Steam is one of the biggest storefronts in all of gaming, and yet it still mainly serves players on PC. That makes sense, considering that Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo make plenty of money from their own proprietary marketplaces. Still, a lot of players would love to play their Steam games on other platforms. As it turns out, based on new comments from Valve’s Gabe Newell, that could eventually be a possibility.
This bit of information was revealed in a short video uploaded to the Half Life subreddit by user Odysseic. Exact details are slim, but Newell appears to be participating in a question-and-answer panel at a college in New Zealand. A member of the panel asks if Steam will ever come to consoles, at which point Newell responds, “You’ll get a better idea of that by the end of this year.”
Naturally, the crowd became very excited by his response. Newell went on to clarify his answer, too, but unfortunately, it’s hard to make out what exactly he says afterward.
It makes perfect sense for Valve to consider launching Steam on home consoles. After all, why shouldn’t the company be open to serving a new demographic? Still, it’s hard to imagine that Steam would ever become available for hardware like the PlayStation 5 or Switch. It could be feasible for Steam to come to Xbox, given the platform’s close ties to PC gaming, but even then, it’s probably a stretch.
So what exactly does Newell mean, then? Which video game console manufacturer is open to the idea of providing Steam access? Could Steam be coming to a full-fat console like the Xbox Series X, or is something like the Nvidia Shield more likely? Will Steam reconfigure its Link streaming service for Chromecast or smart TVs, or is the company hoping to revive Steam Machines? Or could it be that Valve is working on a version of SteamOS for standalone VR headsets like the Quest 2?
Needless to say, Newell’s statement opens up a lot more questions. Still, it would be a huge selling point for home consoles to offer Steam access. If Valve really is considering breaking into the console market, hopefully it involves launching Steam for consoles players actually want to buy.