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Video: Gabe Newell's PC-centric vision of video games' future
February 7, 2013 | By Kris Graft

February 7, 2013 | By Kris Graft
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For the second time this week, Valve Software boss Gabe Newell took the stage Thursday to talk about the next steps for his company, and perhaps the industry.

Newell's DICE 2013 keynote focused on two aspects: That the PC ecosystem is going to expand into the living room, and that there will be significant sea change of what we consider a video game.

"The PC has been the center of innovation in video games," said Newell, whose company is effectively built on the PC platform. MMOs, browser games, streaming games and other technologies have leveraged the openness of the PC.

"There's no evidence at all that innovation is slowing down," said Newell. There are three specific PC-to-living room elements right now that Newell and Valve are paying close attention to: In-home streaming, the PC in a console form factor and the continuing fact that the PC can scale really well.

Of course, Valve is actively taking part in all of the aspects of the PC-to-living room movement. Initiatives such as the TV-friendly Steam Big Picture Mode and Valve's work with the Steam box reflect the PC strategies that Newell outlined.

And then there is also Valve's continuing focus on the open Linux operating system. "[Linux] is something that we're going to continue to expand on," said Newell. "It's sort of a get out of jail free pass for our industry, if we need it," he added -- a not-so-subtle reference to Windows 8 and its move toward a closed ecosystem.

One thing that Newell isn't so optimistic about is cloud gaming, stating that he is still skeptical of it due to issues such as latency.

"I have been and continue to be a skeptic about [cloud gaming]," he said. "...I think there is a place for cloud gaming, but more for demos and spectating."

Living room PC games aside, Newell said Valve is readjusting the fundamental way that it approaches video games. "We think there is going to be a fairly significant sea change of what we think a game is."

That sea change focuses on putting players first, not only as consumers, but as content creators. He said as professional game developers, Valve wants to think that it is the best at creating content. But now that Valve has, in some aspects, handed over the reigns of content creation to its community, the company has found out that it just can't compete with its players.

"Our customers have defeated us, not by a little, but by a lot" when it comes to building content, said Newell.

Newell said even using Valve's Steam store should be much more entertaining than it is today. And again, the answer to this might lie with customers, as he mentioned that Steam users should be able to curate and present the content that exists on Steam. "A store should be a piece of user-generated content," said Newell.

Whether it's making games or distributing them, the focus for Valve going forward is going to be how it can provide the framework for its customers to be entertained, and to make entertainment. Games are goods and services that are part of a large economy. For Newell, the next step is to expand that economy.

"Economies get better the bigger they are," he said.


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Comments


Jimmy Albright
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"Economies get better the bigger they are," he said.

I don't know what world this is but I want in!

Skylar Kreisher
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Larger markets mean more choice and availability of goods at lower prices. Market dynamics such as economies of scale and the long tail principle only function in large economies.

What I find most interesting are the comments below. It's as if no one actually listened to Gabe's talk.

Gabe and Valve aren't just focusing on the Steambox. Think bigger. User generated content is the future of digital media. User driven innovation is already here and developers may want to stop for a minute and think about what that means.

Start his talk again from the beginning and listen carefully to what he has to say.

Ian Fisch
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I'm still very skeptical of the SteamBox. Asking developers to port their games to Linux is like asking them to make an Xbox 360 port or a PS3 port. It's not a trivial undertaking.

How is this supposed to happen without a console-sized userbase?

Jimmy Albright
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It's Gabe! It's Valve! They're the patron saints of indie devs and gamers all over the world!


All joking aside, I've asked this soooo many times and have yet to recieve an answer. Who is the steambox marketed for? I own a gaming desktop. I have a tv at my desktop for big picture mode. I have all 4 living room consoles. Why on earth am I going to spend money to play games I already own on a living room PC(console, really)? That's the advantage, according to a lot of the audience. This is a HUGE problem for Valve. When you go and publicly lash out at the big dogs like Gabe has done with Sony and Microsoft you need to be able to back it up. Microsoft with unlimited resources I would say BARELY made it in to the console market, even with selling the Xbox at a loss. When they went in, Sega was muscled out and I would argue that it was due to Halo that the Xbox was even successful. Halo is a console selling franchise, and you couldn't find anyone with an xbox without halo. There's also the issue with propietary hardware. Call it what you want, but the piston isn't a living room PC. I'd rather spend more money on something I have full control over and install an OS that doesn't limit my gaming capability. It's contradictory of Gabe to tout the openness of linux and then create product with hardware "tightly controlled by valve".

