Earlier this week Valve dialed down the presence of Steam Machines on its digital store by delisting the device from the Steam hardware tab, and replacing the dedicated hardware page with a search list containing just four Steam Machines.
Some took the move as evidence that Steam Machines are on their last legs, and now Valve has responded to those claims by basically confirming them.
In a statement posted on the Steam Community forum, Valve said the delisting was indeed the result of poor sales, but noted that it hasn't stopped striving towards "a competitive and open gaming platform."
"Given that this change has sparked a lot of interest, we thought it'd make sense to address some of the points we've seen people take away from it," wrote Valve.
"While it's true Steam Machines aren't exactly flying off the shelves, our reasons for striving towards a competitive and open gaming platform haven't significantly changed.
"We're still working hard on making Linux operating systems a great place for gaming and applications. We think it will ultimately result in a better experience for developers and customers alike, including those not on Steam."
While that's hardly a ringing endorsement, Valve claims to have learned a lot about the state of the Linux ecosystem through the Steam Machine initiative, and is working on addressing the shortcomings it's unearthed.
It believes an important part of that process involves making Vulkan a competitive and well-supported graphics API, as well as making sure it has "first-class" Linux support.
"We're continuing to invest significant resources in supporting the Vulkan ecosystem, tooling and driver efforts," added the company.
"We also have other Linux initiatives in the pipe that we're not quite ready to talk about yet; SteamOS will continue to be our medium to deliver these improvements to our customers, and we think they will ultimately benefit the Linux ecosystem at large."
You can read Valve's statement in full over on the Steam Community forum.