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What do you think is Valve's strategy with Steam Deck?

Raploz

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Gabe Newell in an interview to IGN said that "Hitting Steam Deck Price Was 'Painful' but 'Critical'". That means they might be eating some of the costs to release their PC/console at 399, but at the same time, it's completely open and people can even install other stores on it.

Something seems wrong. If they're investing in a long term plan to increase the adoption of Steam, why would they make their platform open and allow people to replace the OS and install their competitor's stores?

Just for some context, in article Gabe also says “We’re doing this for the long haul. And there’s a lot of opportunity.”, so this is clearly a long term plan and they've been working on this for a long time.

What do you think is their master plan?
 
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Raploz

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To have a hardware platform?
But if it's open and anyone can install whatever they want on it, what's the point of having a hardware platform? Other companies like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo make money because their platforms are closed and all the money from software goes to them, but with a open platform like Valve's they can't even be sure people will stick to their store.
 

Raploz

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To tie people into their ecosystem that MS doesn't control. They see MS exerting more control over hardware with Win 11, and want to get ahead of that more. I bet they will make a stronger push with SteamOS overall with the launch of Steam Deck.
That would make sense if it was a closed platform, but it's not. And considering the target demographic for a portable gaming PC probably has some knowledge about computers, it's likely a lot of people will install Windows to have a more familiar experience.
 
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BigBooper

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That would make sense if it was a closed platform, but it's not. And considering the target demographic for a portable gaming PC probably has some knowledge about computers, it's likely a lot of people will install Windows to have a more familiar experience.
The whole Steam Machines experiment was to have a more open platform available should MS get too overreachy. If you use the Steam store, you are tied into their ecosystem. If you use SteamOS too, all the better. You are only looking at the closed garden angle.
 
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Ryu Kaiba

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That would make sense if it was a closed platform, but it's not. And considering the target demographic for a portable gaming PC probably has some knowledge about computers, it's likely a lot of people will install Windows to have a more familiar experience.
I don't think they're too worried about other stores, I wouldn't be. Having access to games and programs outside of steam only makes this thing as functional as a PC which casts an even larger net around its target audience.
 
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killatopak

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video game GIF
 

Dream-Knife

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But if it's open and anyone can install whatever they want on it, what's the point of having a hardware platform? Other companies like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo make money because their platforms are closed and all the money from software goes to them, but with a open platform like Valve's they can't even be sure people will stick to their store.
Steams service is so good you'll use them anyway.

Steam is the only store that doesn't need to strong arm it's customers.
 

MrFunSocks

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Same as their strategy with Steam Machines and the Steam Controller. Release something half arsed and then just forget about it, and still not make any games.

I just don't see the market for this. Do "PC Master Race" people want to play super low settings 720p PC games while out and about? It's absolutely zero use as a docked games console with those lowly specs. The Series S spanks it as a tv console like a Series X compared to a 360. So portability is it's only real selling point, but does anyone actually want to play PC games with that low power portably?
 

Sorcerer

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But if it's open and anyone can install whatever they want on it, what's the point of having a hardware platform? Other companies like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo make money because their platforms are closed and all the money from software goes to them, but with a open platform like Valve's they can't even be sure people will stick to their store.
As long
Same as their strategy with Steam Machines and the Steam Controller. Release something half arsed and then just forget about it, and still not make any games.

I just don't see the market for this. Do "PC Master Race" people want to play super low settings 720p PC games while out and about? It's absolutely zero use as a docked games console with those lowly specs. The Series S spanks it as a tv console like a Series X compared to a 360. So portability is it's only real selling point, but does anyone actually want to play PC games with that low power portably?
Valve will dump it and continue to put their eggs in the VR basket. That's the only hardware Valve has any commitment too.
 

