Valve’s an interesting company. They have managed to further turn legions of PC game players into console users with the Steam, and with their recent announcements of SteamOS and Steam Machines, they’ve essentially abandoned PC game market. Valve has decided to cannibalise the console market instead, mainly the upcoming PS4 and Xbone.
StOS is essentially a way to turn your computer into a game console. It’s a Linux based OS that allows your computer to run games better, if I’ve understood the little info I’ve read correctly. But that’s beside the point. The point is that your PC with the StOS is now dedicated to run games. It’s not anymore a virtual console, but an actual, physical console.
Whoever thinks that this will challenge Windows’ place or whatever Apple is pushing out needs a reality check. A dedicated OS like this won’t appear on workplaces or in schools. StOS is aimed at the people who want to play games easily on their computers, but people who want to play console games will buy a console to play these games, and people who want the computer game experience are shunned.
A company like Valve shouldn’t put their resources into developing an operating system. Operating system has nothing to do with games. Valve hasn’t even made games in a long damn time now, they’ve just repacked the console idea and have been reselling console games for the PC market. Games like La-Mulana are console games and sell for something like three bucks on Steam. Valve hasn’t been a game company for a long time now, and now with StOS they solidify that they’re a non-game software company. They want you to play games, but games through their software. With Steam Machines, they’re also saying that they want you to play games on their hardware.
Valve’s SteamBox is now something else. Nobody really knows what, as Valve didn’t show any of the Steam Machines or tell much about them. It’s a generic market trick, that seemed to work on the hardcore Steam fans. But who is the targeted person here? If Valve has really decided to split modern dumbed down PC consoles’ functions between multiple machines, they’re really making a stupid decision. Actually, they’re talking about streaming services with Steam Machines, as in that the Machines are to stream Steam content from a PC. That’s stupid. If you have a Steam capable PC, even the stupidest person realizes that it is possible to connect your PC to a television and have wireless controls from your couch to your PC.
Valve claims that Entertainment is not a one-size-fits-all world and there’s a small truth in there. If asked from a random person on the street, they’d be glad to take one machine that could to everything in their livingroom, from playing music to DVDs. Having multiple machines that all do different things different ways and in different fashion will confuse the customer, unless they’re know exactly what they want and how they want it, and we all know that this kind of customer is extremely rare. Yet, they’re intending to say that they want to invade the living-room with multiple machines by different manufacturers that would optimize your experience. This sounds like something a tech geek would cream over, not the general customer. People who want multiple pieces of equipment to run one thing are generally speaking a rare sight. So yeah, one size doesn’t fit for all in entertainment, but is sure does fit for the majority of them. As before, a console’s just a box to play Mario on. Now Valve’s saying that there’s a vast need for multiple boxes to streamplay Mario. And to stream video. And to stream music. And most likely photos as well. Can’t forget those.
Actually, why the hell do consoles have image viewing software in them? Hell, even my TV is capable of showing pictures via USB-memory. What’s the damn point? How many people have actually transferred images to a USB-stick and used their console or TV to to view images? The only time I have seen anyone viewing images in 360 was when I was testing a Kinect at a friend’s place, and that just when the game took in-game screenshots. Otherwise people just use their computer screens to do so, and the older folks just want the damn pictures printed. For fucks sake, it’s completely useless and they’ve been pushing these image viewing software into everything they can think of. Next thing I know they have a damn alarm clock that has a screen showcasing pictures while waking you up.
No, don’t tell me that such a thing exists. It’s stupid idea enough that somebody has already designed and massproduced it.
Perhaps The worst statement what they’re offering is that you can do whatever you want to the Steam Machines, from installing your own software into them to building a robot out of it. We all remember how successful piece OUYA was with the same promises.
What information we have now, we can say that Valve’s new scheme to further consolise the PC game market has an awful design in it, and mostly Valve fanboys will be eating this like the tastiest porridge ever. This would offer an interesting competition with the other gaming consoles, but to think that now almost all the consoles are offering same games same way with same extras. We already can see that Steam Machines are going to offer video and music streaming from certain services, so they’re further parting from consoles and closer to… modern consoles.
It’s mind boggling. If Valve’s really pushing StOS out as their biggest and best service, and Half-Life 3 as their trump card, I really hope that they have a large amount of people convincing themselves that the project was a large success.
You know how Valve would have made more money? By putting their resources into developing games. If Valve and their higher-ups cared for games, they would have put out Half-Life 5 out this year and the numerous DLCs to rack up some more money. Instead they’ve been coasting on their initial success with most famous games all this time, as well as coasting on the success of other games via Steam.