Valve reveals specs for its Steam Machine prototype

Half-Life company reveals some units will ship with i7-4770 CPU, Nvidia Titan GPU, 16GB DDR3 RAM, and 1TB hard drive.

Valve today announced system specifications for its Steam Machine prototype, which the company will ship to 300 users this year as part of the limited hardware testing program.

  • GPU: some units with NVidia Titan, some GTX780, some GTX760, and some GTX660
  • CPU: some boxes with Intel : i7-4770, some i5-4570, and some i3
  • RAM: 16GB DDR3-1600 (CPU), 3GB DDR5 (GPU)
  • Hard drive: 1TB/8GB Hybrid SSHD
  • Power Supply: Internal 450w 80Plus Gold
  • Hard Drive: 35GB HD space
  • Dimensionsapprox. 12 x 12.4 x 2.9 in high

In a statement on the Steam Community website, Valve described its prototype as "something special." It is built out of off-the-shelf PC parts and is fully upgradable, meaning users can swap out the GPU, hard drive, CPU, or the motherboard if they want to.

"To be clear, this design is not meant to serve the needs of all of the tens of millions of Steam users," Valve said about its prototype. "It may, however, be the kind of machine that a significant percentage of Steam users would actually want to purchase--those who want plenty of performance in a high-end living room package. Many others would opt for machines that have been more carefully designed to cost less, or to be tiny, or super quiet, and there will be Steam Machines that fit those descriptions.

Valve said it is not ready to share a picture of its prototype because "they're not finished enough." However, the company said it will post images of the device before units ship to testers this year. Valve also expects users to redesign the machine from a technical perspective and from an industrial design angle, changing the enclosure in new ways.

"So high-powered SteamOS living room machines are nice, and fun to play with, and will make many Steam customers happy. But there are a lot of other Steam customers who already have perfectly great gaming hardware at home in the form of a powerful PC," Valve said.

"The prototype we're talking about here is not meant to replace that. Many of those users would like to have a way to bridge the gap into the living room without giving up their existing hardware and without spending lots of money," Valve added. "We think that's a great goal, and we're working on ways to use our in-home streaming technology to accomplish it--we'll talk more about that in the future."

Valve's Steam Machine, as well as units made by a variety of companies, will be available beginning in 2014. Hardware specifications for those machines will differ, in many cases substantially, from Valve's system, the company said. Pricing has not been announced.

Valve ended its announcement today by telling fans to stay tuned for a "closer look" at the Steam Controller.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Discussion

1715 comments
Danielkennedy00
Danielkennedy00

I would like to buy one if it got a Blu-ray drive installed too, it'll make my PS3 redundant then.

frylock1987
frylock1987

Even though I already own a fairly decent gaming rig and only see another 200$ going in to upgrading it for next gen

I would totally buy a Steambox over a X1 atleast.

It would be amazing if Gaben was able to kill Microsofts Shitbox 1 with the Steambox.

jcknapier711
jcknapier711

I can see a market for this.  I don't understand why someone would buy a PC from a boutique, because I can build my own, but there's a market for them.  Valve will probably take some business from them.

-Unreal-
-Unreal-

This isn't really what PC gamers or anyone that can build a PC with an interest in PC gaming should be excited for.

The Steam OS and controller are. Especially the OS. The best thing is, it's free.

tabaquer
tabaquer

if I7 + GEFORCE 780 IS under 1000 Euros ill buy it

shreddyz
shreddyz

I was expecting the NEW gs to not have the same story as their top story for a bloody week! I guess the new gs doesn't mean new ideas.

Triton
Triton

Price will make or break it.

JamesHetfield89
JamesHetfield89

Valve is absolutely full of intelligent, super bright people...and Gabe Newell might just be brilliant, but I don't know what they're thinking with this. I don't have any of their cost data obviously, but unless they got into this thing surprisingly with little capital, its hard to imagine them not taking a bath on it.

None of this expensive hardware wasn't available before and it's already dated. If you're trying to appeal to those bleeding edge enthusiasts, you've already missed the boat. Why would the people hypothetically in the market for this thing because of customization, give up almost all of it for only a little? Why does Valve believe anyone that would spend the money on these boxes for living room connectivity, not already have a PC in the living room? With keyboard and mouse controls and not a completely touch based controller, which is likely to be admonished by the hardcore gamers that this box is targeting, after 6 years of it's limited success on smartphones?

