Nintendo’s Revolution is Steam-powered
Nintendo and Valve have announced a partnership covering the digital distribution of games for the Revolution’s ‘Virtual Console’, and the provision of a large number of back-catalogue titles for the PC, both through Steam.
“Nintendo’s highly successful market strategy has always been based around innovative and disruptive technologies. Steam provides both of these qualities, and we are delighted to today announce a partnership between Nintendo Co.,Ltd and Valve Software LLC for the use of the Steam network in the upcoming ‘Virtual Console’ for the Nintendo Revolution”, said Nintendo of America spokesperson Joe Kerr.
“As well as providing the complete Nintendo back catalogue and selected Sega titles for download, our new partnership extends into the personal computer space, with a selection of games being made available for the ‘Windows’, ‘Linux’ and ‘Mac OS X’ platforms through the established Steam service as provided by Valve to their customers today.”
This is the big one, no doubt about it. The adoption of Steam by an industry giant and its entry into the console market is an enormous step toward the widespread acceptance of digital distribution, not to mention a nice thing to put on your corporate CV. The press release also heavily implies the release of Steam for the ‘other’ PC platforms, something that Red Orchestra and Darwinia fans have been pining after ever since their games were released. Just don’t get your hopes up for Source to be ported too.
Overall though, the press release is raising questions. Exactly what difference will this announcement make for Steam on the PC? What Nintendo games will be released for it? How will Nintendo implement Steam on a console, and what features will they use? Will the console and PC implementations connect to each other? I’m sure anyone with a Nintendo console could come up with more issues still.
Perhaps E3 will bring answers, but knowing Nintendo we will have to wait until much closer to the Revolution’s “later half of 2006” release date to hear anything substantial.