Valve brings "Steam Sections" to GameStop, GAME UK, and EB Games

Steam Controller

Valve has joined with GameStop, GAME UK, and EB Games to bring dedicated "Steam Sections" to their stores in the US, UK, and Canada later this fall. The new sections will feature Steam Hardware devices, including the Controller, Link, and a number of Steam Machines, as well as Steam prepaid cards in various denominations.

"GameStop, GAME UK, and EB Games are leading retail destinations for core gamers and early adopters," Valve Supremo Gabe Newell said in a statement. "Creating a 'store within a store' across North America and the UK is a significant win for getting the first generation of Steam Hardware products into gamers' hands."

"Steam has helped grow PC gaming into a leading platform for games," GameStop SVP of Merchandising Bob Puzon added. "With millions of gamers already enjoying the Steam desktop experience, we anticipate a strong demand for the upcoming Steam Hardware products and are looking forward to serving as the exclusive non-digital retail launch partner."

That last reminder about GameStop being Valve's "exclusive" partner in this venture (in the US) is very much marketing-speak, but still worth quoting because it's true. The PC has re-emerged as an important, perhaps even dominant, gaming platform largely through the strength of the digital marketplace, which is of course anathema to brick-and-mortar retailers: GAME underwent a painful contraction a few years back, and I gave up on EB Games ages ago because it no longer offers anything to attract the PC crowd. If they, and GameStop, can successfully incorporate the Steam brand into their operations, then they might not be quite as inevitably doomed as they previously appeared.

Steam Hardware is currently "targeted for release" on November 10.

Thanks, SteamDB.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.