[밸브]에서 새롭게 출시한 기기 [스팀 덱]에 대하여 IGN에서 [게이브 뉴얼(Gabe Newell)]과 인터뷰한 내용을 정리해 둡니다.
- 스팀 덱의 발매와 미래를 게이브 뉴얼에게 듣다
- Gabe Newell on Steam Deck's Launch and Future
Q. [스팀 덱]이 출시하기 일 년 전 [엑스박스 시리즈X]와 [플레이 스테이션5]가 먼저 출시되었습니다. 앞서 출시한 콘솔에서 배우고 적용한 점이 있는지요?
A. 딱히 없습니다. 생산 공정과 유통 방식은 유사한 부분이 있지만, 정보가 공개되어 있지 않고 논의도 나누지 않기 때문입니다. 그리고 [스팀 덱]은 PC 게이밍 경험을 휴대용 기기로 옮기려는 시도이기에 기존의 게임 콘솔과는 목표를 달리합니다. 줄곧 PC 게이밍을 휴대용 기기로 옮기려는 시도는 있었으나, 하드웨어의 제약을 해결하지 못했습니다. 이제는 그 제약을 해결할 수 있는 단계가 되었기에 [스팀 덱]이 나온 것입니다. 앞으로 PC 게이밍을 위한 휴대용 기기 시장이 더 발전할 수 있기를 희망하고 있습니다.
Q. [스팀 덱]으로 직접 해보신 게임이 있으신가요?
A. 최근 [파이날 판타지 13]을 하고 있습니다. 아들 중 하나가 최근 그 게임을 하고 있는데, 파티원이 필요하다고 해서 같이 하고 있습니다. [월드 오브 워크래프트]에 피로를 느껴서 한동안 MMO를 하지 않고 있었지만, [파이날 판타지 13]은 [스팀 덱]으로 꽤 오랫동안 즐기고 있습니다.
Q. 최근 그래픽 카드의 공급 부족과 가격 상승이 만들어낸 공백을 [스팀 덱]이 채울 수 있을까요?
A. 게임용 기기라는 점을 때놓고 봐도 [스팀 덱]은 가격대비 좋은 컴퓨팅 기기입니다. 실제로 보급형 기기로 구매할 수 있는 합리적인 가격으로 발매하기 위해 정말 고생했습니다. PC 게임에 입문하고 싶은 분들에게 [스팀 덱]은 매력적인 기기일 것입니다. 공급 부족 문제는 수요가 늘어남에 따라 자연스럽게 일어나는 일입니다. 한편 제작 가능한 물량은 한정되어 있기에 저로서는 명확히 답하기 어려운 문제입니다. 앞으로 공급이 늘어나면 안정되지 않을까요.
Q. 앞으로 [스팀 덱]의 가격 인상 계획이 있는지요?
A. 없습니다. 가격은 이미 고객과 약속한 사항이기 때문입니다. 사실 예상과 달리 가장 비싼 상품이 가장 저렴한 상품에 비해 더 많이 팔려서 놀랐습니다. 현재 요구를 보면 더 높은 사양의 더 고가의 기기를 제작해야 하겠지만, 아직 구매층의 폭이 넓지 않기에 앞으로 추이를 지켜보고 방향을 결정할 예정입니다.
Q. 그렇다면 앞으로 새로운 [스팀 덱] 모델이 나온다는 건가요?
물론입니다. PC 마켓의 대단한 점이 바로 그 부분이기 때문입니다. 앞으로 제작사들은 더 낮은 가격으로 더 높은 스펙의 물건을 제조할 것이 분명합니다. [스팀 덱]은 그러한 흐름에 적극적으로 참여할 것입니다.
Q. 현재까지는 시장의 반응이 좋습니다. 현재까지의 판매량에 만족하시나요?
A. 기대보다 높은 판매량은 좋은 신호입니다. 윈도우 애플리케이션을 제작할 당시 처음 PC 랩톱을 사용했을 때가 기억납니다. 랩톱이 재봉틀만큼 커서 비행기에서는 좌석 아래에 넣어 두어야 했습니다. 그런 물건조차 당시에는 전혀 상상하지 못했던 새로운 가능성을 열어주었습니다. 앞으로 랩톱이 공고히 자리 잡을 거라고 확신할 수 있었지요.
