Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 9th Jul 2017 09:37 UTC

PC Gamer has an article up about the failure of SteamOS, and it serves as a good anchor to talk about Valve in general.

"The fundamental reasons that Valve cares about SteamOS haven't gone away, and we continue our work to expand it," Valve said in a statement to PC Gamer. I had asked if SteamOS was still a priority, how many people were working on it, and if Windows 10 changed Valve's approach. "The launch of Steam Machines taught us a lot about what Steam customers value in hardware. Right now we're continuing to work on SteamOS as a product, with over 96 updates and 3,525 games released. We have many incentives for those making SteamOS titles and we see a bright future for SteamOS, especially in VR."

The comment about VR is interesting, as the new tech is clearly Valve's present focus. If SteamOS can provide a better VR experience than Windows, and VR technology proves itself more popular in the future, perhaps the OS has a shot of resurging with a new round of 'SteamVR Machines'. But the success of SteamVR isn't a sure thing, either.

The problem with Valve is that they are the technology company equivalent of a toddler - kind of cute and adorable (if they're not yours), but easily distracted, unfocused, and kind of living in their own fantasy world. Valve wanders from left to right, never committing to anything, just doing whatever it fancies. That would be completely fine if it wasn't for the fact that it strings partners and consumers along for the ride - only to jump off midway, leaving the ride to slowly come to a grinding halt in the middle of nowhere.

While the company devoted time and money to SteamOS and SteamVR, it let its most important piece of software - the Steam client - languish, to the point where it's now probably the most unusable piece of software on any Windows PC. It's slow, ugly, bloated, confusing, overly complex verging on the unusable, and in general just frustrating and cumbersome to use. In fact - and some people might balk at this - but EA's Origin client has improved so much over the years, that it's much nicer, cleaner, and easier to use now than the Steam client ever was. I will fight you on this.

And, of course, they left us at one of the biggest cliffhangers in gaming, and we have no Half-life 3. No Portal 3. No Left 4 Dead 3. No new IP. Nothing. We cry foul at EA, Ubisoft, and Bethesda for being unoriginal, but meanwhile, continue to treat Valve like the greatest gaming company in history, even though they haven't released a new game and haven't introduced a new IP in a long, long time.

It's high time Valve demonstrates that it actually cares about its customers, by improving Steam or releasing games we actually want - or in general just by showing some damn follow-through for once, or at least being open about plans for the future so we know what we can expect before we plonk down a bunch of cash for the next shiny they're peddling.

As it stands now, Valve isn't showing any signs that it cares about the fans of its games, and as the competition catches up to and races past Steam in user experience, the resentment grows ever deeper. Yes, the headline is harsh, but I can't find any sign that it's not true.

Sure, Steam is the giant of PC gaming today - but no giant remains standing forever.

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RE[2]: Comment by grahamtriggs
by Sauron on Mon 10th Jul 2017 04:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by grahamtriggs"
Member since:

Steam is just bad, there is no way around it.

It's very slow to open on any computer, which means that just launching a game will take 10 seconds more if Steam is not open in the background. A real pain.

It's always consuming resources when running in the background.

The Steam interface is super bad. No HIDPI support on any plateform (this is ridiculous for any piece of software in 2017), it's ugly and alien to all OS.

Scrolling inside Steam is slower than any complex websites on a modern browser.

Bad or missing settings, confusing interface making everything a pain...

It's just bad. And when you think about it, we pay hundreds of dollars to Valve for this piece of poop (30% cut on every game I purchased). This is NOT acceptable, and I'm very sad that there is people to excuse such disrespect for the consumer, for such a HIGH price. Tom is not wrong, people are for too forgiving with Valve.

I think both you and Thom have got misconfigured systems somewhere! I really don't see your problem, or suffer these problems.
I've been using using Steam for many years and have never encountered anything you mention at all, if anything what Steam would benefit from is a upgrade to their servers not the client. There is times I notice their server is bogged down and a bit slow, but that's hardly the fault of the Steam client itself!

Reply Parent Score: 5

denis.lafronde Member since:

You are lying. I'm sorry, but your Steam client doesn't have HIDPI support (it doesn't exist), and doesn't have native widgets for performance and visual integration (it doesn't exist).

Those things are just facts about the Steam client, and still you tell me you have a different, magical Steam client? Come on. Show me a screenshot of your Steam client in HIDPI mode under Windows.

Steam just took 20 seconds to open (I mean showing me my games list) on my Surface Pro 3. That's bad performance for any software. I can open a big catalog in Lightroom in much less time. My gaming PC is taking maybe half that time. It's just the way Steam is working. And no, both my PCs are clean, fast and efficient. Steam is always slow. Because it's a slow software. And to prove me wrong? Show us a video of your computer opening Steam with a cold start, faster than let's say 5 seconds (still a slow loading time).

You're just tolerating mediocrity, IMO. And lying about HIDPI support and native widgets.

Edited 2017-07-10 13:58 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by grahamtriggs
by Sauron on Mon 10th Jul 2017 19:17 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by grahamtriggs"
Sauron Member since:

Hahaha. My my, what a plonker! ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1