Valve recently removed Steam Machines from the Steam Store navigation menus which naturally led people to believe that Valve was giving up on that initiative, also leading to concern about its operating system, SteamOS. In a statement posted on its blog today, the firm said that it’s still committed to SteamOS and Linux. It said the main reason for removing Steam Machines from the navigation menu was due to the low amount of traffic the page was getting.
It was also eager to point out that the Steam Machines page is still up, but not linked to from the menu:
“We’ve noticed that what started out as a routine cleanup of the Steam Store navigation turned into a story about the delisting of Steam Machines. That section of the Steam Store is still available, but was removed from the main navigation bar based on user traffic. Given that this change has sparked a lot of interest, we thought it'd make sense to address some of the points we've seen people take away from it.
While it's true Steam Machines aren't exactly flying off the shelves, our reasons for striving towards a competitive and open gaming platform haven't significantly changed. We're still working hard on making Linux operating systems a great place for gaming and applications. We think it will ultimately result in a better experience for developers and customers alike, including those not on Steam.”
The firm says that the Steam Machine initiative helped it better understand the gaming landscape on Linux, and allowed it to come to the decision that it needed to help Linux gain first-class support for Vulkan, and gain better tooling and driver support.
Valve says that it has other Linux initiatives in the pipeline but that it’s not ready to divulge information about those just yet. So while the firm says Steam Machines still exist, for how much longer is anyone’s guess; its focus has definitely pivoted to SteamOS and Linux now.
While Valve is not ready to come out with its plans officially just yet, Gabe Newell recently admitted he was jealous of Nintendo's ability to design games specifically for their own hardware. The firm believes that it, too, can tackle any hardware projects now and says it has a number of new games lined up, so perhaps it will try again with a rebranded console powered by SteamOS.