That's the big question, it depends but they could potentially solve that problem with marketing and leveraging existing users. At least making the product gives them something to sell to a store and point to. Right now they're relying on people installing an application which is losing a bit of relevance with the casual markets and they can't depend on closed operating environments as much as they used since those platforms are trying to monetize them.
Companies have built platforms on less, Valve has a good stable of IP and solid relationships with many developers and publishers. I doubt it will ever be a massive success but who knows, they obviously see something there and they didn't get to be a billion dollar company by accident. It could even be a business statement to companies like Microsoft, a shot across the bow to let them know that they don't want to be muscled around on their future app store/OS or whatever.
Right now the desktop PC market isn't seeing any growth and other markets are. This at least gives them a foot into a different area and puts a marketable PC into non-traditional spaces. Many companies with innovative products end up stagnant because they never diversify (RIM for example), Valve if nothing else are creative thinkers who that hopefully won't happen to.
This comment was edited on Jan 9, 2013, 15:38.
Playing: Dark Souls 2: Scholars of the First Sin Watching: Mr. Robot