Earlier this year, Valve announced that it would be getting into the “console” market with the Steam Machine. As its name implies, it takes the PC and stuffs into a box that even the PC illiterate can understand. For now, the only Steam Machines in existence are those built by Valve, but third-party manufacturers will start releasing their own hardware next year. We now have our first look at one of the first Steam Machines out of the gate.
Boutique PC manufacturer iBuyPower announced this morning that it will release a Steam Machine in early 2014 that looks very similar to the recently released PS4. It will also feature similar specs with the machine packing a multi-core AMD CPU and a discrete Radeon R9 270 GPU. It also comes equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 500 GB hard drive and an internal power supply. All of it will cost $500 – the same price as an Xbox One.
So, what are we looking at here in terms of performance then? The iBuyPower Steam Machine should be able to compete on an equal footing with the PS4 or Xbox One, and at times even exceed those machines. Valve and other developers will help that along as games are optimized for the Linux-based SteamOS. With the proper drivers and optimizations, a Radeon R9 270 and AMD FX CPU can output 1080p visuals at 60FPS in all but the most demanding of games.
So Valve is doing the CD-I 3DO route I see (Except more CD-I because 3DO never made their own consoles, and actually made money.) That would prevent them from wasting to much on hardware. Smart move. I wonder how well they would do.