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Why SteamOS isn’t trying to take over the living room

In the minds of many, Valve’s announcement of SteamOS has put the speculated-upon Steam Box into the realm of XboxOne and PS4 competitor. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Once upon a time (essentially yesterday) games consoles were ubiquitous. Everyone you knew had one. Now that’s changed and gaming belongs to mobile and tablet. As this transition played out, Valve and their Steam platform have continued to focus on that alternatively loved and ridiculed community, PC gaming.

Today the Steam platform stands at about 50M people, which is a lot but by global standards it’s not anywhere near ubiquitous (don’t kid yourself, PC gaming is still statistically not a normal thing to do). But by utterly focusing on this community, Valve has succeeded.

In today’s digital world, you’re either ubiquitous, a focused niche, or dead. Valve isn’t trying to control the living room (and certainly not compete with Sony or Microsoft) and that’s precisely why SteamOS is going to be a winner. Just watch.



Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jim Bob

    How do the 50 million Steam player’s stack up against the number of Xbox Live accounts?

  • dylancollins

    Good question. I think about the same number. But key point is that Steam players are much more on the hardcore side/far less mainstream gamers than XBL.

  • Jim Bob

    It’s a fair point and I think your argument has a lot of merit. It does call into question though whether MS have chosen the right strategy in how they have positioned the XBone. Portraying it as a mass market device for the family living room seems risky when the figures would suggest that it is more niche.