Valve isn't going to get AAA developers to release exclusives targeting such a niche market. Personally, I don't think giving the community full control of development is a good sign either. His previous remarks came off to me, as if Valve doesn't have the resources and is just giving them their own playground. As a lot of people here have pointed out, this might not necessarily be a good thing. With the Steambox on the horizon and with big players who've been in fighting tooth and nail in this market for a long time, I think Valve is coming in overconfident.

I see little to no reason why I should invest time and energy developing content for a niche product targeting what's probably going to be a rather small market.

**For the people saying the steambox isn't meant to compete with consoles or PC, I think that makes the future even more bleak. Whether or not they intend to compete doesn't matter, that's what's going to happen. I hope the Steambox is successful just like I hope the Ouya is successful, but Valve needs to take this seriously. I don't know if a team of roughly 300 people can pull this off.

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Jacob Pederson
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Yes a Linux port is a Big Deal for anyone that didn't use OpenGL to start out with, but Valve does have a small circle of games that are Linux compatible right now. As bleak as Steambox's future looks, don't forget that Valve started steam with only ONE game. Also, I don't think the target is really Linux ports (in most cases that's simply not realistic) . . . the target is new games native to the platform.

If they can somehow get a foot in the door of our living rooms, their pricing, mature UI, and publishing clout will crush any of the so-called "store-fronts" from the big 3. I really really hope they can do it :)

Jimmy Albright
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@Jacob Pederson When you say 1 game I hope you're referring to CS and not Half-Life. Valve was started with Half-Life, the steam box might not have ever happened if it wasn't for CS. Forcing people who wanted to play 1.6 to be rid of WON and go to Steam was the only reason people switched to it. Horrible service at release, but it's certainly come a long way.

You also need to consider that at the time there really was nothing like Steam. They had no competition when they released it. They're now trying to compete with competitors who have a whole lot more muscle to flex. Publishing costs could certainly be cheaper, but if rumors about the new Durango are of any indication, Microsoft could be looking into getting into distribution themselves. Microsoft is willing to pay probably millions JUST to get Call of Duty exclusive DLC content first. Not exclusive content, just priority.

As far as price goes that's going to be the kicker. The price of hardware in the piston which is the only base model we know of is over a thousand. Even if they sold it at a 50% loss that's still 500. Quite a bit more than the WiiU, at least. Either they have a better model (if they did, why didn't they show it?) or they're willing to eat up a loss on initial sales. Their job right now though is to convince people that they're capable of pulling this off. I don't see it.

Johan Wendin
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Unless ofcourse Valve manage to push OpenGL into a far better API (esp. driver wise on Linux) Take away the perks of Direct3D and the porting problems follow suit. Or they could make the layering they use for L4D2 usable for all via steam, and yet again the porting problems go way down.

"The only reason I use windows is to play games" is quite a common phrase.

Jimmy Albright
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Dan: Right, I get that but by going into the current market and running your console stock with Linux? At this point it isn't an insurance policy, it's a life raft. The market share for Linux on desktops is quite dismal. I'm trying to find a statistic I can feel that I can trust, most of everything puts Linux at the 1-2% range, but its mostly from windows or mac blogs. I actually expected it to be closer to the 5-10% range.

I'm not trying to harp on the limitations of the technology, but ideally you would think Valve would want to try to appeal to as many consumers as possible. Leaves me scratching my head.

sean lindskog
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Jimmy> Who is the steambox marketed for?

Steam game players. There's a lot of them. It may not be an insta-sell for people with high-end rigs already. But next time they need to do an upgrade, many will consider a steambox as that upgrade.

Jimmy> It's contradictory of Gabe to tout the openness of linux and then create product with hardware "tightly controlled by valve".

Totally disagree. "Openness" is a good thing. That doesn't mean everything has to be open.

I like furry animals. Furry animals are a good thing. I don't want my girlfriend to be a furry animal. See what I did there? ;)

One of linux's shortcomings is hardware compatability (although this has become MUCH better over the years). One of PC gaming's shortfallings is system requirements, and not always knowing whether a game will run adequitely on your machine. So a controlled hardware linux box makes a lot of sense.

