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.
Valve wrapped up its trio of announcements a couple of weeks ago by unveiling its Stream Controller, a unique gamepad designed to play with upcoming Steam Machines running Steam OS, the company's other two big reveals. The Steam Controller represents a move away from the traditional keyboard and mouse combo that have been so dominant on the PC platform, but according to Valve, this isn't like other controllers on the market. To prove it, Valve posted a video demonstrating the Steam Controller.
Valve sent out an email to members of the press announcing its upcoming Steam Dev Days conference, a two-day event for video game professionals to satisfy their geek in a relaxed, off the record environment. They'll have access to industry expertise, be able to participate in roundtable discussions, attend lectures by industry veterans, and even try out (and provide feedback for) Steam OS, Steam Machines, and Steam Controllers.
Valve confirms Steam boxes will also support Intel and AMD
When Valve finally unwrapped the specs of the 300 beta Steam Machines last week, many assumed that Nvidia would have a lock on Valve’s Linux-based gaming machines. Today though, Valve broke cover yet again telling us that Steam Machines would support the three primary graphics vendors today.
Unveiled at CES 2013, the Piston console has long been suspected to be a Steam Machine
Utah-based modular computer manufacturer Xi3 created a lot of buzz when it trotted out the diminutive Piston console at CES 2013, leading many to speculate whether it was actually a Steam Machine (or “Steam Box,” as was the preferred term back then). The company’s chief marketing manager David Politis played it coy when online editor Jimmy Thang probed him on the matter. Now, the company says it will reveal additional details about the Piston on Monday, September 30.
We now know what the last of Valve's big three announcements is this week. Following the introduction of SteamOS and Steam Machines earlier this week, Valve today unveiled its Steam Controller, the last piece of the puzzle intended to get you playing PC games on your big screen TV using Linux. In making the transition to the living room, Valve is somewhat following in the footsteps of traditional consoles with a controller that looks nothing like a keyboard and mouse combination.
Valve just followed up its SteamOS announcement from earlier this week by unveiling what it calls "Steam Machines," a new category of living room hardware designed to get you playing PC games on the big screen. There will be different hardware to choose based on your needs and budget, details of which will be unveiled at a later time. In the meantime, Valve has designed a high-performance prototype and plans to ship 300 of them to beta testers, free of charge.
Valve co-founder Gabe Newell has been very outspoken in his criticism of Windows 8. He viewed the OS as the beginning of the end of PC gaming, in particular because he feared Microsoft's walled garden approach could eventually be used to shut out the competition. It's not really surprising, then, that the first of Steam's big three announcements this week is the introduction of a Linux-based SteamOS.
Valve co-founder Gabe Newell turned a few heads earlier in the week at the LinuxCon 2013 conference by saying the next step for his company is to release some work it's been doing on the hardware side of things. Many speculated he could be referring to an official Steambox, though even if that's the case, it won't be the only thing Steam is cooking up for next year. Valve will make three announcements next week.
Gabe Newell calls Linux the “future of gaming” while pillorying closed platforms
Be it the launch of the Steam for Linux client or Big Picture Mode, Valve has been steadily laying the groundwork for its long-announced invasion of the living room. Although it seems the next logical step would be for the company to show off some dedicated hardware, it isn’t known how far along in the development of the “Steam Box” it is at this stage. But going by some of the comments CEO Gabe Newell made during his recent keynote at LinuxCon, it appears that some sort of dedicated hardware from Valve could show up as early as next week.