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12:38 PM on 03.19.2015

Three Reasons The Steam Machine Wasn't a Huge Hit at GDC

Many have dreamed of a video game device that comes with all the benefits of both PC and console gaming. With so many amazing games now available on Steam, not to mention the incredible discounts that come around to make our backlog all the more daunting, who wouldn't be interested in a machine that lets you play those games from comfort of your living room?

If the reaction from Valve's release reveal at GDC 2015 is any indication, not very many are convinced. The following are a few reasons why a lot of people, from industry experts to the average gamer, aren't as excited about the Steam Machine as Valve had anticipated.

It’s Expensive

The one question on everyone’s mind when considering the purchase of a new piece of technology: how much is it sold for? It turns out that these pre-built gaming computers are set to cost us pretty penny, with price tags ranging from $499 to $6,000. That’s right, the most expensive Steam Machine will set you back the same amount a decent used car would.

But isn’t $500 only a hundred bucks or so more than the Xbox One or PlayStation 4? Yes, but those consoles are also capable of not only playing a wide variety of games but they can also satisfy many entertainment needs, including video streaming, movies, etc. Even with 65 million users on Steam, it seems unlikely that most of them will ditch their PC and go for a Steam Machine.

It also doesn’t help that the varying prices and models will no doubt confuse consumers. Since the price depends on the hardware in each machine, people will find it a chore figuring out which version is right for them. This will only get worse when price cuts on older models come into play and make it even tougher to decide the true value of each unit. As for competing consoles, there’s no confusion because every Xbox One does the same thing.

It must compete with established consoles

When it comes to the video game console market, the war comes down to one thing: which console will be under the television of most homes? Although Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo no doubt have some of their people keeping an eye on the Steam Machine, we’re pretty confident that none of them are shaking in their boots with plans of withdrawing from the fight for the living room.

Rather, it’s Valve that has an uphill battle to win considering how established all the other consoles are in this market. Boasting huge user bases and large cash reserves, the gaming competitors will only become even more aggressive as the Steam Machine tries to join the much-heated fight. This will involve better bundles, bigger price cuts, and more exclusive games-- whatever it takes to keep their respective console as most gamer’s primary source for gaming entertainment.

Valve can’t utilize their greatest weapon: exclusives

From Left 4 Dead and Counter-Strike to Portal and Half-life, Valve has amassed an impressive number of exclusive game series that have audiences begging for sequels. Imagine if you could only play future Valve games, such as the insanely anticipated Half-Life 3, on a Steam Machine and nothing else? It would no doubt cause a frenzy across every gaming site and message board, but you can be sure there would be a decent number buying Valve's new machine just to play them.

Of course, Valve has made it clear that they will not take this route. When asked if it were a possibility, Steam Machine designer Kassidy Gerber replied: “Would that make all of our customers happy? I don’t think so. We still want you to play Half-Life 3 or whatever game we bring to our customers. We want everyone to enjoy it. So Valve would never make games exclusive to SteamOS because that would upset our customers. It would be very shortsighted on our part”.

Even if this early decision shows how much Valve cares about their customers, it will no doubt become a tempting option if the Steam Machine struggles greatly against other console games boasting their own exclusive titles. When PS4, Xbox One, and Wii U sales get a boost from exclusives like Uncharted, Halo, and Zelda, you can bet Valve will start considering a high-profile exclusive to do the same for their own living room console.


10:48 AM on 08.18.2014

7 Xbox One Games People Are Buying Up Before They Are Even Released

If you're a game developer, the video game market can be an absolute gold mine...if you create the right type of game that is. 

Looking at the Amazon Bestseller's list for Xbox One, you'll see that a whopping 7 out the top 10 video games haven't even been released yet (would be nice to have that kind of success if you're designing a game, right?)! 

Some people buying these games won't have to wait too long with release dates as soon as tomorrow. But others are pre-paying for games that aren't going to be out until early to mid November. 

And 2 more on the list are unreleased console/game bundles; one with Call of Duty and one with Sunset Overdrive...bringing the top 10 list to a whopping 90% of unreleased products.

So what do you think this says about the video game industry and the business surrounding it?

Here are the 8 unreleased games in the top 10, in order, along with links and prices. Keep in mind that there are two pairs of games on the top 10 list that are actually different editions of the same video game (so that might say something about our love for Football...and advanced warfare?). 

1. Destiny
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Price: $59.96

2. Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition
Release Date: August 19, 2014
Price: $59.96

3. Halo: The Master Chief Collection 
Release Date: November 11, 2014

5. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Day Zero Edition)
Release Date: November 3, 2014
Price: $59.96

6. Madden 15 (Ultimate Edition)
Release Date: August 26, 2014

7. Madden 15 (Standard Edition)
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Price: $59.99

10. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Atlas Pro Edition)
Release Date: November 3, 2014
Price: $119.99   read

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