On the future of Valve's Steam Box

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Valve has yet to officially confirm specs for its upcoming Steam Box, although that hasn't stopped rampant speculation and analysis about the system's future in our living rooms.

As expected, a number of loyal Valve members are excited about the proposition, as they look forward to playing their extensive game libraries on the big screen.

Indeed, according to Jesse Divnich, Vice President of Insights and Analysis for EEDAR, Steam has been able to lead the way on digital distribution because the corporation isn't weighed down by retail brick-and-mortar stores and disc-based games.

Meaning, Valve can work directly with game publishers to offer huge discounts and promotions.

"These kinds of sales have helped cement Valve's status as the "people's company," Divnich recently told NZPCWorld.

"It really comes down to the basics of business. [Valve has] a very strong, and large, and loyal consumer base, so they're going to want to offer - not necessarily exploit - a greater range of services to their consumers."

Divnich also noted that the interest surrounding Valve's upcoming Steam Box is all about timing, as the current console cycle which has (painfully) lasted ages is finally coming to a slow close.

"An increasing amount of consumers become disengaged, but it's tough for them to entirely disengage from video games," said the analyst. "They still want to play video games, they just want something different, they want something new."

Of course, one can't help but wonder if Valve's Steam Box is capable of holding its own against industry heavyweights Microsoft's Xbox 720 (Next) and Sony's Playstation 4. And will it make as much splash as Ouya's Android-powered console?

Only time will tell for certain, but I suspect the Steam Box will find its own successful niche amongst PC gamers who are disillusioned with mainstream consoles, yet want to play their titles on the big screen.