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  1. #1
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    Steam now selling PC + Mac software

    Wow.

    Steam Expands Beyond Games

    Aug 8, 2012 -- Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and Team Fortress) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced the first set of Software titles are heading to Steam, marking a major expansion to the platform most commonly known as a leading destination for PC and Mac games.

    The Software titles coming to Steam range from creativity to productivity. Many of the launch titles will take advantage of popular Steamworks features, such as easy installation, automatic updating, and the ability to save your work to your personal Steam Cloud space so your files may travel with you.

    More Software titles will be added in an ongoing fashion following the September 5th launch, and developers will be welcome to submit Software titles via Steam Greenlight.

    "The 40 million gamers frequenting Steam are interested in more than playing games," said Mark Richardson at Valve. "They have told us they would like to have more of their software on Steam, so this expansion is in response to those customer requests."

    For more information, please visit www.steampowered.com.
    Good for Steam and Valve. I don't think this is a bad thing, but I have this sinking feeling that this is the beginning of the end for Steam.

    One of my very good work buddies told me that Steam would start selling movies/TV shows (like iTunes or Amazon unbox) in the next five years. This was two years ago.
    Last edited by Keven; 08-09-2012 at 06:34 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Steam now selling PC + Mac software

    I've been reading about this a little bit in the last couple of days, but have heard the idea mooted several times within the last few years. There is no reason why the Steam model can't work with any type of paid software. The real benefit is that I believe, to some extent, it allows a paid software product to compete with the ever-increasing number of free web-based products. One of the nice things about free web-based products is that you can always log-in and have the newest version, which steam is also capable of providing.

    As a gamer, I can't entirely complain about valve diversifying, since it frees them up to take on riskier game ventures as a result of their diverse revenue stream. Still, I can't help but agree in part to your point, Keven. If Valve loses their focus on what has made them great so far, Valve's game-centric product may suffer


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  3. #3
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    Re: Steam now selling PC + Mac software

    Another thing, this could make Steam more attractive for purchase from other bigger companies.

    You have to imagine that other companies have approached Valve regarding buying Steam from them. GameStop, for example, recently purchased the Impulse digital platform from Stardock and turned it into the "GameStop App" or whatever for downloading digital PC games. You have to think that GameStop approached Valve first and the price was too high.

    Right now, Steam is probably making so much money for Valve that the asking price for somebody like EA, or Activision, or GameStop to acquire it is too much. But, if Valve starts selling software, movies, TV shows, mobile apps, etc, then it becomes a serious competitor to iTunes or Amazon's digital stuff and then it might be more appealing for bigger fish.

    I trust Valve, but I worry that some other company running Steam could screw it all up!

  4. #4
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    Re: Steam now selling PC + Mac software

    Quote Originally Posted by Keven View Post
    Another thing, this could make Steam more attractive for purchase from other bigger companies.

    You have to imagine that other companies have approached Valve regarding buying Steam from them. GameStop, for example, recently purchased the Impulse digital platform from Stardock and turned it into the "GameStop App" or whatever for downloading digital PC games. You have to think that GameStop approached Valve first and the price was too high.

    Right now, Steam is probably making so much money for Valve that the asking price for somebody like EA, or Activision, or GameStop to acquire it is too much. But, if Valve starts selling software, movies, TV shows, mobile apps, etc, then it becomes a serious competitor to iTunes or Amazon's digital stuff and then it might be more appealing for bigger fish.

    I trust Valve, but I worry that some other company running Steam could screw it all up!
    Valve is still a private company, which makes them less vulnerable to purchase by a larger company. I suppose that everyone has their price, but we don't have to worry about some big company coming in and buying them on the open market


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  5. #5
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    Re: Steam now selling PC + Mac software

    What if...


    Steam has a summer sale....


    ...for productivity software!

    ohmygod

  6. #6
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    Re: Steam now selling PC + Mac software

    Valve restarts the rumors about them producing hardware with a new job listing for an industrial engineer:

    From the job listing (emphasis mine):

    Valve is traditionally a software company. Open platforms like the PC and Mac are important to us, as they enable us and our partners to have a robust and direct relationship with customers. We’re frustrated by the lack of innovation in the computer hardware space though, so we’re jumping in. Even basic input, the keyboard and mouse, haven’t really changed in any meaningful way over the years. There’s a real void in the marketplace, and opportunities to create compelling user experiences are being overlooked.
    Everybody raves about how great it is to play games on 60-inch HDTVs and I'm seeing more and more "tastemakers" in the video game community talk about plugging their PCs into big TVs and playing with Xbox 360 controllers from their couch. It's not for me, I like the intimacy of playing at a desk, but, seems like a lot of people want to play games on TV and I wonder if Valve will come out with a SteamBox or something that has combines the advantages of PC gaming with the couch experience that everybody loves. It's been rumored for a while and Patrick Klepek at GB reported that they have a few prototypes floating around the Valve offices, but nothing has been confirmed publicly, of course.

    Penny Arcade Report (Penny Arcade's new video game news site - some good reporting on there actually) asked Gabe Newell about this and he said (and I quote) "Well, if we have to sell hardware we will."

    I've kind of been worried about what the decline of the desktop PC will mean for PC gaming. For some reason, Gabe's comments make me feel better.

