Blizzard COO "excited" by Steam Machines

Paul Sams says "If anybody's going to be able to do it, it would be [Valve]."

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Blizzard COO Paul Sams is "excited" to see what Valve does in the living room space with its new line of Steam Machines, the executive told GameSpot at BlizzCon last night.

"I'm excited to see what they do, to be honest," Sams said. "Obviously with Steam, they've done great things; they're a talented group. And I would say that if anybody's going to be able to do it, it would be them."

Sams went on to praise Valve further, saying the company has a proven track record of delivering compelling products and services, and Steam Machines could be their next hit.

"I think Valve is a really great company," Sams said. "I think [Valve cofounder Gabe Newell] and his team have consistently and regularly done great stuff, and I think if anybody could do it, they can."

A variety of Steam Machines, from Valve and numerous other manufacturers, will be available in 2014. Valve has also created its own controller for the system, featuring trackpads in favor of traditional thumbsticks.

Blizzard is not the only company to be paying attention to what Valve does in the living room space. Platform holders Microsoft and Sony have both commented on the technology, with Microsoft saying Valve's road into the living room won't be without difficulty.

For more from Sams, check out GameSpot's video interview below.

Discussion

112 comments
sunbeam4
sunbeam4

less blabla and more action "blizzard".

ndmq
ndmq

Hooking a PC to living room big TV. Way more powerful than consoles and it does everything else consoles can't do.....Consoles doomed to die.

so_hai
so_hai

13 of the 21 news stories currently here on Gamespot are concerned with Blizzard.

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

Ya know... when you put quotations around something like "Excited" ya give the WRONG IMPRESSION OF WHAT IT IS.... *facepalm*

dmastor
dmastor

Price for steam Machine please...

Tribesmaster
Tribesmaster

Blah blah blah blizzard dislikes F2P blah blah diablo 3 blah blah warcraft movie blah blah WoW expansion blah blah blah new heartstone cards blah blah  heroes of the storm blah blah blizzard open to consoles blah blah warcraft for mobiles. I don't think there's enough blizzard news.

auto2112
auto2112

If there's quotation marks in that there headline, you can bet your bottom dollar 'Fast' Eddie Makuch has his glue at the ready, always eager for a good pasting! Yeehaw!!!

JulyAeon
JulyAeon

Long recognized that the next gen consoles/media boxes are a lost cause to me personally.  Steam is going the right way, and if they manage to pull of the steam machine they'll hit the demand "I just want to play my game without the whole moronic marketing world looking on to me and ramming their choices down my throat" right on the head.  Yes, all is not perfect and marketing comes in all sorts of shades, but with Steam I feel that I am a gamer not a marketing target for all sorts of things not related to games.  And yes, it can be daunting at first, but a little research and getting information can overcome the feeling that they don't hold your hand and take away your decision making, it is all yours to make.  How cool is that!

Also the constant misconceptions about pc's costing a fortune is ignorance in most parts.  Granted not all people have family like mine that pass on "old" stuff from their just upgraded pc's, but one doesn't have to get the latest in graphic cards etc.  Having looked at and estimated how much a new xbox1 and all the upcoming additional costs (known and possibly/definitely coming in the future) and of course the new games which are predominately multi player orientated and in which I have no interest in at all, I have come to the conclusion that it is well worth spending that little bit of more money on my pc in the long run.   And if more people come to that conclusion than there might even be a higher demand for pc parts and in the future possibly cheaper options because of the revival of pc gaming.  

Also having replaced most of my xbox games with the pc versions I have found out that I enjoyed playing these a lot more than the console versions.  And of course there is the wireless controller that makes certain games (not a lot, but some) an enjoyable experience. With so much choice I sometimes can't decide which game to play...

LS-Chaos
LS-Chaos

I have a lot of steam games and no longer own an PC, so I hope this will be in a good price range and I'll be happy to pick it up! If not, then I'll just get another PC! xD shall be interesting to see how this turns out!

phbz
phbz

Looking at the comments I got to the conclusion that Valve might be losing the most important battle when releasing a new product. Product communication.  

Probably their message is a bit confusing to the regular gamers, since I see many users having trouble understanding. On the other hand, this is the way Valve works, letting their products speak for themselves and not rushing things. But as I see it, as we are on a generation transition, it would be important for Valve to step up their game a bit this January with the Steam Machine presentation. I understand that they'll be reluctant to take big risks on an hardware battle - they'll never compete with consoles- but they should do some effort to offer a competitive price on the PC market, gaining nothing -or close to nothing- with their machines thus forcing the competition to follow. IMO, they, and other big manufacturers, should also unite in some kind of consortium and try to make deals with Intel and Nvidia to have lower prices. 

But if on the hardware prices they can't be in the same league as the consoles, they have to find a way  to make console gamers understand that even if they end up spending 1000$ on their gaming rig- and end up with a machine vastly superior to an X1 or PS4 - what they'll be able to save when buying games, and using online services, will make the average gamer "recover" his investment in about an year. 

