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….
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?
Every day manufacturers are selling hard drives with greater and greater capacity, so having plenty of space shouldn’t be a problem.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
- Valve SteamStation
- Valve SteamPort
- Valve Vbox
- Valve Vee or Vii
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.)
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!
- 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