현재 업계는 당시와 비슷한 지점에 도달했다고 생각합니다. 기존에는 불가능했던 기기를 만들어 낼 수 있게 되었습니다. PC 게이밍을 휴대용 기기로 확대하여 더 많은 수요를 끌어내고, 더 다양한 시도가 이루어질 수 있게 된 겁니다. 밸브의 [스팀 덱]이 이러한 새로운 시장에 뛰어들어 문제를 해결하고 가능성을 넓히길 원합니다. 소프트웨어 개발자에게 “이 기기가 문제를 해결해 주었나요?”라고 물었을 때 “네”라는 답을 듣고자 합니다.
Q. 개발자 이야기가 나와서 말인데요. [스팀 덱]을 위한 독점 타이틀 개발 계획이 있으신지요?
A. 데스크톱에서 실행 가능한 게임은 [스팀 덱]에서 구동할 수 있어야 합니다. 때문에 [스팀 덱]만을 위한 타이틀을 개발할 이유는 아직 찾지 못했습니다. 데스크톱과 콘솔로 게임을 개발한 개발자가 자연스럽게 모바일 수요까지 얻을 수 있는 것이 [스팀 덱]의 장점입니다. 앞으로 휴대용 기기에서만 가능한 무언가가 나온다면 모를까요. 그때가 되면 또 해결해야 할 과제가 늘어날 테니 흥미로운 일이긴 합니다.
Q. 스팀 덱 크기에 대한 평은 어떻게 생각하시나요? 디자인이 맞는 방향으로 이루어졌다고 생각하시나요?
A. 스팀 덱의 외형에 크게 만족하고 있습니다. 목적을 위한 기능을 기기에 다 집어넣는 것이 가장 중요했기 때문입니다. 각자 체형이 다르므로 원하는 기기의 크기는 다를 수밖에 없다고 생각합니다. 더 작으면 작아서, 크면 커서 불만이 있었을 겁니다. 현재 제작에 사용한 캐드 파일을 공개해 두었습니다. 앞으로 사용자들이 이 파일을 가지고 어떤 시도를 만들어낼지 궁금하고 기대됩니다.
아래는 요약에 사용한 인터뷰 자막본입니다.
더 자세한 내용이 필요 하시다면 읽어보시면 좋겠습니다.더보기
Hello everyone taylor lyles with ign i'm here with gabe newell from valve and we're talking about the steam deck thanks for joining me let's get started now.
Q. We're more than a year since the launch of the xbox series x and the playstation 5. Were there any key lessons you learned from watching those console launches that you were able to apply to your own launch?
A. Uh...not really, there's we probably share a lot of manufacturing and supply chain issues with those guys but they tend to not be particularly public you know that's not something that's sort of out there and be being discussed.
You know the sort of software challenges and hardware challenges we're facing tend to be different than when you're making a console like that you know the big challenge is how do you take the experience of the pc gamer and do it in a power efficient high performance way in a mobile platform.
So we probably learn more talking to people at nintendo than by setting the ps five or the latest xbox. Speaking of switch does the steam deck pre-date the switch how long has the steam deck been in the works. I think every gamer has wanted this for a really long time, right?
Anytime you start playing pc games, about a month after you will say where's my mobile version of this. Projects to try and do this come back all the way to the 1990s so what's really different this time is you know we finally reached the point where you have the the mips per watt that really lets you do this and their set of software and input challenges.
You have to go solve but it's you know it's like one of those things there was sort of before and after the iphone right up. Until then you know that you'd use a blackberry for these very application specific things but in terms of a general mobile computing device. That was sort of the transition point right now.
We've reached the point where you have a mobile gaming device that can pretty much do anything and it only gets better from here on. Out for pc gamers obviously we're shipping our hardware but I think some of the key components that were key problems that we're solving are going to apply generally to lots of hardware manufacturers in the pc space. So i think we'll continue to ride forward sort of the the price performance manufacturing volume power curves for the pc.
