Just recently Microsoft’s Don Mattrick spoke at their TechForum and was asked if they find Valve’s Steam Box as a competitor in the ever heated console war’s battle. His answer? A quick NO. He believes the likes of Apple and Google as well as Sony are their biggest competitors. At least he is smart enough to realize that the $1 apps found on smartphones and tablets are taking away time spent on the Xbox. This is their public response, the private response… paints a much different story.
Thanks to some information that was given to us, at first we were asked to keep this confidential but now we are allowed to divulge in some interesting chatter. Deep inside Microsoft headquarters during high up meetings their tone is very different regarding Valve and the Steam Box. Higher up VP’s and exec’s feel the Steam Box could be a problem for future Xbox sales, largely due to
the fact that Steam does not charge for their online service which for the most part mirror’s what users can do on Xbox live. Not only that but Steam has sales that obliterate what little sales Microsoft has on their Xbox Live titles. Combine these possible scenarios. With no new Half Life news yet (hello Steam Box exclusive) plus Left For Dead/Portal sequels its easy to see the picture that is starting to be painted by Valve.
We agree. It would be foolish to look at what Valve is about to do to disrupt the console industry, bringing PC gamers into the living room. Will a majority of Xbox console owners move over to a Steam Box? Not likely but even a small percentage of users moving to a rival console is never good. Factor that in with Microsoft’s sort of cocky attitude from being at the top of this generations console war and its not hard to see a repeat of what happened with Sony and their PS3 when it was first launched. High prices and a “we are the best” attitude never win. In the end the consumer wins, thanks to more competition, hopefully lower prices (dreaming), and more choice’s at the store.