Poll Question 017 – Should Valve make a hardware console?

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half Life 1, 2 and 3
WORLD EXCLUSIVE:
VALVE TO MAKE A HARDWARE CONSOLE.

Could this be a real headline one day? Who knows? This week’s Poll Question is this:

Should Valve make a hardware console?

and Perhaps more importantly Would you buy one?
Let’s take a closer look at this question….

The Benefits of Steam

Although I am not a great fan of Steam, I do recognize that there are a lot of benefits to the concept. Perhaps these benefits could be transfered to the console market? Let’s look at a couple of the major points.

  • No Discs
    Perhaps this could make a huge difference to the economics of the idea. Maybe the cost of an optical drive itself is quite small but surely the manufacture and distribution of the games must cost quite a lot. Take away this burden and maybe it makes financial sense.
  • Game Accounts and Authentication
    Download the games onto multiple consoles and sign-in with your name means much greater portability than a PC. It’s much easier to bag a console and take it to a friends house to play. Perhaps too easy?
Huge Hard Drives

Every day manufacturers are selling hard drives with greater and greater capacity, so having plenty of space shouldn’t be a problem.

Upgradeable Graphics

Perhaps the console could be made in conjunction with either ATI or Nvidia. If they could make it so that you could upgrade the graphics capacity as well then it could provide a steady and new revenue stream.

The Reality

Of course in reality it may be very difficult for another manufacturer to enter the console market. Depending on the actual technology used in the machine it may require another game-format to be developed. Although, when I started writing this piece I was thinking that the console would essentially be a stripped down PC, with the bare minimum needed to play the games. As with ALL Valve games now distributed via Steam an internet connection would be needed.

The Publishers

Perhaps this wouldn’t be a problem because Valve seems to be publishing more and more games from other developers. It could even allow amateur mod teams to sell their work, as is starting to happen on Steam.

The Console Cartel

Currently Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo use their consoles as leverage for selling games and I am unsure how a Valve console would fit into this picture. If the machine was essentially a PC that had no screen etc then would the big 3 be able to do anything about it? Potentially almost all games that are available for PC could be made available for the Valve Console, with the exception of those published my the above mentioned companies who may feel that they are losing sales etc.

A little Fun With The Name

So, we have the Xbox360, the PlayStation and the Wii. What would be a good name for Valve’s console? Here are a few suggestions: (I’m going with connecting the Steam and Valve brands but avoiding trying Half-Life!). There might be a small prize for the best name if I can find something, unless anybody has a game they would like to donate as a prize?

  • VPool
  • Valve SteamStation
  • Valve SteamPort
  • Valve Vbox
  • Valve Vee or Vii
  • MicroValve
A little Fun With The Design

Continuing the fun theme, they could also go with a grunge look for the hardware. Everybody is going for sleek metallic looks, perhaps they could break this tradition, similar to the mod cases built by people using Half-Life as a theme. WAIT! How about a pure white, soft-padded model, similar to the Combine Elite! (Have to be washable though.)

Disclaimer

I don’t own and will probably never own a console, so some or maybe all ideas/points made above are currently happening. If this is the case I beg you not to berate me too harshly, there’s only 24 hours in a day and I have enough trouble keeping up with PC news let alone researching console stuff!

Final Results
  • Yes they should and I would buy one: 9%
  • Yes they should and I might buy one: 2%
  • No they shouldn’t: 89%
  • Total votes: 53

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21 Comments

  1. As for the case it could come with a variety of shells.You just buy what you want and if you get bored buy a new shell.

  2. As for the case it could come with a variety of shells.You just buy what you want and if you get bored buy a new shell.

    That’s a fine idea.

  3. marnamai

    NEVER!

    I dislike consoles and for me PC’s are the only way to play a game.
    Valve should keep focussing on building games.
    Its allready hard enough for them to release EP2 :p

  4. this could perhaps with an operating system update by steam…a real nightmare

  5. zeroth404

    I will lose all faith in the gaming industry if ANYBODY votes yes on this.

  6. No way! I don’t think it will be received well either by the public unless they have some secret groundbreaking technology that everybody would just have to have or love to have.

    As for a name, here’s my 2 cents –

    Valve POS (Personal Operating System, or as I’ll call it, Piece Of Shit).

    I rather think this isn’t a very wise business move for them.

  7. I don’t think Valve is cut out for consoles. I own an Xbox, Xbox 360, Gamecube, and a PC, so I think I can speak from a balanced view here. While Valve did port Half-Life 2 to Xbox, it still wasn’t the same. You can blame it on style of gameplay or control scheme, but what I think it boils down to is that you get a different whole experience on a game console than on a PC game.

    Also, Valve is a software company. Unless they can somehow hire bunches of workers and manufacture hardware without going bankrupt, I think making a console would be too strange for people used to making quality software to do. Granted, Microsoft’s last piece of hardware since the Xbox was the original mouse. However, Microsoft isn’t exactly know for quality, either.

    However, IF this were to happen, I would like to make a few comments on it.

    I like your idea for the upgradability (for the graphics cards, hard drives, etc.). However, many of the users of consoles don’t really want to have to deal with these things. Console users are really mostly casual gamers. They are not usually the ones who want to cannibalize their machine or make mods or something like that.

    I also like the distribution system. However, I think it would fall down to the level that Steam is currently at. The distribution would be hampered or even impossible to do without a broadband internet connections, especially for larger, newer games.

    As for the name, how about: Valve Pressure.

