Alienware cofounder Frank Azor has said in an interview that he believes the need for SteamOS and Steam Machines isn’t as great as it was two years ago, and that as a result the excitement for the console-like PC’s has died down.
The interview, with PC Gamer, has Azor talking about the slump in the market for the Steam Machines, Valve’s 2013 initiative that created a buzz in the gaming world on launch before slowly fizzling out.
"I think the landscape two years ago was very different to what it is today. The catalyst for the Steam Machine initiative was really around what Microsoft’s decisions were with Windows 8," said Azor.
"We were concerned as an industry that we were going to lose PC gamers on the Windows platform to any other platform that was out there, whether it was console, Mac OS X, Android. I think the need right now, for Steam Machines and for SteamOS, isn’t as great as it was two years ago, and that’s contributed to the reason why the momentum has faded."
Azor said that this fear was the reason Alienware teamed up with Valve to release Steam Machines running Valve’s own SteamOS, but then, after delays with the Steam Machines launch and Microsoft launching Windows 10, customers were more enthusiastic about Windows, to the detriment of the Steam Machines.
“I think Microsoft learned a very valuable lesson – a lot of valuable lessons – with Windows 8 and tried to correct those with Windows 10," said Azor. "We still offer SteamOS and the Steam Machine platform with the new version of the Alpha – the new Steam Machine R2 – and we still sell hundreds of units, thousands of units every month. But it’s not a major initiative for us like it was two years ago because it’s not necessary right now. We’re in a good place with Windows."