Microsoft: Valve’s Steam Box Approach Validates Ours With Xbox One

‘Valve is clearly a smart company.’

Posted By | On 27th, Sep. 2013 Under News | Follow This Author @GamingBoltTweet


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Earlier this week Valve announced Steam Machines, custom gaming PCs running on SteamOS which is based on Linux. The Steam Machines will also support a new Family Sharing feature, something that was a part of the original Xbox One plan. Later on, Microsoft ditched the feature after the entire (well, almost) gaming community revolted against the Xbox One’s draconian DRM policies.

So does Valve pose a threat to Microsoft’s future plans? Phil Harrison, corporate VP of the Xbox division believes it is too early to comment on.

“To be honest, it’s too early to tell, I don’t have enough facts to properly evaluate it yet. I don’t know their approach, I don’t know enough about their business model, or their financials and so on,” he said in an interview with CVG.

However he applauds Valve for making smart moves in the industry and how, in a way, it validates Microsoft’s approach with the Xbox One.

“But, Valve is clearly a smart company. I admire what they do, I admire how they do it. I would add though, that their approach helps validate ours. The biggest screen in the house is the living room, the console which you have connected to that is also usually connected to the most sophisticated sound system. That’s the centre of gravity for games in the home,” he added.

Do you agree with Harrison’s notion? Furthermore do you think Microsoft will ever bring those initial features back on Xbox One? Sound off in the comments section below.


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  • HalfBlackCanadian

    This just goes to show that it only sucks if Microsoft does it.
    They’re a company too popular to hate for their own good. Seemingly damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

    • ToastedThong

      It doesn’t suck if only Microsoft do it.
      Steam have offline modes.
      Steam have sales where you can get relatively new games for dirt cheap.
      Steam are bringing family plans and are actively discussing them beyond “Look! Family plan! Family plan!”, you are able to participate in a beta of it without buying anything.
      Steam doesn’t hide everything behind a paywall.

      The original Xbox One design had none of this.
      It had to be connected to the internet.
      When asked about their sales, they only referred to their current ones. Their current ones are pathetic, and PS+ sales offer far more value over theirs.
      When asked about family plans, they didn’t provide any information about how it will actually work. They just repeated it over and over again, forcing you to buy it and deal with the terms to actually see what it was about.

      The original plans were littered with too many DRM restrictions. Yes, the Vita has DRM, good sales and free games… Does it require you to connect to the internet every 24 hours? No.
      Steam have good sales and free games… Do they require you to connect to the internet every 24 hours? No.
      The original Xbox One is the worst thing to happen to gaming, don’t you dare even compare it to something like Steam.

    • HalfBlackCanadian

      Woah, hold on…I’m gonna need you to take my comment more personally.
      i wouldn’t DARE compare to Steam that was also almost universally reviled when it came out…
      Also, when did MS have a min amid all the bitching and moaning to explain anything? Do you not think Valve had an easier time saying ‘Family Sharing’ AFTER MS already shared the structure?
      24 hr check in and always online are two different things. The console needed to validate the copy you were playing since the disc was a delivery method. How many Steam games are on disc?
      I agree that PS+ offers more and that Steam sales are likely,to,be unmatched.
      Also, beta invites exist on consoles. And everything on XBLA required a trial mode (not sure how that will work with self publishing)

  • Milan

    “But, Valve is clearly a smart company. I admire what they do, I admire how they do it. I would add though, that their approach helps validate ours. The biggest screen in the house is the living room, the console which you have connected to that is also usually connected to the most sophisticated sound system. That’s the centre of gravity for games in the home,”

    I think what he said is being misunderstood, “Valve is clearly a smart company. I admire what they do, I admire how they do it. I would add though, that their approach helps validate ours” i think by this they meant their approach to take over the Living room not the DRM shit the pulled back in may.

    • Phil

      That’s the impression I got when i read the article. And I certainly hope that’s the case because if he was referring to DRM then it shows, yet again, how lost and spinless Microsoft are. The whole fiasco they went through wasn’t because of their policies, it was because they didn’t have self belief and REAL confidence in their stratergy to begin with, so when people objected, they couldn’t argue their intentions very well and convince people it would benefit them. Rather than sticking to their vision and communicating it, they became defensive and folded. Saying that Valve’s stratergy validates their’s makes it sound like they’re riding on Valve’s popularity to gain approval and good PR.

      I mean, he could have said the they were setting a trend in living room entertainment that even the much respected valve are following. Would’ve sounded much better but possibly a little big headed.

      Indeed. damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    • Milan

      I agree, though the first time i read that quote i just thought they are talking bout taking over the living room, which are valve’s intention also.

  • dirkradke

    First of all, Valve is making no secret about what there plans are or where they are going. Second, Valve has a measure of trust from the community and it’s own users that Microsoft, due to it’s policies and message, will most likely never have with regard to video games. Finally, the whole used games controversy. Telling people that there store bought game cannot be resold when and where someone wants. There is actual case law that would contradict Microsoft’s former new policy. On top of all of this when people objected, didn’t understand, and then complained a Microsoft executive said: “Deal with it!” – This might be why Steam is more successful than Microsoft in this area.

  • Stranger On The Road

    Interesting, when did anyone revolt against the XB1’s Family Sharing plan? What people had issue with is that their physical copies need to be activated and would essentially become a downloadable* copy of the game. The 2nd was the every 24 hours online check.

    The loss of the Family Sharing surprised everyone since no one from the community was against it; in fact it was the XB1’s biggest selling point!

    * No not ‘digital’, even your physical copy is digital. We stopped using analog media to store games a very long time ago.

    • Guest

      Steam’s Family Sharing is only different in the manner of checking on the validity of the user’s license. The Xbox One did it once every 24 hours with a loop hole that allowed you to disconnect after the validity check and let 10 people play a game offline (only 1 at a time if they were connected).
      Steam’s check is a permanent connection that only allows 1 concurrent player at a time.
      Xbox One’s family sharing in the future will now be no different as the 24 hour period is gone.

  • Jason Mounce

    Now if Microsoft had the ability to not fuck everything up and have to reverse it at the last second due to consumer backlash…..whereas Valve hasn’t had that issue yet….


 

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