Earlier this week, we ushered in the month of April by discovering that Valve had removed mention of Steam Machines – pre-built PCs that run SteamOS – from its hardware listings on Steam’s main page. Many people, including me, took this to mean that Valve was moving away from Steam Machines, which haven’t been heavily promoted for a couple of years now. Today, Valve spoke out about why it removed the PCs from Steam’s main store page, and what that means for other products like SteamOS.
In a post to the Steam For Linux forums, Valve’s Pierre-Loup Griffais said that delisting Steam Machines from the store’s hardware tab was motivated simply by “user traffic,” and not because Valve has plans to discontinue them. Griffais points out that Steam Machines are still available through the Store, though now you have to search for them if you’d like to buy one.
“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,” Griffais writes. “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.”
Griffais mentions an ongoing focus on the Vulkan API and the continued development of SteamOS as two of its big initiatives right now, but he also says that Valve has more Linux projects in the works that it isn’t ready to talk about yet. Valve, he says, learned a lot from the launch of Steam Machines, particularly about the state of the Linux ecosystem as it applies to developers.
He doesn’t, however, say that Steam Machines will be a primary focus of Valve moving forward. So, while they may not be going away entirely, it certainly sounds like they won’t be a major component of Steam’s hardware offerings from here on out. Instead, we can expect further focus on products like Steam Link, the Steam controller, and HTC VIVE. Hopefully we’ll see what those unannounced Linux projects are soon enough, so stay tuned.