Calm your consoles. Give your Blu-ray/DVD/VHS (???) a soothing pat. Tell your ottoman it can stop whimpering in the closest. Your living room is safe – for now. Valve’s takeover plans have been pushed back to next year, as steady Steam Machine testing progress has revealed just how far the little Linux box/controller that could still has left to go. The controller won’t be out until 2015 at the earliest, meaning that it’s now entered the hallowed chronological halls of Valve Time.
Valve explained its rationale in a brief update post:
“We’re now using wireless prototype controllers to conduct live playtests, with everyone from industry professionals to die-hard gamers to casual gamers. It’s generating a ton of useful feedback, and it means we’ll be able to make the controller a lot better. Of course, it’s also keeping us pretty busy making all those improvements. Realistically, we’re now looking at a release window of 2015, not 2014.”
“Obviously we’re just as eager as you are to get a Steam Machine in your hands. But our number one priority is making sure that when you do, you’ll be getting the best gaming experience possible. We hope you’ll be patient with us while we get there. Until then, we’ll continue to post updates as we have more stories to share.”
Valve did not, however, clarify whether this affects third-party Steam Machine release dates, but it very well might given that many were set to be bundled with Steam Controllers. I’ve mailed Valve in hopes of receiving some kind of a response even though their press relations style can best be described as “what press relations style?”
So the wait continues. And to be frank, I’m kinda glad. My previous experiences with the Steam controller – both version one and two – were not particularly positive. I’d much rather Valve wait until its bouncing baby hardware bundle is at least halfway decent before unleashing it on the masses. If it really wants to bring an open yet functional ecosystem to the living room, there’s too much at stake here to risk a crash-and-burn first impression.