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

WitchHunter

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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.
He worked a lot of time at MS. What makes you think he severed the ties?
 
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rnlval

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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?
Valve is making sure Steam Deck is priced differently from comparable PC ultrabooks hardware.
 

rnlval

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Newell was one of the main producers for the first three (maybe four?) Windows OS's and he left on good terms, yea. The man was borne of Microsoft.
We can partly blame Newell for Windows 1.x, 2.x, 3.x, and Windows 95's Doom port

If Steve Jobs NextStep team can bolt on MacOS box on unixish Mach OS and call it MacOS X, then SteamOS with Proton (Windows box) focus is effectively Newell's Windows vision with unixish Linux.


Microsoft could have bolted Windows on unixish DOS instead of MS-DOS. Windows NT has a closer relation with DEC's VMS, read itprotoday.com/compute-engines/windows-nt-and-vms-rest-story

From softpanorama.org/People/Torvalds/Finland_period/xenix_microsoft_shortlived_love_affair_with_unix.shtml

Microsoft had big plans for XENIX and tried to insure DOS compatibility. That has tremendously positive influence on MS DOS which in versions 2 and 3 acquired several Unix based innovations like hierarchical file system, pipes, redirections, etc, moving father and father from original CP/M. Microsoft was the major Unix company at this time. In late 80th there were more computers running Microsoft XENIX than all other versions of Unix combined...

Approximately the same time IBM and Microsoft started developing a Unix alternative called OS/2. For Microsoft that was a clear possibility to get rid of (rather high) AT&T licensing fees. Released in December, 1987, OS/2 1.00 was text mode only and allowed only one program to be on the screen at a time, even though other programs could be running in the background. It also allowed one very limited session in which DOS programs could be run. The maximum disk size supported was 32 MB. Release of OS/2 ended Microsoft Unix history and we can clearly see IBM-role as a "Trojan horse" in the driving Microsoft from Unix market.
------


In the mid-to-late 1980s, Xenix was the most common Unix variant, measured according to the number of machines on which it was installed. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said at Unix Expo in 1996 that, for a long time, Microsoft had the highest-volume AT&T Unix license.

------

Xenix follows Microsoft's letter X being its favorite character e.g. Xbox, DirectX, MSX, XCloud. We can clearly see IBM-role as a "Trojan horse" in the driving Microsoft from Unix market.

Both Linus Torvalds and Microsoft wants to get away from expensive AT&T Unix license.
 
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rnlval

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He worked a lot of time at MS. What makes you think he severed the ties?
Xbox boss Phil Spencer meets Gabe Newell, confirms xCloud and Xbox games on Steam Deck.

Gabe Newell comes from the original Windows MS-DOS team different from the ex-DEC VMS team's Windows NT.
 

Starbuck2907

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Thing is, I don’t know any pc gamers dying for a portable device. Those that are have a Switch. Those that don’t, don’t wanna pay $399. I used to really get excited when I saw Valve try to shakeup the hardware market, but then I came to see that they drop everything within a year or two. Can’t wait for those 1 penny fire sale Steam Decks, just like the one penny Steam Controllers and 1 penny Steam Links. Remember all those?
 
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BadBurger

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Thing is, I don’t know any pc gamers dying for a portable device. Those that are have a Switch. Those that don’t, don’t wanna pay $399. I used to really get excited when I saw Valve try to shakeup the hardware market, but then I came to see that they drop everything within a year or two. Can’t wait for those 1 penny fire sale Steam Decks, just like the one penny Steam Controllers and 1 penny Steam Links. Remember all those?

Yea, Apple had a string of bad ideas before exploding with the iPod, too. I am guessing Valve learned a great deal from their bungling of SteamBoxes(et al), Steam Link, and that accursed controller.
 

reksveks

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I am still trying to figure out if any OEM is going to copy valve here. I don't see the value for them.

Unless Valve is going to do slightly what Microsoft did for the surface range aka take all the R&D cost and give a good standard for oems to effectively copy.

Even then their product is going to be at a higher mark up than valves so it's not likely to be a commercial success.
 
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TheDreadLord

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I struggle to see the point of the Steam deck beyond people that are already locked up to Steam and suddenly want to play PC on the go. Still, it is a cool piece of hardware that I would definitely buy if it was available in my region.
 
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BigBooper

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He worked a lot of time at MS. What makes you think he severed the ties?
Did you miss this stuff? Nobody said anything about severing ties.

 

reksveks

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Did you miss this stuff? Nobody said anything about severing ties.

To be fair they also pissed off Tim Sweeney with windows 8 and then have brought him back with the openness of the Hololens.
 
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I struggle to see the point of the Steam deck beyond people that are already locked up to Steam and suddenly want to play PC on the go. Still, it is a cool piece of hardware that I would definitely buy if it was available in my region.
That is a LOT of people you are talking about there. And technically the device existing also brings more value to PC games in general.

As others have said many times, it allows them to not bother waiting for a Switch port and just run the PC version instead. And Valve will make sure the ideal setup to run these games would be on Steam, thus people would choose to buy and use steam games on the Deck even when they are not forced to.
 
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TheDreadLord

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That is a LOT of people you are talking about there. And technically the device existing also brings more value to PC games in general.

As others have said many times, it allows them to not bother waiting for a Switch port and just run the PC version instead. And Valve will make sure the ideal setup to run these games would be on Steam, thus people would choose to buy and use steam games on the Deck even when they are not forced to.
Yeah, but my point is that if you are mainly a PC gamer, it means it is OK for you to sit in front a PC and play. The portability isn't really the key driver here. Of course, there is a public for that... But I have doubts when it comes to the scale we are talking about.
 
