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Gabe N: Closed systems = Bad

This is a discussion on Gabe N: Closed systems = Bad within the General PS3 Discussion forum, part of the Everything PlayStation; Gabe Newell speaks out against closed platforms | Plughead Steam-creator and perpetual Half Life Episode 3 delayer Gabe Newell has ...

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    Gabe N: Closed systems = Bad

    Gabe Newell speaks out against closed platforms | Plughead

    Steam-creator and perpetual Half Life Episode 3 delayer Gabe Newell has said that the increasingly popularity of closed platforms is likely to come at the cost of innovation.

    Speaking at the WTIA TechNW, a series of unintelligible syllables that is apparently based in Seattle, Newell worried that “the things that traditionally have been the source of a lot of innovation are going – there’s going to be an attempt to close those off so somebody will say ‘I’m tired of competing with Google, I’m tired of competing with Facebook, I’ll apply a console model and exclude the competitors I don’t like from my world.”

    Going further, Newell described consoles as the “wrong philosophical approach”. He then stated he considered Apple to be “very closed” before explaining that “They build a shiny sparkling thing that attracts users and then they control people’s access to those things.”

    I think I broadly agree with what Newell is saying, however there are a couple of things that should be noted. Firstly, isn’t Steam in a sense a closed platform? Sure, I can choose not to use it, but then again I can also choose not to buy an Apple product. In addition, if we do consider Steam a closed platform, then both Steam and Apple have seen some of the biggest innovations in technology and media consumption in the past decade. So the idea of closed platforms killing innovation would seem like utter nonsense.

    That said, I can understand Newell’s concerns with regard to the future of Apple, especially now that Steve Jobs has sadly passed away. It’s going to be interesting to see how innovative Apple will be without him. Will it be like Microsoft when Bill Gates released creative control? Will we see Mac OS Vista and Games for Apple LIVE? Only time will tell.

    also the close system analogy to steam is stupid. steam is essentially a online store, it isn't a Locked down System.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ps360 View Post
    also the close system analogy to steam is stupid. steam is essentially a online store, it isn't a Locked down System.
    Steam isn't essentially an online store, it is an online store.

    Much in the same way online gaming and digital distribution doesn't change the fact that the PS3 is still a console, the fact that steam handles all your digital rights and acts as a launch-platform/communications integrator doesn't change the fact that Steam is still an online store.

    Besides, Newell's point speaks to the "philosophy" of consoles not the totality of them. Even within his own realm there are still several "consoles" that don't fall into his criticism... Android, for example, which is covered by the Apache Copyfree License. Although some of this is starting to falter as Android tries to compete with Apple... Since a closed system is much easier to control in the current business model phones adopt.

    Obviously Valve does not follow this philsophy considering how they release their SDKs, although I would point out that (much like consoles), Valve does have its own endorsement/approval process.
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