Valve seems to have hit on a good thing with its Steam online store for PC games. The Verge reports that Steam now has 65 million active users, which represents a 30% year-over-year rise from 2012 and which has helped the store blow past Xbox Live’s active user count of around 48 million users. The reason this is interesting is that Valve will be taking on both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 next year when manufacturers start cranking out Steam Machine consoles based on its free-to-use Linux-based SteamOS gaming platform. While it’s going to be hard for a third player to make waves in the gaming console market, Valve’s 48 million active Steam users give it a better head start than any other prospective players.
Last week Valve quietly put up a teaser page for what many assumed would be the Steam Box console. Surprisingly, the page made it clear that not one, but three announcements would be coming this week, and the first reveal is likely the operating system that will run Valve’s hardware — SteamOS. Steam’s first-party, stand-alone operating system will be Linux-based and completely free. Valve says that it “[has] achieved significant performance increases in graphics processing” for SteamOS as well, and is now working on “audio performance and reductions in input latency.” More →
Valve has been building up a lot of goodwill in the gaming community with its popular Steam online store and now the company is preparing to enter the hardware arena. We talked about the less-than-subtle hints dropped by Valve CEO Gabe Newell last week at LinuxCon, and now the company has made a more official gesture by setting up a teaser webpage dedicated to Steam’s impending move into the living room. More →
In a recent talk at LinuxCon 2013, Valve CEO Gabe Newell reaffirmed his belief that Linux, and open source platforms in general, are the future of gaming. Valve launched the Steam online gaming store on Linux in February of this year and the store is already host to 198 games. Valve is infamously tight-lipped about upcoming projects, but the prospect of a Linux-based “Steam Box” has been in the works for quite some time, and Newell remarked during his talk that more information about the future of Valve in the living room might be right around the corner. More →
Critics have blasted Microsoft over its used game policy for its Xbox One gaming console. Games are locked to a user’s personal Xbox Live account and require a persistent Internet connection for verification. The company also gave developers the freedom to prevent games from being shared with friends or even sold at certain retailers. In the wake of Microsoft’s bad press, gaming giant Steam appears to be preparing its own lending feature for its popular gaming marketplace. More →
Valve on Monday announced the public release of the company’s Big Picture mode for its Steam software delivery platform. The new mode supports a traditional gamepad, along with a keyboard and mouse to give gamers access to their favorite titles and content right on their television sets. The Big Picture interface can be enabled on any TV by connecting a PC or Mac with an HDMI cable. To celebrate the launch, Valve is discounting over thirty controller-friendly games that will be on sale from now until December 10th. Big Picture mode is fully supported on 41 titles including Portal 2 and Left For Dead 2, and an additional 386 games are listed to include partial controller support, which will still require a traditional mouse and keyboard at certain times. Valve’s press release follows below. More →
So much for the resistance from PC gamers. Steam’s latest hardware survey reveals Microsoft’s (MSFT) radically redesigned Windows 8 is now the fastest growing operating system among Steam users. The survey shows 4.69% of Steam users have jumped onboard Windows 8 making it the platform’s fourth-most used OS, behind Windows 7, XP and Vista. Although Steam usage on Windows 7 saw a 0.85% drop, it still reigns supreme with 72.56%. Meanwhile, Apple (AAPL) Mac users who game with Steam still lag behind at 3.26%, and that’s with OS X 10.6, 10.7, 10.8 combined. More →
Valve announced on Tuesday its “Software” section for non-gaming applications available on its Steam platform is now open for business, just under one month after the company missed its original September 5th launch date. Moving beyond offering digital PC games, Steam’s new software offerings provide another app store for consumers to buy software from. But unlike Apple’s (AAPL) hugely successful Mac App Store, software on Steam can be tweaked to have Steamworks features such as “easy installation, automatic updating, and the ability to save your work to your personal Steam Cloud space so your files may travel with you.” Valve’s press release follows below.
Valve Software announced on Monday that it is finally ready to bring Steam — its popular PC gaming client — to the living room using a new TV-optimized feature called “Big Picture.” According to Kotaku, Big Picture looks very much like the Xbox 360’s dashboard sans the advertising clutter and keeps all of a player’s games, friends, customized levels and mods and game sales all in one digestible UI. Best of all, almost all of Steam’s games designed for keyboard and mouse have built-in controller support, so gaming on the sofa feels more like gaming on a console. A video introduction follows below. More →
Valve Software on Wednesday announced that it will soon begin offering non-gaming software on Steam, the company’s popular digital distribution platform. The software categories will range from “creativity to productivity,” and software tout many of the same features found in the company’s gaming offerings, such as easy installation, automatic updates and the ability to save work to the Steam Cloud. “The 40 million gamers frequenting Steam are interested in more than playing games,” said Mark Richardson at Valve. “They have told us they would like to have more of their software on Steam, so this expansion is in response to those customer requests.” Steam is currently available on PCs and Mac computers, and a watered-down version is available on Android and iOS devices. A Linux port has also been announced and will be available in the future. Valve will begin selling non-gaming software through Steam on September 5th. Read more for the company’s press release. More →
Gamers beware: Valve Software, the firm behind immensely popular gaming portal Steam, wants you to waive your right to sue before you continue gathering games using its digital distribution platform. The company has amended its subscriber agreement to stipulate that by subscribing to its service, users agree to not file lawsuits against the company. Gaming giants Microsoft (MSFT), Sony (SNE) and Electronic Arts (EA) have similar policies in place, Kotaku notes. More →
Valve on Thursday released mobile versions of Steam, the company’s digital game distribution platform. The mobile app is available for both iOS and Android devices. Games cannot be played through the app for obvious reasons, however users will be able to access to the store and connect with friends. “With the free Steam app, you can participate in the Steam community wherever you go,” read the app’s description. “Chat with your Steam friends, browse community groups and user profiles, read the latest gaming news and stay up to date on unbeatable Steam sales.” Steam is a digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications platform developed by Valve. The software was first released in 2003 and as of January 2012 and it now features 1504 games and 40 million active user accounts. It is estimated that Steam has roughly a 70% share of the digital distribution market for video games. More →
Mac gamers got some much needed love from the gaming industry on Wednesday as Valve released its highly aniticipated Steam game distribution platform for the Mac. Steam jumped on board the Mac platform offering 64 titles at launch that include Sid Meiers Civilization IV (Colonization, Warlords, and Beyond the Sword editions), World of Goo, Bejeweled 2, and City of Heroes. As an added bonus, Portal is available for free until May 24th on both the Mac and PC. Folks coming from the PC platform will also be happy to know that many titles are branded “STEAMPLAY” and one purchase will let you play the game on all Steam-supported platforms. So stop reading this post, point you browser to Steam’s website, and get your gaming on. More →