In Edge magazine's latest issue, Gabe Newell has opened up on why he believes Steam Machines didn't take off with gamers.
In a wide ranging interview with Edge, where he also discussed why Valve are referring to Artifact's large scale update as Artifact 2 (opens in new tab), as well as the competition it shares with Epic Games (opens in new tab), Newell was candid about the failure of Steam Machines.
If you don't remember the hardware Valve helped to launch in 2013, they were pre-built PCs that ran SteamOS and were designed to sit under your TV so you could play Steam games in the living room. However, it never quite took off with players.
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After discussing how Valve fell in love with their plan without seeing customers do the same, he spoke in detail about the key issue regarding Steam Machines. Newell explained, "The hardware we were pushing for was super-incomplete at the time. I thought, ‘This is clearly where we all want to end up, and this is a point along the pathway to getting us there’.
"And people were like, ‘Yes, but you’re asking me to pay you money for the privilege of being on your roadmap, and I’m not really sure what I’m getting out of this at this time’. We needed to be a lot further along in terms of delivering polished consumer experiences before we were trying to get people to actually pay money for those things."
- Is Valve making Half-Life 3? Gabe Newell hints at the future of single-player games in Edge magazine (opens in new tab)
If there's a silver lining to this, it's that Newell discussed with Edge how Valve learned key lessons from the Steam Machines, and how it impacted their design philosophy. Newell said, "The combination of Index and Half-Life: Alyx, to my mind, is where we were always hoping we would get to – which is the ability to be designing hardware and software in concert with each other."
For more from Gabe Newell, as well as Edge's Half-Life: Alyx review, pick up your copy from My Favourite Magazines (opens in new tab) here.
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