Cpus and gpus so i think that this is kind of a permanent extension of the of the pc gaming marketplace and to into these kinds of solutions. I wanted one of these things for forever i'm not going to say 30 years because it makes me sound really like a long time. But i think the core idea has just been around ever since you know first time you played doom. Right? You're like “Okay when can I do this in a handheld mobile device?” and the answer was a long time in the future. That now it's pretty much a solved problem for the pc marketplace in general. So I think we'll see a wide variety of hardware devices and continued innovation on the software and gaming side to take advantage of this.
Q. Now that you have it how much time have you spent with the steam deck itself?
A. Quite a bit right now i'm playing final fantasy 11. One of my sons is got into final fantasy. I sort of got burned out on world of warcraft. I got to the point where like they'd introduced a new level cap and i'd be like “Ah~” and then i'd like start playing for about 10 minutes and my brain would melt down. So I haven't played an mmo for a while but one of my sons was in the final fantasy and he was mad at the people. He'd go raiding with so he's like “Okay I need a minion dad can be my minion who be my healer who doesn't let me die when I'm tanking” so i started playing with him and then i've been playing a ton of it on the steam deck.
Q. With the ongoing shortages and price increases of graphics cards do you think that the steam deck will help fill that gap?
A. I think if you're just looking at the deck purely as a high-performance low-cost computing device whcih ignoring the fact that it plays games. It's a pretty good bargain. If you just view it through that lens a lot of people who are interested in getting into pc gaming you know we worked really hard on the there. And It was a lot of work and a lot of sort of pain that went into hitting that price point for the entry-level device.
I think that's going to be super attractive to people who are looking to get into pc gaming. So i think that's a good point and part of the reason that we work to make sure that we can service people in that market in terms of competing or sort of filling a void. I think part of the problem though is that we're probably gonna increase demand at the same time that we're increasing supply so i'm not sure how much you know we're gonna solve the shortage problems because a bunch of people are gonna be buying.
You know at the end of the day. It all comes out of the same silicon wafers. You know whether it's an automotive you know cpu or or a gpu or you know the components going into a deck and it's not really that there are supply shortages. It's just that the demand ever since covet hit has just skyrocketed. If you just talk to anybody in the cpu or gpu business it's they can't believe where all of these pc customers are jumping out of those the walls to to buy more devices. It'll take a little while to to fill in some of the supply chains. Like it's only surprising where constraints are occurring. It's literally sometimes can you get enough physical wafers from your wafer suppliers to satisfy this increase in demand.
Everybody talks about it as somehow that it's a supply problem when it's really a nobody was ready for this giant spike in demand and it's just sort of affected any silicon componentry across the board. In all industries, ford has never had to compete with bitcoin miners before. They're like “Oh my god, people would rather mine bitcoin than buy trucks-!” so just waiting for the those sorts of capacities to increase based on the demand.
Q. You've seen is there a possibility in the future that the steam deck will increase in price?
A. We don't expect it. To part of what you do with pricing is you're kind of making a promise to customers. You know i don't really see us changing to say the same thinking that went into our pricing structure doesn't hasn't really been impacted. Probably the biggest thing on the pricing side is that cut far more people are buying the most expensive sku than we expected and what that tells us is that we should continue to look at higher end offerings. As well but we wouldn't expect to be adjusting the the skew pricing. And of course in the future what our expectation is that we'll continue to drive. You know the volumes of this are going to be high enough that we have lots of opportunities to continue to look for ways to add either more value or reduce pricing. So that's sort of where we are but clearly given the actual behavior of people ordering the device.
What they're saying is “Can you put more stuff in, can you give us more storage, can you give us more performance?” because we'll we want that. Right now out of this device that may change as we sort of move from early adopters to wider markets and we'll see but the signal right now is could you give me more not could you make it cheaper. The biggest thing that they're asking for which is genuinely a surprise I would have thought I would not have guessed that our most expensive sku was going to significantly outsell our cheapest sku because that's not what we're planning for and that's why we like to get data from real customers because they tell us where we're wrong
Q. So does that mean you're thinking about new steam deck models in the future?
A. Absolutely right. I mean that's the great thing about the pc market. Is it just continues like a year from now and it will have better parts. You know a year from now all the component suppliers are going to either expand capacity expand performance or reduce costs. So we're absolutely going to ride that as hard as we can. That's part of the great thing about being in the pc spaces. Everybody's essentially driving everybody else's price performance improvements over time. When we talked back when the steam deck was revealed.
