Sony is in an enviable position at the moment: it's claimed an early victory in the next-gen console wars, with sales of the PlayStation 4 edging ahead of its closest rival the Xbox One. Of course, gaming is a volatile industry and you just never know what's going to happen. Sony Worldwide Studios boss Scott Rohde agrees, admitting in an interview that the Steam Machine may compete in the same space one day, but that Valve has a lot of work to do to make this happen.
"The short answer is 'Maybe someday,'" Rohde said in an interview with Ars Technica , when asked whether the Steam Box will ever meaningfully compete with consoles. "It's not meant to be an arrogant statement. It's not something that we're saying, 'Oh yeah we're not worried about them.' I think we're always interested in anything that comes into this space because it's fascinating to all of us.”
Rohde said the Steam Machine concept is interesting, but that it's still largely an unknown quantity. "It's in its infancy, we don't know exactly what it is, even, or when it will happen or what it will actually be. I guess they've settled on a controller. We're not even really sure. They've been bouncing around for a while."
He also insinuated that Valve may find trouble when it tries to ship hardware globally, given its software heritage. "It's not an easy trick to get global distribution on a piece of hardware," Rohde said. "That is something that Sony is extremely great at and has been for years." When reminded of the fact that Valve will work with hardware partners well-versed in this aspect of the business, Rohde made reference to the widely derided 3DO console.
Things are starting to happen: Alienware's box is due in time for the holiday system, though it'll ship without the components which are likely to come to define Steam Machines, namely the SteamOS its controller. The latter has been delayed until 2015 in order to make good on "a ton" of useful playtest feedback.