Go into a Gamestop and check out the PC gaming area. It’s probably one freestanding shelf section way in the back of the store facing towards the far wall. The area may have a laughable selection of points cards for various free-to-play games and download services, with a couple of older boxed games that are horribly overpriced, if it has any boxes at all. It’s been that way for a couple of years, and the only thing keeping the PC gaming section from dying out in retail is the audience that still picks up a copy of The Sims or World of Warcraft every now and again.
Thanks to Steam, you may see a revival of the dedicated PC gaming space at retail. Valve has announced that in partnership with Gamestop, Game UK, and EB Games, you’ll soon be able to find a Steam-branded PC gaming section at participating stores. The prepaid cards aren’t going away, but Steam Controllers, the Steam Link, and Steam Machines will soon be stacked on the shelves alongside the off-brand PS4 controllers and expensive fighting game joysticks.
“Steam has helped grow PC gaming into a leading platform for games,” said Bob Puzon, senior vice president of merchandising at GameStop, the exclusive retail partner in the U.S. for Steam Hardware. “With millions of gamers already enjoying the Steam desktop experience, we anticipate a strong demand for the upcoming Steam Hardware products and are looking forward to serving as the exclusive non-digital retail launch partner.”
If you missed the preorder period for Steam hardware, this may be a viable way to get your hands on one of these devices for the holidays.