Valve Shows Steam Hardware, Promises No Platform Exclusives

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Valve employees, from left, Eric Hope, Anna Sweet, Greg Coomer and D.J. Powers hold a prototype of the company’s new Steam Machine high-end gaming computer. The first batch will be introduced soon with an open-source operating system Valve developed in-house.

There she is, the Steam Machine prototype! Sure, she might look a little big and bulky but she’s packed with power, along with hopes and dreams to change the way we think about gaming from the living room. In bigger news you aren’t required to own one to play any games Valve might be hiding under their sleeve. Valve is opposed to the idea of platform exclusives.

Anna Sweet, head of Business Development at Valve, recently explained to IGN:

“Whenever we talk to third-party partners, we encourage them to put their games in as many places as possible, including not on our platforms. Because we think that customers are everywhere, and they want to put their games wherever customers are. That would go against our whole philosophy, to launch something that’s exclusive to SteamOS or Steam machines.”

Valve’s Greg Coomer added:

“If it can run in both places, we don’t like to create those artificial barriers to accessing content. We believe that, in maybe five years from now, folks will find it a quite antiquated notion that you should assume that when you change devices or platforms, that you lose all of your other games and friends. We’re hoping to unify, to get Steam to be as platform- and context-agnostic as possible. You shouldn’t have to shed that every generation, or even slightly shed it.”

So it looks like a surprise release of Half-Life 3 to coincide with the release of SteamOS and Steam Machine isn’t a possibility. Valve will continue to release their killer ip’s on the platforms of their choosing and SteamOS along with PC gaming will remain sustained regardless if people join Valve in their quest or not. Valve has re-imagined what we’ve grown to expect from the marketing of exclusives within the industry.  They want to strip away the normality and restrictions, encourage other devs to do the same and provide a platform for gamers that will last a century opposed to the typical 6-8 year life-cycle of traditional consoles.

I don’t know about anybody else but I don’t like to be rebooted ever generation and coaxed into purchasing one platform over the other. I just want to play games. And I want to play any game I want. In a perfect world you should be able to buy any game you want once and have access to it on any platform you want to play it on. Seem far fetched? I thought so too until Valve changed my outlook on what the “industry standard” could be opposed to what it has been. Now I’m beginning to think this super Cross-Play idea of mine is a strong possibility in the future. At least to some extent.

Valve’s approach is very ambitious and I respect that. It’s a step in the right direction and I’m on board but like global warming, it will take time for people to get it and care enough to want a change.


SOURCE The Seattle Times and IGN

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