Microsoft watching what Valve does with "great interest"

After Half-Life developer reveals Steam Machines, corporate vice president Phil Harrison says Valve is an "impressive company" and "competition is good."

Valve's announcement this week of Steam OS and Steam Machines has caught the eye of Xbox One maker Microsoft.

Speaking with Eurogamer, corporate vice president Phil Harrison said Microsoft will keep a close eye on Valve as the Portal studio pushes into the living room with its new technology.

"The announcement was only made last night so I'm still studying all the facts Valve has released. But Valve is a very impressive company, and obviously we're going to be watching what they do with great interest," Harrison said.

For Harrison, Valve's eagerness to move into the living room with Steam Machines speaks to an interest gamers continue to have in console-based experiences.

"But it actually goes back to an earlier question. I think the death of the video game console was prematurely announced," Harrison said. "Clearly there is a lot of excitement around gaming in the living room on the biggest screen in the house, often times connected to a great sound system and creating that real intensely high quality game experience with a very powerful CPU and a very powerful GPU."

"Our point of view, clearly, is that Xbox One is the best incarnation of that, but competition is good!," he added.

Valve has a third announcement for this week planned for Friday, September 27 at 1 p.m. EDT. The developer has teased that this announcement may be related to a proprietary controller.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
699 comments
Aaronp2k
Aaronp2k

Harrison said. "Clearly there is a lot of excitement around gaming in the living room on the biggest screen in the house, oftentimes connected to a great sound system and creating that real intensely high-quality game experience with a very powerful CPU and a very powerful GPU."

"Our point of view, clearly, is that Xbox One is the best incarnation of that, but competition is good!" he added.

wrong, the ps4 is more powerful which makes ps4 the best incarnation of that lol. microsoft developers have even admitted this. I think before microsoft thinks about competing with steam machines, they should be worrying a lot more about sony's ps4 which actually releases before the xbox one and has a cheaper price point than the xbox one. sony are the ones who need to be keeping their eye on valve.

The fact microsoft are saying valve is an impressive company and so on just goes to show how screwed they really are. They are trying to make themself look better than sony by instigating that they are going to be competing with valve. there is no competition though, valve's steam machine will be better, and you never need to buy another one since you can upgrade it. sony cannot even compete with that either, but they are at least going to last a lot longer than microsoft.

hotcheese0
hotcheese0

I hope people realize Microsoft is the real asshole here, they are the reason why Rockstar has yet to plan for PC release of GTA V because of the extremely expensive Windows 8 license fees. (In order to push game developers to Xbox one) Valve strongly believe Microsoft will ruin the PC gaming community by limiting Steam and all other PC game developers. Vote with your wallet, support Steam and don't ever upgrade to Windows 8.

Aaronp2k
Aaronp2k

@hotcheese0 if steam os supports all the latest games, then I will be building my own gaming rig again. until then I am sticking to console, because I have had it with windows. it just sucks.

radikel
radikel

@hotcheese0 

Couldn't agree with you more pal. And for people wondering why licensing is so high becuz of its pc and all that jazz, it becuz of DirectX(a useless p.o.s). Really can't wait for Valve to be successful with this and give M$ a big 'SUCK IT!!!'

Leon Cole
Leon Cole

Yeah, if Microsoft does do it right, it's over for the Xbox and PS4.

csx105
csx105

By "watching" they mean on the look-out to see if Valve's OS is going to be using WinAPI. In which case, MS can start suing, because that's what big multi-million corporations do. . .they sue.

starduke
starduke

"Yes sir, we are still watching Valve.

Right now, Subject Newell is picking his nose. 

Now, he is rolling up the snot. 

Oh no, he just flicked it at our hidden camera! 

We've lost visual, sir, 

I repeat, we've lost visual!"

edinko
edinko

" "Our point of view, clearly, is that Xbox One is the best incarnation of that, but competition is good!" he added."

Well he is truly delusional. THe Xbone will be irrelevantly subpar compared to some upgradable Steambox.

I am pretty sure they aremore scared to death than interested

jark888
jark888

Valve should definitely have some share in console market.

