Steam growing despite decline in PC hardware sales, says Newell

Gabe Newell

By on September 19, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Valve’s head wizard Gabe Newell has revealed that Steam is continuing to grow, even in the face of constantly declining PC sales.

Newell attributes this to the uptake in people moving to PC gaming. “Despite the huge declines in PC sales, on the gaming side there’s growth,” said Newell during an address at Linuxcon.

“Steam is going up 76% year-on-year while PCs are going through double-digit declines. Several years ago we got very concerned about directions that the PC was going. We thought there was some bad thinking.”

“There were these new platforms that started to emerge, and they had this nice characteristic that [they] could control access to those platforms. If you didn’t like competing with Google, you just didn’t let them ship on your device, or you could determine how often they update. You could have control on things like pricing, and that was a very seductive opportunity which led to some poor decisions by the key players in the PC space.”

“I think they should have doubled-down on the openness of the platform, rather than going the other way.”

Newell is pushing openness very hard, revealing that we’ll hear a real announcement from the company about their Linux-powered gaming hardware next week.

Source: CVG

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11 comments (Leave your own)
GeneralHerpes.

Steam Box will be DOA, sorry…

 

Well I for one haven’t bought any new PC hardware for like 5-6 years (GTX 260 for the win) and my computer still runs every new game perfectly fine and I still play a lot of games on my PC.

Possibly others are doing the same? I know a lot of my friends only upgrade their computer when it struggles to run the new games they want to play.

 

generalherpes,

Not if Valve’s Steambox has exclusives and especially if it is half life 3 or something

 
charliebrownau

“Declining PC sales”

I guess that means people are finally wising up that MOST name box’s are overpriced junk with crappy inside parts.

Instead people are building their own custom built PC’s or buying shop pre built systems using decent parts . No suprise that people dont want a Dell/Company/Gateway pre built system anymore.

Sales in hardware PARTS seem to be doing fine. Considering Haswell came out recently I saw a lot of people move from older AMD FX systems to Haswell and some of the socket 1156 systems to Haswell. Others are waiting for the Feb 2014 new release of 2011-E cpu/mobos with DDR4 RAM.

I recently upgraded from my old aging Socket 775 2.1ghz system to an 3.3ghz Haswell beast and it runs like a dream , so fast .

 

nanorazor:
generalherpes,

Not if Valve’s Steambox has exclusives and especially if it is half life 3 or something

yea pretty much this, steambox exclusive HL3 or hell even being bundled with it.

 

as others said its probably a combination of more people buying upgrade parts instead of whole new PCs and also the lack of a need to upgrade from most 5 year old hardware.

 
CaptainCleanoff

charliebrownau:

I guess that means people are finally wising up that MOST name box’s are overpriced junk with crappy inside parts.

Instead people are building their own custom built PC’s or buying shop pre built systems using decent parts . No suprise that people dont want a Dell/Company/Gateway pre built system anymore.

Agreed. I think a lot of it has to do with the current console cycle as well. People found a decent hardware/playability level and just stayed there, happy to run console ports at low to medium settings (or even high if not graphically demanding) and were content. With the impending release of the next gen consoles, the trend may pick up again and PC sales take off, or they may just jump over to the consoles entirely.

The biggest issues in those Dell/HP systems are the crappy integrated GPU’s and the bundled software (absolutely atrocious), and as far as the GPU’s go, I think both Intel and AMD are to blame in this respect, that and those systems are not really geared toward any kind of gaming. Rather productivity/business and schooling. That trend forced any gamer types stuck with those crappy boxes to seek out the console alternative for gaming.

As far as my hardware requirements go, I’m generally a 2-3 year cycle kind of guy with an SLI setup mid term. My 2500K rig with 670 is now about 2 years old, with the 670 being a bit younger. The only thing I have really pushed is a greater need for SSD and external HDD space. The rest of the system, while unable to run the Crysis 3 at ultra settings, still does damn well. I’m just waiting for the next Radeon cards to come along. Everything else is fine.

 

neferseki: Well I for one haven’t bought any new PC hardware for like 5-6 years (GTX 260 for the win) and my computer still runs every new game perfectly fine and I still play a lot of games on my PC. Possibly others are doing the same? I know a lot of my friends only upgrade their computer when it struggles to run the new games they want to play.

Wow, even the same card as me :) I think all of my upgrades in the last 8 or 9 years have been as a result of motherboard/HDD failures simply due to age. Games simply arent needing newer tech, and theres very little incentive to upgrade unless your a graphicsophile – and even then its really debatable

 

coatsy22: Wow, even the same card as me :)I think all of my upgrades in the last 8 or 9 years have been as a result of motherboard/HDD failures simply due to age. Games simply arent needing newer tech, and theres very little incentive to upgrade unless your a graphicsophile – and even then its really debatable

You can thank the current generation of consoles for that. My wallet does. ;)

 

generalherpes:
Steam Box will be DOA, sorry…

You do know its basically going to be a cheep media box with STEAM on it, right? Thats what there plaing anyway. And it wont be DOA. All the STEAM fanboys and fangirls will buy it.

 

I dream of this Steam Box, with Half-Life 3 being announced as a launch title, obviously with Steam Play ;)

 
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