Valve is prepping to launch their long awaited Steam Machines and Steam Controllers to the world. They’ve been available for pre-order on Steam and via other websites for some time, but with the full release comes actual, brick-and-mortar stores. Many anticipated walking into their local Walmart or Best Buy and seeing shelves of Steam Machines lining the walls, but that future is not to be, at least for this Holiday season.
Gamestop has revealed that they will be the exclusive physical retailer for Steam Machines and Steam Controllers in the US, with GAME UK, and EB Games taking that spot for the UK and Canada respectively. If you don’t like, or don’t have one of these retailers near you, you can still grab one of the devices online via various outlets, but to pick one up in person, you’ll have to head to Gamestop.
This seems like an odd choice on the part of Valve, who has been pushing Steam Machines as a possible console replacement. The idea is to simplify the gaming PC buying process, making it so the non-tech savvy can stroll into a store and grab a system that can handle whatever game they want to throw at it.
Pushing Steam Machines to Gamestop keeps them in the realm of the gamer, and specifically puts them in a retailer that has been shrinking their PC section for years. Gamers use Gamestop, and their gift-buying parents might as well on occasion, but for true market penetration, many expected Steam Machines to be in every retailer imaginable.
PErhaps the exclusivity will expire soon, and Steam Machines will appear elsewhere, but the damage may be done by then if this Holiday season doesn’t go well.
Steam Machines and Steam Controllers hit the market on November 10th.