Joystiq - Steam Machines are nonsense and Valve is cool with that.
When someone asks whether they should buy a gaming PC or hold out for a
Steam Machine, I struggle to find a reason to wait. It's certainly not in
the price or the power. Maybe it's in the design, but that's a small market
to attempt to capture, considering the competition in the PC space. It's not
so much that I'm confused what a Steam Machine is – that's been clearly, yet
oddly, defined – it's more that I'm unsure where Valve's market lies.
And there's the rub: It's not Valve's market. Valve has SteamOS and the
Steam Controller, things that will exist regardless of the actual Steam
Machines, and they'll probably be worth the effort. They have clear uses and
markets. Valve has not made a Steam Machine of its own, and so it has
nothing to lose in this first-year gamble. Valve licenses use of the Steam
logo and the name, meaning it's already bringing in cash from other
companies' Steam Machines. The risk belongs to the hardware manufacturers –
iBuyPowers and Digital Storms alike – while Valve can collect the data and
see if hardware really is a good investment. It's genius.