Where is the market for this Gabe?

billy_creel
billy_creel

It's clear this console is aimed at students and emerging markets in third world countries

profanityVP
profanityVP

I don't really see the new thing here??? don't company's already exist that build pre configured computers like dell and HP?

from what I gather, the only difference is the form factor as this will be focused for living rooms and the steamOS.

its pretty good idea, but i'm sure you can go to your local computer store, purchase all the same parts apart from the steam case,, then get the technician to build it for you, then install steam os, buy the controller,, and at the end of the day the only difference is the actual case, but it will work out cheaper i'm assuming.

razu2444
razu2444

LOL so Valve are selling consumers PC which they can already buy?

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

The high end model will probably run close to +$2,000. The lower end models look like they might be able to get away with $500-$800, depending on what they include with it.

MADDjoe
MADDjoe

This is great for peeps who want to get into pc gaming but have no Idea on how to build there own system. On the other hand if you have a decked out rig all ready no point in getting. 

enoslives7
enoslives7

The type of gaming machine is the future.................as long as you have fast broadband service.

Eza08
Eza08

How much will it cost though. That is the question. 


d3ejmz
d3ejmz

With Skyrim being "The game of the generation", it would be smart for them to use PC versions of games on this machine, so as to allow PC Console Commands and modding, the two features that make Skyrim, IMO. (And a whole raft of other great games) It's the difference between driving a vanilla Toyota Camry and a custom-built car that suits your needs perfectly (Power, Style, Comfort, and Ergonomics).


SkyUI alone makes playing on a console just a bad memory for me.

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

450W?  I don't see how that's enough for the high-end specs.

whitewarriar75
whitewarriar75

What's with this "ON SOME MODELS" are they saying their gonna release different models/sku's  of their hardware,  like what Sony and Microsoft did with their PS3 and XBOX360. If they can do that then I think this is the system for me :-) Now if they can get all those great spec's into a system, they better have some GREAT games too use them. I just hope they can keep the price reasonable.

mos2000
mos2000

Uhm - maybe it's me and my lack of PC knowledge - but WTF is a 450W power supply going to do with all these high end components.... besides fizzle?!?

krystyla
krystyla

I dont know about the backside buttons/panels of the controller. Its very hard to use these fingers (Ring, Pinky) by themselves. I love it on the Vita albeit no studio uses it to its potential and with the Vita TV none will ever do but controlled movement is hard to achieve

allever
allever

Geez, this is just a custom computer designed to Valve's specs.

Exia2004
Exia2004

console are long dead this ''new console'' are using cpus gpu HDD and ram thats what you find in a pc

blackace
blackace

SteamBox isn't a console, it's a PC made for the entertainment room. Consoles are systems that can't have their performance modified. Only thing you can change on consoles is the amount of storage it can have. That doesn't effect a console's performance.

TMK_PsYcho
TMK_PsYcho

Will garrys mod and tf2 be on it? Just wondering because that would be cool

Raeldor
Raeldor

What they SHOULD do is lower the spec and create new interfaces so that anyone can easily swap in and out memory, processor, GPU (that they could buy from Valve in the new pluggable format).

Since they have the benefit over consoles of this REALLY being a PC and thus being able to support multiple architectures, this would future proof the console without it having to have a ridiculous starting spec.

McGregor
McGregor

@-Unreal- The OS will be good if it can be a substitute for windows. If not, then it's not that much better than what is available now.

frylock1987
frylock1987

@JamesHetfield89 

Well....its a good option if its priced right. Just to have a good, running PC Rig to play games from this generation, going into next gen would run you atleast 600-700$ especially if you want to run those games on medium to max settings.

If this is priced right 400-500$, it would give gamers a better alternative to gaming if they don't like the consoles and if they don't like sitting infront of their computer for hours on end to play a game.

Please, the Steam Sales alone would help them sell consoles.

Why Buy Watchdogs for PS4/X1 at 60$ when you can get it sooner or later for the Steambox or your PC for 20$ dollars during their Holiday Sale/Summer Sale?

frylock1987
frylock1987

@profanityVP  

Thing is....Del and HP aren't gaming rigs. Just because you buy a 600$ computer from Dell or HP, doesn't mean its going to play games perfectly.....

-Unreal-
-Unreal-

@udmatador SteamBox is a pre-built PC for PC gaming on a PC gaming operating system.

blackace
blackace

@udmatador SteamBox isn't a game console. You can upgrade the SteamBox. Game consoles can't upgrade CPU, GPU, motherboard, RAM , etc...

enoslives7
enoslives7

@Eza08 It will cost $499. and it will come with a camera that spies on you and lets you order pizza.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

@whitewarriar75 They are selling you a PC.

