Giant Bomb News

112 Comments

Valve Is Not Making a Steam Console, At Least Not Any Time Soon

Valve PR pointman Doug Lombardi shoots down earlier rumors of Valve's plans to get into the console business.

Rumors have been kicking around for the last few days about the possibility of Valve taking its currently computer-only Steam service to consoles--specifically, a console of their own. The original report, which came via tech site The Verge, cited various anonymous sources as it spun out the possibility of Valve contracting an outside hardware maker to essentially make a Steam set-top box for home televisions. The device would be less a traditional console than a way for Steam users to browse the Steam service and play their purchased games on the television, should they feel so inclined.

There really aren't any good images to attach to this, so here's Gabe Newell's bitchin' beard again.

Well, forget about any of that, because apparently it's all lies. Sort of.

Speaking to Kotaku's Stephen Totillo at GDC, Valve's longtime mouthpiece Doug Lombardi put the kibosh on the notion of Valve getting into the console business any time in the foreseeable future, explaining that yes, Valve has been contracting some new hardware from partners, but solely for the purposes of testing the upcoming Steam Big Picture Mode UI system, a new interface designed to let players more easily hook their PCs up to their televisions and play their various Steam games.

"All of that is stuff that we're working on, but it's a long way from Valve shipping any sort of hardware," he said.

Most of the console-centric news seemed focused especially on controller patents and various things related to biometrics, something that Valve has said before that it likes to use when playtesting certain games. Lombardi confirmed that these are all things Valve has worked on in various capacities, including in conjunction with the upcoming Big Picture UI, but that it has nothing to do with a new console that's coming down the pipes from the company.

Of course, ever the talented PR man, Lombardi didn't shut the door on the company ever developing something like what was reported in the Verge story. When asked by Totillo if maybe someday, long beyond this GDC or this year's E3 or whatever other near-future landmarks one might use to announce a new console, Valve maybe, just maybe, might actually decide to produce retail hardware, Lombardi simply replied, "I think that's accurate."

Guys? I'm actually a little confused on this one. Is this a happy ending or a sad ending? I suppose if nothing else, it is an ending, and perhaps that's enough.

Alex Navarro on Google+
112 Comments
  • 112 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Posted by Alex

Rumors have been kicking around for the last few days about the possibility of Valve taking its currently computer-only Steam service to consoles--specifically, a console of their own. The original report, which came via tech site The Verge, cited various anonymous sources as it spun out the possibility of Valve contracting an outside hardware maker to essentially make a Steam set-top box for home televisions. The device would be less a traditional console than a way for Steam users to browse the Steam service and play their purchased games on the television, should they feel so inclined.

There really aren't any good images to attach to this, so here's Gabe Newell's bitchin' beard again.

Well, forget about any of that, because apparently it's all lies. Sort of.

Speaking to Kotaku's Stephen Totillo at GDC, Valve's longtime mouthpiece Doug Lombardi put the kibosh on the notion of Valve getting into the console business any time in the foreseeable future, explaining that yes, Valve has been contracting some new hardware from partners, but solely for the purposes of testing the upcoming Steam Big Picture Mode UI system, a new interface designed to let players more easily hook their PCs up to their televisions and play their various Steam games.

"All of that is stuff that we're working on, but it's a long way from Valve shipping any sort of hardware," he said.

Most of the console-centric news seemed focused especially on controller patents and various things related to biometrics, something that Valve has said before that it likes to use when playtesting certain games. Lombardi confirmed that these are all things Valve has worked on in various capacities, including in conjunction with the upcoming Big Picture UI, but that it has nothing to do with a new console that's coming down the pipes from the company.

Of course, ever the talented PR man, Lombardi didn't shut the door on the company ever developing something like what was reported in the Verge story. When asked by Totillo if maybe someday, long beyond this GDC or this year's E3 or whatever other near-future landmarks one might use to announce a new console, Valve maybe, just maybe, might actually decide to produce retail hardware, Lombardi simply replied, "I think that's accurate."

Guys? I'm actually a little confused on this one. Is this a happy ending or a sad ending? I suppose if nothing else, it is an ending, and perhaps that's enough.

Staff
Posted by Mijati

Oh well

Edited by iAmJohn

Gabe really has become Grizzly Adams, hasn't he?

Also, anyone who ever thought this had a possibly of happening is an idiot.

Posted by Fireburst

It's definitely interesting.

Posted by Rincewind

awwwwwww

Edited by RandomInternetUser

Holy shit, that beard. Combined with all his knives if he wasn't Gabe Newell I would think he was a serial killer.

Edit: Maybe he's turning into Santa Claus with all of his generous sales.

Posted by BeachThunder

OK, now we need a news article to tell us that Naughty Dog aren't making a Mario game...

Posted by Crunchman

The truth is they're partnering with Sony on the PlayStation 4.

Posted by TheHT

When did Newell get that awesome beard? Like you said Alex, that's some steaming how PR talk there. Probably stokes the fire more than put it out, which I suppose means he's doing his job well.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@iAmJohn said:

Gabe really has become Grizzly Adams, hasn't he?

I thought he became Robin Williams in a fat suit. (OH GOD, WHAT HAVE I CREATED!?)

Posted by Scrawnto

It always just sounded like a PC to me. How else could it have allowed Origin and other competing software to be installed, as was indicated in the rumors? How else could it run the back catalog of games on Steam? It was pretty obvious that they were just describing hooking your computer up to a TV with a Steam UI that's optimized for that, which isn't really anything new to get excited about.

Posted by Makoto_Mizuhara_Sakamoto

Well... closure IS closure.

Posted by cooljammer00

"Guys? I'm actually a little confused on this one. Is this a happy ending or a sad ending? I suppose if nothing else, it is an ending, and perhaps that's enough."