I´ve been a Steam user since HL2 release day but have been more of a console player, still I only have good thing to say about Valve´s quality of service. Now I think it´s time for me, as a customer, to say enought to consoles and to the dumbing down -both hardware and software wise- they brought to the industry. So, with a Steambox or without one, I'm willing to support Valve and contribute to the massification of their living room invasion.  

nomad4ever
nomad4ever

Steam Machine is like a PC and it is made for casual gamers who don't have knowledge of assembling PC. I hope it succeeds.

PosiTVEMinD355
PosiTVEMinD355

I'm so ready for a Steam Machine. With the money I saved up for a cancelled "next gen" console, I should have enough for a high end model when they release it. I use to hate Steam and now that I actually tried it, I ate my words. Anyone concerned with DRM shouldn't be because most of the time, you get these games for almost dirt cheap and you can play offline, unlike MS and Sony's bullshit Rio and Gaikai services which are anti-consumerism at its finest. 

Cant wait to play System Shock 2 and Amnesia on my 65in!

tom2750
tom2750

ill stick with consoles far more easy simple and stress free and I want as do most console gamers want physical copies of there games not digitally downloaded games filling up my hard drive if I have no free space on a steam machine and I delete a game to get free space do I have to spend all that time just to re download that game and if I had a steam machine would I always have to be connected to the internet to play these games oh well it doesn't matter either way as they are not physical plus overall I much prefer the experience of using and gaming on consoles then on PC's plus someone said because the steam OS is basically Linux so you can only play games on the steam machines if they have a Linux version don't most PC game not have Linux versions and only have a windows version?

Kunasha
Kunasha

Please games on SteamOS = Blizzard games for Linux. DO WANT! :)

aeterna789
aeterna789

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. I see what your up to Blizzard.

Diegoctba
Diegoctba

The DRM machine? No thanks! I want to own my games.

bryanhudd
bryanhudd

@ndmq I can see this going two ways. Either SM will put most of the advantages of console and PC together to make a piece of hardware that everyone should buy, or SM will be a watered down hybrid of the two. It all comes down to how close the system comes to the power of a good PC and how low the price is.

bryanhudd
bryanhudd

@dmastor SM has an Android like model. Different companies can make their own models. Price will vary.

dmastor
dmastor

@JulyAeon I wouldn't play most games if it wasn't for marketing to tell you the truth like Brothers on Xbox 360 or Last of us hype on PS3 just being honest, Marketing isn't all bad and steam market every time you sign in 

ollie_sr
ollie_sr

@JulyAeon Keep in mind that it might not be able to run Windows or Windows games. Steam OS is Linux based.

snaketus
snaketus

@LS-Chaos Well it's a normal PC with Valve brand on it. It will cost like a PC. The parts inside is the factor of price, more power costs more money. Nothing different than normal gaming PC. But of course if Valve decides to sell (or other manufacturers) these at loss it's another story, but I highly doubt they will do that, and why would they?

AnonymousSquid
AnonymousSquid

@phbz To recover your investment over a year given this info:

- PC 1000$, PC game 50$

- PS4: 400$, online subscription: 60$, games: 60$,

To recover in one year: 1000-400-60=540

#games you have to buy given you save 10$ compared to a console game: 540/10 = 54

So to recover within a year, you'd have to buy 54 games. Now, that's some freakin hard core gaming. The average PC/console gamers don't even buy that many games over the time it takes for a new console to come out (6-7 years for PlayStation this generation around)

Also, this 1000$ PC is not likely to provide a much improved experience over consoles given that games for consoles are much more optimized for the hardware.

demondogx
demondogx

@nomad4ever If a steam machine could give me a cheaper high end pc then assembling it myself i would totally go for it, dont see how that would make the difference between being casual or hardcore, just a matter of pricing to me.

SkyAboveThePort
SkyAboveThePort

@nomad4ever Kowing how to assemble PCs doesn't make you a hard-core gamer. If you buy your gamer rig off the peg doesn't mean you're a casual gamer. Steam Machines will be fully modable PCs, just smaller. Everything remains the same, except they'll be more easily acceptable in the sitting room for the Mrs.. ;-)

demondogx
demondogx

@PosiTVEMinD355 I really like steam because i dont even notice the DRM being there, and im fine with companys makeing drm as they have the right to protect their games but only if it does not get in the way of your real customers
And disc and boxes where real nice but i also remember times i wanted to play an old game and it took me forever to find the disc, the libary is just so simple :)
And ofc steam deals and bundels are awesome.

IceDDZ
IceDDZ

@tom2750 Run on sentence much? First, learn how to construct a sentence, paragraph, etc.

Second, MANY titles on Steam are available in retail form, which contain Steam keys, I have a DVD rack full off games of this sort.

Your point about taking up hard-drive space for installed games is laughable. The PS4 and Xbone both have requirements for installing (45GB for Killzone as an example) the game to your console's hard-drive (500GB total). Once the game is installed and activated on Steam it can be played offline (provided it's not an online only game).

