Steam OS Scorecard: Great News for Oculus Rift, Bad for PS4 & Xbox One
Steam OS has finally been announced to no one's surprise, since Valve has long been expected to get into the console space; however, Steam OS is specifically billed as a cloud-based, content streaming platform, which makes it different -- and better, infinitely better -- than either PS4 or Xbox One. (Which was going in a similar direction, until its botched debut last Summer.) For that reason, I think it's safe to say PS4 and Xbox One are dead on arrival. There's now little or no reason for dedicated Steam users (and there are roughly 50 million of them) to upgrade their console to One/PS4. And without a hardcore gamer audience to build off of, consoles from Microsoft and Sony will be left flailing.
On the other side of the ledger, I'd say this is very good news for the Oculus Rift. Valve CEO Gabe Newell is a longtime supporter of the VR system, and the ability to stream games and content through Steam OS should help nullify the PC hardware hurdles.
And for Linden Lab? Jury's still out, but overall, this seems like Not Great news:
The company just purchased Desura OS, which is potentially a competitor with Steam, for one thing. For another, Linden Lab was supposed to be publishing Second Life on Steam, but that announcement was over a year ago, and it's still not there. (Which makes me think the Desura deal put the kibosh on putting SL on Steam, but I may be wrong there; I just asked Linden Lab WTF is up with SL not being on Steam.) In any case, this is great news for interactive content and consumers of it, as a company that's been doing online content delivery for well over a decade gets into a very stagnant sector in need of disruption.