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Steam Beta Reveals Movies, TV Shows, Music On The Way

By - Source: Steam Database | B 12 comments

Valve Software made it perfectly clear that Steam would eventually be more than just a gaming platform when it revealed SteamOS last September. At the time, the company announced that it was currently in negotiations with media services "you know and love" without revealing specific details. Now it seems that the launch of movies, television shows and music on the Steam platform grows near.

SteamDB dug into the most recent build of the Steam Beta and discovered new references to five different types of media. The lines of code include "k_EAppTypeFilm = 512, // film" and "k_EAppTypeTvseries = 1024, // tvseries." There's also code for video, plugins and music. When Valve intends to launch this media on Steam and SteamOs is unknown at this point.

Do we really need Valve to offer media such as TV shows and movies? There are already a large number of platforms on the Internet that offer this content including iTunes, Google Play and Amazon. Customers can also purchase movies and TV shows from services such as Walmart's Vudu, which ties into the UltraViolet disc-to-digital service.

UltraViolet is a format that allows consumers to watch their favorite TV show or movie on any device that provides playback apps. So instead of purchasing a movie on iTunes and having to watch it solely on an iOS device, customers can go to services like Vudu and purchase the movie or TV show and not only own it indefinitely, but watch it on smartphones, smart TVs, tablets and computers. Essentially, you own the rights to play the movie on the device of your choosing.

Perhaps this is the method Valve Software needs to take with its media offerings on Steam: allow customers to purchase movies and TV shows that are UltraViolet compatible. This would certainly be ideal given that Steam is still a gaming service at its roots.

Valve Software launched the Steam platform back in September 2003 as a means to update its own portfolio of games. Since then, Steam has become the largest game distribution platform to date. The company already sells soundtracks and software and provides a music player for gamers to play their own tunes stored on the hard drive.

The idea of Steam offering media other than games is actually rather exciting. When the Steam Machines finally arrive, they will be more than just gaming "consoles." They will be entertainment centers; that's what Valve Software is shooting for. Steam customers will benefit from having another choice when it comes to consuming media. However, the question is this: how will Valve pull customers away from iTunes and Google Play?

We've reached out to Valve to see if they have a possible launch window for releasing the multimedia.

Follow Kevin Parrish @exfileme. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

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  • 4 Hide
    nvllsvm , August 12, 2014 11:06 AM
    Meh. Zero interest in this.
  • 1 Hide
    David Dewis , August 12, 2014 11:45 AM
    I think they have missed the point. If this code exists in the SteamOS as well, then this makes perfect sense. You wouldn't have native itunes or netflix apps. Its the same thing that the Playstation and Xbox OS have. I always assumed this would happen. SteamOS/Big picture mode looks great already, but at the moment its very limited. Here are your games/here are more games to buy/here are your friends/basic web browser. Adding media features is an obvious move.
  • 1 Hide
    d_kuhn , August 12, 2014 12:05 PM
    Music and video... that's nice (nothing I'd use Steam for but whatever)... just don't lose sight of your core gaming business or someone else will eat your lunch.
  • Add your comment Display all 12 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    qlum , August 12, 2014 12:12 PM
    Meh, Ill stick to Sickrage (sickbeard fork) for tv shows and the other stuff I don't doo much.

    Sickrage just is the best service available for me for tv shows, it makes sure my tv shows get scrobbled properly and just adding it to my watchlist on trakt makes it download it for me and unlike netflix and the like its just a few hours after release and not restricted to who made it. It just works.
  • 1 Hide
    bhauck , August 12, 2014 2:33 PM
    It'd be weird at this point to put out a product intended to be hooked up to TVs that couldn't do all this stuff.

    Why does this post turn into a press release for UltraViolet for a few lines there in the middle?
  • 2 Hide
    thechief73 , August 12, 2014 2:41 PM
    Quote:
    just don't lose sight of your core gaming business
    Sadly, IMHO they have already lost sight. You used to go on Steam and play your games... Now there's a marketplace to trade worthless items, trading cards(also worthless), ranking system, badges, community jump through hoop events so everyone can know who is "better" at Steam. It's a cluttered joke now. Only thing good the have done is Greenlight and even that gets abused. Wish they would make another client without all this BS. I'm just sick and tired of everything these days shoving all these so called "features" down my throat. BTW, Vudu and Ultraviolet are terrible services.
  • 3 Hide
    Deus Gladiorum , August 12, 2014 4:35 PM
    Well, Gaben, you made me turn my back on piracy once. Let's see if you can do it again.
  • 0 Hide
    The_Icon , August 13, 2014 6:37 AM
    If they bring region free television and movies to the service, just like videogames, i can finally stop pirating them. As of right now, I really have no choice but to pirate..
  • 0 Hide
    eklipz330 , August 13, 2014 10:03 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    just don't lose sight of your core gaming business
    Sadly, IMHO they have already lost sight. You used to go on Steam and play your games... Now there's a marketplace to trade worthless items, trading cards(also worthless), ranking system, badges, community jump through hoop events so everyone can know who is "better" at Steam. It's a cluttered joke now. Only thing good the have done is Greenlight and even that gets abused. Wish they would make another client without all this BS. I'm just sick and tired of everything these days shoving all these so called "features" down my throat. BTW, Vudu and Ultraviolet are terrible services.

    cluttered? what? you have to go way out of your way to see those trading cards. i havent seen a greenlight gaming page in months. what are you smoking?
  • 0 Hide
    nukemaster , August 13, 2014 10:09 AM
    Half Life 3(or EP 3) please.

    If steam can have sales on Music/Moves/TV. This CAN be good, but I am almost sure price fixing will prevent this.

    I personally have no interest in the marketplace / trading cards either, but steam is far from the only thing that has this kind of thing. At least I can sell the trading cards :) 
  • 0 Hide
    airborne11b , August 13, 2014 1:55 PM
    Having a home theater PC is amazing. Got 2x 580 GTXs in the system so it's a gaming beast, a few HDD for movies/music downloading, set up on a 1080p DLP projector projecting onto a 120" screen, and I can also web browse and watch youtube from the comfort of my couch.

    I could totally see SteamOS being a very great addition to many people's livingroom if it was capable of easily doing all of these features (gaming, web browsing, watching downloaded video files, playing music, youtube, etc)

    But if it's just a handicapped wanna-be HTPC that can't do half this stuff, then it would be pretty pointless.
  • 0 Hide
    thechief73 , August 14, 2014 11:03 AM
    Quote:
    cluttered? what? you have to go way out of your way to see those trading cards. i havent seen a greenlight gaming page in months. what are you smoking?
    OK, I have to agree they did make these things as elegantly incorporated as they could. But, maybe I should have worded my criticisms better. There is no value added to Steam by these so called "features" and therefore again IMHO is just unnecessary bloat.
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