Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 7th Jan 2014 23:05 UTC


A Steam Machine is a PC that can do fewer things, and run fewer games, than the system you have in your home right now.

That's the marketing challenge that’s in front of Valve and its partners, and the fact that Valve had a rare CES press conference was interesting, but there were precious few details about what the platform adds to the world of gaming.

The cold and harsh reality is that six of the top ten games on Steam run on Linux/SteamOS - and with Steam having such a huge base of active subscribers, that's a lot of users covered with just those six games. On top of that, there's almost 300 more Linux games on Steam. In the meantime, the PS4 and Xbox One combined have like 10 games, most of which are available on the Xbox 360/PS3 as well, and the remainder are rushed titles nobody gives two rat's asses about.

The Xbox One and PS4 are sold not on what they offer now, but on what they will offer in the future. I see absolutely no reason why Steam Machines ought to be treated any differently.

Reality check: right now, spending $499 on a Steam Machine gets you access to a lot more games and a lot more functionality than the Xbox One and PS4 offer combined. Of course, a Windows PC will offer even more games (not functionality, Linux has that covered just fine) - but that applies just as well to any console.

I've been baffled these past few days about the attitude of the gaming press towards Steam Machines. The gaming press' reviews of the new consoles was full of "just you wait until the actually good games arrive!/new functionality is added, but here's a 9/10 anyway on that promise!", but for some reason, the same sloppy reviewing is not applied to Steam Machines.

There's a word for that.

Permalink for comment 580163
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: Well ...
by ddc_ on Wed 8th Jan 2014 02:50 UTC in reply to "Well ..."
Member since:

I can buy one of these Steam Machines and have access to a few games on Steam, or I can buy a Windows box running Steam and have access to all of them. So, exactly what problem are these Steam Machines trying to solve, other than the fact that Valve doesn't like the Windows app store horning in on its action?

IMO the comparison between PCs and Steam Boxes is a bit lame. You surely can assemble a Windows PC, and if this is what you want, you are not a person Valve makes Steam Boxes for - they offer you Steam desktop client instead. Steam Boxes are merely a way to play on Steam on a console, if you neither want to do it on your PC, nor want to assemble a DIY media center with gaming capabilities.

The manner of contraposing Steam Boxes to Steam on Windows machines is just plain wrong, as these products are totally complementary and simply target different subgroups within the same target audience. One would argue that contraposing Steam Boxes alone to Xboxes and PSes is also wrong - Steam as whole is a competing product here, not just one of its packaging options.

And I fully agree with Thom about the double standard, which is applied to Valve in this case: Valve is quite long in content delivery industry, it is competing with PS and Xbox for quite some time from its PC client position, and this move only extands the delivery options of Steam client.

P.S.: I'm not a Steam fanboy, neither I have a Steam account, nor Steam client.

Edited 2014-01-08 03:08 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 7