PitchfordHL

Valve’s recent announcements have been met with mixed reaction; Steam OS will certainly help gamers make the most of their hardware, but many aren’t all that keen to ditch Windows or don’t have an inkling to dual boot. Steam Machines are nice, and would go great next to a TV (which is their point, really) but will they really compete with dedicated consoles for the living room? Then there’s that controller, which some hail as genius, and others think is hideous. Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford doesn’t care much Valve’s current direction. Mostly, he just wants them to focus on games.

He’s not enamoured with Steam Machines right now

“There has been some understanding for some time that Valve was looking at some angles in this direction,” he told GI.Biz, “so I imagine there was some curiosity and, with just a few folks, perhaps some concern about what they might show up with. I imagine that if I was in a key seat at one of the first parties, after hearing this news, I would probably exhale a bit and imagine that I don’t really have anything I have to worry myself about too much coming from this direction for a while.

“If I had a seat at either Sony or Microsoft, depending on which seat I was sitting in, of course, I would probably also be feeling a tiny bit better about my own decisions when I think about how I’m feeling about what I perceive Valve’s reasons and decisions to be here.”

He is, however, a little curious about the company’s haptic controller.

“I want to fiddle around with their controller. I’m curious what spectrum of propositions will be made with the specific machine offerings, but am sceptical that something will appear that leads me to think it’s a good decision to replace my PC.

“Maybe that’s not their aim – we’ll all learn more soon. But the burden to add an additional thing beyond the PC I am likely to keep is pretty high, so we’ll see if any of their machines can get me there if their intent is that these are dedicated Steam OS machines.”

Like most of you, he was hoping to see Valve finally announce Half-Life 3, which as you know, completely failed to happen.

“I want to see Half-Life 3 or other exciting and big and original offerings from these guys who are amongst the best in the world at crafting interactive entertainment and are resourced better than anyone. As long as Steam and Valve are one entity, I am always going to feel uneasy that attention and resources towards the platform is distracting attention and resources away from the entertainment they could (should?) be creating.

“I guess I am just a greedy gamer who wants to be blown away playing more of the best, new video games in the world, so I selfishly want to know that the incredible talent at Valve is spending 100 percent of their mindshare building new video games!”

I’ve got to say, I’m a little ambivalent about it all. while many new games will work fine, too many games would have to be rewritten for Steam OS for them to work properly, without using some sort of DirectX emulation or compatibility layer. It’ll also end up extending development time, making it so developers have to throw in even more of their already valuable man-hours to get games up and running on Steam OS; and if Valve mandates it, with their near monopoly on the AAA Pc games digital distribution market, they could hold developers to ransom. No Steam OS support? No Steam release!

I understand Valve really wants to push PC gaming forward, but like Pitchford, Id been hoping they’d do that by actually making games.

Last Updated: October 1, 2013

Summary
1.1
was reviewed on PC

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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