Fewer than 500,000 Steam Machines have been sold in the last seven months

By midian182 · 21 replies
Jun 3, 2016
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  1. Valve has just announced an update on new Steam Controller functions, which included the news that the company has sold over 500,000 gamepads since they arrived in November. While that figure sounds pretty good, the number includes controllers that are packaged with every branded Steam Machine, painting a grim picture of how well the gaming console/PC hybrids are selling.

    As noted by Ars Technica, it means there have been under 500,000 Steam Machines sold in the last six months. Once you factor in the amount of Windows gamers who decided to buy the controller and any Steam OS users who bought more than one of the devices, that half-a-million figure could be significantly lower.

    Things look even worse when comparing Steam Machine sales to its console rivals: both the Xbox One and PS4 sold over 1 million units on their first day of release. Over the next seven months, Microsoft had shipped 5.5 million Xbox Ones, and Sony’s PS4 had reached 10.2 million worldwide sales.

    Ever since they were first announced over two years ago, it’s never really been clear who the Steam Machines are aimed at; console fans tend to buy consoles, and PC fans will usually stick with PCs. Valve’s box, with its Linux-powered SteamOS, often feels like a middle ground that nobody wants.

    Valve pushed SteamOS as one of the Steam Machine's biggest selling points and an alternative to Windows. Gabe Newell called Windows 8 “a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space,” back in 2012. And while the operating system has helped bring more games to Linux, it’s had limited support from publishers and a no exclusive titles. The platform suffered one of its biggest blows last year, when a report showed most games ran much slower on SteamOS than on Windows 10.

    Today, if people want a ‘living room PC,’ they either build their own Mini-ITX rig (or buy one of the hundreds of pre-built models) and can use one the many available controllers or a keyboard/mouse combo like the Razer Turret. Even Valve’s excellent $50 Steam Link box can offer a better way of taking the PC experience into the living room than buying a Steam Machine.

    At this point, it seems highly unlikely that the machine will ever become the popular console/Windows alternative the company hoped it would be. It seems Valve’s system is running out of steam.

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  2. mantissteam

    mantissteam TS Member Posts: 54   +21

    Good I dont really like steam

    they are just a bad company and this shows it
    they are a monopoly and deserve to fail they are nothing more then a top dog pimp who got lucky
    and now controllers all the games and gaming market with their overpowered platform killing all types of competition
    HardReset and alabama man like this.
  3. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,936   +1,101

    This is in my top 5 for dumbest post of the year.
  4. risc32

    risc32 TS Addict Posts: 209   +96

    I'm relatively new to modern gaming, so perhaps I'm not in the know on some things, but how is Steam really any different than uplay, or Origin? I mean, I always hear about how steam is good and origin/uplay are bad. I've gotten games on all of them, and the only difference I see is that steam uses bland colors and small text for it's menus. big deal...
    I just don't see how they are better, or worse, and I certainly can't see how they are anything like this above poster's comments, but I'm willing to be corrected. just show me the light...
    andrewyoung likes this.
  5. alabama man

    alabama man TS Maniac Posts: 366   +236

    Steam doesn't rely on Valve making games. They could stop making games any day and the shop would still be there. If EA or Ubisoft made bad games (correction, games that didn't sell) their shops would shut down too. I agree it's not the best option, example GOG is better in every way and if it had all games and my friends I would change instantly. GOG is the only store I know where you actually own the games you buy and they take to account that $ isn't worth the same as €.
    Reehahs likes this.
  6. alabama man

    alabama man TS Maniac Posts: 366   +236

    Steam machine would only work if Valve put some money in to it and sold them at loss. Paying premium to get worse product makes no sense. If they buy the parts in bulk they should be cheaper even if they made profit out of it. I haven't seen a steam machine I couldn't build cheaper from parts my self.
    psycros likes this.
  7. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    ^^ When they kick you off the short bus and nobody will walk with you to school.

    On a more serious note... I am not surprised by the soft sales. People who want consoles buy consoles. People who want PCs buy PCs. Hybrid systems run into the noman's land of offering PC users something they already have and console users something they don't want.

