I said earlier this week that Microsoft and Sony should be worried about Valve's Steam Box plans, because they appear to have traditional home consoles square in their sights. Well, in an interview with Eurogamer, Microsoft's Phil Harrison seems to get awfully defensive, issuing what amounts as a warning to Valve that the hardware business is so-called because it's hard.
"Entering the hardware business is a really tough business," Harrison said. "You have to have great fortitude to be in the hardware business and you have to have deep pockets and a very strong balance sheet. It's not possible for every new hardware entrant to get to scale."
"They can be successful at small scale. But it's very rare for a new hardware entrant to get to scale, and I mean tens or hundreds of millions of units. There are a very small number of companies that can make that happen."
True! But then, of that very few, I'd wager that Valve — and other companies that specialise in selling PC hardware — can do it.