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Valve's Gabe Newell teases future potential links between Steam and the Xbox Series X

Razer Blade 15
Razer Blade 15 (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Gabe Newell, the president of Valve, recently spoke with students at Sancta Maria College.
  • While there, a student asked if Steam games will come to consoles.
  • Newell gave a vague confirmation, saying news would come later this year.

Gabe Newell, the president and co-founder of Valve (the company responsible for PC game distribution service Steam), recently sat down for a chat with students at Sancta Maria College in Auckland, New Zealand. While he was there, one student asked him a question about future Steam plans. The highlight of the conversation can be heard on Reddit (via Ars Technica), though it's also written out below.

"Will Steam be porting any games on consoles, or will it just stay on, uh, PC?" a student asked.

"You will have a better idea of that by the end of this year..." Newell responded, pausing to jokingly imitate the "ooh"s coming from the crowd. "And it won't be the answer that you would expect." He then claimed there would eventually be an "aha" moment for those wondering what he was cryptically alluding to.

So, as usual, Newell gives the vaguest indication of something on the horizon, and all we're left with is a tantalizing mystery. Will the thousands upon thousands of groundbreaking, experimental indie titles on Steam somehow find their way to, say, the Xbox Series X? Will Steam get some sort of major Xbox app with its own library, or is this all just a tease from Newell regarding something like future Steam Link functionality?

The possibilities are infinite. All that's known is that whatever Newell is hinting at will receive more details this year, indicating the news will pertain to current-gen consoles.

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.

19 Comments
  • "Phil Spencer welcomes Valve to the Xbox family" - headline from late 2021
  • Hahaha. Let's start placing money bets on what the drop will be. I have negative $5 on "Half-Life Alyx HoloLens Edition."
  • Followed by, "Who was it said XBOX doesn't have games?"
  • HL Alyx on PSVR 2 in 2022 seems like a good bet. Sony said its not coming in 2021.
  • That would require a native Playstation port since any game not written natively for PS5 can't exceed 60fps. Everyone knows VR needs higher framerates than that for comfort and combatting nausea. I wouldn't count on Valve banking on such a tiny install base for so much effort to re-write their game. More likely if they did something it would be something built from scratch.
  • Steam games via xCloud on Console.
    Putting xCloud on the console is all about getting PCGames to console gamers.
  • Why not just have full Win10 on there and you can play full PC games natively on it at that point? Many publishers pulled their games from GeForce (Steam library) once it went live last year. Its not really up to Valve, its up to the pubs. I would get rid of the console first. LOL Stream console games. (For the record, game streaming pretty much sucks monkey balls anyway) "Will Steam get some sort of major Xbox app with its own library" Third party publishers have authority to pull the games if they wish, see GeForce. "or is this all just a tease from Newell regarding something like future Steam Link functionality?" I thought the Wireless Display app allows one to stream PC games to a Xbox console? (well not a stream, wireless display connection) www(dot)youtube(dot)com/watch?v=c0DbxUj9FFM
  • New Edge will allow players to play Steam just like on pc!!! 😉
  • It was possible with GeForce for a few weeks, although it looks like Nvidia pulled it.
  • Well its not like Xbox doesn't have most games that are in Steam.
  • I'd say chances of getting native PC games on Xbox are slim to none, even though it'd be technically possible. More likely it will be a Cloud Streaming partnership. Microsoft has Remote Play and Cloud Gaming, Valve has Steam Link. I'd love to see Microsoft buy Valve though. They have the cash reserves to do it too.
  • no hell no.
  • "They have the cash reserves to do it too." Most probably no, even if Gabe wanted to sell. Why would you want them to ruin that as well? LOL Let's say Valve has $7-13b range of revenue with their cut being 30% give or take, earning could easily be in the $2-5b range. The bottom line is nothing for them, meaning almost no overhead, very low employee count, etc. Even at a 40-100 PE ration you're looking at $80b to $500b type figure. Of course, nobody knows Valve's true earnings. Valve most likely has huge earnings for the size of company it is. Gabe could be the richest guy in the world, but since its a private company... really no way of knowing how rich. Now would someone pay a 100 pe ration on it, who knows. Of course, there really is no game streaming market, not really, nobody cares.... I'm still baffled by people talking about game streaming in 2021.
  • Gabe is nowhere close to the richest man in the world even if he owned valve entirely which he doesn't... he is nowhere close to the top 20 in the tech industry. He probably seats around 4 or 5b net worth since valve is around 12b net worth and he owns less than half the shares.
    MS won't buy valve, gabe won't sell it anyway especially not to MS... but MS could purchase it, there is no doubt about that. It won't happen but if it's a ******* contest MS wins easily... but like you said it's a privately owned company, so the price tag is the one both side agree on and there won't be any of that... it's a closed debate.... MS could buy most companies one way or an other and that includes the top 5 of the nasdak (not saying it couldn't go the other way either) they have enough cash and almost unlimited leverage if they want something money to purchase is never the issue in the equation...
  • Valve as a company wouldn't even be in the top 100 of the World's richest individuals, how could you possibly think that Gabe could be the richest person in the World?
  • Gabe is extremely principled and would never sell while he was alive. I am very interested to see what his response is to the video game distribution model once Apple and Google lose their game and app developer tax lawsuits around the world, and the normalization of a fair 15% or lower developer tax (initiated by Epic games and followed up by Microsoft) starts to make Steam look completely unappealing to developers.
  • Ohhh, not the "Steam Box" crap again...... Remember when Newell announced how the Linux-based "Steam Box" would "Steam Roll!" the other consoles and Linux Gaming would "conquer the world!!!!". Yeah. Didn't happen.
    Steam lost a ton of money on that ridiculous idea. This will just be PC xCloud being able to run Steam games, maybe on Xboxes, eventually.
    Even then, it may not happen as Steam is not secure enough to meet the Xbox requirements with all the add-ons, mods, and other things you can run from Steam (which is what makes it so popular anyway. Your games are endlessly modifiable with Steam, at least the ones that support it.) We shall see.
  • It's good to see Steam doing something interesting after all these years; competition is always a good way to push behemoth companies and institutions to make something fresh or expand their reach.
  • Can I just say, that's a really weird question to ask. It's not like Steam actually has control over what third parties choose to port to other systems, so unless Gabe Newell was specifically talking about Valve properties (which could likely be alluding to Half-Life Alyx on PSVR) then I honestly don't get people's excitement here. The only other avenue could be Steam Link on consoles, but that's kinda meh, you're still buying games on your PC, and you still need the PC to be able to run the game in the first place.