Valve Shows Off Steam Hardware, Promises No Exclusives

Lookit! A box! Isn’t that just the most exciting thing? The Internet is, of course, in a tizzy over Valve’s big reveal of a Steam Machine prototype, and – yep – it sure looks like one of them newfangled VCRs that can play those dang dern gametapes we never stop talking about. The bigger news, however, is that you need not worry about being required to own one – or even running SteamOS, for that matter. Nope, not even for Half-Life 3. Valve, happily, is philosophically opposed to the idea of platform exclusives.

Valve’s Anna Sweet explained to IGN:

“Whenever we talk to third-party partners, we encourage them to put their games in as many places as possible, including not on our platforms. Because we think that customers are everywhere, and they want to put their games wherever customers are. That would go against our whole philosophy, to launch something that’s exclusive to SteamOS or Steam machines.”

Driving the point home, Valve’s Greg Coomer added:

“If it can run in both places, we don’t like to create those artificial barriers to accessing content. We believe that, in maybe five years from now, folks will find it a quite antiquated notion that you should assume that when you change devices or platforms, that you lose all of your other games and friends. We’re hoping to unify, to get Steam to be as platform- and context-agnostic as possible. You shouldn’t have to shed that every generation, or even slightly shed it.”

An “exclusive killer app for SteamOS,” then, simply isn’t in the cards. Valve will continue to release on whatever platforms it pleases, even if SteamOS doesn’t directly benefit.

Which is a pleasantly sensible and forward-thinking mindset, especially in this age of renewed console warring that’s already seen lines drawn in the sand and poor, helpless giant robots dragged into one camp or the other. Also, it means PC gamers’ good times will continue unabated, whether we join Valve’s pilgrimage into living rooms or not. Good stuff.

Of course, this is all contingent on Valve ever releasing another game again. I’ll believe that when I see it.


  1. ChrisCorr says:

    Valve doesn’t like artificial barriers? Hmm…

    • Lemming says:

      Couldn’t help yourself could you? They’ve bowed to criticism admitting that what happened with HL2’s release wasn’t ideal, said they aren’t going exclusives with the Steam Machine, which was another negative prediction by miserable sods like yourself, but you still had to get your little dig in there didn’t you?

      • Bull0 says:

        Totally overreacting there, Lemming, and the name calling? Now now

        • Lemming says:

          The broken record made me snap a bit. Come on though, miserable sod isn’t that harsh.

          • Maltose says:

            Hey now, no one wants to be called an unhappy lump of dirt and grass.

      • ChrisCorr says:

        Sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you.

      • WrenBoy says:

        I have to admit that I am surprised that they are apparently not pulling a HL2. Where did they admit that the HL2 bullshit was not ideal though?

        • Lemming says:

          From the Verge article:

          Even though the company locked Half-Life 2 to Steam years ago, the team appears to have thought better of that decision.”That may or may not have been a good idea given the condition Steam was in at the moment.”

          • WrenBoy says:

            Well thats not saying anything at all. I may or may not be be Gabe is a true statement after all.

          • MichaelPalin says:

            So, is Half Life 2 not Steam exclusive anymore?

          • CookPassBabtridge says:

            From wikipedia: “Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Mac OS X, Linux”

    • Grey Poupon says:

      Well, actually Steam itself is an artificial barrier in quite a few ways. Also, when a company says how great their own business practices are, you should always remember to take it with a grain of salt. They practically always do whatever they think will net them the most money either short or long term. That said, I do use Steam and like its interface, but I just feel like Valve is a company among others.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Not sure what your hinting at, care to explain?

      If it’s as to HL2 being Steam only, they are the distributors, they distribute with the channels they can and that are cheapest/profitable. “Not insisting on” is not the logical opposite of “not allowing”. That is, they can promote cross compatibility, while only themselves distributing in one area. Why? I remember HL2 being ported to other systems. The “exclusivity” is down to the time it takes to put it on other systems, and the fact it’s in house. Nothing wrong with saying “those with houses live in them” and “those without are free to choose”. Valve is not being hypocritical here, it’s saying “distribute it yourself, or go to whoever you choose”. It’s not even saying “you must go to us” or “if you go to us, you cannot go anywhere else”. Where did you see them say anything else?

    • sophof says:

      See the comments to understand how any good thing can be turned into a bad thing as long as you believe in it strongly enough. And people wonder why politicians are always fucking up…
      It is like steam exists in this mysterious vacuum and the only thing we will accept is total perfection for free.

      • TechnicalBen says:

        No one said it’s perfect. But when someone starts a journey to the cinema, it’s kind of obscure to should “they might murder someone”. Valve have started a journey to a more open playform, and the shouts are “closed platforms!!!!”. Kind of anti logical. I’d be able to discuss “but in the past they messed up”, but here the direction is much less closed for certain.

  2. Tayh says:

    valve not to have exclusives? Must be snowing in hell.

    • Luringen says:

      The only Valve games that are exclusive to Steam and Windows are DOTA 2 and Ricochet i think.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Take off the “and Windows”, though, and it’s all of theirs.

        Remember, they used the sequel to one of the biggest FPSes in gaming as the thin end of the wedge for their DRM system.

        • Chalky says:

          That’s nice – valve are talking about platform exclusivity, not “oh woe is me I have to install a piece of software :(“.

          If you want to play the game, you can. Being opposed to installing the most successful digital distribution platform and crying about it not being available on pissing uplay or something isn’t even slightly the same as being unable to play a game because you don’t own the specific piece of hardware the developers have intentionally shackled the game to.

          Suck it up and install steam. Valve are in the advantageous position of nobody in their right mind wanting their games to be available via an alternative digital distribution outlet since all the competitors are currently terrible.

          It’s not like you’re even going to be forced to buy it through steam and DRM is only bad when it negatively impacts your gaming experience.

          • LionsPhil says:

            DRM is only bad when it negatively impacts your gaming experience

            You mean like when the Steam network was down Sunday morning and offline mode wouldn’t engage?

            Nice appeal to popularity, too. It’s almost like Steam has a huge install base because if you want to game on PC you have little choice to not use it—that’s very distinct from people wanting to. By that logic, everyone loves to pay tax, so why are you complaining about VAT rises?

          • WrenBoy says:

            Despite having paid full price for it at release, I have effectively never owned Half Life 2 due to its DRM. I didnt have internet access at the time and didnt read the boxes small print when I bought it. I ended up giving it to a friend and never played more that the first couple of levels.

            I would say that its DRM negatively impacted me.

          • kud13 says:

            “Valve are in the advantageous position of nobody in their right mind wanting their games to be available via an alternative digital distribution outlet since all the competitors are currently terrible.”

            really? How is GoG worse than Steam, except they have less titles, because they stick with a no DRM policy?

          • jrodman says:

            The did talk about platform exclusivity, but that doesn’t give you a reasonable position from which to make various false claims about DRM.

        • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

          Half-Life was on the PS2. Half-Life 2 was on Xbox. Orange Box (HL2, Ep1, Ep2, TF2, Portal) was on Xbox 360 and PS3. Portal 2 was on Xbox 360 and PS3.

          So no, most of their games are not platform exclusive.

        • TheRealHankHill says:

          Hey homeboy, you need to read more RPS. I’ve also NEVER had a problem with offline mode. link to

          • LionsPhil says:

            “Homeboy”? There’s a new one.

          • jrodman says:

            Please note that every time valve says it fixed offline mode, I get a few hours or days of offline mode failing a few days to months later.

            I do believe that there’s interest in having it actually work, but I don’t believe there’s the skill, or will to take the measures needed to have it work without that skill.

    • karthink says:

      Valve games will still require Steam on PC.

      • El_Emmental says:

        So now DRMs are platforms too ?

        You can install Steam on Windows, Mac OS and Linux systems.

        Steam doesn’t block any hardware component you may have in your system.

        I don’t see how the Steamworks DRM make a game a platform-exclusive title.

        • uh20 says:

          well obviously there is some stuff in between if your allowing some window to pop up first and then you have to go through some button for offline mode (which never seemed to work until 3 or so months ago).

          to be fair, the goodies outweigh the baddies with the platform, there’s nothing in the way of valve’s scooping everything up because theres no real alternative than just vanilla desktop icons, which i often accidentally get crowded and missing links and no updates.

      • Contrafibularity says:

        Also, PCs still require a screen of some kind. And to play games you will need your human body to interact with the game somehow. I’m sure future historians will laugh at these entirely unnecessary game-mind barriers. ;p

      • Derppy says:

        It’s only a slight inconvenience at best, not a real platform exclusivity.

        Think Microsoft dropping Xbox exclusivity and releasing their own store on PS3, PC, Linux and OS X, through which you have to launch games.

        It would be such an awesome thing for everyone that having to install a piece of software really doesn’t matter.

