I'd like to put two quotes together that I think indicate that we'll see the Steam service on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 relatively soon. First, GameSpot's report from yesterday:
The Orange Box will be released for the PC, 360, and PS3, but EA confirmed to GameSpot that it will be the only Half-Life 2 product offered for the two consoles at retail.That's my emphasis. Maybe it's just extra verbiage from the GameSpot writer, but I bet that means what it implies: there will be other offerings through network downloads.
But it's more than just downloadable extras, it's the entire Steam platform. I think that's the implication of the above report and the "no comment" in a recent CVG interview (found via Steam Review):
CVG: One question on our mind is whether your forthcoming Half-Life 2 releases on Xbox 360 and PS3 will be tied in with Steam - what's the score here?Together I think those indicate the real news behind the Half-life 2 packages: they're Valve's trojan horse to get Steam's storefront out on the big consoles.Lombardi: Nothing to report today.
I wouldn't be surprised to see Valve try it. Like the rest of us, they like money, and actually have the means to make this kind of thing happen.
I don't see Steam getting on 360.
It doesn't make sense for Microsoft, who is taking part of every XBLA and marketplace sale to give up that revenue stream to Valve. It doesn't make sense for EA, their console publisher, to let them do it either.
And if those two parties are getting cuts, then it's not Steam as we know it.
I think that Episode 3 (assuming it arrives before the next console generation) will probably be a massive digital download in the vein of Bethesda's upcoming Shivering Isles expansion pack.