So it seems that if we survive all the end-of-the-worlds scheduled for this month, 2013 will see Valve releasing a Steam-powered console to coincide with the launch of Steam for Linux. Cinemablend.com describes it as a "PC-console" or a "console-style PC" because no one seems to know exactly what it is, but what it does is run Steam at optimum efficiency. Explosion.com says that we should be happy about these developments because
“...having an affordably-priced, readily-available gaming PC that is certain to play anything you can get off of Steam is incredibly convenient. What’s more, there’s a possibility that you will still be able to upgrade features, as you could with a regular computer, so that you don’t have to buy an entirely new system once yours starts to show its age.”
The console will work with that cross-mojonation of PC and TV, "Steam Big Picture", which you can read more about here.
So what are our feels about all of this? Let's immerse ourselves and feel all of them:
Firstly, let's work with the hypothetical situation that the console is enormously successful. What are the implications for gamers like us?
One of the things that's pretty cool about it is that it might change the requirements of the gaming industry. At present most games require a state-of-the-art PC (I maintain that my super-lame laptop is the reason why I am forever noob). Were this console to become standard for running Steam games, we would all be on equal footing in the gaming stakes and life in general would be far more pleasant as a result. However, one must also take into account that giving Valve a monopoly on the gaming market is something that would not be entirely wise on our part.
All power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely and all that. I'm not saying that we have to fear that all the consoles will assimilate each other in the manner of the Terminator movies (although I think it's plausible). However, I do think that this will give them larger opportunities to exploit consumers, which is totes not rad.
One must also ask the question whether one will be able to continue to do all the things one likes to do on their Valve PC. I'm not advocating internet piracy, but if a person is willing to take the risk of being caught by the Cyber Police, they should be able to download a torrent now and again if they so wish. However, if they were prevented from doing this on Valve consoles due to pre-installed anti-piracy software...you see where I'm going with this.
Personally, I wonder whether Valve is making the right move considering the fact that according to the interwebz; everybody, ever hates Valve’s Steam platform with the fire of a thousand suns (the use of large amounts of profanity is indicative of such). Would gamers actually buy a Steam-centered console when they give reasons like the ones below to illustrate their loathing?
“Steam is an act of cruelty by a b*******...Steam puts on Doc Martins and jumps up and down on my testicles all day because it's not a games platform. It's an instrument of modern day torture that sucks up your money and then laughs at you afterwards.” - Scroat 12 on Amplicate.com
"Steam makes me not want to play awesome games: I had to wait 4 hours to install Portal 2 from a DVD. Why does it take this long? Because of damn retarded Steam." "- Ryan on Amplicate.com
“When I buy a game I expect to be able to put that disc into my computer, install the game and play. Oh no, not when Steams involved. After installing from disc Steam then wants to download the game from the Internet - usually a trivial 15GB.Steam won't let us play the game until the disc is verified online - yet their servers are always down. It won't let us play our game until all the updates have been applied - DON'T RELEASE A GAME IF IT’S UNPLAYABLE.
I PAID money for my games to play them, not to be f***** around by some shitty 3rd party w***.
I WANT TO PLAY MY F****** GAME.” – the “I hate Valve’s Steam gaming platform”Facebook page.
Something tells me that Valve shouldn't hold their breath. And with that thought, I mentally prepare myself for the torrent of abuse from Steam Fanboys that is no doubt headed my way.
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