Microsoft Does Not Consider Valve’s Steam Box Initiative a Competition

Microsoft: The Scale of Valve’s Steam Box Too Low

by Anton Shilov
03/05/2013 | 11:50 PM

The head of Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox business unit does not consider PC-based video game consoles, such as Valve Software’s Steam Box, viable competitors to fully-featured video game systems or even eco-systems of mobile devices like that of Apple or Google.


“[Valve is] doing some innovative stuff and creating some great experiences. [But] the scale of products and things that are being brought to market are probably a little bit richer when I look at Sony, Nintendo, Apple, and Google,” said Don Mattrick, the head of Microsoft interactive entertainment business unit, while speaking at Microsoft's TechForum, reports The Verge web-site.

Valve’s Steam Box open concept implies launching video games originally developed for personal computers (PCs) as well as using popular services for other types of entertainment. By contrast, the concept of proprietary platforms, such as Xbox or PlayStation, implies exclusive games and services and does not include features from other companies.

Since Steam Box is not expected to offer anything beyond video games, it is hardly going to compete against Microsoft Xbox. For those, who are looking for integrated experience, which includes video games, music, videos and everything else, platforms from Apple, Microsoft and Sony will remain a preferable choice. Nonetheless, with products like Steam Box, there will be competition on the market of gaming devices in general. More importantly, there will be competition from those gaming devices for the living room.

Microsoft further believes that everything it makes on the Xbox should be of higher quality than applications designed by independent app developers like those on the Google Android or Apple iOS platforms. As a result, the Xbox ecosystem will remain pretty close as the platform owner will remain rather conservative about its offerings to the customers.

“There is a certain level of technical and production competency that people have to get through because we are trying to curate great experiences. We are trying to make sure that what exists upon our service on our system is done to a quality level and has interest for people who are likely to use it,” said Mr. Mattrick.