Aaronp2k
Aaronp2k

@jark888 valve deserve it. they are by far the best gaming company in the history of video games. they care about their consumers, and always take on board what they have to say in the community. they have never ripped me off, my account has never been hacked, I have always been able to log in to steam (never been down for maintenance in the history of me using it). They clearly know how to please gamers, when the steam machines come out xbox one and ps4 gamers are going to be dropping their jaws wishing they had been more patient. A games console which is the most powerful games console in the world, also upgradeable and it sells games at a fraction of the price of other consoles, who wouldn't want to buy it.

berserker66666
berserker66666

Senator Palpatine said the same thing to Aniken Skywalker. Look how that turned out. Palpatine became the emperor of the sith and Aniken became Darth Vader. Same goes for Microscam and Valve unless we keep it straight and narrow.

johnnybrac
johnnybrac

Latest gen Consoles announced till date still cannot outperform a PC. The thing he is talking about the pricing of the pc which is required to match the performance of a console i think is wrong. PC will always be ahead of consoles that is what i believe.

theKSMM
theKSMM

Death of the video game console?  I hadn't heard about that.  All I've been hearing about is the death of PC gaming (absurd) and the death of handheld game systems (maybe real).

Console gaming seems to be one of the few bright spots for the industry.

tightwad34
tightwad34

LOL. When I read this I pictured MS trying to copy off of Valve's test in class.

xcollector
xcollector

@AggrandizedUser A steam machine is a pc with steam os that you buy pre-made. A pc with steam os is something you make your self.

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

SteamOS and box is a good idea. Although its not yet established as a living room brand so perhaps it'll sit in it own ecosystem.

At the right price Id buy one for ease of access to steam games. I tend to only buy steam games during their sales and then not play them much. If they were accessible on my TV, steam could get more of my gaming time and dollars.

megamatics
megamatics

When Valve makes a move it usually is Huge... Thinking the XboxOne stands a chance on it's own when it isn't even a PC is a huge understatement. If this Thing goes the Distance it's graphics, sound quality,and processing power will outclass everything on the market. 

LeperousAvenger
LeperousAvenger

@AyatollaofRnR @megamatics Not only that, but they are talking about their machines being upgradeable. I think that the console business is as profitable as it is because their is no need to upgrade. It will be interesting to see what Valve does, but it doesn't seem very promising to me. This doesn't sound a whole lot different than that Nvidia Shield garbage was. I've heard they are pushing using those Nvidia servers(I forgot what they are called). That means that they will be relying on streaming services/cloud sevices to play games. If that's the case, then no thanks, I'll stick to my pc and gaming consoles. 

Wraith3
Wraith3

" ...and obviously we're going to be watching what they do with great interest," 

I'm pretty sure the Emperor (as Chancellor Good Guy) said the same thing about Anakin Skywalker. They intend to turn them or crush them if they get too big! lol

grbolivar
grbolivar

Steam Machines will allow different systems for different budgets, and all of them will be compatible with Steam games. Valve once again shows superiority.

hystavito
hystavito

Even if SteamOS and Steam machines really take off and begin to take over the industry, there would have to be a very long transition period where games work on both those and Windows as well.  For this period at least, it would actually be a boost for MS Windows.

Diegoctba
Diegoctba

Looks like Microsoft will be out of the market, because only Steam and PC has great games.

PumpkinBoogie
PumpkinBoogie

Well, it's obviously not surprising MS is shitting bricks behind their 'all is good; competitions okay!' veneer. It's no secret that Gabe is not only aiming for the living room; but more specifically the Windows/MS side of the table. They're watching b/c their nervous of this new threat. 

I mean, I'd guess Sony and Nintendo may be observing too, but to be frank--considering those are the 2 'veterans' of the 'Big 3'--I'd imagine it's not really more of a concern to them. This jab/grab for consumers seems more directed at MS, than anyone else. 

I don't have a problem using Win7 for work and gaming; but it'd be interesting to see what these Steam machines are and what they can do. I can already do 'Big Screen' mode in the Steam client, but admittedly it's cumbersome to keep up and moving my laptop closer to my TV so I hook it to my HDMI port. If there was a specific Steam machine that could be that perfect marriage between playing on tv, not having to move my laptop, and plays all my Windows-based Steam games seamlessly--I ain't gonna lie, I'd be interested (it certainly would be a compliment to getting my PS4). 


Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

Microsoft is getting their billions ready to buy out the company and switch everything to Microsoft software.  

Windows OS, Direct X, Windows API...   

I wish Valve the best of luck, Google also, and Sony, along with a Mildred of companies that dare to take on Microsoft and its minions, paid off bureaucrats, and league of layers.  

megamatics
megamatics

@Ravenlore_basic They'd waste a lot of money buying out Valve. They're a massively successful game maker and platform designer just like Nintendo. 

Sporks_Calamity
Sporks_Calamity

@Ravenlore_basic That is how most corporate companies are. Like Sony or Google haven't bought out companies before. Me thinks you've been playing too much sci-fi games in thinking that their is only one evil corporate company. 

