Steam Machines not a threat to Xbox One, says Microsoft

Corporate VP Phil Harrison says he has "great admiration" for Valve, but Xbox One will be "very successful" despite new platform.

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Valve's recently announced line of Steam Machines do not threaten Microsoft's Xbox One console business, corporate vice president Phil Harrison told MCV in a new interview.

Harrison acknowledged that Valve's vision for Steam Machines is not yet fully in focus, but said Microsoft has a winning formula in place for the Xbox One.

"I don't think it's a threat," Harrison said about Steam Machines. "I have great admiration for Valve. It has done some really smart things. The Steam platform for one. They're based close to our HQ in Seattle. We have a good relationship with it."

"We think the Xbox One business model, developer ecosystem, and retail support will make our platform very successful," he added. "It is unclear to me, until I see Valve's product and understand all of their announcements, exactly what they are doing."

Harrison said Valve's announcement of Steam Machines demonstrates that the living room remains the "center of gravity" for gaming experiences.

"The biggest screen in the house connected to a sound system is the place where you are going to get the most amazing games," he said. "So in that way we are aligned."

Harrison said previously that Microsoft is watching what Valve does in the living room space with "great interest."

Microsoft's Xbox One launches on November 22, while Steam Machines will be publicly available beginning in 2014.

Discussion

608 comments
Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

lol I find the hypocrisy and irony amusing when it comes to the PC elitists and the new Steam console.  So many PC gamers bragging about it and STILL trying to knock the other consoles.  So many bragging about how much better PC's are despite the obvious decline over the years.  

Someone mentioned a Ferrari and comparing it to a KIA.  You're more right than you think.  Sure a PC (or its counterpart) might look better and be faster like a Ferrari but its simply not practical.  Extremely expensive to buy and maintain and at least with a KIA, you can take the whole family out and drive it in all kinds of weather.  Just because you can afford to waste money on it, doesn't make it better.  

And how sad is it that you PC dbags still compare 8-9 year old consoles to todays PC rigs like you're better.  Even more sad, those 8-9 year old consoles are still competing successfully with those beefy rigs.  Diablo 3 on the PS3 was a better experience than the PC version and came out just a year after the PC release (PC gamers had to wait 12 years btw).  GTA V has yet to be announced for the PC...so how exactly is the PC superior again?

binbin90
binbin90

what's the point of a steam console if you already have it in your PC? What differentiates it from the PC counterpart? The controller? Something????.............

plm3d_basic
plm3d_basic

Steam box is a threat to windows 8 which Gabe says sucks and I agree.  Until Microsoft listens to their customers and get rid of that useless metro and bring back a functional start button that doesn't just bring you back to that stupid metro UI then I refuse to upgrade from windows 7.

MBirdy88
MBirdy88

""The biggest screen in the house connected to a sound system is the place where you are going to get the most amazing games," he said. "So in that way we are aligned.""

I'm sorry mister "I talk big about the company that i use to talk bad about" Harrison, but a brilliant headset and a monitor taking all of my field of view and being alot better to focus on than a distant tv is FAR better than the mundain average big tv console experiance.

Great for movies, nowhere near as good for games, so pipe down.

"buh buh the comfy sofa" like i give a damn im not 90.

steelmouth
steelmouth

I seem to remember Sony saying the same thing about Xbox when it first came out and we all know how that turned out for Sony and the playstation

ZOD777
ZOD777

And Ferrari is not a threat to KIA either.

Sundberg_man
Sundberg_man

Careful MS People said the same thing about steam and look how that went. Never underestimate valve.

FAIL_TR0LL
FAIL_TR0LL

Steam Machines aren't a threat to anybody...they're too much of a niche product.

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

"It is unclear to me, until I see Valve's product and understand all of their announcements, exactly what they are doing."


To this day , no one knows how or what they are doing, only Valve knows it and if they have the luxery of just producing shit for fun, just to see if it works or not, they'll take over the world and you'll still be asking, how did they do that?


 this entire company started from a game called Half Life and still no one truly knows exactly why its so awesome. It just is. Theres tons of shooters out there, but Half Life does something to your soul as you play it. I think its the music personally subliminally infected our brains somehow as we play it. But whatever it is, its POWERFUL game with rabid fans

Kryptonbornson
Kryptonbornson

Thinking--What if Microsoft eventually, after this upcoming gen, just rolled Xbox into Windows? Why not just make it a "hub" like on Windows Phone to launch all your games and basically have the console experience? If the start menu was Kinect controlled, there is no reason a PC that runs a Metro version of Word, couldn't instantly be transformed in a console by picking up your wireless controller and saying "Xbox play Halo 7."

Xbox would be a "device" brand like Surface or whatever they're going to call their phones after they take over Nokia. Xbox would just be a PC with no desktop and standard hardware for devs for program for. I'm surprised they haven't just aquired AMD yet and be done with it.

Zloth2
Zloth2

"The biggest screen in the house connected to a sound system is the place where you are going to get the most amazing games,"

Nope, that would be coming from two tiny little screens that are just a few inches in front of your eyes.

