Steam Machine prototype from iBuyPower for revealed, runs at 1080p and 60fps

The white prototype consoles from desktop manufacturer iBuyPower run an early build of Steam OS and are aptly named Gordan and Freeman.

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UPDATE: The prototype from iBuyPower will reportedly only cost $499 and comes with a multicore AMD CPU and a discrete AMD Radeon R9 270 graphics card.

The additional details come from a report on the Verge, and reiterates that "existing Steam for Linux games should run quite well, at full 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second." As reported previously, Steam Machines will not run the entire Steam library, only those games which have been optimized specifically for the Linux-based Steam OS.

The article also claims the box above is "bigger than a PlayStation 4 but smaller than a Microsoft's Xbox One." The $500 price tag includes the Steam controller, wi-fi, Bluetooth, and a 500GB hard drive.

The original story appears below:

Bucking the trend of black boxes, PC developer iBuyPower revealed the first images of their prototype Steam Machine: a white box.

Engadget reports that the system is set to launch in 2014 and "the hardware will run all Steam titles in 1080p resolution at 60fps." No other details were revealed about the hardware, but iBuyPower did show off two variations of their white box. When not illuminated, the light bar in the middle is clear on one machine and black on the other. One has been codenamed Gordan and the other Freeman.

The machine runs an early version of Steam OS, but "it's not quite a finished product," writes Engadget. Valve has previously revealed the general specs for the Steam Machines, but with CES just around the corner, we'll have even more info (and hands-on with the systems) then.

Discussion

1459 comments
Mastermatta
Mastermatta

lol i call bshit. Steam has so many titles, some more demanding than others. I would like to see it run company of heroes 2 at 1080p 60fps. That game is unoptimized a shit. Also if its steam OS only, it has no AAA titles so it cant compete with ps4 or xb1. Though it does definitely appeal to people who like indy games.

Coolspot18
Coolspot18

I think Steam Boxes will fail ... The majority of gamers will stick to consoles, the remaining PC gamers will stick with their desktops. Only a handful of people will buy Steam Boxes.

wakkowaru
wakkowaru

Who is this perfect for?  People like me.

I have a computer I use for work and I want to keep separate from my gaming machine.  I've been too busy for gaming the past few years and as a result my system is an old clunker with obsolete RAM, PCI slot, 300W PSU, etc.  It needs a total overhaul.

Even the cheapest rig I can price together with an i3, Radeon 7750, and 8gigs of RAM comes to nearly $500.  So here is a machine for roughly the same price but with an R9 270 (and arguably faster CPU)... AND I don't have to put it together (but can take apart at will)?  I would be crazy to say no! (unless of course there was a version with i5 for a little more)

Vodoo
Vodoo

Gabe Newell is one of those people that you can't tell if it's a guy or a woman.

1wikkid1
1wikkid1

This thing is more PC then any console out there... I could build a decent rig for less money than that, and I won't be restricted by whatever controls Valve implements. The $500 pricetag is way too high considering that this thing is just joining the field. Steam is great, but not every game is available via Steam, and then on top of that - how many are "optimized specifically for the Linux-based Steam OS"?... And so, what's the point of this thing? It's just another console but this time with an even smaller library. (and it looks ugly in white, IMO, looks like a glowy candy box)

wowwow27
wowwow27

Touch screen controls suck, that said, this system looks awesome!

negativeions
negativeions

This actually looks like it could be decent. Especially if the controller works well.

sinthytech
sinthytech

Yes finally a console to get excited about.

Quarkzquarkz
Quarkzquarkz

But will it run Oculus Rift!??! I NEED TO KNOW, THX IN ADVANCE!!! 

system3142
system3142

1080p 60 fps is a pretty dubious thing to say generally about games, especially about something like PC games...

voljin1987
voljin1987

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eiji1
eiji1

That 60 fps claim is idiotic. How can you claim that for "all steam games"? Maybe all the ones out so far.

But then, 1080p at the lowest quality setting will run quite fast on a low-medium computer.

So, again, idiotic. Give us the equivalent specs rather than make useless, hand-wavy claims that have no real meaning or bearing.

guitarist1980
guitarist1980

interesting. I'm not sure what to make of it. I suppose I could use my surface pro for gaming and sell my beast PC and get one of these instead. But I invested in a high end monitor that has a great picture at 1440p. Keep the X1 for exclusives. But then again i think i will just keep my pc.

jayjay444
jayjay444

it's a good idea and it looks okay as well other than the controller lol, but i'm going to be honest I think it will flop, the limitation on the games because of Linux will make people change their minds on buying one and most of the console fans will mostly go with their console of choice leaving only PC gamers to buy this and most people already have a rig much better than the steam machine and building your own PC would be cheaper and more powerful, Sorry but I think this is going to fail badly, I wish Valve well I love steam but I just can't see this being a success. 

b74kd3th
b74kd3th

This is what a console should be, shame it will not have exclusives

Boddicker
Boddicker

Strongly considering this as an alternative to a PS4 or X1.  Will have to wait to see more details.

hammoud
hammoud

I was skeptical about these steam machines at first, but now knowing that they'll be in the $500 range I'd say they'll be very competitive. It will be interesting to see how this turns out

syler4815162342
syler4815162342

Just the Green reminds me of Xbox they should make to Red or Orange, Yellow! because Blue Is for PS4!