Ryu Kaiba

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This also creates a strong base spec for PC developers to target their games around.
This creates an easy entry point for anyone curious about PC gaming
This enables the user to have a big beefy gaming rig at home and still have their library of games on the go.
Portability opens up accessibility, which is extremely important in a world where so many things are competing for people's time.
 
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Same as their strategy with Steam Machines and the Steam Controller. Release something half arsed and then just forget about it, and still not make any games.

I just don't see the market for this. Do "PC Master Race" people want to play super low settings 720p PC games while out and about? It's absolutely zero use as a docked games console with those lowly specs. The Series S spanks it as a tv console like a Series X compared to a 360. So portability is it's only real selling point, but does anyone actually want to play PC games with that low power portably?
Just look at Switch, it's quite popular some would say.

But with Steam Deck you have multiple times more powerful Switch + a portable Xbox Game Pass console + portable emulator console for all ps1, ps2, and most ps3 games + xbox and nintendo games. It's infinitely more attractive than nintendo's switch.
 

MrFunSocks

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Just look at Switch, it's quite popular some would say.

But with Steam Deck you have multiple times more powerful Switch + a portable Xbox Game Pass console + portable emulator console for all ps1, ps2, and most ps3 games + xbox and nintendo games. It's infinitely more attractive than nintendo's switch.
The switch isn't just a portable PC though, it's a dedicated portable machine with games made specifically for it. It has all of Nintendo's franchises on it. It has Pokemon, Mario, Zelda, etc.

This is a ultra low powered PC that can only play todays games at 720p on medium settings at a "reasonable" frame rate lol. It will look *terrible* when playing docked on a big 4K tv. This will not be able to emulate most PS3 + xbox games lol. No a chance. It'll struggle with Switch games. Do people really want to play Starfield in 720p on low settings on the bus at an unstable 30fps, if it can even play it at all?

With thinking like that you'd better start preparing for the sales numbers, cause they're not going to be good.

This also creates a strong base spec for PC developers to target their games around.
This creates an easy entry point for anyone curious about PC gaming
This enables the user to have a big beefy gaming rig at home and still have their library of games on the go.
Portability opens up accessibility, which is extremely important in a world where so many things are competing for people's time.
"Strong base spec"? 720p medium at best is "strong" is it?

This won't impress anyone curious about PC gaming. Pay USD$60 for a new release game, load it up..................low and medium settings for most things, with the other things turned off completely. That's not going to convince them that PC gaming is great.
 
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The switch isn't just a portable PC though, it's a dedicated portable machine with games made specifically for it. It has all of Nintendo's franchises on it. It has Pokemon, Mario, Zelda, etc.

This is a ultra low powered PC that can only play todays games at 720p on medium settings at a "reasonable" frame rate lol. It will look *terrible* when playing docked on a big 4K tv. This will not be able to emulate most PS3 + xbox games lol. No a chance. It'll struggle with Switch games. Do people really want to play Starfield in 720p on low settings on the bus at an unstable 30fps, if it can even play it at all?

With thinking like that you'd better start preparing for the sales numbers, cause they're not going to be good.
Switch can't even do that.

Switch can't play any ps1, ps2, ps3, or any games from huge steam + game pass libraries. You'll be more than fine at 720p for 30+ fps, maybe 60 fps if nintendo switch games. Think of it like next gen Switch , but not limited to nintendo games. Like I said this thing is infinitely more attractive to 99% of handheld gamers than switch.
 
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Sean Mirrsen

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Valve's long-term plan with Steam Deck, is establishing SteamOS and Proton as a viable alternative to Windows. It's not necessarily being done to make money - by all accounts Steam itself generates enough income that the launch of the platform can be sustained. It's basically a reverse EGS sort of situation. Strengthening rather than damaging the PC ecosystem.

As-is, the pricing of the base model is competitive with laptop computers - and very competitive with tablet computers or UMPCs with similar specs.
I think there's a pretty good market out there for something of this type, something that fills in the niche of the Switch (which is a proven success) for people that don't care about Nintendo games and would rather have a more powerful hybrid 'console' that plays more games. That it has an established library you can draw from, and can do anything that a PC can, and is an open platform rather than a closed one, those are all just extra bonuses.
 

