Microsoft Exec: Valve is not a Console Competitor

Timothy Chang

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Jun 5, 2012
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Microsoft Exec: Valve is not a Console Competitor



Don Mattrick isn't concerned about the Steam Box, saying that other companies offer "richer" product offerings.

Valve's Steam Box prototypes [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/122524-Valve-Steam-Box-Prototypes-Are-Almost-Here] are set for customer testing in about three to four months, which suggests that the company's initial entry into the console market is drawing near. However, Microsoft's head of Xbox is unfazed despite the buzz surrounding the Linux-based machine, saying that he doesn't consider Valve to be a competitor at this point in time.

Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business, addressed Valve's upcoming console at this week's Microsoft TechForum during a discussion about the future strategy for Xbox. Even though he "loves Gabe" and acknowledged that Valve is pursuing some innovative avenues, he stated that Valve is no competition. "The scale of products and things that are being brought to market are probably a little bit richer when I look at Sony, Nintendo, Apple, and Google," he explained.

One of Steam's strengths is its considerable product catalog, with plenty of contributions by indie devs. When asked whether Microsoft would fully open the Xbox platform to third-party developers, Mattrick responded: "There's a certain level of technical and production competency that people have to get through because we're trying to curate great experiences.

"We're trying to make sure that what exists upon our service on our system is done to a quality level and has interest for people who are likely to use it," he said.

Earlier in the year, Newell claimed that Apple was the Steam Box's biggest threat [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/121458-Microsoft-Studios-Exec-Cautions-Valve-on-Launching-Hardware] instead, saying that "Apple rolls the console guys really easily" with its stream of market-disrupting devices.

Microsoft Studios exec Phil Harrison also spoke out on the Steam Box in January, cautioning Valve that the game hardware market is a tough business [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/121458-Microsoft-Studios-Exec-Cautions-Valve-on-Launching-Hardware], and that any ventures necessitated "great fortitude", "deep pockets and a very strong balance sheet". We'll see if the Steam Box will be able to stake out a place in the living room soon enough.


Source: The Verge [http://www.theverge.com/2013/3/5/4066950/microsoft-don-mattrick-valve-no-xbox-competitor]
Image: Steam

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gigastar

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that any ventures necessitated "great fortitude", "deep pockets and a very strong balance sheet".
Id say Valve has those. Gabe certainly is not a stranger to pushing into new markets, and i doubt the people behind Steam have much want for cash.
 

Legion

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Oct 2, 2008
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Timothy Chang said:
Don Mattrick isn't concerned about the Steam Box, saying that other companies offer "richer" product offerings.
Well I sure as hell hope he isn't thinking of the Xbox when he says that. The Xbox is nothing more than a console of convenience. It is straightforward and allows to to just buy a game, get an online account, no fuss.

Beyond that it has nothing worthwhile to offer. Or rather, nothing uniquely worthwhile.
 

smithy_2045

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Well, at this stage, Valve isn't a competitor in the console market. They need to, you know, actually have a console available for people to purchase before they can claim to be a competitor.
 

TimeLord

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A console that looks like it might actually concentrate on gaming rather than Netflix, ads and linking everything to social networks? I'm more interested in the Steam console than my 360 at the moment.
 

SonicWaffle

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Legion said:
Well I sure as hell hope he isn't thinking of the Xbox when he says that. The Xbox is nothing more than a console of convenience. It is straightforward and allows to to just buy a game, get an online account, no fuss.
There's a strong argument to be made that this is what the average consumer wants. I know it's why I own a 360, and will be buying the new Xbox rather than investing in a gaming PC, and I'm probably what the people who care about such things would call a hardcore gamer.

I'm a frequent gamer with enough of an investment in the hobby that I not only visit forums like this one but write articles for a different site about video games, and I prefer a straightforward no-fuss machine, so what do you think the average Joe Sixpack who is looking for nothing more than a way to play CoD or pass the time after work will prefer?
 

Vault101

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TimeLord said:
A console that actually concentrates on gaming rather than Netflix, ads and linking everything to social networks? I'm more interested in the Steam console than my 360 at the moment.
no physical media on a steambox though

I dont know...it looks like the negatives of both without the benefits of eather
 

Dryk

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TimeLord said:
A console that looks like it might actually concentrate on gaming rather than Netflix, ads and linking everything to social networks?
I keep wondering if they realise that TVs are going to move to that focus, and that consoles that plug into TVs will always lose to TVs
 

Legion

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SonicWaffle said:
Legion said:
Well I sure as hell hope he isn't thinking of the Xbox when he says that. The Xbox is nothing more than a console of convenience. It is straightforward and allows to to just buy a game, get an online account, no fuss.
There's a strong argument to be made that this is what the average consumer wants. I know it's why I own a 360, and will be buying the new Xbox rather than investing in a gaming PC, and I'm probably what the people who care about such things would call a hardcore gamer.

