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Steam continues impressive growth in face of ‘PC decline’

by Mark Tyson on 18 September 2013, 17:15

Tags: Valve, PC

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Head honcho at Valve, Gabe Newell, has told how PC gaming hasn’t noticeably been affected by the often quoted mamrket statistics illustrating the decline of PCs. While he observes PC makers struggling, and anticipates more such companies going to the wall, game sales via Steam are up by an impressive 76 per cent year-on-year. Newell also took time at the ongoing LinuxCon convention in the US to drop hints that the Steam Box would be revealed “next week”.

PC gaming is immune from wider market decline

Talking about the state of the PC market Valve’s Gabe Newell told Linuxcon attendees in New Orleans about the woe of the PC industry, experiencing steady declines year over year. “I think we'll see significant restructurings, or market exits, by top-five companies in the PC space. It's looking pretty grim,” he said to the crowds.

Contrasting the Valve business experience Newell showed some statistics which suggest that the PC gaming market not only seems “immune” to that PC system market downturn but is growing. “Steam is going up 76 per cent year-on-year while PCs are going through double-digit declines,” Newell informed us.

The Valve CEO also said that the future of PCs as a gaming platform is secure, mainly because of its openness encouraging innovation. “PC gaming is where innovation is occurring. It's not on the consoles, it's not on the closed systems, it's happening to the extent to which a games platform is open.” He concluded that “most interesting topics are really coming out of the PC.”

Full Steam Box ahead

It seems like an age since we last heard anything about the upcoming Steam Box, following the unveiling of the Piston at the CES in January. A few weeks after that event we learnt that the $1000 Xi3 Piston wasn’t THE official Steam Box but a Steam Box compatible machine. It was too expensive anyway.

So, are we about to now catch a glimpse at or see more details of the official Valve Piston? It seems so as Gabe Newell told LinuxCon attendees “Next week we're going to be rolling out more information about how we get there and what are the hardware opportunities we see for bringing Linux into the living room.” Who knows, it might also be released in time for Xmas. We hope to find out next week.

HEXUS Forums :: 26 Comments

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The pc is dead….long live the pc
The news about PC market decline is centred around pre-built systems anyway, this has little to do with the gaming community who favour self builds or custom built units for their machines. I know of a few friends that have started playing PC games now after getting bored with their console.

I am with Gabe Newell on this one, the gaming market in terms of PC hardware components and games is not influenced by retail sails of already built machines from the likes of Dell, Acer, HP, Lenovo and others. They seem to be independent of one another.
Steam's increase in sales surely due to the common retailers going bust & Disk style installs being now Downloads ?
One problem for the PC market is Moore's law - It used to be that 3 years down the line, a PC would start to struggle with the demands of new software. With much of the recent drive being towards better power efficiency (rather than more balls-to-the-wall speed), a 3 year old computer can comfortably run most of the software out today. It doesn't help matters that the software is being written in many cases to be also run on laptops etc. so the power requirements are minimized (yes that is a good thing, but not if you are trying to justify upgrading desktop PCs!). The laptop/tablet market can still sell on increased performance/increased battery life. That leaves the high-end desktop market (and therefore upgrades) reliant on certain industries that actually need the grunt, and enthusiasts. ‘Normal’ home users just don't need to upgrade as often as they used to.
pc is not dead just people too dumb to see it.

what do you think your consoles are its a pc in a small box with a modded linux on it.

pc is that dead everyday their is over 500 people buying a pc for home use.

pc is that dead online companies are not making so much money on selling pc part?

get a grip with out a pc would would not have anything today not even your stupid phone/tablet games bloody console fanboys talking crap as always.