MrFunSocks

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Switch can't even do that.

Switch can't play any ps1, ps2, ps3, or any games from huge steam + game pass libraries. You'll be more than fine at 720p for 30+ fps, maybe 60 fps if nintendo switch games. Think of it like next gen Switch , but not limited to nintendo games.
This thing is going to suck for the majority of steams library and game pass library though. This machines main selling point will likely be as a niche emulation machine, like you're basically saying it will be. New steam and game pass games are going to be terrible on this. It's not going to sell well.
 
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Ryu Kaiba

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The switch isn't just a portable PC though, it's a dedicated portable machine with games made specifically for it. It has all of Nintendo's franchises on it. It has Pokemon, Mario, Zelda, etc.

This is a ultra low powered PC that can only play todays games at 720p on medium settings at a "reasonable" frame rate lol. It will look *terrible* when playing docked on a big 4K tv. This will not be able to emulate most PS3 + xbox games lol. No a chance. It'll struggle with Switch games. Do people really want to play Starfield in 720p on low settings on the bus at an unstable 30fps, if it can even play it at all?

With thinking like that you'd better start preparing for the sales numbers, cause they're not going to be good.


"Strong base spec"? 720p medium at best is "strong" is it?

This won't impress anyone curious about PC gaming. Pay USD$60 for a new release game, load it up..................low and medium settings for most things, with the other things turned off completely. That's not going to convince them that PC gaming is great.
720P is fine for handheld gaming, and if they're buying full-priced games for on the go they'll at least certainly look and run better on this than on the Switch. If portability isn't valuable to you then yeah this is hardly appealing but there are other people out there.
 
Jan 7, 2018
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This thing is going to suck for the majority of steams library and game pass library though. This machines main selling point will likely be as a niche emulation machine, like you're basically saying it will be. New steam and game pass games are going to be terrible on this. It's not going to sell well.
They showed Control running on it , which is one of more demanding games. That alone can tell you that you'll be fine with other games.
 

Sean Mirrsen

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"Strong base spec"? 720p medium at best is "strong" is it?

This won't impress anyone curious about PC gaming. Pay USD$60 for a new release game, load it up..................low and medium settings for most things, with the other things turned off completely. That's not going to convince them that PC gaming is great.
The thing, though. Is that those things are not why PC gaming is great. PC gaming is not great because you can dump enough money into your rig to play games at obscene resolutions and framerates, or max out all settings and sear out your eyeballs with HDR glare.

PC gaming is great because it's open, scalable, and varied. Because you're free to choose how you can play the games, and what games you can play. Because you can make and use mods, because you can find games of types and genres that would never make it to consoles or curated 'closed ecosystems'. Because there is no such thing as "old generation", and something like Legend of Kyrandia can be just as interesting now as it was back.. in.... (dammit when did that even release. *looks up*) 1992. Because there's things here like Space Rangers, or Rimworld, or Factorio. It's not just about hardware power and "master race things". Anything that brings that notion closer to the general audience is a good thing in my book.
 

e&e

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It makes no sense. I was thinking if they were not making money on this, where will they make money? All over this forum people are talking about putting in a new OS.
 
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DigitalScrap

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I'll be reserving one tomorrow hopefully. I'm super excited about the potential for this. I had been waiting for another GPD Win revision, but this is going to so much better I think.
 
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ZywyPL

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Probably put it out, dump it shortly thereafter, say it was an experiment and they learned something, like they did with the Steam Controller, Steam Link, and Steam Machines.

This. They made a great hardware, cool, but what's next? Without any marketing, any direct support, it'll most likely die like all their previous peripherals. The only way I can see SD to succeed is a very good word of mouth of early adopters carrying it.
 
