple rebranding of exisiting hardware for the manufacturers. The real test will be how seamlessly and well the streaming works to entice hardcore gamers into putting a HTPC or steam box in their living room, and so far we haven't seen anything there.

  • To Valve, though, it's a first step in levering development, publishing, gameplay and community away from their reliance on Windows and DirectX (and to a lesser extent Mac OS), systems that cannot be relied upon in the long term.

    Silly me. I thought it was all about popularizing Steam by reducing the build cost for gamers who want to play Steam games on high-end PCs, by taking out the cost of Windows. It may also have something to do with Valve having more control over their platform and/or building an empire.

  • by aiadot (3055455) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @01:56AM (#45930431)
    Everything capable of computing and is owned by a person is a PC: macs are PCs, the PS4 is a PC, smartphones and tablets are PCs, even my brand new Panasonic smart rice cooker is a PC. What people call "pc gaming" is nothing more than windows gaming. Windows games only work on windows/x86 machines(at least out of the box). Steam Machines are not an example of Valve trying to save windows gaming.

    IMO, valve is instead trying to create a new version of "pc gaming", in the shape of an open home console(as opposed to the sony/nintendo model closed model) while also trying to expand in the next hot market: smart TVs/living rooms. Having it's own software and hardware platform where your service is the default is also a great way to reduce the visibility of rival game appstores like GOG, Origin and non steam popular games(Minecraft, LoL, Blizzard games).

    Not only that but Valve is trying to save something, this something is itself. The business may look great nowadays, but it's foolish to think they're invincible. Windows and Mac are becoming walled gardens, not very friendly towards apps outside the official app stores. Windows PC sales are in record decline. 65 million steam accounts may look impressive at first glance but considering that steam is a FREE service and that even the PS3, the overpriced console that sold the least the last generation, still managed to grab 80 million users(let alone way over a hundred million PSN accounts), it's clear that Valve doesn't have as close as many users as it could. If Valve lose it's momentum, they could easily become irrelevant.

    On the other hand as long as Actvision/Blizzard, Minecraft, EA and LoL (and in Japan, porn VNs) exist, Windows PC gaming will exist. Contrary to popular internet forum belief, Windows PC gaming is much more than Steam. I personally believe that, if wasn't for the crazy seasonal sales and mandatory steamworks in some games(Civ5 in my case), many people(including myself) wouldn't even bother with the service.
    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      Everything capable of computing and is owned by a person is a PC: macs are PCs, the PS4 is a PC, smartphones and tablets are PCs, even my brand new Panasonic smart rice cooker is a PC. What people call "pc gaming" is nothing more than windows gaming. Windows games only work on windows/x86 machines(at least out of the box). Steam Machines are not an example of Valve trying to save windows gaming.

      Sorry but I could not disagree more. The distinction of the Personal Computer was a general purpose device to be used by the owner for a variety of tasks. I would not call any device with a limiting feature set a Personal Computer. Yes on the smartphone / tablet, yes on the Macs, of course yes on the PC, but the PS4 and your smart rice cooker is NOT a PC. Just because something has the ability to compute does not make it a PC.

      Unless of course you can run spreadsheet tasks, check your email etc on your rice

    • even my brand new Panasonic smart rice cooker is a PC

      Interesting! What kind of PC? Do you know which OS it runs?

    • What people call "pc gaming" is nothing more than windows gaming.

      I disagree. Your definition of PC is obviously too broad. A PC is a desktop or laptop computer running a multi-purpose OS. The new kids of the block, tablets and smart-phones, don't really qualify as PCs because of the poor software selection and bad input device (touch-screen). You can make the case of tablets and phones, but it doesn't change my real point: that a toaster or a PS4 is not a PC. One is a cooking device and the other is a locked-down games console. PC gaming does not mean "windows gaming."

  • If you look at the history of gaming consoles a lot of them has come and gone. The PC has been around longer and is evolutionary, gaming consoles are just dropped and not evolved.

    Overall this means that a gaming platform for PC can evolve instead of requiring a completely new re-design with new developers each time a new gaming platform is released. It also means that if the gaming platform is done right and is backward compatible it should be able to run older games as well as the latest.

    Valve is with Stea

  • ... that a game company has to protect the PC from Microsoft.

    I really hope the new CEO at MS is less of an asshat.

  • by Tom (822)

    Valve has gone from simply evangelizing the PC platform [...] to actively protecting it

    What a load of paid-for bullshill. Valve has famously horrible customer-service [bbb.org] and that flies right in the face of that claim.

    Want to help the PC platform? Make fewer people sorry they spent money on your shit,

  • by cplusplus (782679) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @03:05PM (#45933149) Journal
    When I read "Big-3 console manufacturers" in the summary, I thought "Three? Who's the third? .. .... Oh yeah, Nintendo." How sad.

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