ExtremePhobia
ExtremePhobia

@Mastermatta You are totally 100% right... until six months from now when having a unified linux platform backed by Valve provides a customer base large enough that big developers are more interested in developing for that than for Windows.

Tiwill44
Tiwill44

@Coolspot18 I think what Valve is trying to do is offer a better, more "open-source" solution for console gaming. If console gamers can't realize that the Xbox and PS4 are inferior and more expensive than this, then at least Valve can say they tried.

I hope it won't fail, because it looks like a really good product.

themc_7
themc_7

@wakkowaru where do you buy your computer supplies? A friend of mine is building a rig that kicks the crap out of this and he's not yet to his $500 spending cap.

Tiwill44
Tiwill44

@1wikkid1 What kind of restrictions? Valve is probably one of the most open-minded companies out there, they're certainly not Microsoft. And you can install Windows on it and it becomes just like a regular PC, so...

meatz666
meatz666

@eiji1 You can reduce AA, turn off V Sync or reduce Ambient and Object Occlusion for new games, to keep the 60fps.

DanielL5583
DanielL5583

@eiji1 You do realise that this is essentially a PC in the form of a console?

Because of its entirely PC-based architecture, it can be upgraded with any kind of hardware, be it a RAM upgrade, a CPU upgrade or a video card upgrade. Its sole purpose was to bring PC gaming to the living room by condensing it into a console. Read up on it and you'll see that, while it won't run all titles at 1080 at 60FPS, you can make it.

skimad432
skimad432

@jayjay444 That's why they really need to market it right.  They shouldn't just be going for the pc gamer who wants a cheaper but quality pc.  They should be marketing it to the people that are savvy enough to know that the ps4 and xbox one are not going to be able to compete with pc's in a few years.  People who would normally have bought a console but are looking for a better alternaitve to the sony/ms business model.  As someone who falls into that category my biggest concern would be "will they have enough good games like the consoles".  If they can guarantee some great games i'd be all for it, upgrading a couple parts in a few years to bring it up to the forefront of graphical output.

Kooken58
Kooken58

@b74kd3th It will have PC exclusives and many of its games will have mod support and such since valve supports the mod community, something that is far better.

themc_7
themc_7

@Tiwill44 @Coolspot18 yeah I can see what they are trying to do. But if I wanted to play PC games, I'd build a Pc and play PC games. Save the $500 you spend on this and you can be well on your way to building your own rig, A rig that would probably be better than this and it doesn't have to run this weird Linux OS. 

eiji1
eiji1

@meatz666 @eiji1 Well, duh. But even that will only get you so far. Couple of Crytek games down the road, and the Steambox won't be able to run it at 1080/60 no matter what settings you bring down.

Coolspot18
Coolspot18

@DanielL5583 @eiji1 Don't expect these machines to be upgraded ... Ultrabooks and iMacs are PC based architecture but have a lot of proprietary components and soldered hardware.

eiji1
eiji1

@DanielL5583 @eiji1 Of course I know what it is. I've been following this story since the first pics of the non-valve branded proto-steambox were released, much as I imagine you have.

Doesn't change the fact that the box, as it comes, will not run everything at 1080p/60fps forever, especially not at the highest quality level. That's literally an impossible claim to make. Which makes making it idiotic.

And as for upgrading it, unless Valve intends on upgrading the box for free (which they aren't, and they won't), that doesn't count as it being the same box. So at that point the claim becomes almost false advertising.

Coolspot18
Coolspot18

@skimad432 @jayjay444 The Xbox 360/PS3 lag in comparison to PC graphics, but for many it's good enough because there are more games, it's easier to play, and it's generally cheaper.


The PC / Console hardware comparison is moot, nerdy comparison most people don't care about.


It all comes down to what games are available and how much.

skimad432
skimad432

@Kooken58 @b74kd3th I really hope they get all the same, big, 3rd party games that consoles get.  Then, the only thing it'll be missing is the console exclusives.  However, if they come out with half life 3 and superior performance as well as a plethora of 3rd party games i'll definitely buy one.  If however it's got nothing but fps's, mmo's, and rts's i'll probably buy a console.  In other words, have the performance of a pc with the simplicity and 3rd party titles that are in line with consoles

Coolspot18
Coolspot18

@Codexing @rarson @Tiwill44 Unless SteamOS has significant adoption, developers will not be porting their games over to SteamOS.