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Sean Mirrsen

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This. They made a great hardware, cool, but what's next? Without any marketing, any direct support, it'll most likely die like all their previous peripherals, the only way I can see SD to succeed is a very god word of mouth of early adopters carrying it.
Anyone who uses Steam has likely already heard of it. That's already into the tens of millions of people. Given their limited production capacities they are at most planning to sell "millions", as Gabe himself said, so they have as much marketing and support as they need.

It's also important to note that in the same interview with Gabe Newell, he said that an important part of the future is other hardware manufacturers stepping into the niche.
Remember the old story, about the format war between Betamax and VHS? Or Edison's phonograph versus vinyl records and players? The locked down, manufacturer-only formats and devices, were always soundly (and... video-dly?) beaten by their opposition that allowed others to make compatible copies of their work.

All those mobile UMPC gamepad hybrids? Imagine they now have a standard to imitate, and a free-to-copy software base (SteamOS 3.0 + Proton) to make it really viable. Much like with the Index, Valve wants to spearhead the niche, widening it and letting more people in so that everyone can benefit.

You can argue that the only reason they're doing it this way, only allowing themselves to benefit as a side effect of the expanding market and everyone else's benefit, is because their position as a dominant market leader would cause any other course of action to be tagged as monopolistic - but there's no denying that the practical upshot is much better than certain other companies' attempts as "improving the market".
 
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mcjmetroid

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This. They made a great hardware, cool, but what's next? Without any marketing, any direct support, it'll most likely die like all their previous peripherals, the only way I can see SD to succeed is a very god word of mouth of early adopters carrying it.
Ya it all comes down to marketing. They need to advertise this properly. Otherwise ya it's gonna be a niche product
 
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BaneIsPain

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Dedicate gaming console. Wait, sounds a familiar plan. I hope it’ll be success. Portable steam (not laptop) is something I’vs been waiting for awhile.
 

Bitmap Frogs

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Dedicate gaming console. Wait, sounds a familiar plan. I hope it’ll be success. Portable steam (not laptop) is something I’vs been waiting for awhile.

The thing tho is that this thing runs on open source OS.
 
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MrFunSocks

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It's also important to note that in the same interview with Gabe Newell, he said that an important part of the future is other hardware manufacturers stepping into the niche.
Remember the old story, about the format war between Betamax and VHS? Or Edison's phonograph versus vinyl records and players? The locked down, manufacturer-only formats and devices, were always soundly (and... video-dly?) beaten by their opposition that allowed others to make compatible copies of their work.

All those mobile UMPC gamepad hybrids? Imagine they now have a standard to imitate, and a free-to-copy software base (SteamOS 3.0 + Proton) to make it really viable. Much like with the Index, Valve wants to spearhead the niche, widening it and letting more people in so that everyone can benefit.

You can argue that the only reason they're doing it this way, only allowing themselves to benefit as a side effect of the expanding market and everyone else's benefit, is because their position as a dominant market leader would cause any other course of action to be tagged as monopolistic - but there's no denying that the practical upshot is much better than certain other companies' attempts as "improving the market".
That was their vision for steam machines too, which should have been a much easier sell than this. Didn't work out too well.
 
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Sean Mirrsen

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That was their vision for steam machines too, which should have been a much easier sell than this. Didn't work out too well.
Several major differences this time though.

A proven attractive "hybrid secondary machine" format rather a stab at direct competition with set-top boxes and mainline consoles and desktops.
Steam Play Proton is a thing now, with announced but yet unreleased 'massive improvements' incoming at launch.
Many other new features have been introduced or refined since then, making a Steam console much more viable.

