Reddit has held another AMA (Ask Me Anything), this time with the Valve king, a.k.a. Co-Founder Gabe Newell.
Birthday wishes, strange things received in the mail and secret Team Fortress 2 accounts aside, Newell and Valve developers "Wolpaw, EJ, Ido, and Coomer" teased several Steam related goodies.
One Redditor asked whether there will be "some sort of integration with services like Pandora and Spotify" for Steam Music. Though not a direct yes, Newell did say, "Yes, we’ve got some things in the works that we think you’ll like."
Steam Music sounded rather limited when it was first announced but now it seems like we can look forward to an amalgamation of different internet radios – or at least something beyond listening to music from your local music directory.
Another kind of Steam Box in the making?
Steam Machines will be filled with impressive specs, both costly and less so, but a Redditor wanted to know more about the less expensive Boxes:
"We haven’t heard any more about lower cost Steam Boxes for streaming from existing hardware. Is that something that’s still on the agenda?"
Newell replied with "Yes. We’re making some progress."
So does this mean we’ll be seeing budget Steam Machines? Probably. Or to be more specific, there will likely be smaller Boxes available for streaming from your PC to the living room – that are fully (or nearly?) capable of displaying the same computing power without taking up additional space. Think of it as a PC version of the Chromecast.
Reminder about who Steam is for
Though there’s been plenty of excitement about the Steam Machines, Steam Controller and Steam OS, there’s also been hesitation – and even questions about the need for another gaming platform.
Newell’s explanation to a Redditor questioning what Valve’s "core target market is" seems to answer these very qualms:
"We see Steam Machines (along with SteamOS and the Steam Controller) as a service update to Steam, porting the experience to a new room in the house.
As we’ve been working on it, we’ve focused first on the customers who already love Steam and its games. They’ve told us they’re tired of giving up all the stuff they love when they sit in the living room, so it seemed valuable to fix that."
So far, it looks like Valve’s intent to give its fans more is paying off more than its backfiring – but that’s still to be determined after we go beyond just a hands on with the devices.
And if you’re still wondering, no, Half-Life 3 has not been confirmed.
- We’re hoping to see more Steam stuff at GDC 2014.