    • Buffer117 says:

      “That would go against our whole philosophy, to launch something that’s exclusive to SteamOS or Steam machines” am I the only person who reads that as very carefully worded sentence. At no point in any of these articles have they actually confirmed their games will be coming to next gen consoles, only that they won’t be SteamOS or steam machine exclusives.

      Therefore if they do announce new games coming to pc/steam machine only, which would seem a logical thing to do to compete against the other consoles in their domain, they have been totally honest. Yes in keeping to their philosophy those games may be released on next Gen consoles later (at Valve pace!) but I’d be really surprised if they don’t announce Portal 3, HL3, L4D3, TF3 or something new which at launch is only technically available on PC and Steam machines. After all they don’t want to alienate PC users, but I’m sure they wouldn’t mind tempting more console gamers to the good side of gaming!

      • TechnicalBen says:

        After Portal 2? They had no obligation to release on PS3, yet did.

        Your saying they would then about face turn and do it with Portal 3?

        I’m all for pointing out a slippery slope, but they are doing the complete opposite, what you want, and your complaining?

        • Buffer117 says:

          Uhh.. I’m not complaining, I admire Valve massively, I’m a huge fan and I will get a steam machine. I just find it hard to believe that a company as clever as Valve isn’t going to create a hype about its new machine which is competing against consoles. Whatever they may say about getting current Steam gamers who also want to be in the living room there (Hey I’m one of these thanks Valve!) that cannot be their long term objective for this. It has to be to get new people interested in buying the games Steam provides on that system, after all if those of us who are already Steam users get one of these machines, then how is Valve making much money from us?

          They’re hardly going to put a massive hike on the cost of the machines to make a profit, they aren’t being made by them and they also have to compete against console, not to mention the savvy amongst us would just build our own with the free OS. Are the millions of Steam users going to buy any more games whether they own a Steam Machine or not? I don’t think so (I can’t see much of an argument for why, especially if you’ve just dropped 500 quid on an extra PC), personally I won’t, but it gives me somewhere more comfortable to play games I already have/was going to get. They aren’t going to lose money on the controller by the sound of things, but they can’t make a huge profit on it either otherwise it won’t compete (the systems will get too expensive). So how is this initiative going to make Valve money?

          By getting more Steam users. And then those new users using Steam to buy games. To do that you need to attract people to Steam and or SteamOS. Thats why Portal 2 came with a free copy of the PC version to PS3 gamers, because they just might have played the game on PC and caught a steam sale or two and bought more games from Valve, a great move. It costs Valve nothing, they already sold one copy of the game and there is always a chance it might result in the sale of more games, if it doesn’t, then no harm done.

          The reason this is different from Portal 2 is Valve now wants to compete in the living room, not make you think about gaming on your PS4 in there and then maybe catching world of goo on your laptop. It wants you to be Steamed everywhere! I’m a PC gamer and entirely happy with the service Valve provides me, I have had minimal frustrations in recent years. A console gamer is going to need a pull to leave his safe console environment and try something new. Why should that not be the first place to play HL3 or any one of those games (as well as on PC), not the only place, but the first?

          • TechnicalBen says:

            I see Valves plan as the controller and the OS. These pay for themselves. The boxes are advertising only. They probably will claw them back and not even go into production. If they do, I don’t put it past them to learn gracefully. HL3 is not out for the pure reason they don’t want to be COD/BF4 and make the same mistake over and over.

  3. Bull0 says:

    Funny given that (on PC at least) Valve’s games are all exclusive to Steam.

    *edit* Hey, hey, folks, I know SteamOS and Steam aren’t the same thing, I know that you can play L4D etc on consoles (note I qualified my original point with “on PC at least”), no I don’t really have a problem with it, no I don’t think they should put them on Origin or UPlay (in this case they’re exclusive because you have to install Steam, not because you can’t also install them through Origin or UPlay, come on now), no, I’m not comparing Steam exclusivity to console exclusivity, nothing in my original post made any such comparison so don’t really know where that came from…

    but hey, maybe, just maybe, it wouldn’t be so bad if you could just install Half-Life 2 off a disc without downloading Steam and opening an account? You know, the way all games used to work? I’m not even saying I’d prefer that, BUT we’ve got Valve people here talking about how it isn’t in their ethos to promote walled gardens, which is seriously questionable because they don’t let people play their games without Steam. A very simple point, I thought.

    • bills6693 says:

      Yes but they won’t be exclusive to steam’s OS or valve’s ‘consoles’.

      I think there is a difference there. Its like if there were a game for Xbox or Playstation, but you could only buy it at one shop. Its still not an exclusive. Exclusive retailer yes, exclusive platform no.

      • Buffer117 says:

        I have bought steam games from Game, Amazon, Play etc…. you can buy them on disc, you need steam to play them. Ergo it is not an exclusive retailer on PC, it looks like it may be on the SteamOS but unlike other consoles you could still add the game to your steam list from a disc on a PC.

    • Luringen says:

      They are by definition not exclusive when you can play it on PC, Xbox, PS3, Mac and varius distros of Linux and SteamOS.

    • FurryLippedSquid says:

      Nah, they aren’t.

      • Bull0 says:

        Name the Valve game you can play without Steam, except, like, games they released before Steam existed, if that’s your point (how daft would that be? But this is the internet after all)

        • FurryLippedSquid says:

          Ah, but that’s not what you said.

          • Bull0 says:

            I’m not going to keep trying to tease your point out of you, you only get one I’m afraid

        • TechnicalBen says:

          All console lists in this article:
          link to
          PS, the second logical failure here, suggesting 2+2=5, is that “Valve == Steam”. If we talk about the distribution and sales company that we also use the client to for playing games, that’s “Steam”. If we talk about the game design, that’s Valve. Because Valve own Steam, they are somewhat hard pressed to distribute in other channels. Because of both supporting competition (they do not wish to pay for the wages of Uplay and EA Origin) and for risk of counterproductive results (Uplay/Origin crashing and they get the customer service calls) or even fees (EA want to give em the same cost for distribution as in house, fat chance!).

          • Bull0 says:

            “(on PC at least)”

          • TechnicalBen says:

            Then HL2: Episode 1.
            You can play that without Steam after activating (proving it’s a purchased copy) it. :)

          • WrenBoy says:

            How do you activate it?

          • TechnicalBen says:

            Your correct, you have to activate it first, but:
            “Activate” is not synonymous with “play”.
            “open platforms” is not synonymous with “no DRM platforms”.

            Thus, argue that Valve is bad for DRM and activation. The argument “valve is hypocritical because they once said “use and platform but have one time activation DRM” is a non sequitur sadly. They are hypocritical for many other reasons, but not this one. Show them for what they are, not what we get emotionally caught up in.

    • Eukatheude says:

      Except Steam is free and can be installed on any windows pc in about 5 minutes. Are you seriously comparing it to hardware?

      • The Random One says:

        They’re the ones who brought up “artificial barriers”.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      I don’t see a particularly good reason why Valve should screw around adding Uplay/Origin/ support to their games (if that’s even possible). I guess you could make an argument for the Steam protocol being provider-agnostic, but that’s not exactly a trivial affair. And hey, maybe we’ll get there eventually.

      • LionsPhil says:

        The solution to “this game is encumbered by an account-based DRM system” is not “add more alternative account-based DRM systems to choose between, so you can try to guess which one will interfere with your ability to play the damn game the least”.

        • Bull0 says:


        • pkt-zer0 says:

          A digital storefront without accounts? Not sure how that’d work. As for Steamworks, that’s optional, afaik. An underused option, but an option nonetheless. I don’t think that’s what people mean by “exclusivity” though, would be simpler to just call it “DRM”.

          • LionsPhil says:

            “Account-based DRM” is one token. GOG is a storefront with accounts, but the games you get from it aren’t locked to that account by technical measures. All traces of my account ever existing could be wiped from the world, and my games would still work.

          • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

            A digital storefront without accounts? Not sure how that’d work.

            Go ask Humble Bundle. You don’t need an account to buy + download their games. (Although you can make an account if you want.)

          • harbinger says:

            Technically Steam kind of works like GoG and is mainly a download client, the Steamworks DRM isn’t necessary or enforced. There are a bunch of games that you only need to download via your account on Steam and can play entirely without ever using Steam: link to

            “Q: But Steam is DRM!
            A: That’s not a question. And it isn’t technically true. Steam’s DRM solution (called “CEG” by Valve) is just one of many Steamworks components game developers may use, alongside achievements, cloud saving, the workshop, matchmaking network code etc.; just like with all the others, implementing it is not required to distribute a game on Steam. A game can use the other Steamworks features and still remain DRM-free.”

            It would probably be more prudent to contact the developers/publishers and ask them not to use or make the Steamworks DRM mandatory, but then a lot of peoples problems often seems to be that they rather not use Steam at all or have to create an account or having to run it to download things than specifically the DRM part of it.

        • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

          Well said, LionsPhil!

