Steam: Something Next-Gen Consoles Could Learn From The PC

By Julio Franco
Jun 20, 2013
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  1. ReederOnTheRun

    ReederOnTheRun TechSpot Booster Posts: 310   +62

    Yeah, but console gamers aren't going to get that anytime soon. And it's pretty much all their fault. The Xbox One was trying to do what Steam is doing, but none of the console gamers understood it. Now no console is going to try to do that again for a long time. It's a shame, and the console gamers who whined will probably feel like *****s when they realize what they did; but I guess it's just another reason computers are better than consoles.
    spectrenad and m4a4 like this.
  2. LukeDJ

    LukeDJ TechSpot Addict Posts: 413   +110

    I laughed way harder than I should've at that picture XD
    havok585 likes this.
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT TechSpot Guru Posts: 1,224   +327

    Next generation consoles will come when:

    a) 4K is ubiquitous;
    b) SSD-s are dirt-cheap;
    c) New media format for 4K is widely accepted, whatever it will be.

    Considering that we will be almost there sometime by end of 2014, I would expect the next generation of consoles to be out not later than in 2015. Because otherwise they won't be able to compete with then-widely used high-res PC screens.

    P.S. One reason I'm holding off on buying a new system is HDMI 2.0 + Thunderbolt 2 support, both to be out in around Q3 this year, to make sure when I have 4K screens I can use them properly.
  4. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,362   +260

    Please can we bet on this, I can happily place £1487.49 against this right now.

    That is only 2 years away, I can promise you high res 4k screens will not be widely accepted by then including the PC market, SSD's will continue to get cheaper but won't be dirt cheap in comparison to how much data they hold by 2015 maybe 2020 though and 4k content will continue to gain traction over the next 2 years but again will not be widely used due to the high price for the equipment needed to play back the content. consider this, Crysis 3 with full graphics turned up runs at around 40fps on an Nvidia Titan at 1600p imagine how much harder 4k would be to run? a Titan will still be a potent card in 2 years time.

    Your dreaming if you think any of your points will happen in the next 2 years.
    psycros and LukeDJ like this.
  5. benken2202001

    benken2202001 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 154   +16

    The issue I have is that a lot of the games I purchase on steam are old classics that I just want to replay for nastalgia. I'll pay $2.50 for the ability to access the game forever. But consoles are not even backwards compatible anymore. at least provide me a cheap way to download the digital copy of the games. I might even pay for a game I currently own a second time, just for the ease of use on a newer console.
  6. I play my games on the PC, and this article is spot on. I have bought plenty of games when Steam has their sales. My boy is 5 years old, and he games on a PC as well. He won't even touch the 360 or Wii in the living room and we've largely abandoned consoles. Steam is great because it seems like no matter what I can always find good games cheap for my boy. I have no intention of buying a new console as it seems economically unfeasible anymore.
    neo1027, psycros and havok585 like this.
  7. Timonius

    Timonius TechSpot Booster Posts: 564   +30

    Also Steam has included Mac and Linux into their ever expanding empire. And let's not forget that there are other places online such as Green Man Gaming and Good Old Games where the unconsole player can satisfy their game-lust and wallet.
    psycros and havok585 like this.
  8. m4a4

    m4a4 TechSpot Addict Posts: 477   +117

    Console makers don't want to seem biased towards digital for some reason. Hence why the old XB1 policies weren't the greatest and why currently digital isn't better than disc on consoles...
    psycros likes this.
  9. davislane1

    davislane1 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 860   +275

    I have to dispute the premise of this article. Although Steam is clearly the superior online marketplace, Sony's online store has been gravitating towards the same model for a while (not having a 360 I can't speak for Microsoft). For Playstation Plus members they have 25%-75% off sales, offer free digital copies of AAA games, and have decent cloud integration to boot. It's certainly not on the same scale as Steam but it is certainly moving in that direction. The problem isn't that console makers haven't learned from Steam; it's that they have been slow in implementing the business model, opting to give their users Steam "lite" instead.
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,062   +1,179

    The PS4 and XBone are PC's and there is no reason why Steam couldn't be installed on either one, other than corporate decision not to allow it. And quite frankly I don't understand why anything, would be dependent on a 24-hour check-in.
  11. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,089   +724

    Meanwhile at EA's Origin team:
    [​IMG]
    LukeDJ, St1ckM4n, Timonius and 4 others like this.
  12. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,888   +608

    Cool observation about the lives of gamers nowadays. I think the difference is that as time passes a larger and larger % of gamers are adults. Those of us in our 30s were kids when the first NES came out, back then video games were just for kids. I'd give the Playstation credit (up for debate of course) for helping games become more interesting for an older audience. Grand Theft Auto was quite unique when it came out, even though we had already seen plenty of violence in Duke Nukem.

    Good for Steam for picking up on it.
    psycros likes this.
     