I'm a frequent gamer with enough of an investment in the hobby that I not only visit forums like this one but write articles for a different site about video games, and I prefer a straightforward no-fuss machine, so what do you think the average Joe Sixpack who is looking for nothing more than a way to play CoD or pass the time after work will prefer?
I don't disagree. Personally unless the PC version has a lot of mods available, or works better using a mouse (strategy games for example), I prefer to buy a console version because it's so much simpler. Put the disc in, wait for 20 second and straight into the game.

The point I was making is that Microsoft do not offer a quality product, they just offer a convenient one, that doesn't really have any better alternative. The PS3 after all is more or less the same thing except the controller and a few different exclusives. Which one you own is often more down to what one your friends have than anything special about the consoles themselves.

Microsoft on the other hand, are trying to act like their sales are down to them doing something right, as opposed to other people simply not doing better.
 

Rainforce

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The steam box has interesting launch titles that aren't just current gen remakes/sequels.
I think I know now which of the current (and also last) gen consoles I'm gonna buy when I need to choose.

EDIT: yeah it's overgeneralized, but still, just look at how convenient a steam box will be compared to xbox or ps3 D:
 

Albino Boo

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gigastar said:
that any ventures necessitated "great fortitude", "deep pockets and a very strong balance sheet".
Id say Valve has those. Gabe certainly is not a stranger to pushing into new markets, and i doubt the people behind Steam have much want for cash.
Valve is small compared to the console kings. The market values Sony at $ 162 billion, Microsoft at $66 billion and the estimate of value of valve comes in at $5 billion. The big boy already have world wide physical distribution networks setup, Valve use EA to distribute physical media.

TimeLord said:
A console that looks like it might actually concentrate on gaming rather than Netflix, ads and linking everything to social networks? I'm more interested in the Steam console than my 360 at the moment.
You missed the big question is the console bigger on the inside than the outside?
 

Jamous

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It'll be interesting to see how the Steam Box does affect the market. It'll be pretty fun, I think. ;D
 

Snotnarok

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I guess the real comedy here is that Microsoft isn't a competitor in the PC game industry with their god awful Games for Windows Live despite numerous reboots.
 

Abomination

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Snotnarok said:
I guess the real comedy here is that Microsoft isn't a competitor in the PC game industry with their god awful Games for Windows Live despite numerous reboots.
It's like Steam kicked them out of their ancestral home and Microsoft are still saying "They won't find us here!"
 

CriticalMiss

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albino boo said:
gigastar said:
that any ventures necessitated "great fortitude", "deep pockets and a very strong balance sheet".
Id say Valve has those. Gabe certainly is not a stranger to pushing into new markets, and i doubt the people behind Steam have much want for cash.
Valve is small compared to the console kings. The market values Sony at $ 162 billion, Microsoft at $66 billion and the estimate of value of valve comes in at $5 billion. The big boy already have world wide physical distribution networks setup, Valve use EA to distribute physical media.
Do those market values include Sony's non-Playstation parts? They have fingers in many pies, so their worth is spread across various industries. Microsoft is a similar story, they make software as well as the Xbox. Valve make games and run Steam. They clearly know how to make a profit from that whilst keeping gamers happy and entertained. Also, simply having a high market value doesn't mean you are better otherwise EA's Origin would be a raging success compared to Steam. EA are bigger than Valve and yet Steam is more popular than Origin despite EA being able to throw more money around.

I'm just waiting to see how long it takes for the Steambox to become a huge success so Microsoft can eat their words.
 

SonicWaffle

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Legion said:
I don't disagree. Personally unless the PC version has a lot of mods available, or works better using a mouse (strategy games for example), I prefer to buy a console version because it's so much simpler. Put the disc in, wait for 20 second and straight into the game.

The point I was making is that Microsoft do not offer a quality product, they just offer a convenient one, that doesn't really have any better alternative. The PS3 after all is more or less the same thing except the controller and a few different exclusives. Which one you own is often more down to what one your friends have than anything special about the consoles themselves.
Convenience denotes quality to some, though. Perhaps you'd get a prettier game on the PC or, as some argue, have tighter controls with a mouser (not me, I'm far too cack-handed) but it simply isn't as convenient as a plug-and-play games console.

I'm not saying that the Xbox is amazing and we should all be bowing down to it (though I absolutely loathe the shitty Playstation controller, mumble grumble) but I do think that for many people the convenience of it is what makes it a quality product.

Legion said:
Microsoft on the other hand, are trying to act like their sales are down to them doing something right, as opposed to other people simply not doing better.
Speaking again from the perspective of a technological incompetent, they are doing something right. They've given me a console which has worked non-stop for over four years and will play whatever game I put into it without giving me the hassle of trying to alter settings or hunt for patches. The fact that they could be doing it better doesn't really matter to me so much when I weigh it against the fact that they're doing it at all.