New Steam categories suggest Valve may plan to offer applications

By on July 16, 2012, 3:00 PM

Keenly observant users have discovered categories in the Steam mobile app not found in the desktop client, namely sections like "Design and Illustration", "Photo Editing" and "Web Publishing". Although a precarious conclusion worthy of much skepticism, the addition of such categories may be an indication that Valve has plans to introduce non-gaming content to Steam.

For now, these categories are exclusively found on the Steam app for both Android and iOS. The newfound sections also remain vacuous, void of any content listed therein. In the future though, some of the categories listed, like "Utilities", could easily contain game-related programs such as trainers, mods, calculators and such. "Education", for example, could be the new home for games of learning and mental exercise. There are also items like the Source Filmmaker which would fit nicely under "Video Editing" but aren't quite games themselves.

However, what about Web Publishing, Photo Editing and Software training though? In terms of gaming, those are a little more difficult to explain.

While this discovery serves as only the slightest shred of evidence to suggest Valve may be considering the extension of Steam's offerings beyond games, the idea may not be as far-fetched as it sounds. Although still game-related, it is interesting to note that Steam already offers content other than just games. Just to name a few, such tangential digital goods on Steam include readable content (Portal 2 - The Final Hours), sound tracks (Binding of Isaac soundtrack) and videos (TF2 - Meet the Pyro). 

If Valve did decide to offer content other than games, would you consider buying titles like Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop from Steam? 

User Comments: 10

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Guest said:

If they had the same kind of deal sales as they do on games then quite possibly I'd buy them through Steam (as long as I didn't have to always open Steam before running the application)

Seventh Reign Seventh Reign said:

If it means having those applications available for re-download anytime I needed them, just like the games are, HELL YES I'd buy apps through Steam. Plus if Steam for Linux works out like everyone hopes it will, it could mean alot of apps that dont work well in Linux (Corel PSP for one) could be made to work in Linux.

Here's hoping.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I find it telling that these options are only on the mobile OS Steam apps so far. That would point me towards Valve looking at leveraging the mobile app market, to try to snag a piece of that ever-growing pie. Would make sense to provide yet another layer of platforms to service, with Steam effectively acting as the centralized "wallet" for a user who might branch in a variety of ways - game on PC, work on Mac, Android for phone, etc. An app like Steam could tunnel through into each OS' walled garden and exist in all places at once.

Guest said:

EFF YES I WOULD!! Man EA, Blizzard, Bethesda, Activition, etc. need to take lessons from Valve. Way to do it right!

I love valve :3

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

I'm all for it, with Steam's record for great deals and unlimited redownloadability (Yes I'm making up a new word) itd be sick.

ikesmasher said:

Valve is a boss.

Hopefully they will stay that way.

Guest said:

Yes this sounds awesome! Having my applications ready to download and install immediately when reinstalling Windows. Assuming I don't need to have Steam running to use the applications though. :)

Guest said:

EFF no, I wouldnt want having to run Steam to run every application I have on my pc. Which is what Valve wants you to do. I dont care about steamĀ's business model. I dont want steam being the funnel between my computer and my applications.

c3h899 said:

I'm weary of the monopolization threat this presents, but given the EXCELLENT ability to recover my applications on line, and the integrated licenses (really convenient). I definitely would make at least my major purchases through them. Valve as a corporation impresses me. I like their practices, their sales alone are incredible.

Just a though, but imagine all of your applications guaranteed almost (within your last restart) up to date. No more messy version tracking or fighting with content providers. I wish Valve did this with hardware drivers. Imagine a Steam for Drivers.

SalaSSin said:

Imagine a Steam for Drivers.

They already deliver the last graphics driver for your ATI/AMD graphics card...

So indeed, why not :-)

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