Hurrah! It’s spurious rumour of the week time! Up this time is a little tale doing the microblog rounds that Steam is coming to the Xbox 360. Woop!
Glorious news if true as it opens up cross-platform gaming that SURELY makes sense for a PC-giant like Microsoft. And yet, heartbreakingly, quite possible a huge pack of lies that means all us Xbox Valve fans will have to continue to plough good money into sodding single platform versions while that punkass Lartens gets to have a PS3 / PC gamingfest at our expense. (Not that we’re bitter.)
So what are the facts?
Well, over at Steam’s Support page, some eagle-eyed superfan has spotted that the options now include “Xbox Support”. (It’s true – see for yourself…)
This is, however, about the point where it gets fairly tenuous – this being rather less of a “fact”, and more an “observation”. And indeed, one that’s just a little bit hopeful. Well, a lot hopeful. Well, in fact, not entirely dissimilar to spotting the image of Jesus in some burned toast and assuming our Saviour’s earthly return has been heralded by your overly-baked bread and a Rorschachian inclination to assume deific visitation. Indeed, Valve obviously offer game support for their Xbox titles, and it’d be easy enough for something like this to slip in via a hackneyed site designer missing the relevance of his exhaustive menu options. But then, it is true that the option is under the Steam section as well as the Valve side – so maybe?
Thing is, whether it’s true or not, why all the fuss?
Well, the public position is that Valve aren’t bringing Steam to Xbox Live because Microsoft won’t open up the infrastructure – unlike those convivial chaps over at Sony. So overcoming the blockers would represent a fairly big change of heart from Bill Gates and co, who more typically like to have first-party control over the options on their beloved console. (Zune vs. Lovefilm, anyone?) But that said, it’s not unbelievable.
The next phase – nay, the current phase – of the console war is all about broadening the experience. Movies, music, social networking – soon, if you can’t do everything from your machine, it’ll be obsolete. And it’s fairly even between the two big hitters at the moment (there is no third here – Wii really never got to grips with this), so it’d surely be a shame for Microsoft to be missing a piece of the modern arsenal.
Our take though? It won’t happen. Steam is a nice to have, not an integral part of the way gamers go about their lives. There aren’t enough titles, and there’s not enough appeal in the existing ones to make cross-platform gaming a truly must-have experience. Until that happens, Microsoft can live without it. Sad, but true.
Via The Sixth Axis