It's official, Steam is more popular than Xbox Live
Valve today announced that its Steam digital distribution platform is experiencing tremendous growth and is now home to over 65 million accounts. Active accounts are up 30 percent during the trailing 12 months on Steam, which offers over 3,000 games and software titles. The achievement gives Steam bragging rights over Microsoft's Xbox Live service, which currently boasts 48 million members.
"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," said Gabe Newell, co-founder and president of Valve. "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."
Steam's rapid growth is a testament to PC gaming. And though Steam just celebrated its 10th anniversary, this could be just the beginning. Valve has been pushing hard to promote gaming in the living room, first by creating a Big Picture mode for large screen TVs and then following that up by creating a Linux-based prototype game box called Steam Machine.
Third-party manufacturers are free (and encouraged) to build their own Steam Machine systems running SteamOS, which would serve the dual-purpose of promoting Linux and getting PC gamers in the living room without having to swap out a PC for a traditional console.