Thom Q
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"I've asked this soooo many times and have yet to recieve an answer. Who is the steambox marketed for? "

Well, since there is no official "Steambox" yet, you can keep asking it, and unless you ask it to Gabe, or another Valve big-wig, you won't receive any answers, just speculations.

In many other threads you keep mentioning you don't think a steambox would work, based on your assumption of a target audience. So you did cherry pick an answer somewhere, or maybe even made it up yourself?


That being said, in my opinion, I'd put my money on a steam box that is targeted towards console players, of course. Why would they make it for people who already play on steam? Like you said, that's a very Niche market..


"Valve isn't going to get AAA developers to release exclusives targeting such a niche market."

They don't need to. AAA games are cheaper on steam, and if played on a average PC far better looking then any console port. PS3 and Xbox have exclusives, look at how good that serves them.

Steam has a far more diverse catalogue then the consoles, at better graphical quality, and for less money. The challenge a Steambox faces is to get people to spend more then a console.

Greg Quinn
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Ian, Unity4 already supports Linux deployment, for us to port our game will be a few optimisations and then it's done, a trivial undertaking needed. If Linux becomes a viable gaming platform, expect other engine manufacturers to follow the same suit.

John Gordon
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The PS3 and XBox360 are already PC's in the living room (or they are close enough).

Frank Cifaldi
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Oh, neat, I didn't know. Can you show me how to set up Steam, Plex and a few emulators?

David Marcum
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Hey Frank, why are you giving a dickish answer to this comment?


i think the point is, consoles are very closed and unnecessarily expensive systems to develop for. Gabe thinks there's a better way. And he is trying to figure out what it is.

Frank Cifaldi
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It wasn't the most polite way of making my point, but my point stands. Citing closed systems as being "close enough" to open source Linux PCs is missing the point entirely.

Allan Munyika
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Sorry David but I have to agree with John and Frank. What Valve is trying to do is noble and all (if you feel inclined to call it that) but what ultimately determines how successful a product is on the market is demand for that product and I don't hear anyone looking for another TV game console (because that what Steam Box ultimately is). The real reason for Steam Box is because Valve is trying to hedge against the perceived demise of the Windows platform as he mentions. "It's sort of a get out of jail free pass for our industry, if we need it,"

William Johnson
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@Allan

To be fair, while we might not see the demand for a Steambox now does not mean there isn't one. Damn near everyone thought there was no market for iPad, thinking it was just a big iPhone, and the tablet market had been dead for years. Well, now tablets are the new hotness and everyone is trying to steal a piece of Apple's pie.

An open gaming console might be more in demand then you might think.

John Gordon
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"It wasn't the most polite way of making my point, but my point stands. Citing closed systems as being "close enough" to open source Linux PCs is missing the point entirely."

I probably have missed the point. Is the point "Linux in the living room"? I'm just trying to figure what why the Steambox would be appealing to customers.

Bob Johnson
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Steambox is for those who want to get into pcgaming without all the hassles of pcgaming.

Presumably it is much more plug and play.

John Gordon
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Yeah but the PS3 and XBox360 are also for those who want to get into PC gaming without the hassles of PC gaming. So many games released on the PC end up on consoles anyway. I don't see how Steambox sets itself up as more attractive to customers compared to existing consoles.

Bob Johnson
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Again the attraction would be pcgaming. There are games on the pc that aren't on consoles. You have the option to use m/k. The platform is open. The pc has a deep back library.

How attractive would it be? Don't know. Price is a factor. The design of the OS/hardware is a factor.

But I remember an acquaintance who was interested in the Battlefield game I played on the pc some 7-8 years ago. But he had no idea where to start as far as video cards go and whether it would work on his machine etc. It was something he didnt want to deal with.

Maybe he would have been a Steambox customer.

And for those of us who have less and less time to stay on top of maintaining our pcs and building them and troubleshooting a standard pc platform could be a godsend.

I still build my own pcs but got into Macs 7 years ago and love the less hassle of that platform th older I get.

John Gordon
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"Again the attraction would be pcgaming. There are games on the pc that aren't on consoles. You have the option to use m/k. The platform is open. The pc has a deep back library."

My point is, "how attractive is PC gaming at this point"? Most of the hot PC games now come out on consoles (except Blizzard games which aren't on Steam either). Even Sims 3 and Minecraft are now on consoles. The PC really doesn't have hot exclusives anymore.