Q. You said that the steam deck would continue to see support long into the future. So long as the market responded positively based upon the numbers you've seen so far is that true are you happy with the pre-order numbers you've received?
A. Demand's a lot higher than we expected so uh that's a good sign. And we really do see this as their pcs is desktops and then laptops came along and that you know all of a sudden I remember some of the very first laptops that came out like i used to have one of the compact luggables i don't know if you've ever the thing the size of a sewing machine. It was just like you know that opened so many doors. I could actually take a computer with me when i was visiting software developers working on windows applications and you know even though when you look at it now it was a preposterous product.
Something designed to fit the space underneath an airplane seat. It clearly meant that you know that was laptops were permanently in the future. For all you know pc computing. I think similarly we've reached the point now where as an industry as a whole we can now build these solutions which really haven't been possible before. Right so yeah i see that extending into the future and it's clearly an opportunity for us for valve to be solving problems.
For our customers and for our software partners so like when we sit down and we show this to you. Know a software developer they look at this and say “Yes this is great, you've given me everything i wanted you're giving me this cpu cycles I need you give me all the input flexibility I need now just make a whole bunch of these and get a bunch of other oems to make a bunch of these and we're all going to sell more software” and so in addition to just sort of the price performance.
Then the next round is how can we make it better what sort of ex you know what sort of features pc developers at the high end. Want in devices that are going to enable more interesting mobile applications like machine vision is a big opportunity right so it's real it's less interesting in a desktop environment to have sort of machine vision driven features. And applications in a mobile device it's way more interesting.
Anyhow so yeah i see this is it's just sort of an ongoing direction of sort of innovation for for pc gaming and our involvement in this particular segment of it if you understand our process where we go out we go out to a software developer and say “Does this solve problems for you?” and the answer is ”Yes” this solves a whole bunch of problems and now we're saying okay great what are the next set of problems that you'd like to see us go solve and that's really going to help us drive future iterations of deck
Q. Speaking of developers have you heard any developers say that they are specifically making a game designed for the steam deck?
A. I think that a game should just work well in a desktop environment on deck. I'm not really sure why i would encourage somebody to do something that's deck specific. Like you know maybe at some future date there's some functionality that only makes sense in a mobile environment.
But we're certainly not there yet. It's like oh do you already have you know you're already shipping your game on consoles and on the pc the deck is like great now i've got a mobile thing. That takes advantage of all the input technology that i've gotten used to game controllers and with track pads and so on. You're giving me everything i need i can just say great now i just have more units that i'm going to move. But until we have something that enables you unique applications for mobile gaming which we don't I wouldn't say steam deck represents we wouldn't really expect people to do anything that was deck exclusive.
That'd be pretty exciting because that would mean that we're actually solving interesting problems. But you know we're certainly not doing that yet.
Q. What has the feedback been on the steam deck size? I know there was a big focus on agronomics but people are definitely focused on how large it is. Do you think you went the right direction with the design?
A. I'm really happy with the physical dimensions of it and how people react to it. I mean anytime you have a handheld device people have very different size hands but in terms of all the components necessary to build a great gaming experience. You know it's kind of the right size you know certainly we're going to look at larger and smaller versions of iterations in the future to see if those are feasible that's just the ordinary part of product design. It's like okay what happens if we make it half the size and everybody says i'd go blind. It's too small. You know what happens if it goes too big they're like great i have a doorstop or i can you know mug people with it right you just go through and you try out different sizes and see what works for for for which audiences. It'll also be interesting you know we just released the cad files online and so that's going to let people play with things which will affect the dimensions of the device. You know now that they know exactly. You know they've got the same cad files that that we're using so it'll be interesting to see how people play around with that and what they do with it.
Awesome well thanks so much for taking the time to chat today i really appreciate it thanks and for everything else steam deck you are already at the right place ign.