The recent E3 Valve and Sony Entertainment surprise has been an absolute gaming mind explosion. Who would have thought that the once anti Sony Cell architecture bashing PC gaming elemental, Valves very own Gabe Newell, would be announcing his new found love for the “now?” Open Playstation 3?
Hang on a minute, didn’t Sony just remove the ability to install Linux onto its console due to the potential open hackability presented by an individual named Geohot?
Regardless of recent events, the clues into this current gaming evolution, have been manifesting themselves for quite some time. A few thoughts on the topic:
I can see some sort of PSN and Steam crossover deal happening. Sony and relative parties on Steam via the PC and Steam and relative parties via PSN. The PC still owns the MMORPG market which is simply THE most profitable gaming genre on the planet at this time – Sony obviously understands this. Gabe has shown his love for the MMORPG numerous times so it pretty much makes perfect sense for the grand master of Valve also.
The Mac entry just strikes me as bizarre as most Mac users are definitely not gamers and appears to be more a one finger salute directed towards Microsoft, well lets face it, they give their biggest platform not much gaming love due to their 360 interests. Windows Live is a mere stop gap in the scheme of gaming and not very good.
As Gabe recently said, the Mac as a so called open platform for gaming – This just strikes me as a generic and pointless marketing exercise due to the completely un-open nature of Apple hardware and the profit fueled philosophy behind it. Why would you pay double for hardware which is older and less powerful and completely restrictive than the alternative?
Gabe also points out the stability of the Apple Mac in recent Steam collected Data – Maybe because Mac users are playing the 8 revision of the games available.
What also irks me is the target crowd Valve now seems to be directing their attention at. The new TF2 startup screen reeks of pure consolification and Mac centric elements. The dumbed down nature Valve Software is playing with in this regard is completely lost of fans such as myself, I don’t need cues on how to game with a simple FPS! Considering your existing market has absolutely no use for this – At all.
Unfortunately I doubt this sort of simplification process will ever let up with todays game developers, Valves emphasis on the excellent though also casual friendly Portal franchise, is evidence of this change, at a time when 90% of their fans were crying for the long awaited next chapter in the Half Life franchise.