Mouse/keyboard is great at your desk. It sucks in the living room. I tried using it with my PS3 but it's too much hassle. The wires are a hassle. And even if I had wireless keyboard/mouse the keyboard is bulky and the mouse requires a flat surface. Controllers are just much nicer in a living room.

Open platform sounds great for developers, but how is that appealing to customers? When I look at Steam as a customer it doesn't project "freedom" at all. There is more freedom for customers on consoles than on Steam. They can resell their game if they don't like it or loan it to friends.

The PC has a deep back library, but does Steam itself? Steam's total library is actually smaller than the PS1's library (and you can play every PS1 game on the PS3). Steam's library is decent, but not overwhelmingly huge. Nor do they have a great selection of games from the 90's and earlier. If gog.com were to release a living room console, then I could actually see it being more successful than a steam console, because they could make it cheaper and actually focus on the PC's library of older games. (But I digress....) My point is that Steam can't really say it has a deep library of original games. It has a "decent sized" library.

And the last thing that some people mention is price of games. Steam's game prices are not an advantage either. New games on Steam are the same price as the consoles: $60. After a while they do sales and bundles to drop the price, but at that point they are competing with Gamestop which gives (at least) a competitve price with Steam. And since customers actually own their console games they can resell them which means a console game has greater value than the same Steam game.

When you factor all this in with the fact that the big 3 have deeper pockets to sell hardware and more first party exclusives to draw in customers, it is hard to see how Steam can compete. They are better off staying on the desktop/laptop where they can actually differentiate themselves from consoles. I don't see how they offer customers a better experience in the living room.

William Johnson
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@John Gordon

I completely disagree with you. Openness refers to the opens to developers. The current console space does not allow developers to easily patch their games. To make free updates actually costs money because the system is so closed off. You have to go through MS or Sony's servers and they don't like you to access their servers unless you pay them a few thousand dollars. Valve doesn't care, you can update your game on Steam at any time for free.

Then there is modding. A consumer can actually increase their replay ability for a game buy downloading player made content. Can't do that on the consoles.

Pricing. The developer/publisher can do a sale whenever they wish on Steam. With say, XBLI, you have a 2 week window before the price changes, and then that also means you have a 2 week sale. The pricing is not very friendly to game developers.

That's openness. The consoles are as far as open as it can be right now. So yes, Steam is more open.

And as for being able to resell your games, considering we have companies like EA that close down their servers for their online games all the time, I don't think you can really argue that even on consoles you own your games. At any point game features can be shut down and gut the entire experience for a game now, even on console. While at least on PC, a bit of modding and player support can actually continue online support for a game, like say Rune.

You can technically do that on console too, but its considered illegal because you'd have to mod your console which will violate your EULA and possibly break some DMCA, and really at this point, it'd have just been a LOT easier to own a PC copy of a game.

You know, the more I think about it. The more I like this Steambox.

Bob Johnson
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@John Gordon

You asked what its attractions are compared to consoles as if you had no clue. Not whether or not the Steambox will take over the consoles.

I don't think Steambox will take over the consoles either. You are preaching to the choir there.

But I can't ignore that there are (potential) strengths to the Steambox platform. Gabe mentions those and a few weaknesses of consoles in his talk.

You are coming across as if there are 0 attractions at all to the Steambox. That is where we would differ.

Dave Long
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There's a number of huge differences at play here, but one that hasn't been mentioned is that it's still technically far easier to get games to run on console than on PC. In my Steam collection, about one game in three requires some kind of messing around to work, be it renaming files, getting into config files, downloading patches or what-have-you. In one case, the game would not run, at all, whatever I did. And in every case, it takes a not insignificant amount of time to find out what needs to be done to get it to work (not to mention usually trying one or two suggested fixes that don't work).

Until the PC can get around this issue, it'll never be as strong as console. I game on console first because on console, I know that I can just game - on PC, I can be four hours of painful investigation and trial-and-error away from just getting the damn thing to run (it took four hours for me to get Mass Effect on Steam up and running - and that's hardly a lightweight, niche title).

So Gabe can go on and on about his 'PC revolution' all he likes, but as long as the actual gaming is only half of the story of PC gaming (the other half being forum searches and trial-and-error fixes), it's going to remain a relatively smaller market. And people can call the 360 and PS3 living-room PCs, but as long as they continue to have a far high end-user usability factor when it comes to the actual gaming, they'll always have an edge.

