Gabe Newell's PC-centric vision of video games' future

fireside 141 Feb 10, 2013 at 16:12

Gamasutra has a piece on Gabe Newell’s Dice talk on moving forward with Steam. Pretty interesting. It’s so opposite of the console closed system. He wants user generated content to get rewarded monetarily with people apparently even having their own stores.

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TheNut 179 Feb 10, 2013 at 20:30

So we now know Gabe prefers Apple over Microsoft :)

The important part in that YouTube video is at 33:45 and lasts for about a minute. I think that pretty much conveys the message best. It’s really about the direction Gabe wants to take Steam, which has been evident for the past couple years now. From a distribution standpoint, I believe he’s right. From his hardware standpoint, ehh… MS, Sony, Nintendo are still going to be competitive and convincing developers to support his platform is only going to add more headaches. In principle it sounds great, but the industry goes where the money is. Porting will likely start off as an outsourced project only if Gabe can get enough momentum with his platform. Something I think students and hobbyists will have to help with first before the big companies start to take action.

Perhaps a more interesting twist would be if Valve teamed up with TransGaming (or roll the dice with Wine). I haven’t heard much from them in awhile, but if a Windows game runs fine through wine, it could help with the sales pitch.

fireside 141 Feb 11, 2013 at 02:19

Perhaps a more interesting twist would be if Valve teamed up with TransGaming (or roll the dice with Wine). I haven’t heard much from them in awhile, but if a Windows game runs fine through wine, it could help with the sales pitch.

Yeah, there’s different ways to take it. I think independents will find it easier to get a Steam Greenlight if it supports Linux, and that will be the majority of Linux releases until it gains a lot higher user base.
Linux users are pretty avid, somewhat like Apple fans, so smaller numbers can still make a point. This is a huge influx of games for them and the quality is a step up from what they are used to with open source offerings. They’ve also shown they are willing to pay for good games. Probably not as much as Apple, though, because there isn’t the same level of affluence. I’m not sure what will happen with the next console generation. Nintendo isn’t doing that well. I think the other two will find less excitement also because there are more options and gamers are changing somewhat. If Gabe comes up with some interesting input ideas, I think a Steambox might make a dent. Even if it doesn’t, it’s still an established growing market.

Stainless 151 Feb 11, 2013 at 09:24

Steam has got it all wrong. It might make it as a minority market, but it’s not got a hope of being a major player.

Believe me, I’ve been there and got the scars on my credit history to prove it.

To have a hope of getting the volume of games to make consumers buy the hardware, you need to be the size of Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo.

If you aren’t big enough to do that, then you have to go the other way. Make the software work on more hardware. Take away the need to buy the console and people will be more willing to part with their hard earned for a game.

Then to make it commercially viable for developers you have to have huge volumes of devices that their games will run on.

That’s what we do.

DracheHexe 101 Feb 11, 2013 at 11:50

Well, if the rumors about the next XBOX are true then Microsoft won’t be a major player in the next wave of home consoles. That will leave a big hole to be filled and if it’s timed right his hardware idea might be a huge success.

fireside 141 Feb 11, 2013 at 12:28

The only thing consoles have going for them is that the hardware is reasonably priced. The closed systems, whereby they charge more for games, is a minus. If I actually had a big living room and a tv, I wouldn’t think twice about getting a Steam box. It’s pretty much the same thing, with lower cost games and a wider selection. Then again, I’ve never owned a console, so I’m in a different demographic. These devices are all becoming streaming media devices for watching movies, etc. Games are only a portion of their interest now. Sony and Microsoft kind of push down indie game development and I think that’s going to hurt them this time around. The fact is, most of us play more indie games now than ever before. I think both Steam box and Ouya will do well because they cater to the indie game market. Microsoft and Sony, unless they find a way to open an indie market and neither of them are doing well on that score of late, will see a stable or smaller market.

Stainless 151 Feb 11, 2013 at 18:20

Advantages of consoles

1) Fixed system. Once you have a dev kit you know you are going to be able to churn out product and it will run
With nearly all other systems you always have issues. Android is a nightmare, so is the PC market, how many graphics cards?
2) Infrastructure Modern consoles have update mechanisms and over the air updates that mean you aren’t relying on end users to keep their
machine up to date
3) Monetisation Consoles allow you to sell extra bits. Micro-payments are getting more and more important, having a fixed system to do that is
excellent. No way I could afford to print and distribute scratch cards that allow people without credit cards to buy online from me.
4) Hardware pricing Consoles rapidly come down in price after release. Often they are cheaper than an equivalent PC
5) Distribution Retailers are set up to handle DVD’s coming out of a factory and going on to shelves everything is in place for that.


1) Microsoft
2) Microsoft
3) Sony £30,000.00 for a DEV KIT????????? AND IT’S ONLY A RENTAL!
4) Nintendo although they are better than they used to be. Their old system was a f(*king nightmare.
5) Microsoft
6) Microsoft

Stainless 151 Feb 13, 2013 at 09:37

fireside 141 Feb 13, 2013 at 14:16

Pretty good article. I agree, they’ve basically abandoned indies. They all talk like they are smart and it’s nearly impossible to start a new platform. If they were really looking at things, they would be shaking in their boots at new competition because they’ve done such a bad job.