  7. #7
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    Re: Steam now selling PC + Mac software

    There have been times where I've mulled the idea of purchasing a console. Not for "hardcore" gaming, but more for the casual stuff that might be fun with my friends in the living room. I figured it would probably be used only very infrequently and I never actually did it. If valve was to somehow have a "SteamBox" where my steam games would follow, that would be far more likely to get me to buy in than an xbox where I'd have to buy all new games. That said, for anything but casual/Indie titles, the "couch experience" is not something I'm at all interested in. Gaming at low res on a big screen on a couch with a gamepad is so bush league. Why anyone would willingly choose an inferior setup for "hardcore" gaming is completely beyond me


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  8. #8
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    Re: Steam now selling PC + Mac software

    if its not broke.... try to fix it?

    what kinda awesome idea can they bring to the table thats going to make what we already do better?

  9. #9
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    Re: Steam now selling PC + Mac software

    Quote Originally Posted by sn00zie View Post
    if its not broke.... try to fix it?

    what kinda awesome idea can they bring to the table thats going to make what we already do better?
    I agree. Keyboard and mouse haven't changed because people like what they have. I'm not sure theres anything Valve can do that'd be revolutionary in the hardware space, but what they can do is implement their own hardware to bring their software to the party. Even if all they do is create hardware to run some kind of 10ft "Steam OS", that would at least be something different from what the big guys do. I don't think there would be much value in that for me, but it would at least be somewhat more compelling than buying an xbox


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  10. #10
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    Re: Steam now selling PC + Mac software

    Quote Originally Posted by Activate: AMD View Post
    Even if all they do is create hardware to run some kind of 10ft "Steam OS"
    I was thinking about this last night.

    I'm 99% sure that Microsoft OEMs aren't allowed to change the default UI of Windows. This is why Alienware made you download their Windows XP UI thinger with all the black and red aliens separately.

    So, Steam OS would have to be a version of Linux or something, not just a reskinned Windows. That itself brings its own problems because they would then have to sort of guarantee that every Steam game could run in their Linux-based OS without problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Activate: AMD View Post
    Gaming at low res on a big screen on a couch with a gamepad is so bush league.
    Yeah, this really baffles me how so many nubs now consider the controller to be the "preferred" way to play games. I have a PC Xbox 360 controller, but I use it for racing games and the Sega emulator on Steam (SEGA Genesis & Mega Drive Classics). I am just dumbfounded when these people try to convince me that a controller is superior than mouse + keyboard for anything but 1% of video games out there.

    I've told this story before, but I had a coworker who tried telling me controller was superior to mouse+keyboard because "the bones in your thumb are smaller than the ones in your wrist". WTF? Also, there was the 14-year-old MLG Halo world champion interviewed by PC Gamer, who admitted he wouldn't even know to play a first person shooter with a keyboard and mouse. I swear, sometimes its like bizarro world around here.

  11. #11
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    Re: Steam now selling PC + Mac software

    Quote Originally Posted by Keven View Post
    I was thinking about this last night.

    I'm 99% sure that Microsoft OEMs aren't allowed to change the default UI of Windows. This is why Alienware made you download their Windows XP UI thinger with all the black and red aliens separately.

    So, Steam OS would have to be a version of Linux or something, not just a reskinned Windows. That itself brings its own problems because they would then have to sort of guarantee that every Steam game could run in their Linux-based OS without problem.
    Hmm, thats a good point. There are embedded implementations of windows that boot straight into full-screen UI's though, so I wonder how that works. I can't imagine MSFT would be feeling too accommodating on the licensing end for an xbox competitor.


    Quote Originally Posted by Keven View Post
    I swear, sometimes its like bizarro world around here.
    ...bizzarOWorld?!


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  12. #12
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    Re: Steam now selling PC + Mac software

    I was at a friends house who has an XBox and he got me to try playing Black Ops on it, I might as well have had hooves instead of hands, it was that stinkin' clumsy feeling. Can't for the life of me figure how I used to play the original MOH on Playstation. Not that good I guess.

  13. #13
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    Re: Steam now selling PC + Mac software

    I was at a friends house who has an XBox and he got me to try playing Black Ops on it, I might as well have had hooves instead of hands, it was that stinkin' clumsy feeling. Can't for the life of me figure how I used to play the original MOH on Playstation. Not that good I guess.

  14. #14
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    Re: Steam now selling PC + Mac software

    Quote Originally Posted by Keven View Post
    I was thinking about this last night.

    I'm 99% sure that Microsoft OEMs aren't allowed to change the default UI of Windows. This is why Alienware made you download their Windows XP UI thinger with all the black and red aliens separately.

    So, Steam OS would have to be a version of Linux or something, not just a reskinned Windows. That itself brings its own problems because they would then have to sort of guarantee that every Steam game could run in their Linux-based OS without problem.



    Yeah, this really baffles me how so many nubs now consider the controller to be the "preferred" way to play games. I have a PC Xbox 360 controller, but I use it for racing games and the Sega emulator on Steam (SEGA Genesis & Mega Drive Classics). I am just dumbfounded when these people try to convince me that a controller is superior than mouse + keyboard for anything but 1% of video games out there.

    I've told this story before, but I had a coworker who tried telling me controller was superior to mouse+keyboard because "the bones in your thumb are smaller than the ones in your wrist". WTF? Also, there was the 14-year-old MLG Halo world champion interviewed by PC Gamer, who admitted he wouldn't even know to play a first person shooter with a keyboard and mouse. I swear, sometimes its like bizarro world around here.
    just point them at the failed shadowrun experiment. it had crossplatform play between the xbox 360 and the pc.

    they had to give console gamers aim assist to help balance it and even then it still wasn't enough.

    its been tried. the gap was too large and thus its never been attempted again simply because the pc players had an unfair advantage.

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