They have multiple models with different ranges of PC hardware that are upgradable just like any PC. The idea behind it is that they are streamlined the way consoles are so that people can plug and play PC games with their TV. We are already capable of doing everything these can, they just provide a solid option for people to get into PC gaming and this works to bridge the gap.

rarson
rarson

@whitewarriar75  

Are you new to the whole Steam Machines idea or something? Valve isn't making ANY console hardware (other than maybe the controller). They're leaving that up to third parties, who can make their machines in a variety of configurations to meet a number of different budgets. If you want to, you can even build one yourself (it's all PC hardware, save for the custom enclosure). So we'll probably see Steam Machines anywhere from $200 to $1000+.

blackace
blackace

@allever Exactly. It's a PC, not a game console at all. Do PC gamers want to trade in their high end rigs for SteamBox.

tracerhank
tracerhank

@Exia2004 Well, by "long dead", one would be led to think that PS3, Xbox360 and Wii weren't multi-million-unit sellers, and that PS4 and Xbox One aren't flying off the preorder inventories. Neither is true. So I would think consoles aren't really "long dead". As far as the Steam Machine goes: As a gamer, it is interesting to me and the curiosity makes me want to try it out. Gaming is fun, after all, and I am open to being able to play PC games on the couch with an interface that may be a good substitute to keyboard and mouse.

rarson
rarson

@blackace  

That's absurd. A few years ago, you couldn't change the amount of storage it had, beyond adding a different memory card. You're just placing arbitrary limitations on what defines a "console."

Valve has two key factors which differentiate it from a PC here: SteamOS, and form factor. Form factor has yet to be revealed, but Valve seems to think it has a custom enclosure that can house this hardware while still fitting in the living room. Frankly, I'm quite interested to see what they've come up with, if it really can house a Titan without being a huge monstrosity.

If Valve gets it right, then there won't be a huge difference in the experience between a Steam Machine and one of the other consoles... with the exception that I think the Steam Machine will actually be the box that focuses primarily on gaming.

rarson
rarson

@Raeldor  

There is no system spec, there is only a minimum. These prototypes represent the high-end, not the mainstream hardware that is expected to be used. SteamOS isn't going to be limited to a certain spec or manufacturer, so there will be all sorts of platforms that will be available and I'm sure many, if not most, will be upgradeable. You don't even need a Steam box if you don't want one; you can just use your PC hardware.

Tongy26
Tongy26

@Raeldor Like a PC, only more restricted. Sorry dude, I don't think demand would be there. Creating a new format for pluggable 'upgrade' parts would be financial suicide for Steam too. PC format gives them flexibility that consoles don't have and they should hang onto that. 

BLaverock
BLaverock

@blackace @udmatador Good point. And if anyone knows anything about Steam, they know it gets a piece of all the pies--Microsoft exclusives, Sony exclusives, and if you buy them during Steam Sales, for a fraction of the price (which, btw, you will never get such a good deal on with consoles)!

blackace
blackace

@enoslives7 @Eza08 You don't need to pay $500 for that to happen. lol!! You're already being spied on by your government. Ordering Pizza is free to do.

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

@rarson @blackace Agreed re: Titan -- also add "without being a fire hazard."  I don't know of too many entertainment centers that have datacenter-grade cooling.

Raeldor
Raeldor

@rarson @Raeldor That's interesting, so you think there are going to be different flavors of Steambox?

Raeldor
Raeldor

@Tongy26 I'm not talking about creating a new interface standard, just a form factor.  For example, CPU, GPU, memory could sit on a slide-in cartridge with fan already in the cart.  CPU sitting inside the cart would have the regular PGA (or whatever) interface, same for the memory.  One of the benefits of the PC is upgradability.  Why not bring that to consoles?

d3ejmz
d3ejmz

@DarkAztaroth @blackace @allever Or on a higher-spec, cheaper machine they build specially for the purpose, and not be locked-in with Steam's design decisions. Hardware lock-in, a disease well known to console users, is a lot like bad breath. Everyone who has it hates to admit to the fact.

Raeldor
Raeldor

@ERRMAHGERD But the reality is... a) That spec will be too expensive to compete with consoles.  b) Those devs will ALREADY be creating for 1000 different systems because there's no way they will release a Steambox version and not release a PC version with them already being so close in architecture.

ERRMAHGERD
ERRMAHGERD

@Raeldor @jakesnakeel oh yeah best reply ever. Do you realise that this machine is made with the CONSOLE idea in mind ? I mean, the specs are supposed to be static, and let me tell you, a freakin' Titan ? 4.5 teraflops ? That's like, Sony, in 10 years. Regardless, this is PC ground. So, that being said, the idea here is to have ONE system to optimize to, get it ? One system to allow devs to go "holy shit now it's just like a console, ONE optimization. No more "hey this isn't optimized because fuck you, you created 1000 different systems. Ok, maybe not 1 optimization, but it's sure as fuck less than 1000 different systems.