Valve made a big stride in its Steam distribution platform's evolution this year by making it available for Mac and sending games like "Portal" and "Half-Life 2" along for the ride. Don't expect their next move with Steam to involve a digital trade-in initiative though. Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter claimed that Valve would "supposedly" be implementing such a program soon, but the official word from Valve is that that's just not the case.
"Untrue. We've never had a meeting with Mr Pachter," Valve marketing chief Doug Lombardi told Eurogamer. "I'm not sure what else there is to say."
Pachter predicted a system wherein Steam users would be allowed to "trade and exchange" their titles for new ones with a fee attached. That deal no doubt would have pleased lots of gamers who've tired of old titles taking up space on their hard drives. Nevertheless, it's probably not something we can expect to see soon.
The whole idea of exchanging digital games has a nice ring to it, but given the deals that Steam tends to offer (like their recent "Left 4 Dead" blowout), I can't say I've ever been surfing around their menus thinking, "Wow, they need to start offering deeper discounts pronto!" It's interesting to think about potential new models, however. I would be less surprised to see a streaming rental system from someone like GameFly before something like what Pachter mentioned materializes, but for now Steam seems to have their price structures modeled competitively enough to ward off whatever threat that kind of thing might impose.
Do you think there's a need for Steam to integrate a digital trade-in system? Are you surprised to to see Valve denying any such plans? Share your opinions with us in the comment section below.