          • TechnicalBen says:

            Humble Bundle needs an “account” in that you need an email/download link. Just because they can provide multiple ones to each purchase, does not mean it’s not an “account” system.
            Yes, you need an account for Steam. If the problem is “accounts”, that’s not DRM. As you can have an account with Steam and only play their DRM free indie games. If you don’t want Steam, guess what, those indie games can be purchased OUT OF STEAM. :)

            So yeah, there is no exclusivity. If their is an artificial barrier, it’s to the Steam store, which is both optional, and the barrier is the reason it’s successful. It’s like saying “I hate this swimming pool, it’s walls are a barrier from me from getting in”, when that’s what keeps the water in too! :P

          • WrenBoy says:


            While it is a good idea for Humble Bundle to ask you for an email you dont actually need to give them your email to get the games. Once the purchase is made you it gives you access to the games you have bought via a popup window. The email is just to make sure you dont lose the link.

            So while it makes sense to give them your actual address you can get the games even using as your email address as far as I can see.

            In any case, the account itself is not the problem, it is the DRM attached to the account which is the problem. I have no issue with a GOG-like system for example.

          • TechnicalBen says:

            Tell me what an account is if not an identification number.
            We can call it an “email” a “log in” or a “link”.
            It’s and identification number.

            Now, it’s not DRM. Thus, if Steam wishes to identify you as the purchaser, and does so with an identification system, I’m happy with that. It’s not illogical or hypercritical of them to do so.

            Are you suggesting, that Steam should allow others to link their games as direct downloads? Where does Steam prevent that?

            It does not. But Steam does request that those using their service use an identification of an account before proceeding. If Humble Bundle can fund the bandwidth without this, then that’s fine. Perhaps Steam will follow suit one day. I don’t see Steam preventing me from using HB either, and most of my game cross both platforms and interlope (Lol, had to use that term) quite nicely between both. :)

          • WrenBoy says:

            Given that your username is TechnicalBen, it is somewhat amusing to see you confusing a URL with an account.

          • TechnicalBen says:

            I did neither.
            Do you know how a computer and an authenticator passes an “account”. It’s id based. That id is a string. Or but simpler, a number.
            The “link” that a company gives you is also a number, to the computer at least.

            Humble Bundle also wish to identify you as the purchaser. Thus they give you a number for identification.

            This is not different from an account in any way other than method. There are different methods of applying identification. :)

            Or are you suggesting there should be no identification method?

          • WrenBoy says:

            It is in no way an account. You should stop digging.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          Thanks for your example of GOG.
          Did you know Steam DRM is developer specific? Just as GOG does not ask people to add dRM to their games, Valve does not. The DRM is there are the bequest of the publishers, not as a requirement. With the exception of Valves own games. But you can push them about for that if you wish. Them putting DRM on their own games has nothing to do with other companies “exclusivity” or “DRM”. Just get one of the millions of Indy games off of Steam for an example of DRM free games THROUGH STEAM.

          … sorry, gotta breath. Can’t get over the amount of misinformation here. Yes, DRM is bad. But don’t point fingers at the companies that allow publishing with no DRM. Go show me Origin or Uplay providing indie companies zero DRM publishing. It’s like your practically mentioning GOG, then forgetting they are not the only store offering DRM free products.

          • WrenBoy says:

            For someone who thinks DRM is bad, you certainly spend enough time defending the PCs largest DRM provider.

          • Mercykiller101 says:


          • Slazer says:

            In this discussion, Valve is not more of a barrier that the bloody Rockstar Social club

          • TechnicalBen says:

            Defending a DRM provider? Who is your internet provider? Who build your PC? Are you using a Microsoft OS?
            Would you defend any of your usage or providers if they worked to lessen DRM abuse?

            I do not see DRM as inherently or by and of it’s self bad. Just like any tool, a “hammer” is not evil nor harmful. If used to though, it can be.

            I don’t see Steam using DRM to harm. If and when I do, I’ll avoid it and them. I do see they give (rightly so) the tools to others to use if they wish to. Now, for those committing crimes or acting harmfully to consumer, Steam can and do interact at times, but it’s not their sole responsibility.

          • WrenBoy says:

            Actually, your exact words were, “Yes, DRM is bad.”

          • TechnicalBen says:

            Yes. Guns are bad. In and of themselves? Not so. They need people to use them.
            DRM is bad if it manages the rights of one side and not the other. If it fails to work. If it’s hidden from the consumer.

            Does your ISP manage your connection? Do you use windows? These all have DRM. I don’t see you complaining about them. Point to the problems and how they can be solved instead of the people. Sadly we cannot change people, but we can work around problems.

          • WrenBoy says:

            I’ve noticed a certain pattern to what can loosely be described as your arguments.

            When others use words to criticize Steam you demand that they are used very precisely. In no way can a drm/distribution system be described as a platform. You are a man of science after all.

            When you use words to defend Steam it seems that you relax this rule somewhat. An email or a link are just other words for accounts. Saying something is bad doesn’t imply is is bad in and of itself.

            There is an adjective for this but I don’t think its scientific.

          • jrodman says:

            No, DRM is fundamentally bad. It removes the ability to take fully legal actions from the purchaser. You might think that this fundamental bad thing is a trade that you’re willing to make in order to get something else in return, but the DRM itself is still creating practical barriers to exercising legal actions that the buyers can only opt out of by skipping the product entirely.

            Now, bad is not an absolute thing. Just because this fundamental bad property exists in all DRM doesn’t mean that it can’t be discussed or is untouchable or whatever.

          • TechnicalBen says:

            Fair enough Wrenboy. I admit, I’ve found it hard to understand the argument presented. If it comes across as muddled to me, I’m going to find it hard to even give a consistent response to it.

            I’m not saying the conclusion is wrong. I agree that the idea that Steams use of DRM on their own games (Valves) is problematic. Note below though, the entire list of Steam/Valve DRM games that require Steam and and account (DRM) are multilayer games.

            Thus I cannot parse the argument that Steam promote DRM, as they use it to manage personal accounts of peoples details, not personal accounts of peoples copyrighted material in the first instance, even with their own games. I can go with the argument they allow DRM. But so does your ISP, your TV, your windows pc.

            To suggest Valve and Steam is hypocritical for suggesting others should be “open platform” is like me saying “you must not be using a windows PC yourself else you are also hypocritical. Because by using a windows PC, your also promoting and supporting DRM.” If I made that argument, I’d get told I’m being contradictory, just as others making the Valve argument are. :/

          • jrodman says:

            Steam’s support of DRM is not all similar to that of your ISP. That’s just ridiculous.

            Steam *wrote* the DRM and maintains the infrastructure built *specifically* to support it. They implemented it and shipped it and require it. Windows is really not involved at all (although there have been some unrelated Microsoft DRM shenanigans around playing digital video etc).

            There’s a fundamental difference between common infrastructure and purpose built sytsems.

            To use a clumsy analogy. if I build a machine that kills babies, and load it into my ford, drive it to your house, and put it in your child’s room and it kills them, I’m quite complicit. It would be very much unreasonable to suggest that I wasn’t involved in the murder — for example I can’t blame it on the machine as an independent entity. But certainly no one would try to say that my Ford Truck means that Ford was involved, nor the city involved because of the roads I drove on.

            You *can’t* make an open platform like windows or an open communication like the internet somehow stop people from being able to implement DRM. That’s impossible. So the fact that they don’t do the impossible doesn’t mean they promote it. Nor does the fact that these technologies make it possible mean that they promote it, any more than they promote the billions of other things that run on them. Enable, you could say, but that’s not what Valve is doing. They’re not *enabling* drm; they’re *selling* it. That’s a vastly different relationship and to claim these things are equivalent is a very dishonest thing indeed.

    • stoopiduk says:

      I sure wish I could launch my steam library through my favoured and the most stable of launchers, Origin, instead. That would be swell.

      Then perhaps Origin could go back through my library and charge me the amount I would have paid for those games had I been subjected to their “Challenge Everything, Except the Price” policy of having games at full price forever and ever.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      “Exclusive to Steam”, do you even know what that sounds like?
      “Maxis is exclusive to EA”
      “Simcity 5 is Exclusive to Glassbox”.
      Last time I checked, Valve games ran on consoles, Windows, Linux and AppleOS. Steam games ran on Windows, Linux and Apple OS AND are allowed to be ported to OTHER STORES and CONSOLES if the publisher wishes to.
      I’ll happily eat digital CakeHate if you can show where the legal or contractual obligation to using SteamWorkshop/DRM/Distribution/Store and exclusivity is.

      Sorry, I cannot for one instance bear to see someone falsify logic and tell me the 2+2=5. Especially in the case of insisting “Steam == exclusivity”. :(

      • fish99 says:

        You just compared a 3D engine, a core part of the game, to a DRM solution. The game can exist without DRM, it cannot exist without some sort of engine.