Ports will be half assed, like how gaming is like on OSX...


Also, I don't think Valve has a much cash as Microsoft, so it's not like they can bribe developers into building for Steam OS.


The device is cool, neat, cable free ... but in reality, how many people will  buy them?


Most console gamers will stick with XboxOne/PS4. That leaves your PC gamers which is already a small crowd, and only a subset of those people will buy a SteamBox.

Codexing
Codexing

@rarson @Tiwill44 Ideally games would work better and more flawlessly than current PCs since, after all, as long as you stick to the standard Steam OS install you should have the same software as anyone else and games would be optimized for that configuration. If you decide to install Windows on it or start meddling with other additional software or alternative drivers then sure, you're in for a couple of "this stopped working correctly".


For current Steam users I still see quite a huge value in buying a Steam Box. First of all, games that you already bought for Windows will give you the Linux version for free (as long as it has one, of course). It's similar to what happened when Steam came out for OS X.

And the streaming idea is quite cool. Sure, I could hook up my computer to the TV and play games there directly, but I usually place my laptop on my desk and it's really bothersome when I want to plug it into my TV through HDMI because that means moving the laptop, power cables, mouse/keyboard, controllers and so on around the house. By having a Steam Box, even if it has Linux, I can still stream my Windows games without having to move a single device (well, my Xbox 360 controller only).


I don't see the Steam Box as a bothersome changing of my daily OS. I see it as a console I hook up to my TV set aside from my laptop which I use for work as well.

rarson
rarson

@Tiwill44

The main problem I see right now is the fact that they DON'T just "work flawlessly," and in fact, given all the issues with drivers and software support, gaming on a Steambox, or more accurately, using SteamOS *right now* is significantly more of a pain than just building a Windows-based PC and using the Steam client. And for the vast majority of Steam users, who already own loads of Windows games, Big Picture mode does everything that SteamOS does, without requiring wiping and reloading, without gimping their entire game library, and without introducing all of the hassles of gaming on Linux. Oh, and you still get to keep all of your other Windows software, too.

The only thing I see SteamOS, or a Steam Box, good for is hooking up a box to the TV to stream your Windows games, and in that case it makes no sense if you can just hook the PC up directly. I can't imagine large-scale Linux support, at least not for several years, and even then, unless Valve decides to distribute the Linux versions freely to those who own the Windows versions, I'm still losing my entire library of games I already own for what is essentially just a minor performance increase. Anything I stream is going to be whatever performance they already are on my Windows machine.

These are expensive toys for people who want to support a decent idea. Even for an enthusiast like me, it makes no sense for me to change my operating system, even though I'd love to try it (I can't, because my hardware doesn't meet the requirements).

Tiwill44
Tiwill44

@themc_7 

Well, you can install Windows on it and it becomes like a regular gaming desktop.

And it's a lot simpler for people to just buy a Steam Machine for 500 bucks and be 100% sure that everything will work flawlessly, rather than building their own rig (it can be complicated for some people, and more expensive to get all the parts in some places). Considering its specs, it's actually a very good value. And if that's not enough power, you can always upgrade it yourself or buy one of the more powerful (but more expensive) Steam Machines.

Also, if they can get more games compatible on Linux (SteamOS), it could actually be a better choice for gaming than Windows, because they said the performance is better on it since it's dedicated to gaming.

Now, I'm not saying it'll be a massive success, but... who knows? In short, it's pretty much a fully customizable PC dedicated to gaming, for the price of a console.

Coolspot18
Coolspot18

@eiji1 @wowwow27 @skimad432 @DanielL5583 It won't be - studios will target their PC releases to Windows because that has the largest marketshare. Steam OS will compete with Mac OS for any remaining development/porting resources.

eiji1
eiji1

@skimad432 @eiji1 @DanielL5583 Having to upgrade the box makes the claim a false one.

Which was my only point to begin with. Enjoy this if you want it, and I'll cross my fingers in hope you won't need special graphics cards and can just use normal off-the-shelf ones.

skimad432
skimad432

@eiji1 @DanielL5583 who cares if it's the same box.  Realistically, that'll be the only way to run the more demanding games at 60 fps.  I really hope this thing gets marketed well and sells well.  In 3 years I'll buy an upgrade and be able to run the games that won't run well on the ps4/xbox.  Bringing the pc to the living room with good games and the ability to plug in a 360 controller if I wanted would be awsome.