*looks up* Oh, Alex wrote this one.

Posted by Talis12

some day................... it will happen.

Posted by Landon

Good. I don't want to buy another console.

Posted by craigymail

Check out that beard.

Edited by IAmNotBatman

Well fine, DON'T take my money then!

Posted by SlashDance

Gabe is badass with that beard !

Online
Posted by cassus

@iAmJohn: Valve seem to still have it as an option, so.. Idiots? I'm actually hoping it will happen. Would, if nothing else, give pc gamers one platform that, for the most part, will run games without problems on day one. I usually don't have a problem on my PC, but game forums always get flooded on day one with people not being able to run games.

Posted by TehFlan

That beard is rather bitchin'.

Posted by Cyrisaurus

They should still work with Sony to make Steam the online component of PS4.

Posted by Goldanas

@cooljammer00 said:

"Guys? I'm actually a little confused on this one. Is this a happy ending or a sad ending? I suppose if nothing else, it is an ending, and perhaps that's enough."

*looks up* Oh, Alex wrote this one.

Haha, I did the same thing. Not that it's a slight against Alex, the article was just so tame until that moment, and then it caught me off guard.

Posted by Protonguy

On one hand this saddens me because all my friends could get on the same platform a lot easier. Then i remember every one of them that plays the games i do has a good PC anyway. Problem solved.

Posted by Maitimo

I'm amazed this story had so much traction to begin with. They're doing well enough as it is. No need to risk that kind of money sink.

Posted by Deusx

I WANTED A CONSOLE WITH GABE'S FACE ON IT. NOW MY DREAMS ARE CRUSHED.

Posted by CptBedlam

Bittersweet ending? I guess? ... anyway, sounds like Valve will ship out a console-sort of thing eventually.

Posted by Winsord

Not surprised in the slightest; the rumours were really dumb.

Posted by Terrents

this would be great. please do it valve. it would be the easiest pill to swallow for a download only console for most people i think

Posted by CptBedlam

@iAmJohn said:

Also, anyone who ever thought this had a possibly of happening is an idiot.

Your're calling Doug Lombardi an idiot?

Posted by AuthenticM

I want Valve to make a console or set-top box.

Also, old grizzly bearded Gabe is the best Gabe!

Posted by blacklab

Good, it doesn't make any sense. Consoles are a loss leader which enable the real revenue on the software side. Valve already sells a metric fuckton of software and to all appearances that's not going to change anytime soon.. Why sink capital into hardware? Makes no sense.

Posted by Christoffer

"Set-top box for television" ...feels kind of old and dusty right there.

Posted by Mrugby08

Booooo! I wanted a Companion Cube console.

Posted by Biggie

I think we will mostlikely see Valve entering into agreementes with, Dell, HP et al. to preinstall Steam on gaming focused Media PC. The improblemts in intergrated graphics, Windows 8 and Steam big screen UI make this an ever more attractive option.

Posted by Humanity

Thank God! I don't have room for another console with it's own unique selection of exclusives..

Posted by Mezmero

I would buy a console connected to steam that could run every pc ever made. It won't happen before the sun exlplodes.

Edited by Katkillad

You want to play pc games on your tv?  Have a tv that isn't 10 years old and buy an HDMI cord.  Seriously...  why would they ever think of making a console?  The only smart thing to do would be to align themselves with the next generation of consoles and be an app for microsoft and/or sony.

Posted by Parsnip

Bearded Gabe looks like Santa.
Which is accurate.

Posted by Airickson

Some say we are seeing the end of the handheld gaming device as we know it -- being replaced by phones and tablets -- casual gaming. Perhaps, in some regard, with computing power increasing the way it is (example iPad3), we will, in the not-to-distant future, see the end of the console as we know it. Not that it will all be replaced by casual gaming, but the opposite.

It could be that Valve is looking to not exactly make a console, but not exactly make a PC, either, but some sort of hybrid that fills both niches.

Posted by TruthTellah

This is neither a happy nor sad ending.

It is simply an ending that makes sense.

Online
Posted by falling_fast

well, good. no one wanted it anyways :/

Posted by eulogize_my_baked_goods

@blacklab said:

Good, it doesn't make any sense. Consoles are a loss leader which enable the real revenue on the software side. Valve already sells a metric fuckton of software and to all appearances that's not going to change anytime soon.. Why sink capital into hardware? Makes no sense.

This

Valve is comprised of some very smart people and this never sounded all that smart. There are plenty of ways they can expand their strangle hold on the PC downloadables market without the need to produce custom and extremely niche hardware that is only of interest as a novelty to people who would never actually buy one if it really existed.

Posted by Mdk5631

My understanding is that getting into the console market is prohibitively expensive....

I read somewhere that Microsoft lost money on its first several million xbox 360 sold's (even at $600 a piece) because the costs of R&D and marketing were so high.

Only a super-huge company (maybe Apple) could afford to do so....

Valve is not big enough to even take a rumor like that seriously

Posted by eccentrix

I'm relieved. I don't want my family to see my embarrassing amount of games.

Posted by Binny

This is something interesting to think about. I would love a powerful PC like console for my living room.

Posted by Winternet

Okay.

Posted by Bunny_Fire

judging by how long it takes valve to put out HL2 part 3 im guessing maybe 15-20 years we might see one ... but im sure a person can make there own steam console ... i mean how hard can it be to stick a spare computer under the TV :D

Posted by Chemin

I do approve of that beard. Bitchin' is the word.

Posted by PenguinDust

Simpsons reference there at the end. Good work, Alex. As for this news, I have no strong feelings one way or the other.

Posted by Branthog

Robin Williams has really let himself go.

  • 112 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3