Kryptonbornson
Kryptonbornson

Yeah, Steam Machines will be a niche at best. No, at best, they'll help push for tiered-hardware for devs to make games for. Hopefully this will mean not ALL games shoot for the lowest common denominator in the future at least more in-line with consoles.

demonkingx5
demonkingx5

Seeing as you can upgrade it over time unlike the consoles it won't be left behind by the phones & tablet in the coming years. market it correctly & you'll have yourself a great unit.

omar_q
omar_q

Steam Machines are going to be costly as hell provided there specs. I don't need 2 gaming PC's in my house.

PS4 and Oculus Rift for me thank you. 

XIntoTheBlue
XIntoTheBlue

I'm sure, once upon a time, Nintendo thought the same of Sony and Sony thought the same of Microsoft. One cannot say for certain what the future will bring.

FULGOREY2K
FULGOREY2K

of course it's not a treat, one is a gaming focused, the other is a cable box

PsyChronic
PsyChronic

The headline of this story intentionally takes Phil's comments out of context to try to make it sound like a controversial statement when it was not.  He was asked about the Steambox and he gave generic positive feedback for Valve.  What was he supposed to say, "Steamboxes will destroy next gen consoles?" 

Catz_03
Catz_03

Not at the beginning, but if it's good enough it could take some sales away later on.

jd7904
jd7904

It may not be a threat to X1, but it is most certainly a threat to Windows 8. Also if you can install Wine and PlayonLinux you can play many of the games on GOG.

thomasn7
thomasn7

The Steam machine will need more than just Valve game's on it and that is where I think it  will be tough for them to get quality games on their console that aren't their own. Games sell not hardware.

Kryptonbornson
Kryptonbornson

@plm3d_basic You do realize big picture mode isn't that much different than Metro right? That's not supposed to be the point of what's bad about Windows 8. The desktop will eventually disappear, just like iOS is overtaking Mac OS. Only Ubuntu seems to be merging the right way. They'll have similar user interface elements, but that work right for each form factor and all the apps will carry over to each device with interfaces that scale also. Windows 9 will hopefully be something close to that, but yeah, that desktop people just pile files and icons onto is going away. There is already a file manager on Metro, so no worries. I think most people are worried about openness, but you must not have looked at some of the crap apps and games on the Windows store. Basically on par to flash games and such. I don't see why games couldn't be modded if the tools were built.

McGregor
McGregor

@plm3d_basic I'm with you, but I'd really like it if I didn't have to use Windows at all.

McGregor
McGregor

@MBirdy88 I'll admit, I like the focus of a monitor, but I do love kicking back on the couch to play a console game too. I say, get a controller, hook your PC up to your TV (HDMI is on all TV's now days), and game away. Problem solved.

anybodykilla15
anybodykilla15

@ZOD777 no steam machine is more like an audi e tron and Microsoft is a Yugo, a fucking lemon car

hystavito
hystavito

@Kryptonbornson I think the long term ultimate goal is to get rid of the more open platforms like Windows.  Most technology is going that way, only being able to run approved software, only being able to access approved services.  It's sad but that's the way it is, so I don't see them rolling Xbox into Windows as we know it now, but maybe a future Windows that is locked down like mobile OS', more like Windows RT.

That's the interesting thing about Steam, they are trying to make a standardized platform but retain some of the openness that gave us the PCs, internet, services, etc etc we have today.

Kryptonbornson
Kryptonbornson

@Zloth2 Rift? Nah, motion-sickness. It'll be a long time before VR catches on if they can't fix that problem. I sold my dev kit for a $150 profit and haven't thought about it much since.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@demonkingx5 And that's exactly why consoles are so popular... You don't have to worry about requirements/config, you pick up a game KNOWING it runs on your system with the same experience as everyone else.

Funny how Valve is trying to "enter the living room" bringing with it not only the problem of hundreds of different hardware configurations but also introducing a new one - OS fragmentation (As people will tweak and release customised SteamOS versions).

That sounds like exactly the opposite of what console gamers (And developers) want. If it's for the current Steam users, don't we already have a PC to play Steam games on?

Sundberg_man
Sundberg_man

@omar_q  They haven't released any official hardware specs, only for the steam box test hardware

Kryptonbornson
Kryptonbornson

@XIntoTheBlue Nintendo is still making money hand over fist. Their home console has been neglected by them and 3rd parties for some time. The threat they didn't anticipate was Apple to it's handheld business. 

Kryptonbornson
Kryptonbornson

@jd7904 Wine is funtional, but mostly it's terrible...besides, it only plays DX9 games, which will pretty much disappear next console gen. Not a threat to Windows, especially since no desktop Linux is ready for consumers to use, not without worse hiccups than Windows. I'm not really sure what Valve is trying to do. Maybe they're hoping Indies will step up and make games like iOS that are good enough that people will opt to play them instead of AAA. There will be very little Linux support, but not doubt the games will be cheap and with Steamworks, you'll basically have the exact same thing as other consoles.

