It’s been on the table for a while. Gabe Newell, of VALVe, is planning on making a console for 2013. This “Steam Box” is supposed to be “PC like” and bring VALVe’s steam into the living room via console. This is to compete with Microsoft and Sony next generation and I hope his plan crashes and fails. “Why?” you might ask. well…
It’s the same reason why I have a strong hatred for a the Xbox. It, for the most part, did the same thing as the PS2, the same being said with the current PS3 and 360, as the largest markets are multiplatform games; and each system, now including Wii U, cut into each other markets, making the systems basically the same. The thing that separates Nintendo and Sony from Microsoft is the fact they haven’t forgotten about the good all days when it was all about 1st party content. But that hasn’t stopped the 360 from being the most popular console IN AMERICA. (Sorry for the emphasis, but some people can’t tell the difference between global and nation-wide statistics)
Fact of the matter is, minus the 1st party content that usually doesn’t sell quite as well, consoles play the same 3rd party games. And this is where I have a problem. If games are doing and playing the same things, then it’s up to the company to provide some service, probably something stupid and not related to gaming, that convinces consumers to buy their products over a rival companies.
In the event something like this happens, like in this generation, we get consoles that sell less and do more. But at the same time our favorite company suffers because it’s games are on another console and consumers reside in some feature another doesn’t provide. How does this all tie in with the Steam Box? The steam box plays cross-platform games. And this is a problem because a consumer would be forced to make an even harder decision on which console to buy, or be forced to spend more money on more consoles. I don’t know about y’all, but the less hardware I need to buy the better.
If Gabe gets what he wants, if Microsoft loses sales, then WE suffer. We will be forced to decided whether or not to buy one specific game on the option of 4 different consoles, or buy that game more than once; because if that game has multiplayer, which is huge now, then our friends and others that have a different preference would play on a different platform. Also, companies will be forced to lower the bar.
My friend posted this on Facebook the other day. He decided it was better to own 2 versions of the games so he could play with all of his friends. He’s done the same thing with Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Now is this fair to him? Is this fair to us? Is this fair for companies to divide us like this? Should we be forced to pay double or choose between friends? I say no to all of the above.
A living room base, pc-like, console will make Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo suffer. From a business perspective, wouldn’t it just be easier to provide Steam on consoles rather than compete with them directly? From a consumer perspective, it would make it easier for everyone if that were the case. Why make the console sales suffer any more than they already are?
I am not owning every console that comes out. Can you afford a PS4, a Nextbox, a Wii U, a Vita, a 3DS, an Ouya, and a Steam console. That’s too much money with little gain. The definition of economy is the reduction of waste with the increase of profit, therefore, the ultimate goal of a gaming device should be the best games on the best system, with the least costs to the player. Sadly, with a release of a Steam device it will quite the opposite. Companies will be forced to compete instead of flourish. They will earn less profits and we will see more game developers shut down.
Sure we’ll probably see a lot of interesting things companies decide to come up with to compete with multiplatform games, but besides F2P MMO’s and things like a Mii, or apps unrelated to gaming like Netflix, I’m really more interested in high quality, 1st party games, like Last of Us and Uncharted by Naughty Dog, on my PlayStation.
The only thing that wouldn’t suffer from a Steambox is VALVe. This isn’t a message from one PlayStation fan to another, but it’s a message to all gamers. We do not need another console on the market sucking up the resources of the industry. Whether you think Nintendo, PlayStation, or Microsoft is an enemy, a VALVe console will target them all.