Steam wants to participate in console gaming, but what's the plan? - The UpStream

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Steam wants to participate in console gaming, but what's the plan?

posted Saturday May 15, 2021 by Scott Ertz

Steam wants to participate in console gaming, but what's the plan?

For many years, Steam has been the go-to store for PC gaming - although Epic Games Store is slowly trying to come for that crown. However, if you've been around the gaming space for a while, you might remember that Steam tried to get into the "console" business with the mostly disastrous Steam Machines. Fortunately, the company abandoned that concept (after most of the partners turned them into Windows computers anyway). However, Valve CEO Gabe Newell says that console news is coming soon.

Initially, it would sound like Valve is about to step back into their past mistakes, that is not necessarily the case. During a New Zealand panel, Newell was asked about whether or not Steam games would ever make an appearance on consoles. He answered, saying,

You will have a better idea of that by the end of the year.

There are a lot of possibilities about what that could mean. Likely, it isn't that Steam Machines are coming back - especially with a global chip shortage going on. So, that leaves us with the possibility of the Steam Store coming to consoles. The problem with that idea, of course, is that is would cut the hardware manufacturer out of the game distribution market. While this generation of consoles does generate revenue, it's the game stores that actually provide value for Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony.

So, what is Gabe talking about? Are some Valve games coming to consoles? What Valve games are missing from consoles? Will we be getting the back catalog on modern hardware (Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5)? Are remakes of older favorites I the works? There are literally a thousand possibilities and absolutely no additional information. While "end of the year" might include everything up to and including December, the most likely place to announce something console related would be at the virtual E3 next month. Let's hope we get some more information at that time.


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