Valve CEO Gabe Newell teases upcoming console-related news

Polycount

Posts: 2,850   +575
Staff member
In context: Valve has always been a PC-focused game developer first and foremost, despite a few isolated forays into the world of console gaming with the Xbox 360/PS3 releases of the Left 4 Dead games and the Orange Box. However, that could change soon if recent comments from company CEO Gabe Newell are anything to go by.

As we've reported in the past, Newell has been hunkered down in New Zealand for quite a while now, as a self-proclaimed Covid "refugee." He admires how the country has handled the virus so far and has even discussed the possibility of helping game devs relocate to New Zealand so they can return to in-office collaboration.

To give back to the country for its hospitality, Newell on Monday visited the Sancta Maria College in Auckland, NZ to speak with students and answer questions about his profession.

When asked whether Steam would port any additional games to consoles or remain focused on PC, Newell had a particularly interesting response (thanks to Redditor Odysseic for recording the discussion).

"You will get a better idea of that by the end of this year," the CEO said. "And it won't be the answer you expect. You'll say 'Ah-ha! Now I get what he was talking about.'"

It's hard to determine what Newell could've meant with that reply. Obviously, Valve has some sort of plans for console games, but that could mean anything -- is Steam coming to consoles? Is Valve launching a new cross-platform title soon? Will it be porting an existing game to next-gen devices such as the PS5 and Xbox Series X?

For now, we don't know. Fortunately, based on Newell's "by the end of this year" wording, it seems we won't have to wait long for Valve to answer those questions itself. When they do, we'll report them here, as usual.

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Dimitriid

Posts: 567   +971
I think the answer is different: Valve will expand the game streaming capabilities they've so far used mostly for users within the same LAN or for personal use and just bet heavily on Cloud gaming: Pay Valve a flat fee for hardware space on a data center and bring your entire Steam library (Minus some prominent AAA titles that will opt out, read below) with you to it. And at that point why not just have clients for it on well, anything that would let you like consoles?

I somehow don't think Gabe would want to bet on porting over to consoles and looking at every other company's first yet prominent steps towards gaming-as-a-service (A consumer version of SaaS which nowadays dominates the enterprise world at least in terms of growth) Valve could offer the one thing many of the competitors probably cannot: a massive library of games (Yes, even without support from major players with competing platforms, there's still thousands of Steam exclusive games)
 

texasrattler

Posts: 1,154   +543
There's thousands of indie steam games for sure but even all of those will never make up for having a big name game/studio coming with. The big boys of gaming are needed as that in turn can get more people seeing other stuff that steam has to offer. With out them, steam would just be another indie platform with no real growth. Sure some of the games will be good n make money but you will need major support from a company to sustain anything meaningful or just to stay relevant.
 

psycros

Posts: 3,465   +4,047
I think the answer is different: Valve will expand the game streaming capabilities they've so far used mostly for users within the same LAN or for personal use and just bet heavily on Cloud gaming: Pay Valve a flat fee for hardware space on a data center and bring your entire Steam library (Minus some prominent AAA titles that will opt out, read below) with you to it. And at that point why not just have clients for it on well, anything that would let you like consoles?

I somehow don't think Gabe would want to bet on porting over to consoles and looking at every other company's first yet prominent steps towards gaming-as-a-service (A consumer version of SaaS which nowadays dominates the enterprise world at least in terms of growth) Valve could offer the one thing many of the competitors probably cannot: a massive library of games (Yes, even without support from major players with competing platforms, there's still thousands of Steam exclusive games)

Literally the first thing I thought, because everyone is getting on board the streaming train to Failsville. Its the new 3D.
 

duckofdeath

Posts: 378   +481
I think the answer is different: Valve will expand the game streaming capabilities they've so far used mostly for users within the same LAN or for personal use and just bet heavily on Cloud gaming: Pay Valve a flat fee for hardware space on a data center and bring your entire Steam library (Minus some prominent AAA titles that will opt out, read below) with you to it. And at that point why not just have clients for it on well, anything that would let you like consoles?

