By Furious Francis
Gabe Newell has announced that Valve will be jumping into the console wars next year, with a console built for living rooms. This machine will directly challenge Microsoft and Sony’s next generation consoles. With Valve creating a console, there will be major repercussions throughout the industry. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo will all be affected one way or another. Microsoft will ultimately lose the most sales for a variety of reasons. Hit the link to find out why.
– This article was written on the current business models of each company. I understand things can and will change. But for the time being we are going off of what each company currently offers.
Steam Online Network is as good as anybody’s…. for free
Steam is quite the service. There are a variety of sales, great developer support, community features, achievements, and much more. Steam’s service does not take a backseat to Xbox Live, and it’s free. As long as Sony, Nintendo, and Valve continue to offer free online play and applications, Microsoft is going to have a hell of a time convincing people to spend $350+ on a console, then another $50+ a year on Xbox Live. Steam already has many features Xbox Live has, plus its own unique Steam features. Microsoft has to be in a bit of panic right now, wondering what they are going to do to counteract Steam’s online network.
Microsoft will no longer be the king of Third party sales
Since the Xbox 360 launched in 2005, third-party developers have always gravitated toward the platform. Things have leveled out a bit with the PS3, but you still see many 3rd party games optimized for the Xbox 360, or in the Witcher 2’s case, a Xbox 360 exclusive. This will change with Valve’s Steambox. They will be the number one console for 3rd party Developers. Many consumers will pick up the Steambox just for the Steam sales Valve has. Many games are also cheaper at launch on Steam. For instance, Darksiders 2 on Steam was $49.99 compared to MS, Sony, and Nintendo’s $59.99.
While Microsoft’s third-party game sales will be drastically cut by the Steambox. Microsoft is not alone. Sony and Nintendo might also see a slight dip. However with the Wii U Gamepad, some consumers will see value in picking up the Wii U version of multi- platform games. Sony’s PS4 will have the benefit of free online. Unless Kinect 2.0 does some drastically awesome gameplay innovations that core consumers need to have, the Steambox will most likely cut right into Microsoft’s Console and 3rd party game sales.
Microsoft has to Start Making First Party Games Again
Microsoft has done a good job with their third-party developers. Forming partnerships with timed or exclusive DLC are huge incentives to support the platform. However, Valve has a plethora of incentives for developers to release their games on Steam as well. Valve will have just as much third-party support, if not more from indie developers. Microsoft has to create more exclusive games that make people want their system over the Steambox. Halo, Forza, and Gears are great, but that will not be enough to overtake Valve, Sony, or Nintendo. Microsoft’s cut back on core titles and focus on Kinect strategy will not work next generation. Wii was too weak to handle HD games and Sony’s Cell processor screwed them out of the gate with 3rd parties.
The PS4 will most likely use a GPGPU, so 3rd party developers will not have the same issues the PS3 had at launch. Sony and Nintendo also have far more first party titles than Microsoft. A lot of consumers have and will be picking up a Wii U for Mario, Metroid, Zelda, ect and a Steambox for 3rd party titles, both having free online multi-player. With PlayStation’s large number of exclusive games: Infamous, Uncharted, LittleBigPlanet, Killzone, Resistance, The Last of Us, and more. Sony has no shortage of IPs to unleash next generation. And consumers will be motivated to continue buying the PS4 for those exclusive games. Microsoft better start churning out some blockbuster IPs, or they will lose a significant chunk of their next generation console sales to their competitors.
What do you guys think? Are you going to be getting the Steambox? How will Valve change the console landscape? How powerful will it be? How much do you think it will cost? We want your opinions on the next generation. Please comment below.
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