September sounds like a good time to launch new consoles.
Last week Alienware revealed its upcoming console-shaped Steam Machine, but didn't reveal what was inside the box other than Intel "Haswell" and Nvidia components, or when we'd see the final product. Now, thanks to the Valve's Steam Dev Days Conference, we have a little more information to chew on.
The company said on Wednesday that its Steam Machine solution likely won't go retail until September. The price is expected to be competitive with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and will perform on the same level as a gaming notebook. The news was revealed by those actually attending the conference. No other "specs" were revealed.
As PC World points out, a September release makes total sense, as SteamOS is in very early beta form; so early that a September dateline feels like the absolute earliest. Plus, Valve needs time to perfect the controller and whatever it plans to do with its own Steam Machine hardware.
Besides, aren't consoles typically launched in the Fall so that companies are cashing in on the holiday season? That's typically where the gold is for Microsoft and Sony, and should be too for the likes of Alienware, Valve and the Steam Machine OEMs.
Speaking of which, Valve handed out a few numbers regarding Steam's continued growth. In the last three months of 2013, the number of active Steam accounts jumped 16 percent to 75 million, up from the 65 million announced back in October 2013. The growth was realized during a busy holiday release season and Steam's Pre-Holiday and Holiday sales, reads a company statement.
On a worldwide scale, Steam's 2013 sales revenue mostly came from North America (41 percent) and Europe (40 percent). Oceania and the Russian Territories were each 5 percent of Steam's 2013 revenue, followed by Asia (3 percent), South America (2 percent), Eastern Europe (2 percent), South East Asia (1 percent), and "other" (1 percent).
Russia and Brazil realized the largest year over year growth (2013 vs. 2012) as individual countries, respectively increasing 128 percent and 75 percent, the company revealed.