I'd also argue it was a much harder sell back then. You basically had a prebuilt PC that came with a Linux clone and a Steam client preinstalled. The Steam Machine offered next to nothing that you couldn't otherwise get with a set-top box or a regular PC, and a regular PC had all the same functionality (thanks to the Steam client) plus much more.
The Deck, at least, offers a semi-unique form factor with great hardware for its device type and a decent price point, and isn't something you can otherwise get. And even if you do get something else like it, chances are that SteamOS and Proton are still going to be your best shot at playing games well on your device, which is ultimately the entire point.
 

jigglet

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Probably put it out, dump it shortly thereafter, say it was an experiment and they learned something, like they did with the Steam Controller, Steam Link, and Steam Machines.

This. I could never buy into this until we get to 3.0. They need to prove to me they're in it for the long haul.
 
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kingfey

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I think this one calls for a partnership with Microsoft. We have been hearing meetings between phil, and gabe.

If they struck that partnership and valve allowed gamepass on their system, expect this device to fly of the shelf.

This would make the switch look weak in comparison. You have your steam games, and Xbox games on 1 portable device. Vs a switch, which you pay 60$ to own the game. And doesn't have pc power.

I will buy it in the future, as a gamepass handle machine.
 
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edbrat

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It looks like they're trying to stomp out Nintendo.
They better learn how to make Nintendo games then, Deck is not substitutable with Switch people don't buy Nintendo hw for specs they buy them to play Nintendo games. Your common or garden Switch purchaser doesn't expect their Nintendo console to play PC games.

I wonder if Valve has a killer game up its sleeve to release alongside this, makes more sense if Deck comes bundled with something like Portal 3 / HL3. Otherwise the whole "subsidise hw at launch to keep the price down and make the money back over the gen" is a tough tough model to make work without serious first party publishing game.
 

SomeGit

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That was their vision for steam machines too, which should have been a much easier sell than this. Didn't work out too well.
This is much much easier to sell, other than 2 or 3 niche devices on IndieGoGo, you have 0 mass market handheld PCs that are actually competent at running games.
Steam machines had to compete with regular prebuilt desktops and laptops, if you already had a PC it offered nothing plus Valve never made their own halo product like this for Steam machines nor was the software up to scratch.

So you have a device that is unique in it's form factor, with it's sole competition being the Switch, a software platform that is several years more mature which will run a much bigger percentage of games compared to the old Steam Machines with SteamOS, one first party device and great price point compared to the competition. When the Steam Machines launched, it was a bunch of 3rd party overpriced computers that only played a small subset of games.

But I don't even have to say anything, just go into any site and see the reactions to this device and contrast and compare to when the Steam Machines were announced, there is a lot more talk about this and a lot more positive too.
 
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Ellery

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Does this machine allow other launchers/games/software to run things beside Steam?

If no is the answer then you have the answers of what Valve wants to achieve with this.
 

Alandring

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Something seems wrong. If they're investing in a long term plan to increase the adoption of Steam, why would they make their platform open and allow people to replace the OS and install their competitor's stores?
How many people will do that? I think the majority of users will only play Steam games.
 
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Kdad

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I Think if this dose well, they will launch a bunch of steam consoles, based on amd's rdna2 soc. Its all about making pc gaming more accessible.
...and why wouldn't every other manufacturer build the same format machine, throw windows on it and you have access to Steam, Gamepass and every other system out there...hell they could even sell it dual booting into SteamOS or the inevitable EPICOS....I don't see where Gabe controls the market here or makes money on the platform hardware...and i dont see the hardware tying you to Steam.
 

SomeGit

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...and why wouldn't every other manufacturer build the same format machine, throw windows on it and you have access to Steam, Gamepass and every other system out there...hell they could even sell it dual booting into SteamOS or the inevitable EPICOS....I don't see where Gabe controls the market here or makes money on the platform hardware...and i dont see the hardware tying you to Steam.
Let's be real, if you are playing games on Windows you are very likely buying games on Steam.
 
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Kdad

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Does this machine allow other launchers/games/software to run things beside Steam?

If no is the answer then you have the answers of what Valve wants to achieve with this.
Its said you can wipe and clean install any other OS....