Steam Machines — the official term for the long-rumored ‘SteamBox’ — will start hitting stores next year from multiple partners, Valve said Wednesday. It stopped short of naming the companies it’s working with on the hardware.
The publisher announced plans Monday to launch a Linux-based standalone operating system called SteamOS. Due in 2014, the platform is designed to help further the service’s move into the living room.
Last August, Nintendo began to more fully embrace digital distribution as a way to get games in people’s hands – a notable shift for a company that had previously stayed an arm’s distance from the online world.
The experiment is paying off. Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America, says digital downloads are fast becoming a notable contributor to the company’s bottom line – and he expects the trend to continue its rapid rise.
Ubisoft is opening up its closed gate community to other publishers. Effective immediately, Uplay, the company’s digital distribution service, will begin selling games from competing publishers – including Electronic Arts and Warner Bros.
The cooperative deal, which will also see Ubisoft games appear on EA’s Origin distribution service, is meant to broaden the avenues for players to find games and expand points of sale for game makers.
Traditional brick and mortar isn’t going away anytime soon – and used game sales are still a viable force. But day one digital purchase options are becoming more and more frequent on consoles and DLC is one of the fastest growing segments in the industry.
To adapt, the retailer has been in the process of pivoting for a while now. And Brad Schliesser, director of digital content for GameStop, says the efforts are paying off.
In its most recent patch of the game, Blizzard Entertainment has capped how far players who purchase a digital copy of the game can advance in the first 72 hours. Despite inevitable protests to the contrary, it doesn’t look like the company is planning to change its mind about the decision.
Rhapsody has acquired Napster from electronics giant Best Buy for an undisclosed price. The deal will combine two of the largest streaming services in the U.S. and could roughly double the number of Rhapsody subscribers.
The company hopes the new division, dubbed ”Qwikster,” will help it stabilize its subscriber base and revive its share prices. To help revive consumer interest, the company plans to add video games to its rental options as well.
Also in the note, CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings acknowledged the overwhelming negative feedback to recent price changes at the company, saying ”I messed up. I owe everyone an explanation.”
It’s no secret that game publishers have spent a lot of time focusing on the growing importance of the mobile space, but things have been a lot quieter on the retail front.
However, GameStop’s pair of announcements Monday sent a clear signal to both gamers and investors that the company was planning to defend itself against the ongoing decline in retail game sales and the changing nature of the gaming market.
The video game publisher, in an Analyst Day presentation, notes that its digital revenue over the past 12 months hit $1.7 billion, topping last year’s $1.4 billion and 2009’s $1.2 billion. That’s a 37 percent increase in just 24 months.