Valve Sets Its Sights Beyond Games With Steam
August 9, 2012 11:01 AM
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Official launch of Software titles on September 5
Valve is a major video game company and has very impressive titles to its name, including Half Life. Valve also has a popular digital distribution platform called Steam that has been used to distribute digital versions of retail video games.
Valve has now announced that the first set of non-gaming software titles are heading to Steam. Software titles would be things other than video games. According to Valve, the software titles that will be landing on Steam will range from creativity to productivity.
"The 40 million gamers frequenting Steam are interested in more than playing games," said Mark Richardson at Valve. "They have told us they would like to have more of their software on Steam, so this expansion is in response to those customer requests."
The new software will be able to use some interesting features Steamworks offers such as easy installation, automatic updates, and the ability to save work to a Steam Cloud space so that files are available wherever you go. Steam will add more software titles as time goes by. The company also says developers can submit software titles via Steam Greenlight.
The official launch of software titles on Steam will be September 5.
Valve President Gabe Newell recently focused his wrath on Windows 8. Newell noted last month that Windows 8 would be a
"catastrophe" for the PC space
. He also predicted that some PC makers might leave the PC industry. Microsoft certainly made some of its biggest partners very uncomfortable when it entered the hardware business with the Surface tablets.
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Two things Valve needs to address for running applications
8/9/2012 5:04:38 PM
I'm a huge Steam user and fan; I have hundreds of games on my account. That said, some of the restrictions they currently apply for games have need to be tweaked if they're going to be selling applications.
Multiple log-ins: Right now you can only be logged into Steam on one computer at a time. If I can only have an application running on my desktop and not on my laptop at the same time, that's a problem.
Offline mode: Even now it is still kind of sketchy and needs to be perfected. People aren't always going to remember to enable offline mode before logging off Steam. What if I want to run a Steam application at the airport but whoops, I didn't enable offline mode before I left home. Now I'm stuck until I get internet access again.
Both of these are things that the OS X and Windows 8 app store deal great with. I don't need to sign in before enabling an offline mode to verify my purchases, and I can be running applications on the same account on multiple machines at once.
Perhaps Valve can meet halfway and verify a certain number of machines to allow applications (not games) to run on those simultaneously, something like that. I understand that DRM is a major component of Steam, but right now it is restrictive to a fault compared to some of the other app stores out there.
"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher
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