John Gordon
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@Bob Johnson

"You asked what its attractions are compared to consoles as if you had no clue. Not whether or not the Steambox will take over the consoles."

Your post was actually quite helpful, and I didn't mean to seem like I was arguing with you specifically.

However, I still don't have a clue why Steambox is attractive. I think the main reason is there is really no clue to be had. When I hear people say how great Steambox is going to be what they end up saying is how great it will be FOR DEVELOPERS. But the problem with Steambox is that it isn't great FOR CUSTOMERS.

Once you move PC gaming to the living room and hook it up to your TV, then it ceases to be PC gaming. At that point it is PS3/XBox360 gaming. Steam on the PC can differentiate itself from the consoles quite a bit, but once it is in the living room it really only differentiates itself with its game library (much of which is also on the PS3/XBox360). Perhaps I am selling its game library short, and if so then I apologize. However if the Steambox ends up being successful it will only be because of games unique to it's library and not any of the other advantages PC gaming normally gives.

Bob Johnson
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@Dave Long

YOu are so right there. And yet I like pcgaming because of the controls, types of games, depth of games, and being right in front of the screen.

That's why I always thought the Mac would be my ideal gaming platform. Much less of those problems you talk about on the pc because there are so many fewer hardware configs and the OS/drivers are all done by Apple as well. Only problem has been no games. :) Not a small problem either. ;)

IF the Steambox can get games and be managed like the Mac then it should really help eliminate the hassles of pcgaming. But I'm not holding my breath.

Bob Johnson
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@ John Gordon

Yes as I said I don't believe Steambox can take consoles over. You make a good point about it losing some of its pc attractiveness in the living room. But again the openess is also attractive to customers in that they will get some games that would never make it to consoles because MS would never give them a chance. They might get some mods. They could get cheaper games because there is no overlord telling developers how to price their games.

You'd get apps too. YOur game prices should get cheaper as well as there is no middleman to take a cut well except for Steam. Whoops. Still an open box means you could have your own storefront.

All of this on the timetable of the developer not the overlord. Openness in and of itself isn't attractive to consumers at least most of them. But the results of openness can be.

Openness also has a downside. You can get flooded with too much low quality content. Too many add-ons. You have to wade through it all. A daunting task for many. You would be at risk to rogue apps/games. The uniformity of the interfaces from game to game would diminish. Your system would be more open to scams.

Other advantages of a steambox would be free online play compared to consoles. No friend limits and all that sort of thing either. Ability to run your own servers.

And flexiblity of using your Steambox in the living room or at your desk remains. The ability to also use a m/k interface for games where that works better is still an attraction. Or look at these new VR goggles. Those are likely to gain traction on the pc before consoles.

Pc games let you play with 3 monitors in some cases.

The ups and downs of a STeambox are ( or would be) all derived from the openness of the platform.

John Gordon
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@Bob Johnson

You give a good explanation of why a Steambox would be attractive "in theory". However I still think most of those benefits disappear when you move gaming to the living room. And the other advantages disappear simply because of how Valve does things. For example, I know those Steam games should be cheaper "in theory" than they are in reality.

William Johnson
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@John Gordon

Those Steam games are cheaper in theory and in reality. You just have to know when to buy them.

For example, last year, everyone was talking about how great Spec Ops: The Line was, so I knew I wanted to buy it. It was on sale on Steam for 30% off, which was pretty good, but then i saw the 2K bundle which for $50 got me Spec Ops, Darkness 2, Civilization 5, and a few other games I was interested in. I bought that bundle and was very satisfied. If I had bought them on consoles, it would not have been $50.

John Gordon
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@William Johnson

What you are describing is not really exceptional. It is possible to find similar deals at Gamestop through used games and buy 2 get 1 free sales.

I find Steam's prices to be very disappointing. For price to be an advantage for them, they need to consistently offer better prices than Gamestop. I know they are saving significantly on costs compared to selling console disks through retail outlets. However they are not passing those savings onto customers.

William Johnson
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@John Gordon

Completely not true. I used to work for Gamestop, so I have a very good understanding of how to take advantage of their deals. Buy 2 get one Free only saves you about 43% if you stack a discount card and buy 3 games at the exact same price. That 2K bundle, I just mentioned, I saved over 75%. I don't think you quite understand just how low Steam sales are and how they appeal to impulse shopping.

