Valve needs a killer app to drive interest in Steam Machines, says Gearbox CEO

Randy Pitchford says Valve's recent announcements only a curiosity without something compelling like Half-Life 3.

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Valve's announcements last week of SteamOS, Steam Machines, and a Steam Controller are only a curiosity without a killer app like Half-Life 3.

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That's according to Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford, who told GamesIndustry International that as it stands, Valve has not provided a sufficient reason why its new products and services are must-haves.

Pitchford said Valve needs to announce a product or service that makes use of the three components (SteamOS, Steam Machines, and Steam Controller) that could not exist individually.

"That kind of announcement would really help us all understand the necessity of their invention here," he said. "But we all know that product would probably have to start with an H and have a 3 at the end and it would sound like 'Half-Life 3.' But alas I would be very surprised indeed if we see any worthy movement on that front, as I do not expect another true successor Half-Life game from Valve for quite some time--possibly never."

Without a "must-buy product" driving consumers towards Valve's new endeavors, the industry overall will only have a passive interest in the announcements, Pitchford said.

"I expect that the industry at large will watch curiously, but remain largely unaffected by anything Steam does along this vector of OS, machines, and controllers over the next two or three years," he said. "If the must-buy product appears driving us there or sufficient time goes on where an installed base starts to emerge, more and more folks will move from being curious to being investigative with the possibilities."

Microsoft and Sony have said they are paying attention to Valve's announcements, while analysts are divided about the potential for the company's new products to impact the traditional console market.

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