It’s been known for a while that Valve has been building its own PC system, designed for playing Steam games at optimal quality. However, what no one knew was whether this PC kit was intended just for the company, for developers, or for a large-scale project. Well, we finally have our answer: Valve’s pre-built gaming PC will actually be a large-scale console, and their goal is to replace PCs and possibly even consoles in the future. With this new information out, we can infer that Valve wants to directly compete not just with video game companies like Nintendo, Sony, and a part of Microsoft, but also computer companies like Apple and the whole of Microsoft. But how will this impact the average gamer?
The answer is easy: becoming a PC gamer will be easier than ever, and we will start to see more and more of a trend towards PC gaming. Consoles certainly have their worth, since they have comfortable controllers and are streamlined for optimal gaming performance—but with Valve’s new console, which is a PC built specifically to play high-quality games, that exclusive niche isn’t so exclusive anymore. The PC has the highest amount of exclusives by far, and including gaming-oriented programs and possibly free games with these new PCs will make it a viable choice for anyone looking to get a new console.
Previously, becoming a PC gamer was a bit more complicated than just going to the store and buying one. In order to run games at optimal performance, you had to have a state-of-the-art computer—which meant either shelling out a huge amount of cash or building one piece by piece for yourself. In some cases, it ends up meaning both. Having an affordably-priced, readily-available gaming PC that is certain to play anything you can get off of Steam is incredibly convenient. What’s more, there’s a possibility that you will still be able to upgrade features, as you could with a regular computer, so that you don’t have to buy an entirely new system once yours starts to show its age.
Depending on the console’s success, gaming may become the major selling point of PCs. Sure, it will be capable of playing other programs better used in an office, but ultimately Valve’s PC will be for games. If it proves to be an intensely possible idea, other computer companies will have to act accordingly. We might end up seeing XBOX 360 games on Windows sooner rather than later, and Macs…well, maybe Macs will start bribing game developers to make games for them or something.
Watching how Valve handles this new console will be an exciting part of next year—hopefully their ‘tightly controlled’ console will still allow users to do everything they normally would with their PCs. Of course, this may also mean that it will be filled with anti-piracy software before you even open the box, or lock in the components you use to strictly Valve-brand upgrades. Either way, Valve hasn’t been known to take extreme measures like that, and hopefully they will handle their console with more grace than we’ve seen from the big three lately.