There is no universal law that there must be only a few console manufactures, that we must always have a Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft console. Things change, drastically. It used to be Nintendo, SEGA and Sony and long before that it was Coleco and Atari. Perhaps we’re long overdue for a new contender in the market.
It looks like that’s where Valve may step in.
The latest rumor mill has been churning out bits of information that Valve may be secretly working on their own prototype of a console. Perhaps it will even be revealed soon. Typically when rumors of this magnitude begin to crop up, its because something is going to be revealed very, very soon (the GDC is this week after all).
But what about where Valve wants to go with this thing? So far it seems like, big picture wise, it wants to dominate the entire marketplace rather than filling a potential niche. Other than taking on Xbox, Playstation and Wii, Valve appears to be aiming their sights on Apple and their next Apple TV iteration.
“On the platform side, it’s sort of ominous that the world seems to be moving away from open platforms,”
“They build a shiny sparkling thing that attracts users and then they control people’s access to those things.”
Feels right up the alley of Steam’s current build, perhaps a little uninclusive of many of the open source people who would like to see more…openness in this regard. But in any case, Valve wants to get into the shiny box business and while I’m not immediately excited about the prospect, I’m intrigued with where they go with it.
I think there will always be a market for a console. Some people seem to think this next generation may be the last, but why? There will always be people who want to improve the way you play games and people who want to reserve their titles to a certain platform, as long as they exist consoles will go on, even if later generations look nothing like today’s.