> "One of the worst characteristics of the current Steam system is that we've become a bottleneck. There's so much content coming at us that we just don't have enough time to turn the crank on the production process of getting something up on Steam. So whether we want to or not, we're creating artificial shelf space scarcity.
> "So the right way to do that is to make Steam essentially a network API that anyone can call. Now, this is separate from issues about viruses and malware. But essentially, it's like, anyone can use Steam as a sort of a distribution and replication mechanism.
> "It's the consumers who will draw it through. It's not us making a decision about what should or shouldn't be available. It's just, you want to use this distribution facility? It's there. And customers decide which things actually end up being pulled through. So Steam should stop being a curated process and start becoming a networking API."
We have that, and it's called "installing from the developer's website".
Allowing everyone on Steam would be a mistake; driving down the minimum quality of games makes it harder to discover and reward the best games. Steam's success so far has been in quality and discounts.
Gaming critic Jim Stirling has a youtube channel dedicated to this, e.g. Air Control (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYArgbWVtGc) was a famous example. Day One: Garry's incident (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjTa_x3rbJE) was another trainwreck which got famous because the dev filed false DMCA claims to take down negative Youtube videos.
Both of these and many more were on steam for $30 or so
They are working in steps towards this. The last discovery update addresses a lot of the problems they had with discoverability and also focuses on rewarding better games more than subpar ones.
The reason behind showing metacritic score, user reviews, and curator reviews, along with introducing a discovery system that considers the quality of the games it suggests, and pushing some of the approval process onto the users (greenlight), has been all to try and decrease Valve's position as an authority on game quality.
There are some horrifyingly poor games on steam already, most of which get removed after a bunch of people complain about it either a) being a scam, or b) being literally unplayable, after which no refunds are given and the game is removed from the store.
But bad games, who make truthful claims, are fine, and that is intended
Imagine, if indeed Valve brought Steam to nothing but the OpenPandora/Pyra game consoles:
In fact it could be a momentous thing for Valve to get behind this effort and add Steam to the open repo. It'd blow open the doors on Android and iOS and move Linux - as an embedded operating system platform - into the stratosphere.
Valve+Pyra (or something similar) = new masters to follow.
Just my opinion. Before all the 'hardware nay-sayers' get started, think about this: the Pandora happened, without Valve. Irrespective of commercial success (yet), the Pandora/Pyra community is positively thriving as an emergent platform. Linux, and a very open atmosphere, is at the core of why this works, at small scales; and also why it can scale, too.
What would the Pyra be like if gaben gave, like, a million bucks to people like EvilDragon and notaz and the rest of the Pyra team, and said: "kids, gimme 100,000 Pyra devices, and we'll put Steam on them for our customers" ..
Frankly, it could happen. I wish it would! Frankly it'd be the kind of bold move that would make sense to me, were I in a position to direct a few bucks. The thing is, whether Valve arrives on Steam or not, things like the culture which produced http://repo.openpandora.org/ are going to happen, regardless. May as well be a player, homie ..
You are competing against Apple and Google Play online Stores.
If they support Steam they would be making the platform a commodity(as Steam does not care about the platform), this is something Apple can't let happen, or just replace Google Play as the gatekeeper for Android(as steam already knows how to sell commercial titles).
Steam's response to online stores have been to create the Steam machine, that probably will extend over mobile devices in the future(using wifi playing first, creating devices on their own later).
Remember that real Linux needs to get to tablet-phone space, with efforts like Ubuntu's Unity it will soon. Valve will be the first to benefit from it(as steam machine is very similar to ubuntu).
Is there any device that will be released anytime soon ?
There are companies working on tablets too. I probably know a couple of companies working on this but I can't talk about it. :-D
It is almost a prototype now. In a couple of years I will consider using them.
The most important thing right now is improving and stabilizing the graphic system with Wayland and Mir.
The same can't be said for most games. It's not really a case of steam directly making their library available to mobile audiences, it's the lack of appropriately designed content.
IMO most virtual joypad style games on mobile devices offer a terrible user experience, and the majority of touch input focussed games wouldn't be as successful for a PC gamer audience.
Edit: added this to my blog post quoting you.
On the Nvidia side, they added a GPU feature to stream things to their Nvidia Shield tablet (Android based, I think).
quarterto is suggesting that if Valve made an iPad client for In-Home Streaming it could compete really effectively against the Shield, since IHS works with both Nvidia and AMD graphics cards and so many people have iPads already.
maybe valve and apple could reach some kind of agreement anyway, but the real blocker there i see is that steam fundamentally violates the app store requirements because apple don't want anyone to sell anything unless its through their app store.
google i'm less sure about, i'm not up to date with the latest dev requirements, but i suspect they have introduced similar things recently.
however... cross platform integration is something that developers can do anyway i don't see any reason why savegames can't be shared if the api is based on normal current network technology and is platform agnostic. an obvious example would be a rest api interface to a server for save games - such an api can be used identically across all platforms, although gamedevs might want something lower level and less filled with cruft than a TCP/IP connection with HTTP over the top, even those constraints aren't very prohibitive... UDP communications work fine across everything, and the good ol' BSD sockets/Winsock are easy to work with cross platform so long as you respect things like using network byte ordering and don't rely on exotic socket options.
Humble Bundle is on mobile and it's not much different.
I can buy games, install and update them.
Fundamentally Valve is two companies and Steam's chances of conquering the world and remaining independent don't seem great to me. Business today is great and they have many users who love them.
They are however, ultimately an extra middleman on an increasingly irrelevant platform that they don't control. They're also about to enter another market with fading relevance against established players with much deeper pockets. That's not a bet-the-company move but, if it's a mild initial success, it may spiral into something like it. That could be worse than if it flopped out of the gate as Valve may end up issuing lots of stock to support growth in the cutthroat console world, where the competition spends billions on subsidizing hardware, marketing and gaining exclusives and is also facing growing pressure from Android and iOS. Yes Steam has millions of avid fans today. Ask Sega, Nokia, RIM and others how long that lasts in the hardware world.