Do you remember a time when the Steam Machine powered by SteamOS was all the rage? It wasn’t that long ago. However, recently, the Steam Machine is in a bit of a slump. The Steam Machine, produced by Alienware, is still selling, but is nowhere near as popular as it once was.
In an interview with PC Gamer, Frank Azor, the cofounder of Razer, discussed what he believes has happened.
“I think the landscape two years ago was very different to what it is today,” Azor said. “The catalyst for the Steam Machine initiative was really around what Microsoft’s decisions were with Windows 8, and if you remember that operating system, it really stepped away from gamers in a big way. We were concerned as an industry that we were going to lose PC gamers on the Windows platform to any other platform that was out there, whether it was console, Mac OS X, Android.
“So that’s where the partnership between Valve and Alienware really initiated around the Steam Machine concept,” he continued. “We said: ‘Hey, we can’t lose Windows as a gaming platform.’ We had to take matters into our own hands because we couldn’t rely on Microsoft. So we did that, and we started pursuing the path that we did.
“I think the need right now, for Steam Machines and for SteamOS, isn’t as great as it was two years ago, and that’s contributed to the reason why the momentum has faded. We still offer SteamOS and the Steam Machine platform with the new version of the Alpha – the new Steam Machine R2 – and we still sell hundreds of units, thousands of units every month. But it’s not a major initiative for us like it was two years ago because it’s not necessary right now. We’re in a good place with Windows.”
He hasn’t lost all faith in the device, but believes it has served as more of a reminder to Microsoft than anything else. “Maybe then Steam Machine could overtake [Windows 10] Alpha sales, but it could take time, and I don’t think anyone is in a hurry for that to materialize. I think what’s more important is that Microsoft continues to pay attention [to the fact] that they are at risk of losing Windows as a gaming platform if they don’t continue to invest in gamers. I think Steam Machines and what we did with Valve is a reminder to Microsoft, a kick in the butt, so that they realized what they could stand to lose.”
The Steam Machine may be in a bit of slump probably due to the numerous budget gaming laptops and PC’s available on the market, but it is still selling rather well and is a great alternative to Windows if you just aren’t happy with Microsoft. However, it sounds like the game makers and hardware manufacturers are now happy with where things are going with Windows, so I wouldn’t expect SteamOS to overtake Microsoft anytime soon, assuming they stay on track and continue to support gamers.
What do you think about SteamOS versus Windows 10? Which do you believe is the better platform for gamers? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.