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Tschumi

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I think, if you squint at it, it's almost Microsoft in the other direction lol... PC>Console rather than vice versa.. make the pc portable, rather than bringing portable games to the PC
 
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Yeah, but my point is that if you are mainly a PC gamer, it means it is OK for you to sit in front a PC and play. The portability isn't really the key driver here. Of course, there is a public for that... But I have doubts when it comes to the scale we are talking about.
Even PC gamers are forced to leave their desktops behind when they travel. Unless you think we litterally never leave the basement?
 
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FStubbs

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I struggle to see the point of the Steam deck beyond people that are already locked up to Steam and suddenly want to play PC on the go. Still, it is a cool piece of hardware that I would definitely buy if it was available in my region.
The Steamdeck threads had people running emulation as well. Remember all the "STEAMDECK RUNS SWITCH GAMES BETTER THAN THE SWITCH, DIE NINTENDO DIE" threads?
 

SSfox

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TheDreadLord

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Even PC gamers are forced to leave their desktops behind when they travel. Unless you think we litterally never leave the basement?
Not sure why you are being defensive with this post… But anyway, what I am arguing about is that portability is not a decisive factor for most of its potential user base. Of course there are gamer laptops around but there is a reason why handheld/PCs hybrids aren’t that popular. It isn’t like Valve is the first testing this market.
 

Sean Mirrsen

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there is a reason why handheld/PCs hybrids aren’t that popular.
Cost. Overwhelmingly, cost. They are a very neat tech that definitely has its niche, but the usefulness of said niche is not enough to offset the massive increase in cost they usually suffer compared to laptops and even tablets.

Valve eating some of the cost with their fat money pockets can definitely push the niche forward, maybe even far enough that mass-ordering components starts allowing for cost savings.
 

BadBurger

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Cost. Overwhelmingly, cost. They are a very neat tech that definitely has its niche, but the usefulness of said niche is not enough to offset the massive increase in cost they usually suffer compared to laptops and even tablets.

Valve eating some of the cost with their fat money pockets can definitely push the niche forward, maybe even far enough that mass-ordering components starts allowing for cost savings.

Not only cost, but the idea of fitting something into a handheld device that could earn the approval of the larger PC crowd was impossible or a deadend business idea prior to the 7 nm , advanced features having SoC/APU they can now use. Packs in all the functionality with far lesser costs in power and heat.
 

Sean Mirrsen

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Not only cost, but the idea of fitting something into a handheld device that could earn the approval of the larger PC crowd was impossible or a deadend business idea prior to the 7 nm , advanced features having SoC/APU they can now use. Packs in all the functionality with far lesser costs in power and heat.
UMPCs, HandheldPC, all sorts of subnotebooks existed long before this, and their failing was always the same thing. They were far more expensive for the same performance compared to full-sized laptops. It doesn't matter what process it's made on, you can always make a better, more powerful, cheaper laptop, than you can make a UMPC or handheld. The extra bit of portability was not worth the extra expense, and that's why it was always a deadend business concept, that's why they never caught on with the larger, money-conscious crowd.

In this case Valve are putting out a piece of relatively advanced tech, at a pricepoint where you won't even necessarily find a proper laptop as can match it. It being cheaper than expected, is the key part of why it has a chance to succeed. And if it succeeds enough to start getting anywhere near mass production, the cost reductions from that may allow it to succeed even harder, and allow it to be made by more than just the one company with money to burn.
 

reksveks

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And if it succeeds enough to start getting anywhere near mass production, the cost reductions from that may allow it to succeed even harder, and allow it to be made by more than just the one company with money to burn.
Or more than a company whom has a meaningful adjacent revenue stream.

I just remembered that Google started sharing Play Store revenue with OEM's, I wonder if Valve would ever do that.
 

KAL2006

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It's obvious Valve is testing the market without taking too much risk. That's why they can't even ship 100k units within a year. You have pre-orders that are saying after Q2 of next year. And that's with Valve only selling directly and not with retail partners. It's less risk as there is no marketing costs involved, there is no retail cut etc. They probably are not making any profit on it but like I said it's just testing the market so Valve doesn't have much to lose. It also helps them with there experiment to make Linux Steam OS better and making PC gaming more user friendly. That could be something that can help them 10 years in the future if all the Linux hiccups and comparability is worked out and Steam OS can get closed to a console experience. Maybe in the future they can release a decent Steam console with a good user experience with a controller in the TV. It's all about experimentation and testing the market.

Valve probably also have data where they can see alot of people are buying indie games on Switch instead of Steam so maybe that's another reason they are testing the handheld market. As for there being devices like this before, this is different as Valve is trying to implement a easy user experience with Steam OS as well as keeping the cost of entry low. And I assume they finally feel like we are there when it comes to tech as they did state because developers are focusing on 4K and 60fps modes that they feel like you can run most recent games in 800p 30. We are at a stage where you can get atleast 2 hours battery life and play any PC game that's put right now. This was not possible with previous tech.

So it's all a mixture of the tech available, the right price for the tech, the Switch success, and advancing the user experience of Steam OS that has made Valve experiment with this idea. Who knows it can be a massive flop, but I think Valve feels like it's worth it even if there is a 5 percent chance this can become mainstream. If this is a success I can see Valve work with retailers and have a better marketing campaign and other OEMs jumping on this which would be huge for Valve.
 
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