        And if you want to play recent Valve games on PC, then you are forced to use Steam. There is no DRM free way of playing them (legally) on PC. Also if Valve could get their storefront and DRM solution on console, they would. That’s someone else’s closed market though.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          1) Again, make sure your information is correct. “There is no DRM free way of playing them (legally) on PC.”
          I refer to evidence: link to
          Some may require Steam to run. All require a purchase. There may be checks to see if you are playing a purchased copy. If you wish to suggest Valve should not check for purchases, then fine, do so.

          2) Simcity 5 can play without it’s engine. Anything can be ported with a computer system. So the example stands. Can these games be played without a distribution system? No. That distribution system needs to be managed. Thus, there will be a management of the content in at least 1 instance to 1 degree of freedom. The rest, for DRM, see point 1).

          I agree, Valve may close the market later. But I hear people saying “Metro/Win8 will not close the market” and it’s doing the same thing. So, I’ll avoid Windows 8 for starting to close the doors, and do the same if Steam walks up that road. So far EVERYTHING on the steam delivery system is OPTIONAL. DRM, Steamworks etc. Where is Valve providing a barrier or causing DRM issues?

          If you wish to name one recent Valve game you cannot play without Steam, we can discuss how DRM effects consumers and users. I’ll be happy to point out where DRM does cause problems. :)

          • soldant says:

            Simcity 5 can’t run without its engine, that’s exactly like saying Half Life 2 runs without Source. Your comparison is blatantly incorrect.

          • fish99 says:

            I said it cannot exist without some sort of engine. Port it to another engine and it still has an engine. Even an engine made specifically for that game is still an engine.

            DRM on the other hand, can be removed without affecting the game. Every Steam exclusive PC game could easily be released elsewhere (on PC) and DRM free. It’s a poor comparison.

            I don’t see Left 4 Dead, Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, any Counterstrike games or DOTA 2 on that list. Compared to the 3000 games on Steam it’s a pretty small list.

          • TechnicalBen says:

            @Soldant. Your right. Thanks. :)
            That’s helped me understand the argument. So, Simcity 5 cannot run without Glassbox, but we must insist TF2 (and the list above) run without account credentials (DRM Steam or otherwise) as multilayer games?

            As that’s what I’m being told, that those games must have their DRM removed. I’m all for that, but I do realize the result is those games have NO accounts ever more for MP. (Better hope IP blocks prevents cheating)

            Note I do not defend Maxis/EA/Origin for requirements to play the SP of Simcity 5, or the forced MP in a SP like game. So by all means we can argue for SP versions of TF2 and DOTA. I’ll look out for them and we could even ask Valve for them, right?

  4. Rath says:

    There’s a hands-on article with a gallery of images of the prototype unit at Engadget:

    link to

  5. entireties says:

    betcha ten bucks they’ll end up with some cosmetic items in tf2 and dota2 for loading the games up in steamos, though. they did that a while back w/ the Tux from tf2 for booting up in linux, iirc

  6. K33L3R says:

    If they keep to this; well done valve, and i really hope they do

  7. Mercykiller101 says:

    And yet all their games require Steam to run.

    • phelix says:

      Steam can be run on multiple platforms, none of which are curated by Valve. There is no such thing as a SteamOS exclusive, because SteamOS is technically a Linux distro, and practically any Linux game on Steam also runs on Windows.

      • Mercykiller101 says:

        All very well and good, but that has nothing to do with what I said.

        • GallonOfAlan says:

          What you said has no relevance to what is covered in the article.

          • Mercykiller101 says:

            Steam is Valve’s distribution platform, ergo “Whenever we talk to third-party partners, we encourage them to put their games in as many places as possible, including not on our platforms.”

          • Asurmen says:

            And you’re still missing the point Mercykiller. What you said has nothing to do with the article. They’re talking platforms, not ways of distributing. PC is a platform for which they use Steam to distribute their own games. However, they don’t lock down their games to only one platform, seeing how nearly everything they’ve done has been made available for consoles. Valve are saying they’ll never do a platform exclusive for the sheer sake of it.

          • Mercykiller101 says:

            Steam is also a DRM platform which NEEDS to be running to play MOST of Valve’s games. Just because you’re not tied down on which OS to use does not take away the fact that Steam needs to be running to play those games, hence Valve’s games are exclusive to Steam. Just like EA’s newer games are mostly exclusive to Origin, and Ubisoft to U-Play.

          • JimboDeany says:

            I can’t think of many games that are Steam exclusive, care to enlighten me?

          • JimboDeany says:

            Pretty sure I have several of those on my Xbox, not exactly exclusive.

            I get what you’re saying but Steam exclusivity is like saying why do I need to install windows to run a lot of these games, or Direct X etc. etc.

          • Mercykiller101 says:

            Windows and DirectX exclusivity is another issue entirely, and too exhausting to go into. I’m not asking why It happens, I’m pointing out that it is happening despite Valve’s assurances that they’re against exclusivity. Which is a double standard.

          • Asurmen says:

            But they’re not against exclusivity within the context of what they’re talking about in the article. You’re arguing against a point that hasn’t been raised in the article.

          • Bull0 says:

            So basically if I steal your phone, and then tell you not to worry and that I would never steal your car because stealing isn’t in my philosophy, you can’t call bullshit on that because I stole your phone :D love it Asurmen

          • Mercykiller101 says:

            I must be reading the article wrong then because this:

            “Whenever we talk to third-party partners, we encourage them to put their games in as many places as possible, including not on our platforms. Because we think that customers are everywhere, and they want to put their games wherever customers are. That would go against our whole philosophy, to launch something that’s exclusive to SteamOS or Steam machines.”

            Seems pretty much all-encompassing. For that to not be a double standard, Steam would have to not be a platform which they tied most of their games to.

          • Donjo says:

            Great point Bull0… BUT – If I lived on Mars and had 7 thumbs yadda yadda yadda, you get the drift – extreme hypotheticals, etc.

          • Asurmen says:

            Again, within the context of what they’re talking about, no it isn’t. Steam is not a platform. PC is a platform, Xbox is a platform etc which makes it not a double standard. They make their games available on other platforms, and encourage other developers to do the same.

            BullO, that makes no sense seeing as in your analogy, Valve never stole a phone. Their games are not exclusive to Steam as they can be purchased on other platforms.

          • quintesse says:

            “Seems pretty much all-encompassing. For that to not be a double standard, Steam would have to not be a platform which they tied most of their games to.”

            Ehm no, it only needs to mean that they’ll not force any publishers to only bring out their games on Steam. They could do so because they have the most popular platform and games almost *have* to be available on Steam to sell well (the exception being very famous games from big publishers). But they do not. They only tie-in they have is that *if* you publish on their platform you do it their way. If you can’t find your favorite game DRM-free on GOG it’s because the *publisher* decided not to, not Valve.

          • Geebs says:

            Mercykiller, you screwed up your reading comprehension a bit – in the part you quoted yourself as evidence of Valve having a double standard, they’re specifically taking about third parties.

          • Bull0 says:

            @Donjo But it wasn’t really a hypothetical, it was the same argument with the subject changed. I’m sorry if you didn’t follow it.

            Asurmen, on the PC, you have to play your Valve games through Steam. They forced you to use Steam to play your games – that’s exclusivity foul 1 – and they’re now saying they won’t force you to use SteamOS – hypothetical exclusivity foul 2 – because they don’t believe in exclusivity.

            How on earth aren’t you getting this

          • KhanIHelpYou says:

            I would assume that by “our platforms” they are referring to windows, linux and mac and now steamOS/steam boxes and by “not our platforms” they mean xbox360, xboxOne, ps3, ps4, wii, wiiU, ios, android. basically every other platform that steam doesn’t operate on.

          • Mercykiller101 says:

            @Quintesse Valve publish/develop games too, they do not just distribute other developers games on their platform(Steam). If their philosophy is to publish on every platform because that is where customers are, they are contradicting themselves because all their PC games require Steam to run. If Steam were an option, THEN they can say that they do not publish exclusively to their Steam platform.

            @Geebs They’re literally saying their philosophy is to not publish something exclusively to SteamOS/Machine. Yet they consistently publish games exclusively to the Steam platform on PC.

          • Asurmen says:

            BullO, I’m not ‘getting it’ as you say, because there’s no foul. They’re not talking about Steam, they’re talking about platforms, which I’ve repeatedly said is PC, Xbox etc. It is you who is not getting it. They’re saying they’ll never do exclusives on just on SteamOS. Their games will be available on Windows, Linux, Xbox and Playstation and never only one platform.

          • Bull0 says:

            We all know what they said. The point we’re making is that saying “We don’t like walled gardens” after they’ve built themselves a lovely one is a hollow sort of thing to say. I’ve stated this plainly a few times now, I’m not going to go over it again, it’s a blindingly obvious point, nobody’s attacking Valve as a result of that – I love Valve and I love Steam – but you can’t kick me in the arse and call it a hug

          • Asurmen says:

            If you know what they said, why are you continuing to argue a point the article never discussed?