I somehow don't think Gabe would want to bet on porting over to consoles and looking at every other company's first yet prominent steps towards gaming-as-a-service (A consumer version of SaaS which nowadays dominates the enterprise world at least in terms of growth) Valve could offer the one thing many of the competitors probably cannot: a massive library of games (Yes, even without support from major players with competing platforms, there's still thousands of Steam exclusive games)
I can't imagine it's a cloud service. I can imagine two things, the lesser exciting is HL Alyx coming to console. The more surprising would be Microsoft letting the Steam store into Xboxes, running on a bare metal Windows of sorts.
 

Geralt

Posts: 294   +355
TechSpot Elite
I think the answer is different: Valve will expand the game streaming capabilities they've so far used mostly for users within the same LAN or for personal use and just bet heavily on Cloud gaming: Pay Valve a flat fee for hardware space on a data center and bring your entire Steam library (Minus some prominent AAA titles that will opt out, read below) with you to it. And at that point why not just have clients for it on well, anything that would let you like consoles?

I somehow don't think Gabe would want to bet on porting over to consoles and looking at every other company's first yet prominent steps towards gaming-as-a-service (A consumer version of SaaS which nowadays dominates the enterprise world at least in terms of growth) Valve could offer the one thing many of the competitors probably cannot: a massive library of games (Yes, even without support from major players with competing platforms, there's still thousands of Steam exclusive games)
Can't you just be more synthetic? Every post of yours is lengthy like a gospel.
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 525   +1,006
I was super hyped when they announced SteamOS.

I was hoping they created a super game oriented distro, that were going to be lean and fast, like a console, but that it would allow you to use your pc as such (yes, a personally built Steam Machine).

Instead, its just debian with big picture enabled and then, they called it a day.
 
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Puiu

Posts: 4,608   +3,450
TechSpot Elite
I was super hyped when they announced SteamOS.

I was hoping they created a super game oriented distro, that were going to be lean and fast, like a console, but that it would allow you to use your pc as such (yes, a personally built Steam Machine).

Instead, its just debian with big picture enabled and called it a day.
SteamOS did a lot of great things for the Linux gaming community even though it eventually was mostly forgotten. Were you also expecting devs to jump in and make optimisations for it when they can barely handle Windows and consoles?
 

Kirby1

Posts: 101   +151
Whatever it is, it's probably something that has almost no appeal to core gamers. Valve doesn't so what their customers want, they do whatever they think fills a niche no one cares about.

Whatever it is, probably another steam OS level idea that will go no where and die.
 

fadingfool

Posts: 225   +225
SteamOS did a lot of great things for the Linux gaming community even though it eventually was mostly forgotten. Were you also expecting devs to jump in and make optimisations for it when they can barely handle Windows and consoles?
Yep and some not forgotten e.g. Proton (https://www.protondb.com/)
If I didn't require windows for work all of my PCs would be running Linux of some flavour or other (instead of only half).
 

Lounds

Posts: 824   +726
I'm still pissed that Steam Box's never took off.
It would have been a great idea, I think it was just a bit too early. PC gaming nowadays has never been more mainstream than it is today thanks to game steaming.

What Valve needs to do is get Half Life Alyx on the PSVR2.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 567   +971
I'm still pissed that Steam Box's never took off.
It would have been a great idea, I think it was just a bit too early. PC gaming nowadays has never been more mainstream than it is today thanks to game steaming.

What Valve needs to do is get Half Life Alyx on the PSVR2.

It wasn't too early: Valve just took too much time with it. Sorry but the truth is that you can't really subject folks to "Valve time" crap when there's a lot of partners that trusted you and were expecting you to deliver your end of the bargain with the OS but Valve kept delaying the release to try to reinvent the controller, unsuccessfully if I might add.
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 525   +1,006
SteamOS did a lot of great things for the Linux gaming community even though it eventually was mostly forgotten. Were you also expecting devs to jump in and make optimisations for it when they can barely handle Windows and consoles?
Please dont do what 99% of the internet arm chair generals do, twist sh!t just because.

I do understand the incredible advances that Linux gaming obtained thanks to Valve, even though, we know very well that they did this because they got scared of MS closing Windows in the same way that iOS is.

But at the same time, what I was expecting is not out of this world, since it is exactly what consoles have been doing for many, many years.

SteamOS could've been a lot more, but they did pretty much what I described, create a "custom" distro that is simply a regular distro booting into Big Picture mode.