Has a new platform snuck up on us?
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September 28, 2012, 12:36 AM
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I have to inherently disagree for a few fundamental reasons. The PC/Windows was never really a 'platform' for gaming. It's just a means to an end. Steam is as you said, a layer on top of Windows. All these consoles and handheld devices and PCs etcetc. share the same basic structure in hardware. A CPU, GPU, RAM, a screen and etc. What's different at the core of these devices is the method of interaction (mouse/keyboard, controller) and the software driving them. Consoles are built from the ground up to be entertainment (and hence, gaming) machines. PC and their accompanying OSes are built to do whatever the hell we tell them to do- through software. I agree steam is a platform, much like you can say Origin is also, a platform. I'll agree it's becoming a standard too. But it's always been hard to say that the PC was a 'platform for gaming.' Yes you can game on it, but as a platform? Not everyone buys PC to game on. Steam is filling an interesting void in the Windows ecosystem though, using the power and flexibility that Windows provides as a platform itself.
One way compare my viewpoint is a DS/PS vita versus an iPhone or Android device. One is a gaming device with integrated, focused software and hardware, the other is multipurpose, but can also indeed, play games. Imagine a steam mobile on iOS and Android? a place to get Angry Bird and share acheivements and stuff across the cloud and cross-platform too?
Also it's 3:30 am, sorry if I don't make much sense / incoherent. But I hope my point was driven across.
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