Nov 5, 2013
Is PC gaming decadent and archaic? Not if Steam has anything to do with it.
PC popularity is dying due to mobile devices and smartphones becoming more powerful, and with the next-gen consoles on the horizon, things do not look good for your faithful computer.
But this is where Valve comes in. They have announced their gaming platform has over 65 million accounts, with a “30% growth in active accounts during the trailing 12 months on Steam”. These statistics are hard to ignore. How can anyone say that PC gaming is dead?
Could the next-gen be directly competing with the PC? This is something previous console generations have not directly have to deal with, with either platform being dramatically different from one another. But now that so many devices can do similar things, and have similar architecture, there could be fisticuffs. Steam offers a staggering 3,000 games directly available to download. Gabe Newell statedt
“The main goal of Steam has always been to increase the quality of the user’s experience by reducing the distance between content creators and their audience… As the platform grows, our job is to adapt to the changing needs of both the development and user communities. In the coming year, we plan to make perhaps our most significant collaborations with both communities through the Steam Dev Days and the Steam Machines beta.”
It seems their efforts are paying off, achieving a very direct user-to-creator experience. But they won’t stop now, it seems. Their popularity is only going to increase in the forthcoming years. With many announcements over the past months, such as Family Sharing and colossal sales, they manage to keep their avid fans very happy indeed. Which is something that Microsoft do not achieve to the same extent.
Consoles could be getting even more competition from the Steam Machines; depending on sales of course. Avid PC gaming fans would most likely have a system capable of gaming, so a Steam Machine may not be their first choice. However, Steam could snag some casual gamers from Sony and Microsoft, who may be after a host of different gaming experiences at lower prices compared to the £50 RRP of next-gen titles. However, whether casual gamers would choose Steam over a more mainstream console is debatable. Moving to the living room could open the platform up to a number of new and existing users, who would be willing to spend some cash on different forms of games, suitable for controller gaming, with Steam’s own controller.
Time will be the test for the Steam Machine, yet the concept looks very promising, and there is a lot of excited gamers out there. Even if they cannot challenge the console, Valve and Steam could still provide a great alternative, and maintain the PC as a home of gaming.