Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4 will be facing some serious threats, but according to a highly regarded outlet, Valve will be posing the biggest challenge the two consoles will be facing during their existence.
According to a report from GamesIndustry on Thursday, given the past Valve has with the gaming industry and the things they have done, it won’t be a surprise to see something shocking and revolutionary come from the “Half-Life” company.
“Steam has always been a spoiler for the game industry’s status quo.
“No one knows exactly how successful it is, thanks to Valve’s airtight secrecy on sales numbers – but we know it’s huge. And the company has always stayed out of the blood match for the living room.
“Valve’s about to get in the game, though – and that could have a major ripple effect on the next generation. Here are five ways a “Steam Box” could make things difficult for the next Xbox and PlayStation,” the piece said.
The Steam Box is thought of something that could possibly split the highly contested core demographic of gaming into three.
“A Steam Box won’t stop the core from buying an Xbox or PlayStation, but it could easily distract them away from those systems.
“And the entry of a third high-definition, AAA system (fourth, if you count Nintendo as part of this fight – though that company tends to exist in its own space), could further split the core gaming community – possibly severely impacting the revenue streams of Sony and Microsoft,” the report stated.
Another factor that Steam could possibly take advantage of is the price and how much games plus systems cost people nowadays.
“Steam has shown there’s plenty of value in back catalog games. And it has been equally efficient at shaking up traditional pricing models, with its quarterly sales and surprise deep discounts.
“Publishers are already comfortable with the way things sell on Steam and know the benefits of those sorts of discounts – and there’s no reason to think they’d become gun-shy about them now.
“If a larger set of players gets used to them, that’s going to put pressure on traditional retail stores to lower or be more flexible with their own pricing models,” the feature stated.
GameStop’s partnership with Steam could also make a Steam Box that much more difficult to compete against.
“GameStop might cause some grumbling among players, but it’s a huge part of the system. A Steam Box could hurt the retailer even more than competing console systems, since Valve is one of the biggest proponents of digital downloads in the industry.
GameStop has plans in place already to sell things like Steam gift cards, but it’s also planning its own digital distribution service to compete against Steam.
“If Valve has a foothold in the living room in addition to its domination of the field on the PC, that’s going to force GameStop to get even more creative to remain relevant in the game industry of tomorrow,” the piece said.