"What? Steam Machine? Is that some sort of vacuum cleaner?" You may be asking now. No, this is just another tale of a big gaming company getting cocky and repeating past mistakes.
Valve hit it big with Steam, an online store which sold digital games and allowed any company, small or big, to sell it's games through it, more or less reviving the then stagnant PC game market. So Valve had one of those "bright ideas": why not make a game console which could play the entire Steam catalog? The idea made a lot of sense, Valve was hyped, game fans were hyped. A new revolution was coming, right? Right? Yes, everyone was hyped, except any person who knew even a little from console history.
Valve fucked up the project in all possible ways it could. First, they made a computer-based hardware with a proprietary operational system which was basically a standard which other companies could license to produce and sell their own Steam Machines, which is exactly what the 3DO attempted decades before and failed miserably at, resulting in machines made by different companies who would have to pay for a license to produce the console and causing the prices to skyrocket. Second, they designed an ambitious controller which instead of digital directionals had two touchpads which was intended to emulate the functions of a mouse, but not only the thing was clunky and unresponsible, in no conceivable way it could replicate the experience of using a mouse. What truly killed the project, however, was that it's operational system was based on Linux, meaning it couldn't keep with it's main promise and the whole reason it existed in the first place.
So, long story short: the Steam Machine was a overpriced, glorified low-spec computer which could play about 15% of the Steam catalog. Valve realized the absurdity of their idea and basically didn't bother to market or give it any support, more or less pretending the thing never existed in the first place.
|Consoles||Ouya - Sony PlayStation 4 - Nintendo Switch - Nintendo Wii U - Microsoft Xbox One - Valve Steam Machine|
|Handhelds||Nintendo 3DS - Sony PlayStation Vita|