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The Steam Machine made the Steam Deck possible – Valve

Steam Machine and Steam Deck side by side with Steam logo at the background

Valve’s experience with the Steam Machine paved the way to the creation of the Steam Deck, the company shares in an IGN interview.

While Valve’s track record with hardware has never been stellar, the Steam Deck is poised to finally break the mold. All of Valve’s previous hardware givings always had extensive media coverage. However, none could compare with the current buzz that the portable PC is making. And it seems like, for the first time ever, Valve’s hardware’s going to be competitive in the market.

When Valve officially announced their Nintendo Switch, it drew comparisons with Nintendo’s Switch hybrid console. However, Valve markets its new hardware as a portable PC. Valve’s marketing makes it very distinct from Nintendo’s very popular Switch. They also want to do this to make it clear that the Nintendo Switch isn’t the inspiration for their upcoming hardware. Not the only one, at the very least. Valve’s interview with IGN indicates that the Steam Machine had a much more profound inspiration for the Steam Deck. Not only did its technology pave the way for the Steam Deck, but Valve also learned a lot from the business perspective from the predecessor’s business failure.

“We’ve looked at a lot of what we learned as boxes that we needed to check if we were ever going to talk to customers again about that category,” says Valve designer Greg Coomer. “We didn’t really want to bring [the Steam Deck] to customers until we felt it was ready and that all those boxes were checked essentially. But definitely doing that… I don’t think we would’ve made as much progress on Steam Deck if we hadn’t had that experience [with the Steam Machine].”

Time will tell if Steam Deck becomes the big bomb for Valve hardware.