Microsoft CEO Doesn't See "Steam Box" And "Xbox" Competing

By Michael Epstein email: , Updated Mar 06, 2013 02:48 PM EST

Microsoft CEO Dan Mattrick says Valve isn't the company's direct competitor, despite the company's public plans to release a "Steam Box" gaming PC.

Speaking with The Verge during Microsoft's TechForum event, Mattrick says that, while Valve is innovating in a similar sphere as the Xbox, he is focused on tangling with other tech and gaming giants: "The scale of products and things that are being brought to market are probably a little bit richer when I look at Sony, Nintendo, Apple, and Google," says Mattrick.

Not wanting to seem dismissive, Mattrick praises Valve CEO Gabe Newell and the Steam Box: "I love Gabe, I was there for his lifetime achievement award so it's wonderful to see what they're creating." Mattrick also says that Microsoft has no plans to emulate Valve's plans for a more developer-friendly open system on the next Xbox: "We're trying to make sure that what exists upon our service on our system is done to a quality level and has interest for people who are likely to use it." 

Meanwhile Newell, who outlined Valve's plans for getting into the hardware at CES in January, is already looking past Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, claiming that Apple is Valve's main competition. It's possible Mattrick's statement could simply be a show of strength in response to Newell's remarks. On the other hand, the Steam Box will supposedly come with Linux installed and will likely alienate casual players with a low tolerance for the challanges of a more open system.

Microsoft is expected to announce the next Xbox at a special event next month. Valve says the plan on shipping "Steam Box" developer kits within the next three or four months.

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