Sony thinks Valve’s Steam Machines will be a legitimate threat… eventually

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When it comes to gaming in the living room, consoles are currently dominating because that’s usually how it has been all this while. PC gaming, on the other hand, was more or less limited to your room which is not a bad thing, but this is something Valve is hoping to change with its Steam Machines and SteamOS. For those unfamiliar, Steam Machines is Valve’s answer to the console. Instead of being merely another console, the Steam Machines will basically allow gamers to play games from their Steam library on their TV, sort of like Big Picture except with dedicated hardware. It’s an interesting idea but could it be a worthy competitor to consoles? Sony seems to think that it has potential.

By the time E3 2014 rolled around earlier this month, the original $499 price point for the Xbox One was already ancient history. Still, sitting down with Sony Head of Worldwide Studios America Scott Rohde at the show, I couldn’t help asking how he felt when he first heard that the PlayStation 4 was going to launch $100 cheaper than its nearest competition. “I’m not gonna lie. I remember exactly where I was,” Rohde told Ars. “We were in press conference rehearsals last year. We had a feeling they were going to come in at $499, but we weren’t sure. So yeah, we were dancing in the aisles and high-fiving. It was great. Anyone that came in on an interview, it didn’t matter what the question was, I could always just answer it with $399. It was the answer to every question.” The process to get to that moment started way back in 2008, when Sony started work on the PS4 hardware design with a $399 price point firmly in its sights, Rohde said, echoing similar sentiments from Sony Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida. The focus on the lower price point was the result of hard-earned lessons from the previous hardware generation, he said.

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