Building Steam

4905995406_cd49255e23_oWhen thinking of games I’m sure you’ve got Xbox, Playstation, Wii or PC on the brain, but what about Steam?

No, not the type that comes out of your ears after hearing of Nintendo’s new Wii U marketing strategy, but as in Valve’s Steam. The Internet phenomenon has radically changed the way that gamers game. As a proud owner of an Xbox 360, Wii, PS2 and Gamecube (as well as handhelds), I was a bit wary of Steam and its digitally distributed content. Relying on the hard drive on my computer to measure what games I could run and/or even store severely limited my game choices, however, if I had an actual gaming PC I can see the appeal as having a mass library of games right on your screen is certainly a special kind of wonderful.

If you’re a gamer like me you will inevitably face the question of “What do I play? RPG? FPS? Or just a good ole’ puzzle game?” But what if you don’t currently own games in each genre? Well, Steam provides a mass library directly on your screen at the same (or lower) price of the retail version.

But will those games become more expensive and will the service model change now that Steam is considering getting into the console game with its Steam Box?

A Verge article by Joshua Topolsky reports that apparently Valve is seeking to not only change the way we play but also the way we are entertained citing that “According to sources, the Steam Box isn’t intended to just clash with current gaming consoles. Rather, Valve wants to take Apple and its forthcoming new Apple TV products head-on.” (Topolsky) So, not only will Valve try to vanquish its gaming competitors but also Apple? Is Valve biting off a bit more than it can chew?

Apparently the company is also working on a new type of controller with removable segments to allow players to switch between genres for an enjoyable and customized experience. Again, how far is Valve willing to push itself and is it trying to do too much? Most of the appeal of Valve is that it brings games to the masses easily and many times at a cheaper rate than retailers. In addition, Valve has been a great marketing channel for developers trying to get their name out like Super Giant the developers behind the 2011 mega hit Bastion.

Valve has been known for Steam and for again bringing games to your computer but is creating a new console, controller and overall new experience a bit too much for the company or can Valve handle the pressure?


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