Randy Pitchford doesn't see Valve's Steam Box as a threat to consoles. Pitchford, head of Borderlands developer Gearbox Software, stated to Gamesindustry.biz that although Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo will watch Valve's new hardware "curiously," they'll remain "largely unaffected by anything Steam does along this vector of OS, machines and controllers over the next two or three years."
The studio boss said Valve's recent trio of announcements — SteamOS, Steam Machines, and the Steam Controller — would cause Sony and Microsoft executives to "exhale a bit," and "imagine that [they] don't really have anything to worry about too much coming from this direction for a while."
Pitchford doesn't expect another 'Half-Life' game to arrive
Pitchford said he'd only change his mind were Valve to come out with a killer app: something he suggested "would probably have to start with an 'H' and have a '3' at the end and it would sound like 'Half-Life 3'." Valve has previously released must-buys alongside its new services and products — tying the untested Steam platform to Half-Life 2 in 2004 — but despite recent rumblings, Pitchford doesn't expect another Half-Life game to arrive for "quite some time - possibly never."
Head of Playstation UK, Fergal Gara, was more cautious about the threat to consoles during an interview with Eurogamer. Gara said that although he didn't think Valve's entry into the hardware market was "significantly rattling [Sony's] confidence at this point in time," he expected some "broadside disruptive technologies to come along," and that his company "can't afford to ignore it."
Sony "can't afford to ignore" the Steam Box
Other PC-specific developers have been more effusive in their praise for Valve's new developments. Gamesindustry.biz also spoke to Paradox Interactive's Fredrik Wester, who foresees a future where the Steambox is a "serious competitor." Paradox confirmed to PC Gamer that they've been working with the new SteamOS for some time already, the manager of Paradox's in-house Development Studio calling it "a great thing for PC gaming."
Dejobaan Games and Tripwire Interactive offered similarly positive reactions to Valve's new creations, but it's notable that of the developers interviewed, only Pitchford's Gearbox have extensive console development experience. Whether that implies foresight will be seen when Valve's first Steam Machines arrive in 2014.