Valve opts for a delayed 2015 release for its Steam Machines hardware lineup.
Valve has been testing their Steam Machines for quite some time, leading to a variety of fixes, changes and steady refinements along the way. The creators of Half-Life are keen on delivering a powerful, stable console-like PC that fully mirrors the traditional PC gaming experience, but like any hardware development process, crafting Steam Machines takes a lot of arduous tweaking.
And time–lots of time.
In a recent post on the Steam Community Group, Valve brings an update on their progress so far, mentioning that a multitude of feedback has been garnered from the near-endless testing of the Steam Machines and its adaptable peripheral, the Steam Controller.
But acquiring a “ton” of feedback also means that it’ll take more time to implement said feedback, and Valve has revised their original projected 2014 release in favor of a delayed release in 2015.
“We’re now using wireless prototype controllers to conduct live playtests, with everyone from industry professionals to die-hard gamers to casual gamers. It’s generating a ton of useful feedback, and it means we’ll be able to make the controller a lot better. Of course, it’s also keeping us pretty busy making all those improvements. Realistically, we’re now looking at a release window of 2015, not 2014.
“Obviously we’re just as eager as you are to get a Steam Machine in your hands. But our number one priority is making sure that when you do, you’ll be getting the best gaming experience possible. We hope you’ll be patient with us while we get there. Until then, we’ll continue to post updates as we have more stories to share.
“As always, we love getting feedback on the Steam Machine and Steam controller from the community. After all, you’re the people we want to be happiest when we release them.”
Interestingly enough, the update doesn’t specify if third-party Steam Machines are delayed along with Valve’s hardware iteration. Valve has been busy preparing its ecosystem by conducting both hardware and software beta tests, as well as a test-run for its convenient game-streaming service, Steam In-Home Streaming.
While the delay may be disappointing to gamers eager to adopt Steam’s new hardware ecosystem, the concept seems confusing on the surface, with a plethora of third-party vendors like Alienware and iBuyPower making their own Steam Machines with fluctuating specs and prices.
The core concept remains attractive; a powerful, compact console-esque gaming solution that combines PC-like game performance in a convenient living-room setting, with an array of Steam games at your disposal.
When applied practically, however, things get complicated–especially for non-Valve manufacturers–and Valve will need more time to straighten out the kinks. Furthermore, thanks to the busywork of hardware development, Valve hasn’t made a lot of progress in bringing top-tier games to SteamOS, which invariably contributed to the delay.
In any case, the prospect has certainly gained momentum within the gaming sphere, earning the attention of both PC and console gamers alike. It’ll be interesting to see what further changes the Steam-powered company makes in the future, and if 2015 will prove to be an adequate launch window. We may hear more in the following weeks regarding the release of SteamOS and third-party Steam Machines, and we’ll keep you updated when new info comes to light.
Source: Steam Community