Steam OS is Linux based, doesn't mean you cannot have Windows on it, or any other OS for that matter. If you want, you could run multiple OS with a dual boot system.

Stop failing, troll.

aeterna789
aeterna789

@Diegoctba Uhhh...Steam works perfectly fine even in offline mode. It also allows you to backup the whole game and unpack it when you want to install it again without the need for download? I think its safe to say that you already own buy in Steam.

so_hai
so_hai

@Grenadeh @so_hai If Blizzcon is so significant, it should be given its own section on the site like every other convention that's covered.

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

@dmastor @JulyAeon Except when marketing overhypes a game... Like pretty much every game as of late.  So ya marketing, now adays, is horribly bad.  It has the pure opposite effect on me becuase i know better than to trust most, if not all, what they are portraying with their schemes and whatnot.  If you are the type of person that believes everything, well I don't know what to say but people need to be aware of marketing within the gaming industry.  It's a huge reason, marketing games in an overhyped sense, as to why the gaming industry is failing.  

JulyAeon
JulyAeon

@ollie_sr @JulyAeon Thanks for pointing that out, so far I haven't come across a game that didn't. All in all Steam has offered me a good service and I have not had any problems with them.  Nothing is perfect in life and I do expect some difficulties at some stage, but I did go into this with open eyes and mind, and thus I am quite happy with STEAM.  If it is games you want, this is the place I recommend. This and/or GOG.  

bryanhudd
bryanhudd

@snaketus Hopefully a SM will come out that has cheaper custom parts like a console.

phbz
phbz

@AnonymousSquid @phbz As an example I´ll copy/paste a list posted here from another user (IceDDZ) some posts bellow:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AnOgy_i7G-ifdGhFcGJ2MENuazZaYmNQeUtDTTA3X0E&usp=sharing#gid=0

Of course depending on the user purchases and tastes it will vary. But no, IMO, there´s no comparison between what Steam offers and what console offer. Not even close. 

And while it is true that console optimization is a plus, it is a complete myth that it covers the hardware difference between both. Yet I agree in one point, there are some lousy ports for PC that can give that impression. But there were also plenty of lousy ports, mostly for the PS3.  

A console is a good compromise between quality and price. But that´s truth because the big money is on the console side, so developers are forced to make games for the lowest common denominator. I, as a consumer, want to play some part on changing this. And hopefully, if more follow, maybe it will become more accessible to other gamers in the future. 

Still, I´ll say it again. With hardware+software, the difference is not as big as some people think. 

archav3n
archav3n

@demondogx @nomad4ever lol you think that is possible? of course everyone is hoping to pay peanuts to get a ferrari. if you catch what i mean.

ollie_sr
ollie_sr

@IceDDZ Are you sure you’re going to be able to dual boot another OS on it? That’s a huge factor in all of this.

phbz
phbz

@IceDDZ Well, to be fair, he did implied that PCs were too complicated for him.

ollie_sr
ollie_sr

@JulyAeon @ollie_sr I don’t necessarily think it’s a problem. I think it’ll only impact us in the short term. For example, most AAA games are not Linux compatible right now. But as the Steam OS platform becomes more popular, I’d imagine people would want to hop on the Linux wagon. It’s going to be an interesting generation.

snaketus
snaketus

@AnonymousSquid @phbz I agree, the biggest plus on console is that your game will be working as intended without hassles. And I hope this will continue this upcoming generation. GTA V is good example this is not always the case and introduces horrible variable frame rates on console gaming. I hope GTA V is more of an exception than standard. Because biggest plus on consoles is constant frame rates without hassles with settings and driver issues. I really hope this continues in future. Maybe Steam boxes can introduce something similar to PC gaming too.

AnonymousSquid
AnonymousSquid

@phbz @AnonymousSquid There are pros and cons to all gaming platforms. I'm also interested by Steam offer and wish it succeeds.

My biggest frustration with PC is tweaking the settings for most games you play and driver issues, something you don't have to care for on a console. For me, that is a significant incentive towards console gaming.

I see the Steam effort as mitigating that PC gaming disadvantage by suggesting/selling tested machine configurations who will be more stable.

AnonymousSquid
AnonymousSquid

@archav3n @demondogx @nomad4ever I think it's possible. If Steam sells a lot of their machines, they could get better prices for components than you could yourself buying the same setup.

Now, would they take the extra profit for themselves or give a better price on their hardware is another debate.

IceDDZ
IceDDZ

@ollie_sr @dolchi21 @IceDDZ "Users can alter or replace any part of the software or hardware they want." right off the Steam OS web page.

Question: Can I hack this box? Run another OS? Change the hardware? Install my own software? Use it to build a robot?

Valve's Answer: Sure.

All these answers from the official Steam OS/Machines sites.

ollie_sr
ollie_sr

@dolchi21 @ollie_sr @IceDDZ Steam might have something restricting you to do so? It wouldn’t seem like they would, but no one REALLY knows what this thing is like. You can assume it’s using standard PC hardware, but what if there’s no way to dual boot? It’s just a slim possibility that I think should be considered.