Valve has done a great job keeping PC gaming strong at a time when there is a growing focus on the console market, according to Microsoft Studios vice president Phil Spencer in an interview with Games Beat. But when it comes to venturing into the console space, the company might face an uphill battle.
"Valve is right down the street from us," Spencer told Games Beat. "They've done a great job of keeping the PC ecosystem strong at a time where I don't mind saying that we could have been more focused on what was going on in PC gaming.
"We were probably too focused purely on console. With Steam, [Valve has] done an amazing job of building this thing that, in a lot of ways, we should have been building as well at Microsoft."
But despite the company's enormous success with Steam, Spencer believes that the Steam console's operating system, Linux, will be a hard sell, and it will be a challenge for Valve to go from being a developer and distributor to being a platform holder.
"That's an evolutionary jump," he said. "They made the jump from building Half-Life to having a set of franchises to running Steam. They did a good job of learning through that.
"Now they're taking the next job to become a platform company — in some sense a hardware company, but in the truest sense more of an OS company. That's not an easy transition."
Even with these challenges ahead of them, Spencer told Games Beat that he believes that Valve has thought it through and it will be able to pull it off. "But I think it will take time," he said.