    Ex: I have my PS4 right next to my PC and can play on any screen in the room because they are both hooked up to a matrix.
    DJMIKE25 likes this.
  8. DJMIKE25

    DJMIKE25 TS Addict Posts: 174   +68

    This comment is pretty ridiculous. Valve isn't a bad company. Do they handle greenlight correctly by sometimes pushing games that don't deserve to be greenlit yet? No, but this comment is by far a reach.
    Darth Shiv likes this.
  9. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    500,000? That many? I'm surprised.
    drjekelmrhyde and psycros like this.
  10. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,811   +472

    Linux gaming machine. Nuff said.
  11. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    Sounds like somebody got a VAC perma-ban for using hacks and it made it impossible to play any game online in their library, but that's totally Steam's fault right?

    The lack of success of their Steam machine has nothing to do with the quality of their company, they just tried to do something new and it backfired on them, or at least never became what they wanted it to become.

    But personal opinion of something and actual quality of a company have nothing to do with each other, so your point is quite moot.

    Let me guess you hate Android for having the largest market share in the mobile division?

    And definitely Microsoft for owning the largest share of the PC market.
  12. Nero7

    Nero7 TS Maniac Posts: 273   +104

    The whole Steam Machine thing was half-arsed anyway. The over 9000 different hardware configurations defeated the whole point of it.
    drjekelmrhyde likes this.
  13. Misagt

    Misagt TS Addict Posts: 150   +88

    Honestly I don't think that number is bad. Really your buying a pc in a slim box that is running linux. That fact it sold that many I think is good. Also they aren't tied to a life expectancy of the consoles. So you don't need to worry about 3 years down the road no more games coming out. If they keep up these numbers they'll have a decent market penetration soon enough.
  14. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,811   +472

    Microsoft showed that a lot of unique hardware configs can work with a gaming ecosystem. Linux just hasn't closed the gap in the areas required. Microsoft had a better gaming ecosystem in Win98 - the fact there is a forum devoted to endless issues with Wine to me is a perfect illustration of how Linux gaming is still alpha. Personally I don't know if the Steam box automates that process seamlessly (seriously doubt it) but I'd imagine if they were able to, Wine would be in a much better place.

    That shows how far behind Linux really is from being mainstream and Valve really was trying to push a very big rock up a very steep hill.
    drjekelmrhyde likes this.
  15. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,040   +678

    Who would of thought an overpriced linux machine with an unnecessary new controller layout and limited games wouldnt be a success....
  16. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,867   +1,287

    Maybe if the Linux community wasn't 20% users and 70% people who think they can build a better distro..and 10% nerds who don't want normal people to even USE Linux.
    andrewyoung and Ascaris like this.
  17. oranuro

    oranuro TS Enthusiast Posts: 49   +13

    Steam machines were Valve's answer to the Windows 10 debacle. You know, control over every piece of software for the end user through the Windows 10 store.
  18. WangDangDoodle

    WangDangDoodle TS Addict Posts: 199   +71

    Of all the mistakes Valve made with this project, their biggest issue was always a lack of focus. Either make a console with a good controller, or make a PC and bundle it with a keyboard and mouse. Trying to do anything in between was doomed to failure from the start - I see that now.

    I had high hopes for the Steam Machine once upon a time, but Valve moved too slow and missed their window of opportunity. Windows 10 took over the world, and that's that. What finally killed the Steam Machine for me was the news that games run significantly slower on SteamOS than Windows 10.
  19. SuperVeloce

    SuperVeloce TS Booster Posts: 133   +34

    What SteamOS needs for a real push into the market is a proper gpu driver from Nvidia/AMD for linux and a whole lot of Vulkan API based games. I think it's still possible for them to "make it", and they actually have the power/money to more aggressively push Vulkan option on developers and finally demand a proper GPU driver from those two companies. And in the process Microsoft looses the monopoly on DirectX games and windows platform
    Dimitriid likes this.
  20. Dimitriid

    Dimitriid TS Booster Posts: 37   +37

    Precisely. And that is never going to happen because both Nvidia and AMD are too stubborn to ever properly support Linux. They will always see it as an afterthought. If a giant like Valve wasn't able to push them into properly supporting Linux nothing and no one ever will.
    SuperVeloce likes this.
  21. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,811   +472

    That's the problem with games on Linux. Windows is so well entrenched. I don't think Valve's focus would have made any difference. Honestly they needed to get all the major publishers to release Linux versions of their games AND have good driver optimisation when it takes a LOT of effort to do so. And for what? Some miniscule fraction of the user base? It just was never going to happen.

    It's not just NV and AMD. You also need a really large portion of the major publishers as well. Any of those missing and the others are wasting their time doing their part.
  22. WangDangDoodle

    WangDangDoodle TS Addict Posts: 199   +71

    They were always ice-staking up-hill! :p

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