Gabe Newell talks Steam Deck and why the PC industry won’t tolerate closed platforms


Rock Paper Shotgun interviews Gabe Newell, whose Steam just launched the Steam Deck PC-based portable gaming system:

Is the Steam Deck the handheld that Valve always wanted to build? How happy are you with how it turned out?

I’m super happy. I mean, if I think back the first time, certainly when I started doing PC games, wanting to have some sort of way of translating that kind of experience into mobile has always been feasible. And we’re finally at the point now where we have, you know, MIPS per watt, where it’s feasible. It’s sort of like the transition between the BlackBerry and iOS: the BlackBerry can basically do one application reasonably well, but then after iOS, you had a much better general purpose mobile computing device. And the sense of pieces where you’d have no-apologies input methods, great screens, sufficient battery life, and GPU/CPU performance to finally come together where we can do it at a $399 price point. So, I think it’s kind of this permanent transition now for PC gaming, where mobile is part of the choices that we can make in terms of the applications we build and the usage scenarios.

So yeah, super happy with how it’s turned out, and super happy with where it’s going to go. If subsequently in the future, we just get to ride the price, performance, and power curves that the PC industry is already on, each subsequent generation is going to continue to improve from here.

So what our customers are saying is “you’re not giving us enough”, in terms of memory, storage, and performance, or they’d happily pay more. So that’s sort of interesting. That may shift because right now we’re very much at the early adopters, tidal wave of ordering. And so maybe over time, we’ll see a change-up in the SKUs. It’s designed to be able to take the horsepower you have in a PC and deliver it in a super cost-effective way, and we spent a lot of time figuring out how to do that.

Was there ever a plan to make Steam Deck more locked down? Or did it have to be open from the start?

I think the openness of the PC is something we love, right? We wouldn’t want to lock anything. I don’t really see the value of locking people into anything. And strategy, you know, there’s a core part of your strategy: start from openness and then build from there. You don’t convince yourself after the fact whether openness is good or bad, you just start from that perspective and roll. And then you’ll be surprised – you don’t know what’s going to end up becoming the really powerful user feature that’s being created by either users or third parties. You just know that sooner or later that that’s going to occur.

Comments (1)

One response to “Gabe Newell talks Steam Deck and why the PC industry won’t tolerate closed platforms”

  1. pecosbob04

    I know this doesnt belong here nut the site seems even wackier than usual and I can't start a new post so:

    Wasn't there an Apple Studio Display article by Mr. Giret posted on the main page? It seems to have disappeared.

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