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Valve quietly dials back Steam Machine presence on Steam

While links to Steam Machines from a small handful of hardware partners still exist on the digital storefront, the SteamOS-powered line has lost its prominent placement on Steam.

Alissa McAloon, Publisher

April 2, 2018

1 Min Read

Valve has severely (and silently) trimmed back the presence of Steam Machines on its digital platform, removing the tech’s category from Steam’s hardware listing and replacing the dedicated hardware page with a general search for the term.

The move likely won’t surprise game developers, considering the SteamOS-powered machines seemingly failed to gain the traction Valve had hoped for back when the line was first announced in 2013 as a sort of living room-based, game console alternative for PC favoring players.

The initial idea was that Steam Machines at various price points would roll out from multiple hardware partners in 2014, though delays and other issues pushed that launch well into 2015.

Third party partners expressed their own concerns around that time, with Alienware’s Frank Azor going so far to say “this will absolutely be the least profitable system we ever sell” shortly before releasing a Windows-powered version of the company’s Steam Machine model. 

For the time being, Steam Machines still have a small presence on Steam, though it's hard to say how long even that will last. As spotted by a user on the Gaming on Linux forums this past weekend, Valve has replaced its mostly Steam Machine-focused hardware page with a regular search for the word 'hardware.' Even on that page, only five listings for Steam Machines show up in the results, with each featuring a link to an external website for purchasing options rather than options within Steam itself. 

About the Author(s)

Alissa McAloon

Publisher, GameDeveloper.com

As the Publisher of Game Developer, Alissa McAloon brings a decade of experience in the video game industry and media. When not working in the world of B2B game journalism, Alissa enjoys spending her time in the worlds of immersive sandbox games or dabbling in the occasional TTRPG.

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