          • jrodman says:

            yes, the article didn’t explicitly raise Valve’s hypocrisy. You have to think a bit to notice it.

          • Asurmen says:

            I did think. There isn’t any hypocrisy. Nice subtle insult though.

          • jrodman says:

            It’s been spelled out entirely for you. You just don’t think that the hypocrisy present is meaningful or important.

            As for the “insult”, there wasn’t any. I just meant that one has to consider the statement in light of things not explicitly mentioned. Don’t see malice everywhere.

    • basilisk says:

      Nope. HL2 and the episodes should run without Steam just fine (source).

      • TechnicalBen says:

        Thank you! That page is pure gold. I’ve know of that list for a while, just not where to find it. Kind of smacks hard for the “Valve are DRM crows” crowd. While I don’t like DRM, I find working methods of trust between publishers/distributors/developers and customers to be great (DRM or not). Plus, I don’t find Steam/Valve pushing DRM in any way (I’ve not seen and Origin or Uplay games be DRM free and distributor agnostic, where with Steam I have, I’ll be happy to be proven wrong though). :)

        • basilisk says:

          There’s another over at PCGW; their content is not identical, but both should be fairly reliable.
          link to

          In the meantime, I tried copying the current version of HL2 to a computer that has never had Steam installed, and it indeed runs without any trouble, straight out of the box (so to speak).

          • TechnicalBen says:

            Now if only I could get it to run on my Rasp Pi, or Linux Mint (Powerbook). :D

      • Buffer117 says:

        Wow I feel really stupid, I have no problem with steam so to be honest it has never occurred to me, but as an avid gamer I feel like this is information I should have known, I literally have always used offline mode.

    • darkhog says:

      Steam is at least environment-friendly. I wouldn’t like game to require Gasoline to run :P.

      Anyway, I don’t think installing Steam is so much of a deal. Especially since it is so much unobtrusive and just sits in background.

      • Mercykiller101 says:

        It’s not about ease-of-use or hassle, it’s about exclusivity.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          What exclusivity? Point to one game that is Exclusive to Steam? One. Please. Hl2 is on consoles, can run without the Steam client, is on Linux/Apple. How is it Exclusive? I can play it WITHOUT STEAM!

          • Mercykiller101 says:

            Sick of all these straw men. Never said Valve were enforcing exclusivity, I’m just pointing out that their philosophy of publishing their games on as many platforms as possible because customers are everywhere does not hold true when it comes to their PC games as they are all locked in to Steam. Which is a platform. Just like Origin is a platform.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          “Never said Valve were enforcing exclusivity”
          “It’s about exclusivity”

          Yep. Sorry, I cannot pass those considerations. If it’s about closed launchers or accounts systems or delivery platforms* then yes, we can discuss how Valve only uses their in house delivery platform for in house deliveries… or should Tesco sell Tesco biscuits at Aldi?

          Are you suggesting Valve should sell HL2 on Origin?

          *English has multiple meanings of singular words. So we need to be clear.

          • Mercykiller101 says:

            “Enforcing” is the key word.

            And keep using those straw men.They’ll get you far in life.

            For the record, not that it’ll stop you from setting up yet another straw man, I am not suggesting Valve sell HL2 on Origin, I am not suggesting that HL2 should be available on a platform other than Steam on the PC, I am not even saying that I don’t like Valve, or Steam.

            I am saying that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. I.E. If Valve want to talk about how Walled Gardens and exclusivity are against their philosophy, they shouldn’t have made so much commercial success with Steam, which is the largest walled garden on the PC.

          • TechnicalBen says:

            Ok, so now it’s “enforcing”. How is Steam enforcing this. How does it effect us? How will SteamOS be a problem to Gamers any more or less than Windows/Linux/AppleOS? How will releasing a game on SteamOS prevent said game being released on DebianOS?

            How is it walled? How are they not opening up their publishing to other companies (MS/Sony/Apple)?
            How is it they are saying “have multiple platforms” yet have not themselves? They never said “have no walled gardens”!

            I have nothing against pointing out the walled garden problems. By all means, we can discuss this. It’s a big problem, and why I’m avoiding Windows8 (because of Metro Apps). However, as I’m free to choose to install Steam or not, use indie games or not etc, I don’t see it as a problem. Proof of fact, Crysis is Origin and Steam. Thus, it’s the developers, not Steam/EA etc that seem the have the ball in their garden. ;)

          • Mercykiller101 says:

            Just because enforcing is the keyword does not change the fact that I said “Never said Valve are enforcing exclusivity”.

            But please do continue to entertain with your ability to set up straw men to argue with, I’m sure you must have broken some kind of record by now.

          • TechnicalBen says:

            Oh! So you mean their are not enforcing, they are “tempting” people into a locked system?
            Yes, some can end up like that. But that’s mainly limitations in porting ability, never and “walled” garden from what I see of the Steam platform. For AppleOS and Android and Metro, yes they get exclusivity like the consoles.

            But there are games on Steam that also run on, but are not limited to:
            Publisher’s own clients
            Developers own clients

            Where has Valve locked a developer into Steam here?

    • Lemming says:

      That’s there business, not yours. You don’t have to buy their games. But wait, people do in their millions..I guess not that many have a problem with it then.

      • Mercykiller101 says:

        Countering arguments I didn’t make. Waste of everyone’s time.

    • Ako says:

      Software exclusive =/= hardware exclusive.

      • Mercykiller101 says:

        They specifically said “platforms”. It all comes down to whether or not you view Steam as a platform.

        • quintesse says:

          It doesn’t matter, even if you want to see Steam as a platform there is no exclusivity. The fact that there are games that are only available on Steam doesn’t mean that’s because Valve forced them to. And their own games? Well they can do what they want with those, I hope nobody would suggest that they should sell those with competing distribution channels.

          • Mercykiller101 says:

            Look up what exclusivity means, then get back to me. No one is saying Valve are enforcing developers to publish exclusively through them. However if a game is available exclusively on Steam, i.e. there is no (legal)version of the game, anywhere(on PC(Getting real tired of spelling this s*** out)), that runs without Steam in the background, then it is a Steam exclusive.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Wait. You are complaining a game made by Valve requires a Valve launcher to play?
      There are 2 possible arguments.
      1) Valve should distribute their software without a launcher or through other launchers (Origin, Uplay etc).
      2) Valve should have no DRM.
      Neither apply if the comment is “We allow OTHER distributors and developers to use ANY distribution channel and platform”.

      Can you point out Valves double standard somewhere?

      • Mercykiller101 says:

        Not complaining.

        I’d love if a single person arguing with me in this thread would do so without resorting to a straw man.

        • Llewyn says:

          It’s probably because you’re arguing entirely in bad faith – you accept that the games are available on multiple platforms, but insist on excluding all of those platforms except one and then argue that there’s exclusivity.

          • Mercykiller101 says:

            I am arguing that there is exclusivity on PC. If this is not painfully obvious to you, you have no right to accuse me of arguing in bad faith.

          • Llewyn says:

            It is obvious to me. It’s also obvious to me that you’re imposing arbitrary limitations on the discussion as a means of maintaining your nebulous argument: you are arguing in bad faith.

          • Bull0 says:

            It’s funny how that works. For example, I think that “Games can only be exclusive in terms of the hardware platform they are playable on, and nothing else” is a pretty arbitrary (could say, nonsensical) constraint to put on the discussion.

          • Llewyn says:

            @Bull0: I would agree with you! At the very least there is the issue of distribution exclusivity to consider.

            However attaching the notion of ‘exclusivity’ to software pre-requisites is, to me at least, arbitrary. Would you consider describing the Arkham games as “Securom-exclusive”* to be meaningful?

            *I seem to recall one version of AC & AA didn’t have Securom, but that doesn’t negate the question.

          • Bull0 says:

            Yeah, if someone at SecuRom said they didn’t believe in pursuing exclusivity arrangements as part of their business philosophy, I’d point out that X, Y and Z games are only available with SecuRom bundled in, and that I believe they’ve deliberately done that for business gain.

          • Llewyn says:

            Fair enough. I’d argue that the parallel would actually be Warner/Rocksteady making that point (Valve as game developers rather than Valve as distributors), but that’s a sufficiently minor distinction to not make much difference.

            I don’t agree with your interpretation, and I still think it’s founded on semantic nit-picking, but I do appreciate where you’re coming from and that you’re consistent.

    • Falcon says:

      Yep, Valve’s games require Steam on PC. But the quote from the article –

      “Whenever we talk to third-party partners, we encourage them to put their games in as many places as possible, including not on our platforms.”