John Gordon
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@William Johnson

Being able to buy the game used is part of the discount. A few months after the game has been released, the used price can be much lower than the new price. And if you add that to say a buy 2 get 1 free, then that can be quite a bit of savings. Again this is only during select times and a while after the games have been released. In this way they are not much different than a Steam sale. On top of this a person can sell the games back to Gamestop later if they wish.

The value a customer gets through Gamestop is at least as good as what they get through Steam. I know the overhead costs for Steam must be lower than selling console games via a retail outlet, and yet they change the same price for a new game. Something is not right here.

Huy Tran
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@John Gordon

Do you even game on the PC much? Sim game have been on console for like forever before Sim 3 which had a console release the same day as the PC so I don't get why your point is when it was never a PC exclusive and Minecraft isn't the only big game played on the PC there is League of Legends which is right now said to be the most played game in the world and its only on PC. If you really don't think PC doesn't have any hot exclusive anymore that shows that you don't game all to well on PC. Wish I could have responded to this way earlier but I'm going to do it anyways.

Michael Joseph
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A big attraction of the "steam box" is that a steam box will be any box running the steam box software. So for end users it'll be free. If you're a developer why write for the steam box? Because alot of other developers will be and because it will have an app store, it will have a ton of users (because it's free and because Valve will do something like release episode 3 as Steam Box exclusive) and because you're not going to be able to convince enough other developers NOT to write for it especially with the type of unprecedented freedom their app store is promising.

The speculation game is fun :) Gabe must be on to something with the prediction markets stuff he's doing...

Jimmy Albright
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" big attraction of the "steam box" is that a steam box will be any box running the steam box software. "

I don't think that statement is accurate. The steam box models will contain "tightly controlled hardware by Valve" - Gabe Newell's own words.

"because you're not going to be able to convince enough other developers NOT to write for it."


The potential target audience is completely unknown at this point. I don't know a single person who is looking forward to playing their existing steam library in their living room who doesn't do it already. I want this to work but I just don't see the purpose of this machine. Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft all offer very unique experiences with their consoles, and they're willing to do whatever it takes to hold onto their ground.

I suppose the appeal of it is just completely lost on me, the only answer I've gotten to the question "who is this marketed for" is ...

" think its marketed towards people who like HDMI ports. People over think what the "Steambox" is because of the branding. Gabe's point about Linux as a "get out of jail free card" to me says that Linux is an insurance policy, not a game plan."

Have you ever successfully sold a product you had to go at lengths to describe who it's target audience is? I just think the steambox suffers from an identity problem. It's also going to suffer from an exclusives problem. No matter how good it is, if it runs on steam the PC community is most likely going to play it on their own PC's, which don't run linux and have updated hardware. (Potentially updated, but most hardware at console launches is what, about a year old?)

Bob Johnson
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I would love the move to Linux, but would need some serious support from Valve and other companies.

A seamless dual boot solution would go a long ways.

Bob Johnson
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Pc is center of innovation only in some respects. But consoles have innovated as well. Wiimote, Kinect, Live, Games on DVD, analog stick, game controls in general, ... Some ideas need a bus driver. They need someone to financially back the idea and market it. That is where consoles become the center of innovation and where pc gaming has a difficult time. There aren't many if any bus drivers in pcgaming.

Edit: just listening to his talk. He does mention console innovation in input that hasn't happened on pcs.

Jimmy Albright
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To Valves credit they've been toying with the idea for quite some time. One interesting project they did was monitor vitals from players during DoTA2 to see what the most intense moments were for players.

The thing with Valve though is they do stuff like this all the time, and it never sees the light of day. I have no idea how they would effectively release affordable technology that monitors your vitals, and even then what if you need to stop playing and run to the bathroom? Yank off a bunch of leads only to have to reconnect them a few minutes later? Great ideas also need effective implementation.

Luis Guimaraes
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Consoles have been dodging the trackball replacement for analog sticks for a long time already.

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Dave Long
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Aye - and consoles have also delivered plenty of gameplay innovation as well. Gabe has a nasty habit of ignoring anything he hasn't had anything to do with. He's bright, but not broad, when it comes to thinking.

