Valve President Gabe Newell has teased that Steam games could be coming to consoles during a public Q&A session.
During a panel interview at Sancta Maria College in Auckland, New Zealand, Newell was asked if “Steam will be porting any games to console, or will it just stay on PC?”
Newell’s answer was surprisingly candid, as he replied that we would “get a better idea of that by the end of this year”. The tease elicited a delightful “ooo” from the crowd, and since the video was posted online by Redditor Odysseic (opens in new tab), the internet has gone wild with speculation.
Now the wording of both the question and the answer could be very important here. The audience member’s question can be interpreted to mean “is Steam coming to console?”, but you can also read it as “is Steam bringing any of its games to console?”. While the latter would be a big deal, the former would be an industry-shattering announcement. Of course, without further clarification from Newell, his answer has left many speculating.
When it comes to the potential of games coming to consoles, Valve has only released one major title recently, the VR adventure Half-Life: Alyx. There's a chance that this answer is Newell teasing a port of the incredible shooter to PS VR. Of course there is also the Valve-owned Campo Santo's In The Valley of Gods (opens in new tab), their follow-up to Firewatch, which could also be getting a console port as well.
As for Steam itself coming to consoles, it’s hard to imagine how it would fit into the current console ecosystem. Considering that Steam is a platform for buying games, it’s unlikely that either Sony or Microsoft would allow players to just install Steam on their consoles and bypass their respective digital storefronts, let alone the fact that there might be compatibility issues when it comes to games running on platforms they weren't designed for.
Odysseic has since posted more of the interview online (opens in new tab), where Newell talks about how Valve is working on updates for CSGO’s anti-cheat system along with new Team Fortress 2 updates. He also answers all kinds of questions about everything from his favourite games to brain-computer interfaces. His answers can be a little difficult to make out at times, but it’s all fascinating stuff.
If Steam does come to consoles, then Xbox and PlayStation gamers will want to check out our list of the best PC games to see what they can look forward to.