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

Windows 7 for now. I want to see just how open this OS is before I opt-in. 

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@GSGuy321 You can research Linux in general for now, try it via virtual machine, and dual boot later if you like it.

megamatics
megamatics

@GSGuy321 Windows XP is better then most of what came out after to be honest. I have no beefs with Windows 8 other then maintenance is a little more of a chore. I don't have any machines running linux because I have no reason to really use it. The Steam OS brings new light to wanting a Linux Machine. 

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@megamatics @GSGuy321 Support for XP is going to end soon. If you are running XP right now, I'd suggest looking into 32bit Linux distros and backing up important files for now.

Derpalon
Derpalon

I don't care if my opinion is unpopular. Steam is still at its core a DRM platform that places a dependency on Valve's servers for all your games, single player or otherwise. The last thing I want is to install an OS entirely devoted to DRM-locked games. PC gamers refuse to admit it but just because Gaben is the benevolent dictator for now doesn't mean he'll remain in power forever. DRM doesn't get a pass just because it's Valve pulling the strings instead of Microsoft. Will be sticking with Windows 7 for now.

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@Derpalon Yep, but Steam's not the only ones with DRM in digital games. While DRM is normally unwelcomed, there are some funny forms of it. Research Earthbound's DRM for a good laugh.

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

@Derpalon When YOU can get game for less than renting them for a week OR buying them NEW and SELLING them back... 

What does it matter. Really use some MATH skills. Steam is for me the only reason to go PC and now with Steam OS I will get one console and a Steam Box. 

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@Ravenlore_basic @Derpalon Some people have had bad experiences with DRM. Example, redownloading parts of your game because of timebomb DRM that corrupts them over time is no fun.

Derpalon
Derpalon

@Ravenlore_basic It matters to me because I'm not interested in renting my games I'm interested in owning them. I will gladly pay 60 even 70 dollars if it means I don't have to be dependent on someone else's service to play them. By the way your implication here is that because of the DRM they are able to have lower prices, which is an unjustified assertion. I don't see Uplay or Origin offering similar deals despite using the same infrastructure.

Derpalon
Derpalon

@Jinzo_111887 I shouldn't say that I'm against all forms of DRM. Just ones that hinder legitimate players' ability to play it whenever and wherever they want as opposed to hitting the actual intended target which is of course the pirates. I think Earthbound's DRM was appropriate.

hystavito
hystavito

@Derpalon Actually some games on Steam contain no DRM at all.  The developers can put a game on Steam such that the files can be copied to another location and the game can run, no protection.

I'm not saying it's common, and in many ways you are correct, but it's not always like that.  Some indie games are distributed via Steam but can run without it.

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@Derpalon @Jinzo_111887 I know how you feel. Online Passes and always online games/streaming services suck. By the way, did you check out GOG to see what they have to offer?

CCGR_Pheonix
CCGR_Pheonix

@hystavito @Derpalon From my experience, you're dead on. You can play the majority of single-player games offline (so without Valve's servers, obviously) without any problems. The only games you usually can't are ones that require steam for their multiplayer. Say, CS:GO, Dota 2, etc.

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

@Derpalon @Ravenlore_basic Good point, though many people are complaining that they are not able to sell their games.  I still have my games from Snes, PS1 Nintendo GC.... SO I do understand that point. 

As for price point, other DD companies may not have the same price point I only know the sales that I look at with steam... many older games, some games that are not that old within a year, and some "newer" couple months old games.

Derpalon
Derpalon

@CCGR_Pheonix Wrong, you cannot install these games in offline mode even if you have backed them up to a disc, so the dependency is still there. I reload my OS every 2 years to clean it out. I shouldn't have to place blind faith in Valve that those servers will always be available when I need them, even if it is unlikely that they will be down in the foreseeable future.

Derpalon
Derpalon

@Ravenlore_basic I'm not so much concerned with selling my games as I am with preserving them. It is disheartening to think that many games will be lost to future generations because of stupid arbitrary restrictions created by online dependency. Many of those classics you mentioned may very well be unplayable right now if they were dependent on online authentication at the time.

Derpalon
Derpalon

@Jinzo_111887 Yes, I fully support GOG and have purchased both Witcher games from the site. Will probably purchase more titles from them in the future.

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

@Derpalon @Ravenlore_basic And that's what I don't like about Gaikai. As a streaming service, the games are stored else where. If a something like a licensing issue with the games pops up, the games could be taken down.