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Valve and the Rise of the Steam Machines
by Curtis Turner - IceIYIaN on 09/27/13 08:31:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Platforms:
   Microsoft:
      Windows - Computers (Desktops / Laptops / Tablets)
      X-BoX - Consoles (aka Desktops, dumbed down)
      Windows Phone - Cells (aka Tablets, dumbed down)

   Nintendo:
      Wii - Consoles (aka Desktops, dumbed down)
      DS - Cells (aka Tablets, dumbed down. Adds buttons)

   Sony:
      PlayStation - Consoles (aka Desktops, dumbed down)
      PlayStation Vita - Cells (aka Tablets, dumbed down. Adds buttons)

   Google:
      Web - Web (Add-On to Computers, Consoles, Cells)
      Android - Cells (aka Tablets, dumbed down)

   Adobe:
      Web - Web (Add-On to Computers, Consoles, Cells)

   Apple:
      iPhone - Cells (aka Tablets, dumbed down)
      iPad - Computers (Tablets)
      Mac - Computers (Desktops / Laptops)

   Valve:
      Web - Web (Add-On to Computers)

So, obviously I left out some platforms and other things. But you get the point. Valve currently is only an add-on to computers. What two major platforms are they missing? Consoles / Cells.

By having some of their programmers make the SteamOS instead of games, they can now enter the console and cell markets.

Consoles: (aka Desktops, dumbed down)
   What are consoles? It's a game machine. It hooks up to the TV. They usually have more innovation in input. For whatever reason, nobody wants to hook up the computer to the TV. This has been a major problem. The computer industry needs a company that is going to have their machine prance around as a console. Computer companies think of themselves as a computer company. Valve thinks of themselves as a game company.

Cells: (aka Tablets, dumbed down)
   The other area Valve is going to attack are cells. Cells have been weak in the past and run off a highly dumbed down computer OS. Imagine if suddenly you can do everything a computer can do, on a cell. It can run all your programs. It can use all your inputs. It can connect to your computer. It even plays your computer games(Hopefully by default and not forced streaming).

Cells are quickly becoming the norm as an add-on inputs/screens to consoles, but computers, as always, don't get much love. Valve, the game company, is going to give us a mobile game machine, an extra input device, and an extra screen.

Linux: (aka Windows, dumbed down)
   oh, only 1% (That's not a typo) of computers use Linux for gaming. But how many Linux users will ditch Linux and switch to SteamOS? 50%? 99.999%?!

Conclusion:
   Valve is turning a computer OS into something consumers will consider a Console/Cell. That might not seem like a big deal, but ask Nintendo how much they make from consoles/cells. Ask Apple how much they make from cells. That's worth paying a few of Valve's programmers minimum wage to make an Operating System.


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