Yesterday, Valve announced that it has shipped more than 500,000 Steam controllers since unveiling them in November.
That’s an extremely low figure compared with the millions of PS4s and Xbox Ones that Sony and MS have shipped since last November.
While it may seem unfair to compare a brand new platform to established franchises, Valve explicitly stated that it wasn’t competing with PC gaming, but targeting the living room console industry.
Valve first announced Steam Machines and Steam OS 2.5 years ago, to great fanfare and with 13 manufacturing partners.
Valve then delayed the platform launch into 2015, which had the side effect of killing a great deal of manufacturer interest.
Steam OS is still receiving bug fixes, feature updates, and improved GPU support, but its small install base and low sales could trap the platform in a death spiral.
Weak Steam Machine sales means lower developer interest and decreased willingness to launch on Steam OS.The platform may have also been hampered by its lack of exclusive titles and a general dearth of AAA games.One striking difference between the Linux-compatible titles and their Windows 10 counterparts is how quickly prices fall on the Linux side of the equation.By Page 2 of the Linux list, game prices have fallen to .99.The Windows list, in contrast, is still pegged at .99 by the bottom of the second page.Steam OS has far fewer AAA games and many more indie titles, which may make developers nervous when they consider supporting the Linux-based operating system.