      – really has nothing to do with that. That means that Valve doesn’t care if you sell your game on Steam and GOG and Humble Store and Origin and whatever; if you sell your game on Steam, you aren’t restricted to only selling your game on Steam (which, yes, can be thought of as a platform).

      So what is your point, exactly?

      EDIT: I think part of the reason you got so many “strawman” responses is that your comment had no context. Without seeing exactly which part of the article you were responding to, it’s like somebody commenting “I like eggs”. Okay, great. What about eggs do you like? Give us some context, dammit.

      My problem with your walled garden argument in a different comment is that because Steam runs on Windows and Mac and Linux (and soon, SteamOS, which is also Linux), it is completely different from Apple’s walled garden. In Apple’s case, you only legally have access to Apple apps if you’re on Apple hardware with an Apple OS. With Steam, you don’t need Steam hardware or a Steam OS.

      • Mercykiller101 says:

        TBH I got bored trying to explain my point to people who just get defensive because they can’t believe someone can find fault with their precious Valve, but at least you were civil and didn’t antagonize me with a straw man so I’ll reply to you.

        It is not so different from Apple’s walled garden. Nor is it any different than Windows 8’s walled garden. It is simply exclusivity at a higher level. Example, Windows can run on AMD and Intel CPUs, Steam can run on Windows, Linux, and Mac. The point isn’t the options one has when running steam, the point is the lack of choice one has when playing Steam exclusive games, i.e. you can’t run them without steam, unless you crack them, which is kind of a dark grey area, legally speaking.*

        Hence my argument about people in glass houses throwing rocks. Their platform, while it does not encourage exclusivity, is guilty of it, especially for their own catalogue of games. For them to say exclusivity is against their philosophy is a double standard, if not two-faced lie.

        Does this mean I will not use Steam, or continue to enjoy Valve’s games? Of course not. It’s just interesting to take note of. Too bad some people are entirely incapable of being objective in a discussion and insist on posting knee-jerk reactions and resorting to straw men, instead of engaging in a discussion that can be informative for both sides.

        *Or you play them on consoles, for my dense friends who are incapable of catching on that by steam exclusive I’m referring to the PC platform. If I wanted to state that they are PC exclusives I would have used that term.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          What Steam exclusives? We will go get these games you wish to play without Steam. We will contact the developers and let them know that some players do not wish to use Steam. Then they can give it to you!

          This is why we are lost. Valve are not doing anything. The games developers hand them a game, and Valve go “wow, it’s great, we will put it on the internet for you”. The developers then go somewhere else (Origin, Humblebundle etc) and can do the same. If there is a Steam exclusive game it is because:
          1) The company never ported it to another distribution system
          2) … nope. That’s it. Only 1)

          Where does Steam or Valve come in that picture as having an influence on the decisions of the developer or publisher? But we as customer do! So we need to ask the Publishers (who are not STEAM, Valve publish, Steam is a shop) or the developers.

          If you are asking about TF2, DOTA1/2 or another Valve game, then please tell me how it can run without a Valve (Steam) account. Then we can ask Valve to port it to the other account system. :)

  8. SuicideKing says:

    Yo all people.

    Platform non-exclusive.

    Steam is a client. PC,PS,Xbox are platforms. So are operating systems.

    Next bit of snark, please.

    • Bull0 says:

      The first line of the quote in the article:

      “Whenever we talk to third-party partners, we encourage them to put their games in as many places as possible, including not on our platforms”

      At best it’s ambiguous but they’re not definitely only talking about the future, here. And in the present and past? No SteamOS. It’s not available yet. SO, what’s she talking about?

      • SuicideKing says:


        But yeah, you have a valid point. However: platforms?

  9. InternetBatman says:

    I’m surprised they haven’t put steam on android yet. They could have the coveted one store, everywhere, service that all the big tech companies are trying to do fairly easily. It’s somewhat open. It’s a growing market, and many of their games already are on android.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      That thought have struck me too. For me it would be a great match, there are some nice Android games, but they are buried in a flood of clones and F2P shovelware. I would love to have a curated store.

      It might be that Valve don’t see any profit in it though. Google is tightening their control on Android, so after being dependent on one vendor Valve might not want to become dependent on another but instead bet on Linux on the phone instead.

  10. Metalhead9806 says:

    I don’t understand it… I get everyone is high off the Valve hype but why is no one pissed that the Steam Controller is only truly supported on SteamOS? It doesn’t bother anyone that with windows the controller has limited support and is only going to have legacy mode options?

    Valve says they dont want exclusive games on SteamOS but they sure as hell are making their steam controller as a SteamOS only device. At this point i doubt the touch screen will work on windows…

    Up until this news on the Controller it looked like Valve would keep 100% support for both for Windows and SteamOS versions of Steam but now we know. They are using Steam controller functionality as incentive to get people to make the jump…

    I really think we should stop trusting Valve, i have a real bad feeling they will be leaving windows users behind and going Linux only in the next decade.

    Think about it, on Linux they are the only player, its almost as bad as MS and Sony with their closed platforms. Why compete when you can switch to a platform only you support.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I get everyone is high off the Valve hype

      About half the comments are about Valve’s lock-in.

      So far I haven’t spotted even one going “ooh, look at the shiny box”.

      • JimboDeany says:

        ooh, look at the shiny box

      • Metalhead9806 says:

        Well the inside of the prototype, the way each peice of hardware is self cooled is rather impressive.

        • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

          the way each peice of hardware is self cooled is rather impressive.

          Seriously? That’s the way PCs are generally. It’s a really inefficient way of cooling the whole machine. And it makes the whole thing bulkier and use more power. But the upside is individual parts are interchangeable.

          • WrenBoy says:

            I think he is referring to the design of the case which does seem to be better than the one I threw together myself to be fair.

            The secret is actually quite simple, it turns out: Valve designed the case so the parts can breathe individually. The CPU blows air out the top, the power supply out the side, and the graphics card exhaust out back, and none share any airspace within the case

            link to

    • Bull0 says:

      Interesting if true.

      • Metalhead9806 says:

        This is a snippet from the IGN article:

        “Hope explained that while Valve’s controller is obviously designed to work natively with SteamOS, it can also be detected as a traditional controller by a PC running Steam but would have extremely limited functionality. “Steam constantly updates the firmware that is running in this device,” he said. “Even game by game, and eventually moment by moment, it’s going to be updating the code that’s running in the firmware. For that reason and a few other reasons, like updating configs and so forth, Steam is a required component wherever it runs, PC or Mac. Without Steam, if you plug this into one of those devices and run some game that’s not part of Steam, you would only get the most basic functionality. It wouldn’t actually be very valuable as a controlling device.”

        “It would basically be a mouse with 16 buttons,” Coomer added”

        • Bull0 says:

          Isn’t this more confusion re: Steam vs SteamOS, though? Journo writes “Steam OS”, Valve guy says “Steam”.

          *edit*: I do think it’s pretty likely the controller will work better on SteamOS, that seems to make sense, I don’t necessarily like that but I understand it if it is true

          • Metalhead9806 says:

            I hope so… I really don’t like the idea that this Steam controller doesn’t have 100% functionality on windows. Imo if i have my Steam client open and it detects that controller as long as im playing games within the Steam environment it should function exactly like it does on SteamOS.

            If it doesn’t i will consider this a hostile play by Valve and in turn strongly consider if i will continue to support them and their client on PC in the future.

          • Llewyn says:

            The text of the quotes strongly implies that it’s Steam on which the controller depends, not SteamOS. The reference to SteamOS comes from the article author, not the Valve source.

          • Cleave says:

            Your quote states that it requires Steam to work fully, not Steam OS

            “Steam is a required component wherever it runs, PC or Mac. “

        • undu says:

          This is probably because the touchpad input needs to processed into actions (raw input to trackball-like input, for example), which I guess is used by a valve-made library instead of inside the controller.

          It should be still be able to achieve this using drivers and opening up the controller API, though.

          I don’t like the sound of it, to be honest.

        • SuicideKing says:

          Without STEAM, for games NOT RUNNING ON STEAM…

          Getting high on hype is bad, so is getting high on conspiracy theories…

          • Metalhead9806 says:

            This quote confuses me. It comes off as if A windows machine running steam will still have limited functionality.

            ““Hope explained that while Valve’s controller is obviously designed to work natively with SteamOS, it can also be detected as a traditional controller by a PC running Steam but would have extremely limited functionality”

          • Llewyn says:

            But that’s not a quote from Valve, that’s a quote from the author of your article who has (mis)interpreted the quotes from Valve.

        • The Random One says:

          To be perfectly honest, I’d rather game with a 16-button mouse over a keyboard.

  11. JimboDeany says:

    I don’t really understand why people are so anti-steam. I love it. It makes buying games, using mods and updating very easy.

    • Mercykiller101 says:

      I’m not anti-Steam. I’m not anti-Origin or anti-Uplay either, I just find issue with their stated stance on exclusivity when it contradicts, or appears to contradict, reality.