  13. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,259   +216

    There is one huge problem with getting a Steam-like pricing structure onto the consoles - licensing fees. There is a reason that Sony was selling the PS3 at a loss for years, yet still making a good profit. It is the same reason that it is a challenge to find any titles, even some that are very old, for dirt cheap. A big chunk of the sale of that game goes right to Sony. It's a business model that they (and Microsoft and Nintendo) have been using for generations, and changing their entire business structure is a bit like trying to U-turn a bus in a narrow alley. Until they can get full separation and not completely rely on that licensing revenue for all of the R&D and sales recouping, you won't see much of a budge in their bottom-line game pricing.
    Burty117 likes this.
  14. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,259   +216

    On the surface, it might look like Sony is moving towards a more Steam-like pricing system, but you are comparing a paid subscription service to a free digital delivery system. It is only similar if you completely ignore the revenue that you are required to pay to experience that service. The Steam cloud and all of your library are available to you any time. Your PS+ purchases and cloud library are only available if you continue to pay for the privilege. Sony leverages that known sub fee to offset any shortcomings in lowering their licensing fees for digital delivery.

    It's at most a half-step in the right direction, but the bottom line is that you can never get parity between Steam and console game libraries on the pricing front. Steam is a delivery system, they just make a little skim off the top on each title sold, and have no real vested interest in the actual titles (other than Valve games, that is). Console manufacturers have massive vested interest in their own ecosystem, between hardware sales, R&D, and game licensing. The digital delivery system / game pricing portion is just one part of the whole organism, but it becomes responsible for a huge portion of their revenue. That makes it much harder to change, and the impact of any change can be severe. Quite the conundrum.
    psycros and St1ckM4n like this.
  15. ReederOnTheRun

    ReederOnTheRun TechSpot Booster Posts: 310   +62


    I'm not sure if Microsoft and Sony would allow it, but even if they did, I can't blame Steam for not taking the risk after the Xbox One complaints. Steam requires you to connect every time you play a game. That's even worse than connecting once a day. It would really suck if they invested in getting a bunch of Xbox and PS4 games only for every console gamer to shun their service.
  16. davislane1

    davislane1 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 860   +275


    Excellent points. The subscription service is one of the reasons I describe it as "lite". At $4.17/mo, however, I consider the price to be low enough to be ignored as far as comparisons with Steam are concerned. Also, while I do believe you lose access to all of your cloud data with the termination of PS+ membership, you still retain access to download any games you've purchased via PSN (which should include the freebies). You lose cloud functionality, not your library.

    The problems you bring up with regards to the differences between the hardware, development, publishing, and service aspects of the gaming industry are why I don't think we'll see anything but baby steps towards a Steam-like experience in the near future. Steam has a serious leg up on Sony and Microsoft because they have few other costs to cover. Nevertheless, I'm happy that Sony and Microsoft are at least trying to move towards that end. A little progress is better than none.
    Vrmithrax likes this.
  17. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TechSpot Booster Posts: 336   +114

    I have bought many games on Steam. Most of the time the primary reason is that the price was so cheap it would have been a crime not to purchase it. Triple A titles on sale for next to nothing. I've been waiting forever, though, to purchase a couple of the Call Of Duty games for less than $9.99 on a Steam sale. They just won't fall below that for some reason. And so my digital copy sits there on the Steam server rusting away into the past. Maybe someday.

    It's not that $9.99 isn't a decent price when examining the COD series of games in isolation. It's the fact that there are so many other games at the same level which are much cheaper. PainKiller is a game I love. Hell And Damnation just came off a sale for $5. I wanted to buy it but haven't even finished the other ones I bought. Paid $2.90 for Painkiller:Overdose. So many good deals, so little time. That's why Steam wins.

    The reason I paid $50 a pop for games in the past was because there really wasn't much competition in quality games. Now there is. You can't charge $60 for a game that's 3 or even 2 years old now. It would never sell. But even Sony has the "Greatest Hits" series of games and those are priced fairly in my opinion. Some of them can be had for as little as $10.00. Still no competition for Steam but a good deal, none the less.

    I have to wonder how much money Steam has collected from gamers who have never even launched a game purchase, let alone finished the game. I know I have a lot.
  18. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,259   +216


    Steam has an offline mode. The only time you are required to be online is when installing from your library. It's been that way for years and years. Simple, really, and a similar system of authentication & associating a game to an account/console could have been easily implemented by Microsoft, rather than the whole "call home once a day" system. Require connection to install or uninstall from your console, and that's it. Try to install somewhere else, and it does a check to see if the game serial is in use on another console already. So easy, makes you wonder why Microsoft couldn't think of that?
    psycros likes this.
  19. soldier1969

    soldier1969 TechSpot Booster Posts: 244   +43

    Next gen console age group- 12 to 25
    Current gen PC gamers age- 30 to 50+
    Older = better hardware. PC gaming and digital downloads win out every time but price to build a good one keeps most of the younger generation from getting one. My answer to that save that $399-499 and use it towards a real next gen gaming platform, the pc.
    psycros likes this.
  20. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,062   +1,179

    I have a few games installed from Steam library, that does not require Steam to even be loaded into memory. So from that perspective, I can only wonder why you think it is a Steam requirement.
  21. Tharien

    Tharien Newcomer, in training

  22. Ummm... you don't follow Gaming News or Technical news at all do you... The Consoles are already made, they are being produced as we type. They will be out at the end of year. Is this something you did not know?
  23. gingerbill

    gingerbill TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 154   +8

    Good article I completely agree with. Baffles me why they don't sell old console games for a lot cheaper.

    Steam sales are too good though :) , I just haven't got time to play all the games I buy.
    psycros and cliffordcooley like this.
  24. gingerbill

    gingerbill TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 154   +8

    err just no , I hate people writing posts that are just so blatantly untrue and ill informed and to be honest very lazy.
    psycros, dennis777 and cliffordcooley like this.


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