Microsoft: Valve not an Xbox competitor

President of Xbox business says Half-Like maker "doing some innovative stuff," but is not a bona fide threat.

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Valve is stepping into the living room space with its "Steam Box" hardware and Steam Big Picture mode, but Microsoft does not consider the company to be a threat to its Xbox business, according to a new report from The Verge.

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Speaking this week during Microsoft's TechForum, president of Interactive Entertainment Business Don Mattrick was asked if Valve was thought of as a competitor. Mattrick bluntly said "no," going on to note that Valve is "doing some innovative stuff."

"The scale of products and things that are being brought to market are probably a little bit richer when I look at Sony, Nintendo, Apple, and Google," Mattrick said.

Mattrick was also asked about the possibility of opening up the Xbox platform in a greater capacity to third-party developers. It doesn't appear that this will happen, as he said he is content with Microsoft's current curation strategy.

"There's a certain level of technical and production competency that people have to get through because we're trying to curate great experiences," he said. "We're trying to make sure that what exists upon our service on our system is done to a quality level and has interest for people who are likely to use it."

Microsoft is expected to announce its next-generation Xbox during a one-off media event in April. Rumors about the console have run rampant, with speculation about the device suggesting it will not work without Kinect, require an Internet connection, block used games, and have Siri-like voice recognition.

None of that, of course, is confirmed.

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