Streaming Video

Business of Esports TV: Switch by Valve

(Livestream #133)

In this segment, we discuss Valve reportedly creating a “Switch-like” portable console in an attempt to enter the mobile gaming space.

The Business Of Esports brings you news, debates, and all the information you need to know about the gaming sector, the world’s fastest-growing market. With Paul “The Profit” Dawalibi leading the charge, and a variety of special guests, BoE TV is the only place to find insider information on the esports industry!

Check out the full livestream here:

Paul Dawalibi 30:25
Let’s talk about valve valve in the news. And, and, and here the report is, valve is secretly building a switch esque portable gaming PC. Let me just before I throw it over to you guys, I got a ton of flack from other members of this cast on another live stream, okay. When we talked about a dedicated mobile device that Qualcomm was building for gamers, okay. And the point I made was mobile gamers, there is some segment of the mobile gaming market, I think that wants a more hardcore experience. They’re maybe not ready to spend 1000s of dollars on a gaming PC, maybe they don’t want to play on PC or console for whatever reason. They love mobile gaming, they love mobile games, but they want to be extremely competitive. Okay. In that context, and do you think something like this from valve will succeed? Do we think there’s a market for a switch competitor from Valve? And what do you guys think it will look like? Like, who’s the audience for this? Who are they really targeting? I’m thinking about, you know, demographics from a product perspective, and go to market perspective. Okay, Jimmy, Lindsey?

Lindsay Poss 32:22
I was team welcome. Yeah, making the mobile device you and I were the ones who really

Paul Dawalibi 32:28
correct him at that point. So Right, right.

Lindsay Poss 32:34
I know, and everyone crapped on us, and I am happy to put this check back in for me. But anyways, no, I think this is good. I mean, the switch has been wildly successful. And to be honest, that’s a little bit of like the Nintendo type of magic, anything Nintendo does is pretty much wildly successful when they have a very specific business approach. It’s worked for a long time. So obviously, people who have tried to replicate that have failed. But I, I am, I suppose less enthusiastic about this one than I was about the other one, because I really saw the other one hitting the developing market in that world very well. I less so see that with this one. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be successful in developing markets, I just, I’m not sure I understand the product well enough to know that they’re going to target like North American and Chinese markets versus, you know, markets like India and Brazil. Um, but that being said, if any product like this is done well enough, and it gives more serious gamers the opportunity to practice with places or in places and with materials that might be better if you’re a lower income, serious gamer. I think it has the potential for success. I’m not sure that I understand the unique positioning of this one as well as I did with the last one.

Paul Dawalibi 33:44
Yeah, so unlike the last one, just to give you guys a bit more info, there’s no pricing on this. Okay. The rumor says it’ll have a touchscreen, it’ll have a touchpad, it’ll have buttons triggers dual joysticks, it’ll run Linux, and it will run an array of what they call specially optimized steam titles. Now, I don’t know if that means just like Dota and Counter Strike or, or what that means, specifically, or anything in your Steam library. But it says it’s going to be called potentially steam power, which is a terrible name.

Lindsay Poss 34:19
Oh, God, yeah, that sounds so dirty. You can’t hear it.

Unknown Speaker 34:26
For me, I’m sorry to interrupt you and ask earlier about demographic and that’s the issue for me, right? Because as a steam user and gamer, I don’t like controller, I used to be a controller player, I’m not going to go back. I’m a mouse and keyboard gamer now. I prefer it. And if you’re going to force me as a steam user, now onto some portable controller, I’m probably not going to have a good time. And anyone that’s a mobile gamer now or at least the younger demographics are reliant on their mobile devices, right? They’re lower income families, they’re lucky to have a phone or if they’re not like you know, they’re just that phone serves other purposes. It’s more useful to them. And gaming is just one of those one of those categories for it for those users. So you know, I’ve had more portable gaming devices than I can remember. And I would love for one that captures my attention. And that would, would satisfy me as a consumer. But the older I get, I think the more set in my ways I become, which I think is common for all of us. And it’s hard right now, because this is a vague concept, right? Where we don’t have a lot around it. So we’re kind of just having fun here. But from what I know which what very little I know about it, you know, it’s not going to capture my attention are me as a millennial. And I would be surprised if they captured a Gen Z Gen alpha audience as well, just because those kids play on on touchscreen on their on their Android and on their iOS devices, with no in with with no roadblocks or anything. They’re as good as anyone else on any other device, because that’s how they learned. So

Paul Dawalibi 35:57
but do you buy Jimmy the premise that Lindsay and I both agreed on the last time we talked about a subject like this right with that Qualcomm device, that there is a segment of the mobile market that wants more hard core device, like piece of hardware,

Unknown Speaker 36:13
and that existing, I think that is the hole right, like, between the Nintendo Switch being popular, and the PlayStation Portable and hardcore mobile devices, like, there’s no premier place to play triple A titles on the go,

Paul Dawalibi 36:31
you have to buy an iPad, right, like an ideal, it’s probably the best