      • JimboDeany says:

        I think I understand your stance and can see your point. I think a lot of people (Myself included) just have a different view on what constitutes exclusivity, so the need to install a free piece of software to play a game would not count in my opinion, whereas the need to buy a Steam box, install SteamOS or buy a console would.

      • Snids says:

        This might sound stupid, but which product by Valve is platform exclusive?

      • Geebs says:

        On the other hand, you’re bitching about this at a time when Valve have spent the last 2-3 years doing an amazing job of porting their back catalogue to multiple platforms and making it actually work well – far more so than either EA or Ubi. You’re basically criticising them more for doing most of what you want, and holding them up to comparison with companies who have done almost nothing to break away from the monolithic Windows platform.

        They were also pioneers in not making you pay again for versions of their products on other platforms – this was the rule from day one of the OSX version of Steam and is pretty darn impressive.

      • Mercykiller101 says:

        @Snids All their PC games since Steam released have been locked to it. Hence, Valve’s PC games are exclusive to Steam. Users who do not wish to use steam are SOL, just like users who do not want to install Origin are SOL with EA’s Games, and users who do not want to Install UPlay are SOL with Ubisoft. This is exclusivity.

        @Geebs Come back when you have something other than a straw man.

        • Geebs says:

          Err, you’re the one who is making up an argument by putting words in the mouths of the quoted Valve employees. They’re talking about not being exclusively on one OS, then you went into a rather ill-considered rant about how you need Valve’s DRM to play Valve’s game and that simultaneously they run a big online game store as if those two tangential facts somehow constituted a platform lock-in for all games by all publishers.

          But yeah, you’ve been argued down to the extremely minor point that you need to allow Valve DRM to run Valve games (on whatever operating system you choose at no extra charge*), and by God you’ll stick to it!

          *emphasis mine

    • LionsPhil says:

      Opinions, at least with things people are experienced with, are often more nuanced than “for/against”. It’s possible to hate Steam’s DRM side while still appreciating its sugar coatings, e.g. that I can just click on a friend and jump into a game with them. Like many decisions, using Steam is a compromise between conflicting factors.

      • JimboDeany says:

        Fair point, my bad. What I meant was that I’m yet to experience any downside to using Steam but I can appreciate that other people may have.

        • SuicideKing says:

          It’s definitely become much better since i started using it in 2009, though it still does have some issues…

      • newprince says:

        It’s true, but it’s hard to blame them for having that stance back in 2005, don’t you think? I mean, DRM was the solid regime back then.

        I do wonder what a coup and actual marketing win it would be for Valve to remove DRM. Similar to when iTunes made that move, and everyone praised Apple.

        • LionsPhil says:

          It’d be an interesting one, for sure, at least for their own stuff. I expect it would take a lot of per-publisher wrangling for everything else, though, since they’ve effectively sold Steamworks as “protective” middleware, and those publishers would be rightly pissed off if that “protection” was deliberately disabled, regardless of how wrong/right they are to want it.

  12. frightlever says:

    Interesting. If nothing else I want to get my hands on the case and PSU combination they’re using.

    I went to that Engadget article somebody linked to and they mention Sony and Microsoft as being the big competition to consolized PCs. It wasn’t that long ago that the examples being used would have been Sega and Nintendo. Situations can change, apple carts can get upset.

    With both Sony and Microsoft refusing to allow even MP3 playback on their next-gen hardware, they leave themselves open for a more open game-playing platform to find its niche.

    • newprince says:

      That’s what I was thinking. Even if only some of the hardware is innovative, bam, you have a potentially even better next system build. And you could dabble with the OS if you wanted.

      • fish99 says:

        Unless it’s for putting on the TV stand, I’d rather stick with an ATX case with easy access, lots of room to work, space for lots of drives (one drive just doesn’t cut it these days), and customizable (i.e. quiet) cooling.

        Based on the dimensions they’re showing, I don’t see how that’s using standard mobo and GPU, so I’d have to question whether it can be upgraded with standard PC parts too.

  13. bstard says:

    The opening of the article makes me think bout that IT Crowd episode with ‘the internet in a box’, which was bloody
    funny :)

  14. JoeFX69 says:

    you have arrived at Butthurt Central

  15. Didden says:

    Black is the new beige.

  16. killias2 says:

    Remember the old days before Steam, when everything was rainbows and unicorn dreams? Wait.. what’s this… I’m.. activating real memories of the pre-Steam era…. Oh my God.. IT HURTS! TAKE ME BACK TO THE PRESENT! PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF – –

    Oh thank God, I’ve returned.

  17. Snids says:

    OMG hypocrisy! Valve talking about exclusive titles with their DRM pla…..oh wait HL2 was on the original Xbox and the orange box was on PS3 and XBox 360.

    OH NO! one Valve title was briefly exclusive to PC’s running Steam! THOSE BASTARDS!!!

  18. Smashbox says:

    I respect most of your editorial decisions, but this story (and many others, really) should include a photo caption.

    That said, carry on, you’re awesome.

  19. uh20 says:

    enough people bickered about exclusives for valve to give an official statement, good job, have a cookie.

    valve is one of the leaniest people these days when it comes to scrapping ideas for customer happiness, SteamOS exclusivity was already in the bag. but if it was not, it’s bagged now.

  20. HisDivineOrder says:

    I think it’ll be interesting to see if Valve pushes OpenGL across all their games in a way to help ports to Linux and Apple come quicker from them. They could really bring OpenGL back from the brink. That’d be good because it could be actual competition for DirectX that isn’t threatening the stability of the entire PC gaming ecosystem (re: Mantle).

    • Geebs says:

      Uhhh, OpenGL ES is in everything mobile. As Carmack said at his most recent Quakecon address, “openGL kinda won in there”. On the other hand, DirectX sticking around as a direct competitor on the desktop is good for everybody – the ARB have been behind DX in a lot of things and DX versions give graphics card vendors something to differentiate their products on. If there was only OpenGL I imagine the whole thing would become highly stick-in-the-mud.

  21. newprince says:

    I’m not sure people are putting Steam into the proper historical context. I remember in the Windows 95 era, for example, installing Command & Conquer and it taking a long ass time. Games never seemed to recognize my sound card, and installs of various types would choke because of some odd hardware configuration. Moving years down the line, installation from a driver perspective became trivial, yet the dreaded CD key issue became a major problem.

    I’ll be the first to say I was royally pissed that I had to install and activate Steam when I bought my hard copy of Half Life 2. But as Steam became such an attractive hub/portal, those concerns diminished considerably. Can we not admit that some portals/hubs are well done? Can we not admit there’s a ton of Linux diehards that have MacBook Pros? Steam’s model is older, but that was a refelection of where we were 8 years ago. Valve faces the same problem of all the mature tech service companies, and that is disrupting themselves before other companies rise up and do it, stealing their marketshare.

    You very well could get by using nothing but GOG, Humble Bundle, and other DRM-free sources if you value that above all else. Me, I see it as a price I am willing to pay for a personal library mated to a great interface, even though my hold on that library is tenuous in the long term.

    • JimboDeany says:

      What he/she said. I’m guessing he….

    • LionsPhil says:

      The driver/hardware one is the move from DOS to Windows, and Windows’ increasing maturity. It has nothing to do with how the game got onto the system and what copy protection it may have had.

      I would actually call the ’95-ish CD era somewhat of a golden age since for a short while having a CD was considered adequate protection—the CDs were not physically crippled to be hard to copy, since burners and bandwidth weren’t ubiquitous, and there was no rootkittery to check that you had a “real” CD or try to stop you copying them. Older copy protection like codewords from manuals died off. The requirement for a disc in the drive was a pure technical one, and now it’s obsolete you can move to using CD images without pain (or, at least, only with technical pain of making old games run, rather than artificial pain where someone explicitly wrote code to try to stop you because you must be a pirate).

      Steam’s certainly helped getting multiplayer games with specific friends going, though, along with developments like NAT holepunching. It’s not perfect, but in many cases you won’t have to think about forwarding ports or finding your public-facing IP any more.

  22. Bull0 says:

    RPS: Where the elite meet to split hairs over “platform” exclusivity versus “storefront/social network/game launcher and auto patcher/whatever but we don’t want to call it a platform today because it doesn’t suit our point” exclusivity

    Never mind that Valve themselves call Steam a platform on the “about steam” page. There are NO REFERENCES to SteamOS on that page, it talks exclusively about the Steam client we have today.

    link to

    Wikipedia: Steam is a digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer, and communications platform
    link to

    • Geebs says:

      Some platforms are built on top of other platforms. Chill out.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      What exclusivity? If you wish to point out DRM, do so. Else point out a single Exclusivity.

      • Bull0 says:

        You’re excluded from running most of Valve’s catalogue on your PC if you don’t install Steam and create an account.

