Valve is apparently aiming to take on the likes of Twitch, but its Steam-branded service Steam.tv had something of an accidental reveal. The company is best known for the acclaimed digital distribution platform, which has become the go-to service for most PC gamers as a handy way of getting hold of a rather extensive digital PC gaming library.
However, of late Valve has been trying to expand in a variety of ways. The company burst into the hardware scene with the Steam Controller, Steam Link, and Steam Machines, albeit with something by way of mixed results, and clearly Valve feels that it can jump into the game streaming battle with a new service of its own.
It would definitely be an interesting move, given Steam's dominance over the larger PC gaming world, but apparently Valve may have accidentally jumped the gun this time. As reported by CNET, this Steam.tv system went online briefly, giving a look at how this service will operate. However, the move to launch the service was apparently done in error, so fans of Steam overall will have to wait a little longer to see it in action.
However, even though Valve cut the accidental leak short, nonetheless gamers will still be able to glean a little on Steam.tv. For starters, gamers will be able to access their Steam Chat friends lists, so there's that ability to tie into a player's larger Steam community. Meanwhile, the service will apparently include built-in voice chat, which will be very handy for those who require that. All in all, it looks like a large upgrade in comparison to Steam's rather clunky Broadcast system.
It's not the only area where Steam is looking to expand in the future, either. The company is making a much-wanted return to game development itself, not only through a number of projects of its own but also through the potentially smart acquisition of Firewatch studio Campo Santo. Between this and a new and improved streaming service, it looks as though Valve is definitely stretching its legs.
It will be interesting to see when Valve makes the official reveal of the system. Some may suspect that The International might be the place when Steam.tv is unveiled, given its place as the massive tournament for Valve's hugely successful DotA 2, and since the Main Event launches today Steam fans might want to keep their eyes peeled. Let's see whether it can compete with the likes of Twitch, YouTube, and Mixer.