Xbox Disses Steam Box


A post on the Verge from yesterday relays comments from Microsoft’s Don Mattrick, the president of the company’s Interactive Entertainment Business, who said that Valve’s forthcoming Steam Box isn’t really a competitor against his company’s Xbox line of consoles.

Speaking at the Microsoft TechForum earlier this week, Mattrick was replying to a question as to whether or not Microsoft sees Valve as a competitor. His answer, in a word, was “no.”

“The scale of products and things that are being brought to market are probably a little bit richer when I look at Sony, Nintendo, Apple, and Google.”

“I love Gabe [Newell, Valve’s managing director],” added Mattrick, “I was there for his lifetime achievement award so it’s wonderful to see what they’re creating.”

It’s a curious position to take in many ways, but until Valve actually produces something resembling a prototype—along with specs, release date, and price—he’s not altogether wrong. Valve has yet to release anything that even resembles an Xbox, whereas all the other companies he listed are already in the hardware-making space.

On the other hand, considering where Microsoft came from—a software maker that jumped into the hardware game by way of its large stores of capital—it is a little odd for Microsoft to not really entertain the notion that Valve might be able to out Xbox the Xbox.

After all, when the original Xbox was first rumored, most gamers thought it would just be another Phillips CD-I or a Panasonic 3DO, or some other failed piece of gaming hardware that couldn’t stand up to Nintendo and Sega. Now Sony and Microsoft are battling it out, with Nintendo still looking to grab its former gaming dominance. Is it really so crazy to think that Valve could jump in too? Given how successful the company’s been with Steam and its own game franchises, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Steam Box gives consoles a run for their money. Of course, until we see something for sure, we’ll just have to wait and see…

Via The Verge

  1. “… be able to out Xbox the Xbox”.

    one too many “Xbox”?

    Sorry not trying to be “that guy”. So feel free to delete this comment after! :p

    • No, you’re not being “that guy.” I was using the first Xbox as a sort of pseudo adjective, in that Valve would be doing what the Xbox did in the first place, but doing it to the Xbox 360–that is, jump into the console market from the software side of things.

      It made sense to me when I wrote it…and it still kind of does! But thanks for looking out. We don’t want to sound too stupid on here (just stupid enough).

  2. Just because Mr. Mattrick has expressed his opinion that Valve is not currently considered to be a rival among the console market does not mean that all heads at Microsoft actually agree with him that Valve is no threat. From what is known of both the SteamBox and the Durango project they are both trying to be a alternative…

  3. …To buying a hyped up compute. However, in the case that these both are well recieved there is a flaw within their thoughts. Microsoft wants to expand Kinect which was poorly recieved and from what i know unresponsive. This could be a poor choice. Now Valve wants the SteamBox to give players a unique experience each time they play and have something monitoring how players react. A nice gimmick, but will it actually work. I do not think i need to remind anyone of the Coleco Vision tragedy.

  4. It’s obvious, regardless of how well made the Steam Box will be, that it wont kill the console market, same way the original Xbox was, mediocre and was no real competition to Sony or Nintendo, but if done right, it may be a massive step stone for the future.

  5. “Not competition” doesn’t mean that it will fail, it means that it will appeal to a different set of gamers. And I think that’s entirely possible.

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