Valve's upcoming Steam Machines will struggle to attract a more mainstream audience unless they make the platform simple to understand.
That's according to the manufacturer of one of the machines, Webhallen, which highlighted the range of companies making their own version of the Steam Machine as potentially confusing for consumers.
Steam Machines are expected to launch this year, they are PC/console hybrids that are designed to introduce PC gaming into the living room.
The largest barriers for the Steam Machines are not having one united marketing force behind the brand and the fragmentation of devices,” Anton Nilsson, purchasing manager at Webhallen told MCV. This will make it harder to sell the machines to the average Joe.”
Nilsson added that Valve's Linux-based operating system SteamOS, which is utilised in the Machines, would need to attract more developers to secure a large audience.
Another barrier is the amount of Linux ports of triple-A titles – some really huge titles like Battlefield are not even available on Steam for Windows.”
However, Nilsson continued, the success of the Steam Machines depends on whether Valve and its hardware partners can provide enough versatility with the easy operation of a console platform.
People underestimate PCs as a living room gaming device,” he said.
You can either have like four to five separate dedicated devices that give an okay experience, or you can have one PC. Steam Machines could bring all these functions together with added ease of use.”