Earlier this week, Valve removed a link to Steam Machines from Steam's front page—which prompted us revisit this article from last year. Now, the developer has explained a "routine cleanup" tied to user traffic (or lack thereof) was responsible for the omission, and that it remains committed to the SteamOS-driven, Linux-based hardware.
"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," says Valve employee Pierre-Loup Griffais in this Steam Community update post. "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."
This may seem like a far cry from the system once tipped to take over our living rooms, but Griffais nevertheless suggests Valve has and continues to learn about the issues developers face with the Linux operating system, and that "a lot of feedback" has helped address its perceived shortcomings.
Investment in Vulkan also remains a priority, says Griffais, as does ensuring the cross-platform, low-level API has "first-class" Linux support.
Griffais adds: "We also have other Linux initiatives in the pipe that we're not quite ready to talk about yet; SteamOS will continue to be our medium to deliver these improvements to our customers, and we think they will ultimately benefit the Linux ecosystem at large."