TeejayMac88
TeejayMac88

@thomasn7 I think the idea behind the Steam machine is fundamentally flawed. I see people being more interested in having a single box that does everything rather then segregating things even more. Now I need to have a separate OS for games from the one I use for regular computer use? Just seems like an unnecessary hassle. I think Xbox has the right idea for the future, let's include TV, music, games all in one place in the most comfortable room in the house with the largest screen.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@thomasn7 If I could get a Steam Machine and install Windows on it, then I'd be interested. Assuming Valve are serious about "open" and "freedom" that should be an option. :)

But that's obviously if it's not a cheaper option to buy an HDMI cable and a Steam controller. ;)

McGregor
McGregor

@thomasn7 It's true. If they only have "Valve" games, then it's not worth it, but if they have the entire Steam library, that is a crazy piece of competition! Games at $10-$20 off their console equivalents. I think the Steam Machine has potential if they can get the entire library working on it.

phbz
phbz

@thomasn7 It seems to me that Valve knows that. That´s probably why their project does not circle around hardware. I thinks it´s all about SteamOS, and bringing PCs definitely to the living room. 

Kryptonbornson
Kryptonbornson

@McGregor Biggest problem is standardization. Not all games will let you launch straight from Big Picture mode even without a keyboard and mouse. the Steam controller solves that partially. Maybe the touch screen can be used when you need to input text like in some free-to-play and Ubisoft games. I still prefer standard console experiences for leanback, but the hassle isn't much for me. It would be for either my girlfriend of my kids.

Kryptonbornson
Kryptonbornson

@hystavito I don't see how the Windows store is less open. At best, you'll have all the same good and crappy games like now, but hopefully less or no malware. Elimination of piracy, so that means more profits for devs. Everything is in one place as searchable, with a common interface, so it's easier for users. Openness alot of the time just means more complicity, but that doesn't mean it's better for anybody. Hopefully Microsoft doesn't stop things like modding or devs can still allow for modding.

I wrote a paper in college like in 2001 about how I hated windowed operating systems and the applications because they were so unnatural, especially graphics products. Most of the apps I like use natural interfaces, namely stylus, and more things are starting to use touch where appropriate. That along with stylus would make Photoshop better, just being able to rotate your drawing and scale it or do simple things without needing keyboard shortcuts.

Sometimes the old ways are just what we're used to, not better.

Who knows what Valve is doing. To me, it's seems like they took away the best things about Steam wanting it to be on Linux. They'll still be locked down and charge devs a percentage when selling a game. If they allow for opening other apps or games on the desktop, I don't see the point of not just using Windows and booting to Big Picture mode at startup. The Windows desktop will likely be deprecated, but it will likely be around for another decade as the enterprise and other user refuse to let go of it. I prefer Metro apps. I can multitask while gaming or even suspend a game and go back to it after checking my email. Can't do that in a very good way with the way games are modal now.

demonkingx5
demonkingx5

@Daemoroth consoles as you know it will not be the same Phones & tablets are catching up to them & fast so with something like the open source steam machine which a lot of devs are going to the open source platforms now a days closed platforms like consoles will go away. look up mantle for example Devs are sick of Direct X an closed platform held tightly by microsoft.

Kryptonbornson
Kryptonbornson

@Daemoroth It's cheaper to buy and HDMI cable and a Steam controller. They've already stated they are just PCs you can do anything with.

Kryptonbornson
Kryptonbornson

@McGregor They won't. Just the games that have been ported to Linux. For the entire library, you need another gaming PC with Windows on it for backward compatibility.

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

@McGregor @thomasn7 yes, and with the cost to make games climbing this is a great way for developers to do some cutting.  With more developers making games for Linux it will get more gamers to buy Linux and thus more games to Linux. Repeat and grow.    

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

@phbz @thomasn7 True.

Still the OS allows developers more power from the same hardware. From a general PC to a MORE specialized Game machine.  Sure people can add bloat but they will do it at their own detriment. 

Less cost as Linux uses more Open Source software. Which are getting better even though not a huge focus has been on them. Now with even more developers turning to Open Source programs they will become far better. 

This will just be the beginning.   

Kryptonbornson
Kryptonbornson

@Ravenlore_basic No Windows doesn't benefit devs, it benefits Valve only. They'll pay the same 30% cut if they release it on the Windows store or Steam.

As far as OEM's they've tried to sell Linux boxes before and Linux is missing too much. If only they had as many useful apps as Android.

Consumers/gamers don't benefit from their PC ecosystem being fragmented or from yet another console.

Where devs might benefit will be if they had a platform that was just like a console, but they didn't have to pay the hefty licensing fees associated with consoles. EA has stated that some of their games made more money on PC than PS3. EA doesn't have to give a cut of their money to anyone however and they have a strong enough catalog, stronger than Valve, where they don't have to use Steam and don't use Steam. Even for publishers that don't use their own distribution system, it they would likely make a larger profit than consoles if no other reason than digital distribution is much cheaper.

As far as perfomance? SteamOS at best can hope to imitate the performance of Windows. If you've ever tried Linux, it's graphics and sound performance are lacking. AMD mantle and NVAPI could help, but you can use those things on Windows as well.