Here’s some news for all the doomsayers calling out the end of the road of PCs: Steam now has more than 65 million active accounts. The figure marks a 30 percent rise in players over the last year and outpaces Microsoft’s 48 million subscribers for Xbox Live -- free and paid ones. It’s not quite the 110 million that Sony claims for the PlayStation Network but the latter also offers no indication of how many of them are active.
The new milestone comes ahead of Valve's big living room push detailed late last month, which comprises a new Linux-based operating system called Steam OS, a rather unconventional looking game controller, and range of gaming PCs that are set out to compete with a new generation of consoles. The company will be shipping 300 prototype Steam Machines free of charge to users selected for the beta for testing later this year.
This year marked the 10th anniversary for Valve’s gaming service, which now offers over 3,000 games across all major desktop platforms. Aside from the new hardware initiative, 2013 also saw the rollout of several new features such as Family Sharing, Steam Trading Cards, Early Access, and support for Linux.
Moving forward, Valve says it will “expand Steam’s services and offerings to gamers and developers by holding the Steam Developer Days in Seattle, WA this January” and by rolling out finalized versions of Steam Machines with a variety of hardware partners later in the year. Exactly who’s onboard with the initiative and what their machines will look like isn’t clear but specs for the Steam Machine prototype were revealed earlier this month.