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Mobile Gaming Won't Kill Off Video Game Consoles - Forbes

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First off, everyone is looking at this the wrong way. Too many people have this notion that there’s a fixed pie in the gaming space and that success in mobile will eat away at the consoles or render them irrelevant.

A fixed pie is the wrong way to approach this subject, however. If anything, the gaming market is simply growing across the board, and much of the stagnation we’re seeing in console gaming is simply because these consoles are in the twilight of their life-cycle.


Like TV v. Movies

There is a time and a place for everything.

Let's call it peaceful coexistence. ;)

Mhm. Like watching TV v. watching a movie. Listening to the radio v. going to a concert. One can be done when bored, quickly, and minutes at a time. The other, for the most part, requires more chunks of time available.

In that analogy the video arcade does not go away.

Nope! We are blessed when our biggest concerns are whether or not people play games on a console or a smartphone :).

Mobile isn't a near-term threat to consoles. Steam, however...

I'm doubtful of both. The movies are an experience. I'd buy an Xbox just to play Halo, a Wii to play Mario or Zelda, and a Playstation for final fantasy. In fact, I've done exactly that. To me, consoles are like politics. Many people agree about many fundamental issues, but have a preference for certain issues exclusive to each side. In other words, nobody is arguing that our kids need a good education, access to health care, food, and shelter or that more jobs for more people are a good thing; people are arguing about a few issues and have different approach. A few exclusives really does drive sales, and until Steam or Ouya or Onlive get Mario or Zelda (in other words, likely never) people will still be fanatical about those few titles.

Great if I can play EA's Sims or Fifa or Madden 2073 on [insert_system_of_choice]; but it's the few titles and choices, that will drive people's purchases.

Interestingly enough, I'd be curious about the amount of Steam's users are on Windows PCs. Looks like Microsoft is winning either way.

If Steam truly is a service, like Netflix or Dropbox, eventually one would consider, it'd be most flexible on all consoles and systems.

-Steam can easily get solid exclusives should the need arise: they're owned by Valve. Want to play Portal 3? L4D3? Only on Steam. And Gabe Newell has the money and balls to do it when the time is right.

-Steam's potential install base dwarfs anything consoles could ever dream of.

-Barrier to entry for consumers is crazy low: no hundreds of dollars for a console, games are a fraction of the price.

I'm not saying consoles will vanish but you ignore Steam at your peril. If they make the right moves, they are a colossal threat to console gaming.

I agree with Eric.

I did some research with friends, and Steam (and Onlive) have huge momentum.

If Microsoft is smart they'll acquire them.

I don't think they can acquire them, though. Gabe was from MSFT and, if I understand, is worth hundreds of millions.

My argument is not that Steam doesn't have momentum; rather, that Steam's danger is becoming yet another console instead of a platform. But I doubt they'll go this way.

Calling Steam a threat to consoles is like calling Dropbox and Facebook a threat to smartphones and Apple. Apples and oranges.

I mean, correct me if I'm wrong; Steam is not an operating system, it is not a a game engine, nor does it have it's own gaming UI. Steam sits on top of Windows, Linux, and Mac. And a fancy app for usernames, badges, and scores on smartphones.

If they go the Nintendo route and build games at Valve and a console, they risk alienating their entire non-Valve user base and developer ecosystem.

Also, steam has how many users? I believe Xbox Live does just as well as Steam from an active install base standpoint.

I like Steam and will utitlize Steam, but I believe you are comparing two non-comparable things.

Depends on which direction Steam chooses but they could go head-to-head against consoles and my point is there is reason to believe they would have the support of both developers and consumers:


In early 2011, Forbes reported that Steam sales constituted 50 to 70% of the $4 billion market for downloaded PC games and that Steam offered game producers gross margins of 70% of purchase price, compared with 30% at retail.


Ultimately, platforms will have to become more open to support the rising popularity of free to play and digital games. Blow doesn’t reckon the next console generation will be able to stack up against Steam. “Whatever they do is very likely not to be enough,” he says.

Facebook or Amazon could also release a phone or a tablet; however, I'll stick to Apple for a number of reasons.

By going head-to-head, Steam would then lose much of its luster and value. What the article shows is that Steam is the de facto Windows PC game platform; what we don't know, is how well that translates to consoles.

Valve seems to be posting articles to hacker news a plenty; they supported Oculus. I'm sure they're playing the long-term game; I believe they'd succeed as a console, but not at the expense of Xbox.

Amazon just went to war with Zynga with the launch of its first social game:

BTW, Onlive had many, many issues. So, we're already 1/2. :)

No. Steam = PC gamers; Xbox/Wii/Sony = Console gamers; I don't think there's a ton of overlap. Does Eric or someone else have data to prove/disprove this?

Microsoft will not lose a gaming war, I promise you that.

I have to:


It does seem that whether by Steam or by Xbox, Microsoft wins.

Nintendo and Sony seem like they're on much more shaky ground.

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