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.
After a week of exciting announcements from Valve revealing SteamOS, Steam Machines and the Steam Controller, gamers couldn’t help but be a little disappointed that the next iteration of the Half-Life franchise was once again missing in action. As it turns out, Valve quietly filed a trademark on Sunday for Half-Life 3 with the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market, the trademarks registry in the European Union. Thanks to the sleuths at NeoGAF, we now have undeniable proof that the long-delayed Half-Life 3 is a real product that does or will exist. Of course, Valve has yet to respond to the discovery, and there’s no evidence that the game is in an even remotely playable state, but this is the first significant sign in months that the franchise is still alive.
When Valve announced its Steam Machines initiative on Wednesday, the company also said that it would soon reveal more about how gamers would interact with these new consoles, which are designed to bring the PC gaming experience to your living room television. Gamers didn’t have long to wait, as Valve revealed the Steam Controller on Friday as the last announcement in its week-long spree of reveals about Steam in the living room. Valve’s controller is a radical redesign of the typical console controller, designed to work with every single PC game to date and games that have yet to launch as well. More →
Whether you realize it or not, Valve is about to become a very important player in not just the gaming world but the tech industry as a whole. The hugely popular game developer behind the Portal and Half-Life franchises has also long been a favorite among PC gamers for its Steam online game shop that often offers popular titles at steep discounts. And this week we’ve learned that Valve is working on its most ambitious project yet: An open-source Linux-based gaming platform that third-party manufacturers will be able to use for free on their own Steam Machine consoles that they’ll sell directly to consumers. More →
Right on the heels of Monday’s announcement, Valve has announced the hardware companion to SteamOS — Steam Machines. The long-rumored console previously dubbed the ‘Steam Box’ reached legendary status in recent months as rumors swirled regarding Valve’s entrance into the hardware world. But instead of one single console, Valve is partnering with several other companies to bring SteamOS gaming machines to the market in 2014. More →
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 →
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 →
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.
Fans awaiting the sequel to Valve’s critically-acclaimed Half-Life 2 might not have to wait much longer. According to Journal Du Gamer, Half-Life 3 is reportedly “well underway although much work remains.” The website’s insider source claims that HL3 will be inspired by The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim and Oblivion and will supposedly still be an action-oriented first-person shooter, but will be set in an open-world, have quests and lots of NPCs to mingle with. How long have fans been waiting for Half-Life 3? Well, the last release was Half-Life 2: Episode Two and that came out in 2007. While it’s just a rumor, the source says that Valve will launch the game in 2013, which has kicked up speculation that it could be released for Microsoft’s (MSFT) next-generation Xbox or Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation 4. More →
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, maker of both the popular Steam online gaming platform and smash-hit games such as Portal 2, has finally had it with the moribund PC hardware market and is planning to build some hardware of its own. Valve has posted a new job listing on its website for an industrial designer capable of lighting a fire under the PC hardware market. The company says in the job posting that it’s “frustrated by the lack of innovation of in the computer hardware space” as “even in basic input, the keyboard and mouse, haven’t really changed much in any meaningful way over the years.” The end result, says Valve, is that it’s “jumping in” to the hardware space.