Unknown Speaker 36:33
to get x cloud or something else of the sorts, but if you could get it in a PC that is portable, it could like that whole like RPG playing like my mind for the demographic is middle aged men that play RPGs that are playing these triple A titles on their PCs, and already have them but still want to take that single player experience like cyberpunk 2077 on the go. And I think that’s like the triple A like to your point, triple eight high performance titles. And I think, to valve this point, I think they’re going for a pricier entry overall, because where we

Paul Dawalibi 37:08
are hardware usually is exactly their their VR, VR product, the valve index is like the most expensive consumers

Unknown Speaker 37:16
are. So I think they’re aiming for the Super elite user. And we’re in like, this is just going to be a toy to supplement your index and the rest of the things you’ve got going to Jimmy B’s point, like, I totally feel you man, like I am totally the same way. There’s no way I’ll make any of these games with the controller because I have this amazing computer. There’s wonderful mouse, there’s great setup, I’m gonna use it, you know, definitely gonna use it. But to Paul’s point, there are those people that definitely just enjoy kicking back and spending 1000s of dollars on something crazy like this, and I think it will be 1000s of dollars.

Paul Dawalibi 37:51
So like, do we sorry, do we not think that there’s a segment of the like, let’s talk about eSports specifically people playing like cod mobile who want to be very competitive and compete, or people playing I don’t know, like pub g mobile and want to be, you know, competing at the highest level? like is this tools for that for that audience? Right. And they may be 15 years old, but have ambitions to be mobile eSports pros? Is this what that hardware segment is serving? Jimmy B? I don’t know if you have thoughts on

Unknown Speaker 38:18
what I don’t know how many people would get this device over the existing Bluetooth Android controllers that you can use on those phones, right, that are much cheaper. And these, they’re already competing at high levels using that because it offers you the joystick and the buttons, right? The pub g Mo, or the Call of Duty mobile players that I know, use those devices. And honestly, as an iOS user, I want one right like I wish I had one network that work and I could check it out too.

Paul Dawalibi 38:47
I will just say but before we move on, Lindsey I don’t know if you had a thought before I move on from this.

Lindsay Poss 38:52
Yeah, I just wanted to ask you all what you thought the demographic was for the switch then.

Paul Dawalibi 38:59
Yeah, it was like such a different beast. Oh, no.

Unknown Speaker 39:02
Yeah, right. Not hardcore gamers. But it was really right. These are the more casual gamers and part of Nintendo’s amazing world like like you and apologists, that’s I think the the demographic for the switch. Probably Gen Z less, more passive, you know, more casual viewers of Esports. And these are people that are playing Animal Crossing, not Call of Duty mobile or pub g mobile, I think,

Unknown Speaker 39:28
great and fringe users right, like people just getting into harder games like Breath of the wilds a great introduction into hardwires. Yeah, exactly. It’s just like these these it skews way lower than I think what the valve product will end up going for. But yeah, it’s I just completely agree with you guys. Like it’s, I think, to Paul’s point. I don’t think this is serving that high end mobile audience. Whereas like, you see the astuce like our LG phones, like you know what the giant fans in the back of them like, that’s like, Call of Duty mobile, you’re gonna be gaming. Your hands are gonna be called Hold his eyes It’s gonna be beautiful It’s crazy some of the phones are coming out with but yeah I think definitely like two separate worlds and one super splurge PC they’re going for crazy setups and I think that’s like one world that we should definitely explore too once this thing comes out

Paul Dawalibi 40:15
guys I sorry I have one last thing on this because I just thought about it but like you guys may I don’t know if you remember but steam made these things called Steam Machines at one point right no one bought them they were terrible piece of hardware that no one wanted. Like, why is valve making hardware at all right? Like this is a company that can put out a new game in 15 years. Like why why am I

Lindsay Poss 40:40
putting out that console before to I that was like my kind of first thought was this because we’ve talked about the previous device and that one was a very unique take that I think is going to succeed in developing markets. This one I’m like, have you heard this like seven times

Paul Dawalibi 40:54
give it like why hardware.

Unknown Speaker 40:59
The controller was really interesting to me personally because it was like their touchpad joysticks, but they were really accurate with how they tracked your fingers. So people were buying these steam links and the controller bundles tossing the links and then just using the controller for random things because the link just become just became a nap like you didn’t need it all you needed was an ethernet cord to plug into your TV and it worked the same anyways, I I asked the same question like valve What are you guys doing? Like the index was really good.

Paul Dawalibi 41:27
Maybe new Counter Strike? Makes why why are we wasting time with hardware? It’s interesting though. Pathfinder says hello friends love the live streams Pathfinder. Welcome back. We love you. Great to see you in here. Gabriel says that is a bad name for it. Yes, steam POW I really hope that they go with that is so lame. I don’t know who thought of that. See your sauna companion app. We love my switch after working all day. I don’t have to sit at my desk to play something. Yeah, that is the use case. Right. And I think that, look, if they do come out with it, it will have some audience. But I don’t think it’s gonna, you know, it’s gonna it’s not going to set the world on fire here.

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