        Thar we go

        • Slazer says:

          You are excluded from tons of other Games if you dont install SecuRom. So that is an exclusive platform now?

          • Bull0 says:

            Hint: Steam isn’t just DRM! But if the CEO of SecuRom came out and said “We don’t believe in exclusivity, it isn’t in our philosophy”, I’d definitely point out that games exclusively available with SecuRom would put the lie to that philosophy

          • Mercykiller101 says:

            link to

            It’s an exclusive product, as you very well know.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          Can you name such a game please. We are pointing saying it cannot be done. I’m a scientific person, I like to see evidence.

          Are you suggesting, that Valve, the company that owns the distribution channel Steam, should port their games client and API to Origin, Uplay etc? If you could name the game you consider “exclusive” to Steam I can accept your argument if it would fit into either of those clients.

          If not, how can I pass the concept? If you mean “Valve should remove DRM” then fine, but that’s not hypocritical of them, they did not say “we want no DRM” they said ‘We want cross platform games’. Thus the failure to pass the comment above which things “platform agnostic == DRM Free”.

          • Bull0 says:

            This has been covered all over the thread

          • TechnicalBen says:

            Nope. Not one single game has been mentioned that is exclusive to the Steam client. I’m sure it’s there, but as said, I need to see it for that to be proof of Valve hypocrisy (I’ll point out where they have been, TF2 hats for example, but I can point to said F2P mechanic in a said specific game. Please name yours).

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            @TechnicalBen- There is at least one game that is entirely exclusive to Steam: Rag Doll Kung Fu. It’s not available through any other retailer, and you can’t purchase the game directly through its own website. It’s also a Windows-only title, and even the demo is limited to Steam.

            There are probably others, but I’m too damn lazy to look for them.

  23. Scumbag says:

    Minor note: Please dont try and crack Japan, it wont work.
    What has this got to do with anything? Nothing much in the long run, but in console terms, a lot.

  24. MichaelGC says:

    Won’t SOMEONE think of the poor helpless giant robots?!?

  25. Laurentius says:

    Ah good old RPS comments, so many Valve and Steam aplogists who made round eyes asking “How can you not love Valve and Steam ?” Steam is as bad as it was in 2005 and still requires to sacrifce your firstborn to run games. No I’m not joking it’s just hyperbole. If Steam cease to exists this minute we would be living in better world.

    • Lemming says:

      As bad as it was in 2005? So pretty damn great then, thanks for clearing that up.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        You need to take those rose-colored glasses off. Steam was a fucking mess back in 2005.

  26. MadTinkerer says:

    sigh… And, of course, any talk about the Steambox or SteamOS itself is drowned out by the anti-Steam crowd screaming with renewed vigor about how “bad” Steam is. It just goes to show that Valve and Steam are too successful, because the more successful someone or something is, the more trolls are attracted. It’s just a pity how badly the noise drowns out actual discussion.

    • Bull0 says:

      You’re calling everyone else a noisy nuisance but don’t actually contribute yourself. And we’re the trolls? Sigh indeed, MadTinkerer.

      • derbefrier says:

        There is nothing to discuss. Valve said no exlucives on their console. This is a good thing. What is there to discuss? All I see are desperate haters twisting words, their meaning and the context behind them to create their own distorted view so they can hold on to their belief that valve is some evil company. Its pathetic really.

        • Bull0 says:

          If that’s what you see you’re doing an awful lot of projecting, and you should probably have a little break and a biscuit. Really all anyone said is there’s some cognitive dissonance between what Valve are saying here about their philosophy and their history. It’s the outraged reaction to that slight that’s made it all a bit overwrought. We’re all still Valve fans, chill.

          • derbefrier says:

            I am not projecting merely commenting on the state of this so called discussion. There is no cognitive dissonance. You all are basically saying console exclusives are the same as drm, which it isn’t. This isn’t complicated. If anything its the detractors that are projecting here in an attempt to convince people valve is setting some double standard hete, not me.

          • Bull0 says:

            Righto, I’m not saying that at all but I’ve laid it out enough times on here already so I’m not going over it again, let’s agree to disagree

          • WrenBoy says:

            I cant speak for anyone but myself but I am pleasantly surprised that Valve are not making any of their games exclusive to SteamOS, given their history.

            I am still annoyed about the HL2 shenanigans they pulled though. I dont bring it up every time I hear Steam mentioned but I regularly mention it whenever I see a lot of Steam apologists in one place. I suspect the same is true for the Steam apologists.

            So it goes.

          • TechnicalBen says:

            Ok. So, your saying that it’s wrong for them to put HL3 on Steam OS as an exclusive of PC. That if it comes out on Xbox and PS (as HL2 did), but requires Steam OS on PC, it’s a problem?

            But you must realize a PC can boot multiple “platforms” or, as we call them OSs, clients, programs? So, HL3 will never be “exclusive to Steam OS and NOT PC” because if SteamOS stays free, than any PC can install it just for HL3. SteamOS is ON PC. Do you mean “Exclusive to an OS”? If that’s what you mean, it’s the source of this entire pages confusion. We thought you meant PC (hardware) where you mean OS (software) exclusivity? Again, unless you mean client (distribution program) exclusivity?

            In fact it would be better, as it would keep all DRM out of the windows install, or other linux/Apple OS install. You could boot up SteamOS for the game and then go straight back to your PC OS without any Securom or rootkits etc. Or at least it’s possible. As Steam has not promoted rootkits in the past, I’d put them above Sony etc when they offer a platform option on the PC.

            PS, fail reply, should be to Bull0 below. :/

          • derbefrier says:

            Dude that’s exactly what you are saying. Steam is a store front and drm not a platform in the context of what these guys are talking about. They are talking about console exclusives in relation to the steambox. You’re projecting this to mean something other than what was said and its what’s confusing everyone. I get what your saying now, I think but its honestly irrelevent to the topic at hand. Your talking about exclusives as in you can’t buy or run this game anywhere but steam, which is true of games that use steamworks but this is another bag of worms all together and is more of a drm issue than what is being discussed here.

        • Slazer says:

          All I see is Bull0 and Mercykiller running around, not getting the point of Valves statement, and about 50 people trying to explain it to them.

          The only steam-exclusive game is DOTA2, and cutting steam out of, including the Workshop, the whole server system, would require a new non-steam account to save your stats…. what would be completely ridicolous

          • Mercykiller101 says:

            I don’t know about Bull0, but I’m sitting comfortable at my chair, having some tea and biscuits. What’s this about running about? I’m civilized, you know.

            And 50 people using straw men hardly qualifies as an attempt to educate me about how foolish I am for not getting the point. You’re using one right now. No one is suggesting Valve stop releasing their PC games exclusively on Steam, just don’t talk about how Walled Gardens are against your philosophy when your entire company is basically built upon the success of one(Steam).

          • Bull0 says:

            The point of Valve’s statement is that their future games won’t be exclusive to SteamOS.

            I think everyone gets that.

            OUR point is that the line about how exclusivity isn’t in Valve’s philosophy is troublesome, because Valve have built an empire out of making the sequels to their flagship game exclusively playable through their content delivery/store/drm platform on the PC.

            So very simple…

          • TechnicalBen says:

            But they don;t make it exclusive to “Steam on the PC”. They make their own games, thus this is exclusive to, well THEM. They make the game cross platform (PC/XBOX/PS). They might make it exclusive to STEAM because they are STEAM. :P

            I’m a bit lost here. Is Valve the only company that makes games? Will SteamOS only sell Valve games? Will SteamOS be needed for the next gen on the PC? If it is, how does that effect us?

          • Bull0 says:

            Nothing’s changed, that’s the most depressing thing about this mental comment thread. It’s reassuring, if anything, to hear that Valve aren’t currently planning on making us install SteamOS to be able to play HL3, for example.

    • Mercykiller101 says:

      By that “logic” EA must be the most successful company in the world, with Origin being the best invention since sliced bread.

      Also, Justin Beiber.

  27. racccoon says:

    Your local dump is going to be full of these, I’m pretty sure a bin is handy in that office picture somewhere, another useless idea set for mugs who will buy what mugs buy.

    Think about it…people are buying “Smart T.V’s” LOL, with internet connectivity, Wow oOohh amazing! I’ve had the internet on my TV ever since mid/late 80’s when the scart plug was placed into the back of TV.s. The scart plug was invented in the 1970’s!!, Its not new idea, its only “Smart” because your running into the shop buying something which you already have around house, far too many people today are double triple buying something they already have. no wonder we are throw away society.

    STEAM have seen the idiots using there pointless tool for years and growing by the bucket millions!! duh! Doh! there answer to this..why not make another idiot-tool/contraption for them to use, reel them in thick and fast!! its all plastic, built cheaply on the new slave market.
    Lets just Bin it!

  28. kajdanovitch says:

    It looks like a blind projector…