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GameViewPoint Developer
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I think people want curation and editorial oversight to a certain extend on content, it's just I think what Gabe is saying is that that should also be done by the users themselves, rather than all going through a bottleneck. And I agree with all of that, with the amount of content that is and will be available it's basically the only option. If you think of the amount of games that are being released these days and then by natural extension think about the eventual amount user generated content which could be created/sold based on those games the only answer is users curating user content.

The fight in the industry over the next 10 years is going to be for who owns the stores for all the content (user generated or otherwise), because of that 30% cut of the revenue. In that sense none of the platform holders will care if games are F2P or not, for them it's all about numbers.

Will a free and open user curated content market approach win out? or will a close curated system win out? That's the question. What I will say is if Gabe Newell wants to be part of the answer he needs to get whatever Steam box will be out there asap, otherwise it's all going to be done and dusted and too late to make a difference.

Bob Johnson
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You can also think of users as unregulated contractors who only work on commission and don't need office space either. :)


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Jimmy Albright
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If apple opens the door to open source also, Steam is over. Like over man.

Apple is the farthest thing from open that exists in technology. The only reason they have anything to do remotely with gaming is for pure financial profit.

Microsoft has actually made quite a few steps towards OS recently, even if it's just doing little things like adding native github support into VS. Interested to see what direction the durango is going to go.

James Coote
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I'd love to be part of a team that sets up a Sci-fi themed shop front on steam. It makes sense that each publisher has their own "shop" on which they can better control the curation of their own content. Fan made shops will also be more powerful than just having publicly viewable wishlists a la Amazon, or recommending the odd game here or there to friends

Glenn Sturgeon
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I think the concept of transferable value from one game to another could itself make a major impact.
How many times have you actualy kept playing a game becouse you had so many hours wrapped up in it?
The thought of just dropping that ball for a new game can be quite a detourant to expand to something new.
That would imo realy inspire more people to play games and possibly play more often and more titles as they know the precieved value of thier assets they've obtained in a game wont just sit on a memory card or hdd to be forgotten over time. It will have an affect on thier next playing venture.
He covers so much it was a great talk & has me quite intrested in seeing how they try to implement some of the ideals.
. Best of luck to all at valve & no the talk was not by far a fail. GJ Gabe!

GameViewPoint Developer
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There's lots of great ideas in his speech, but what matters is the implementation of them. You have to remember that all the other major players will have great ideas too but also have the clout to actually put them into practice (especially Apple). I think we are in the situation now where it's possible for 1 or 2 platforms to dominate everything within the next 5 years, the living room, mobile the whole thing.

So whoever wants to be one of those two, needs to get going now.

GameViewPoint Developer
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Double post.

Christopher Plummer
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After listening to the talk, I think I understand what the selling point of a "steambox" will be to a user like myself now. Gabe sees the future of the industry trending more towards revenue generating user-generated content (UGC) enabled by traditional Game developers, and sees the importance of bringing this to consumers who want to game in the living room.

As it currently stands, the PC versions of games support user-generated content and mods way better than their console counterparts. It appears as if this gap will only widen, mostly due to the hardware development costs associated with the closed off console ecosystems. Not only does this target customers looking to maximize the value in their games, it enables developers to turn their games into platforms they can license to increase their revenue.

I'm definitely interested in seeing more info on this.

wes bogdan
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While games are made on computers i'd rather have playstation,nintendo or xbox than a gaming pc though some pc problems worked their way into the current gen :ship unfinished games with day 1 patches,evil drm forcing some games to maintain a connection online or else capcom bionic commando i'm looking at you.

There are advantages to consoles:everyone has the same cpu,gpu,memory and developers don't have to pander their games to low end-ultra high end machines,consoles have yet to attach spyware to a demo.

Pc still has :superior full customization (which should have been on consoles by the current gen),user created content/goods and larger 64 plr online matches. Plus you can do other things with a pc but without a console shell even a small gaming rig is less streamlined and somewhat less living room friendly.

Next gen playstation or xbox can address these remaining problems though wii u vc has fully customizable controls retail/digital releases still cospiculously lack it even a simple twin stick shooter-nano assault neo lacks southpaw.

I myself have always prefered something like ps2 where a finished game shipped without a day 1 patch/install and we could simply enjoy our great games...current/next gen systems are much more robust and complicated but i hope all day 1 patches if they must continue are invisable unlike the disruptive patches of today.


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