Valve’s Steam digital download platform will offer more than just games once September rolls around, confirming the rumour from a few weeks ago that office like desktop software would be available through the service.
As of yet, no confirmation has been given on what sort of applications will be available, but Valve has suggested that there will be a variety, referencing “creativity” and “productivity” as two potential categories. The early rumours of this sort of integration were based on an Android screenshot of Steam, which had empty categories that included accounting software and photo manipulation.
Steam Greenlight is likely to come into play, with Steam users able to vote on what applications they’d like added to the platform, as well as what indi games.
Wired points out, that since this application suite will be available simultaneously on both Macs and Windows based PCs, that Valve’s new initiative will compete directly with Apple’s Mac App Store as well as Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 Store.
Speaking about the update, Valve’s head Gabe Newell hinted at big named software becoming far more affordable in app form. For example, “the next version of Photoshop should look like a free to play game.” Adobe’s Photoshop has traditionally been a pretty expensive piece of software, so it’ll be a real game changer if Valve is able to leverage a free-to-use version, perhaps with optional paid extras for added features.
While costs may come down for consumers, software developers may find their product is less pirated, since Steam adds that extra layer of protection. It doesn’t make them uncrackable, but by making them readily available at a more affordable price, several of the reasons people pirate certain software products would be less valid too.
KitGuru Says: What do you guys think of non-games invading Steam? The precursor to an eventual Steam OS? An annoying addition that heralds a cluttered future for Steam? A handy addition? Let us know in the comments below.