The purveyors of Steam commit to entering the console business with a “controlled environment”.
Valve are chucking their hat into the console bear pit, by planning to release a “living room PC” to compete with Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft.
CEO of the Seattle developer Gabe Newell talked briefly to Kotaku before the past weekend’s glitzy Video Games Awards, where Half Life 2 won the Game of the Decade award. He explained that not only are Valve working on dedicated hardware to fit snugly between your sofa and your television, but that the new platform will compete directly with Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen consoles.
“I think in general that most customers and most developers are gonna [sic] find that [the PC is] a better environment for them,” Newell revealed.“Cause they won’t have to split the world into thinking about ‘why are my friends in the living room, why are my video sources in the living room different from everyone else?’ So in a sense we hopefully are gonna [sic] unify those environments.”
“Well certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environment,” Newell explained. “If you want more flexibility, you can always buy a more general purpose PC. For people who want a more turnkey solution, that’s what some people are really gonna [sic] want for their living room.”
“The nice thing about a PC is a lot of different people can try out different solutions, and customers can find the ones that work best for them.”
Earlier this year a picture of a console prototype from Valve’s HQ found its way onto the internet, and seeing as the company has just launched its Big Picture mode for Steam which allows players to control the service using only a controller, it’s clear that Gabe and co. see the future of the PC crossing into new areas of the home.
More competition would certainly liven the console markets up, that said we’re a bit disappointed that Valve are talking up a “controlled environment” solution as there’s a fine line between making it easy for users to get started with your platform and restricting developers from being innovative on new hardware. No doubt Valve will be treading that line very carefully.
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