  8. AI

    Well lets see, can a console run my security system, run my office programs, store all my game files, or do anything else that my PC does?? NO! so what are any of them good for other than being stuck playing games on?? maybe a boat anchor after your bored with it!! I’ve had a few of them in my years and gave them away or sold ’em at garage sales!! I for one won’t waste another penny on ’em! I’d rather make my computer run faster and have something that is more usefull AND still play the games on! I don’t care for Steam anymore than anyone else, and when I found out that you need it for HL2, what a dissapointment!! What total controll they have even for updates to HL2 and others!! So the only way I would “even” consider a console is if it would do all things, and don’t think that’s going to happen soon!! and that’s my 3 cents worth!!!!

  9. Oh yeah. I work for an accounting firm & part of my job is annalyzing risks/gains financially for a company. I don’t see this as being something “widely” marketable & they will lose money instead of profiting from it.

  10. Ryan "Quakis" Rouse

    Voted No. Because I feel that Valve isn’t at that stage to make me believe in them enough to make a console, plus I’d rather play most games on the PC anyway.

    Names however, wouldn’t be difficult to be honest. The names you thought of Phillip don’t sound much like what Valve would choose. They have names like;

    Valve
    Steam
    Hammer

    So what would work for a console then? Something to follow the pattern of the above ofcourse. But I still say no on this.

  11. James

    Steam has currently killed my Episode 2, in spite of three weeks of searching the net for answers, just by one of its updates….If there were any smilies on here I’d post a very p*ssed off one right now…they’d screw up a console, especially a self-updating one, if such a thing is possible…

    The number of “tweaks” I’ve had to make to HL2 and some of the mods just to give me a passable fps rate is too painful to dwell on, and my specs are at the very least just a fraction above average by their own survey results….cross? You betcha.

    I’ve never really had enough exposure to really see why they would want to get into consoles, but by their track record so far I suspect they ought to concentrate on getting what they do right first before moving into another sphere and messing that up too…..

    Sorry folks, just a little friday night rant.

    Deep breath, its gone…….

  12. James

    OOps, Ep 1! Sorry!

  13. The worshippable icon that is Fluffy The Hamster walkeths from his great castle in the clouds to say:

    All Consoles should die.

    Thank you.

    Anyway. There’s a simple answer to this. As far as I know, Valve makes First Person Shooters. Whomever the absolute hell decided that having FPSes on the console was a good idea is possibly and hopefully suffering a crimson-soaked burning in several thousand layers below the mythological Underworld.

    “Why would you say that, O” holy one?” Well, mysterious person which doesn’t actually exist, that question is also easily answered. You cannot accurately aim a ranged weapon using a phallic-shaped stick the size of a decapitated cockroach.

  14. OFFF TOPIC
    James,the avarage is for what other people have,not what is good.I’m in the top and still dont get good FPS but thats a video issue.Dont like your FPS buy a better card or turn down the settings.

    Back to your regularly scheduled show.

  15. The worshippable icon that is Fluffy The Hamster walkeths from his great castle in the clouds to say:

    All Consoles should die.

    Thank you.

    Anyway. There’s a simple answer to this. As far as I know, Valve makes First Person Shooters. Whomever the absolute hell decided that having FPSes on the console was a good idea is possibly and hopefully suffering a crimson-soaked burning in several thousand layers below the mythological Underworld.

    “Why would you say that, O” holy one?” Well, mysterious person which doesn’t actually exist, that question is also easily answered. You cannot accurately aim a ranged weapon using a phallic-shaped stick the size of a decapitated cockroach.

    I have played both Half-life 2 and Halo on PC as well as Xbox. And I have to say, that, for Half-Life 2, the PC controls seem better. BUT! For games such as Halo… which are just Halo and Halo 2 at the moment, I find that the dual-stick view seems to come more naturally than the WASD/Mouse view on the Halo PC version. I think that Valve shouldn’t make a console, because they make PC FPSs, while Bungie has the quintessence it takes to make a good console FPS. I know some of you will say “HALO SUX0RZ!!!1one!!1”, but it was what probably actually made the Xbox into an at least substantial console. However, I doubt Valve could do this with their games, because they are just not designed with the use of a controller in mind.

  16. James

    James,the avarage is for what other people have,not what is good.I’m in the top and still dont get good FPS but thats a video issue.Dont like your FPS buy a better card or turn down the settings.

    It worked fine for months though! GeForce FX6200 1Gb RAM & 2.7GHz processor, one if not more of the Steam Updates stopped it working properly, even with the settings turned down as low as they’ll go….Mind you, on reflection I guess you wouldn’t have to keep messing with the settings on a console…..? HL2 still works with everything turned up to the top too……

  17. Darth Marsden

    A console? No. I’ve got too many of the buggers already, what with my GC, PS2 and (eventually) Wii as well as my PC.

    It’s a difficult market to break into, and I don’t think they’d try to. If they did change, I think they’d become more like Sega – focus solely on software for various consoles.

    But as it is, they’ve got a pretty good thing going and I don’t think they’re likely to change any time soon.

  18. shungokusatsu

    I will always prefer pcs to consoles due to their flexibility, the ability to load and create mods, which is harder to do with a console by far.

  19. I’d love to see Valve team up with Nintendo. Nintendo can bring the hardware to the table, while Valve brings the online support. They complement each other perfectly.

    Valve has games that scale incredibly well in order to be accessible to more gamers. Nintendo does the same thing with the Wii. Making a system that isn’t the most technologically advanced, but is cheaper as a result.

    Wii remote + nunchuck are just about as good as Mouse+Keyboard for playing FPS.

    Nintendo and Valve market towards entirely different age groups, which means they likely won’t be stealing customers away from each other, but having both together broadens the appeal.

    Furthermore, Nintendo has pretty much the top of the console gaming industry right now, while Valve is pretty much top of the PC gaming industry. A merger between the two would be godlike.

  20. They should be available to those who want that by all means. The only real problem I see with the console gaming industry is that they change the console yearly if not more often requiring the gamer not only to buy the new console but the SAME new game to fit it..

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