Valve Removes Steam Machines from the Steam Homepage, Signaling the End is Near


Valve may be about to permanently pull the plug on their ill-fated Steam Machine experiment. This weekend eagle-eyed fans noticed Valve has removed the Steam Machine section from the Steam website’s hardware dropdown, which is certainly a telling move. Valve’s Steam Machine hub that allowed you to choose hardware configurations and compare prices has also evaporated into thin air. Yes, you can still buy a Steam Machine if you really want, but Valve no longer seems interested in promoting them.

Steam Machines were Valve’s attempt to offer a hardware option somewhere between a gaming PC and a console. The boxes, which ran on Valve’s Linux-based SteamOS operating system, were designed to be hooked up to your TV, but offered some limited PC-like configuration and upgrade options. Steam Machines didn’t have a standard hardware configuration, with Valve relying on PC builders like Alienware and Maingear to design and sell their own machines.

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Unfortunately, Valve’s Steam Machine scheme stumbled right out of the gate. The machines were delayed several times, overpriced compared to other console-style options on the market, and most PC developers weren’t particularly interested in supporting SteamOS.

Ultimately, Valve never provided a compelling reason why the Steam Machine needed to exist. Why pay $1000 for a Steam Machine, when it won’t even play most of the games on Steam? Why was a Steam console necessary when you could stream PC games to your TV with a $50 Steam Link? Valve never adequately answered those questions, and, as a result, a mere 500,000 Steam Machines were sold during the platform’s first seven months. Ouch.

At least some parts of the Steam Machine project will live on. The Valve-designed Steam Controller has been fairly well-received, and Steam’s gamepad-friendly Big Picture mode was a valuable addition.

Anybody out there actually buy a Steam Machine? Don’t worry, you can admit it. It will feel good to get it off your chest.