Steam wants into your living room, in the guise of a gadget that’s not quite a PC and not quite a console. That could have a moderately apocalyptic effect on the console market, not to mention the long-taken-for-granted dominance of Windows as PC gaming platform.
In this moment between big announcements (and big Steam Sales), Lucio and I take some time to discuss what’s in it for Valve, what’s in it for developers and publishers, and what’s in it for, you know, us.
More to the point, we start to seriously wonder whether the Windows machines we’re currently using will be our last Windows machines, and why we would bother buying a Sony or Microsoft console in a world where every damn thing comes out on Steam. (We’re assuming that Nintendo will hold out as long as possible, and then some. Mario and Zelda on PC, in oficially sanctioned, non-emulator form? DEATH FIRST!)
It’s all good news, more or less, as long as we’re comfortable with Valve having a hand in simply everything. How comfortable are we with that?
Quick post-recording fact checks:
• Valve did in fact port pretty much all of their games to Sony and Microsoft consoles, going back to a 2001 version of Half-Life for the PlayStation 2 and a 2005 version of Half-Life 2 for the Xbox, respectively.
• Sony Online Entertainment is very much still making games. Planetside 2, EverQuest Next. Those.
• The Killzone series is published by Sony, but developed by Guerrilla Games.
• The first Mac OS release (1984) predates the first Windows release by one year, and the first Linux release by nine. Though it’s a bit more complicated than that, since Unix—the common ancestor of the Mac OSes and of Linux, not to mention Android—dates back to 1982.
• Windows 8.1 is called “Blue,” not “Azure.” Azure is something else.