You'd want a Steam Box instead of an Xbox One!

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#1 Edited by John_Matherson (2031 posts) -
If you think this is a Hype Thread you've obviously never seen my Hype Threads...

Finally, a multiple choice answer

Entertainment is not a one-size-fits-all world. We want you to be able to choose the hardware that makes sense for you, so we are working with multiple partners to bring a variety of Steam gaming machines to market during 2014, all of them running SteamOS.

Well, almost. The self-proclaimed PC master race still looks on at the console battle with great disdain. "Our glorious gaming machines are already far more powerful" they cry. "The next-gen consoles are already outdated" they'll tell you. "Join us" they'll chant…

The thing is, they're not wrong. Both on paper and on-screen, a PC that's marginally higher in price than the Xbox One will walk over both consoles, pumping out shinier graphics at higher resolutions. Sounds good, right?

The trouble is, many mainstream console gamers see PCs as big, loud, scary machines which only veteran geeks with soldering irons are able to put together and use.

In essence, though, the PS4 and Xbox One are PCs themselves. Processors, RAM, graphics cards, floating points, power supply – they have the whole lot.

Despite that though, the confusion around PC gaming remains – but Valve hopes to rectify the situation with its upcoming Steam Machine and Steam OS. And here's how…

SOURCE SORES

WHAT EXACTLY IS A STEAM MACHINE?

A Steam Machine is a PC with components that meet Valve's minimal performance requirements to run Steam OS – Valve's open source Linux-based operating system that's designed and optimised for gaming.

In essence, there's nothing separating a Steam Machine from a regular PC; you could install Windows on it if you wanted to and still access Valve's packed games library on the excellent Steam store. Valve has already released an update which optimises Steam for the big screen, and Steam OS will take this experience much further.

The only thing that makes a Steam Machine a Steam Machine, then, is the sticker of approval that Valve slaps on it – indicating that it meets their minimum requirements.

While those exact requirements remain a mystery, Valve has released the specs of various low, mid and high-range Steam Machines, which it will send out to 300 lucky beta testers.

The full specs below feature processors and graphics cards which vary in power, and the price and performance differences between them can be massive.

The least powerful graphics card – the GTX 660 – will set you back £160 and is a close equivalent to the graphics cards found within the next-gen consoles.

Compare that to the Nvidia GTX Titan with its £770 price tag and ability to play games at above-full HD resolutions on multiple monitors, and you begin to get an idea of the degree of variation and power that PC gaming (and therefore, Steam Machines) have to offer.

The Verge spent some time with Valve's own Steam Machine prototype, and despite it being only slightly larger than an Xbox 360, it still manages to cram in a massive Nvidia GTX Titan graphics card - an impressive feat indeed. Not only that, but the components are seperated into seperate compartments for improved cooling and air flow.

Unlike the PS4 and Xbox One, Steam Machines will vary in appearance, as manufacturers will naturally imbue their machines with their own design preferences.

Valve's own reference Steam Machine lacks an optical drive, for example, but there's nothing stopping another manufacturer from installing an optical drive into its own Steam Machine, or swapping out a hard drive for a faster SSD.

Valve will even release CAD files for its Steam Machine cases, just in case you want to make your own from scratch.

Update: Valve has spoken with Forbes and has confirmed that AMD and Intel will also be providing graphics hardware for Steam Machines next year.

Update 26/11/13: iBuyPower has revealed a prototype of its very own steam machine. The white rectangular device comes complete with an ominous red glow (though the colour is cusotmisable) and sits between the size of a PS4 and an Xbox One.

Update 05/12/13 Pixxl has revealed the Jetpack, a SteamOS gaming PC that fits onto the back of your TV. Designed for TVs between 32in and 70in, the Jetpack packs in Core i7 processors and an Nvidia Titan graphics card, along with 1TB of SSD storage. It's available from 1st January, priced £612.

Specs-wise it offers a multicore AMD CPU and a dedicated AMD Radeon R9270 graphics card (which is worth US$180 on its own), along with a 500GB hard drive and Steam OS pre-installed. All that for US$500.

The lack of Windows means that you'll be limited to Linux-compatible games only, but there's no reason why you couldn't install it yourself for full compatibility with all PC games.

A CLOSER LOOK

Images of the Steam Machine console have trickled out online from some of the 300 lucky beta testers who have received their units.

Reddit user colbehr has kindly shared shots of everything from the packaging and instruction leaflet to the Steam Machine itself, and it's looking very sexy indeed.

Smaller than a hulking gaming rig and littered with connections, this particular Steam Machine packs quite the gaming punch, with an Intel i5-4570 processor, 16GB of RAM and a beastly Nvidia GTX 780 graphics card with 3GB of video memory. Take that, next-gen consoles.

Sadly there's no pricing information available for this setup, but seeing as the GTX 780 wil run you back £400 alone, it'll be well outside the console price territory.

THE STEAM CONTROLLER

Valve's new controller is a mix between a traditional console gamepad and a laptop trackpad.

It has two large clickable circular trackpads which Valve believes offers greater fidelity than traditional joysticks. There's also a clickable touchscreen nestled in the centre which can also display actions and additional controls.

With 16 buttons in total, as well as the ability to reconfigure controls (useful for lefties), the open sourced hackable controller has certainly sparked our curiosity, and compatibility with existing Windows PCs is a plus too.

UPDATE: Valve has released a video showing the Steam controller in action, with first person shooters and a real time strategy game being used to demonstrate the level of control offered by both trackpads.

VIRTUAL WHISPERS

No, this doesn't come with the machine....

The Steam Machine could, at some point, also support virtual reality hardware similar to that of the Oculus Rift headset pictured above.

While it sounds like a rumour fuelled by the wishful thinking of gamers, Valve itselfhas fanned the flames by announcing that it will show off a prototype of what it thinks affordable virtual reality hardware will be capable of at its Developer Days conference next January

Two virtual reality sessions called "What VR Could, Should, and Almost Certainly Will Be within Two Years" and "Virtual Reality and Steam" have been scheduled for the conference, which strongly suggests that virtual reality is, at the very least an area which Valve is dipping its toes in, if it hasn't already changed into its trunks and jumped in behind closed doors already.

Valve also stated that it will demonstrate Steam VR overlay software alongside its prototype, as well as specific changes to the Steam store to accommodate the new VR interface.

Will the Steam Machine launch with a VR headset? It's too early to say, but it's definitely more than just wishful thinking at this stage. We guess the Oculus Rift will have to keep us buys until we find out more info next year.

PRICE AND RELEASE DATE

Valve is a notoriously secretive company (just try asking them when Half-Life 3 will be out), and it's keeping its lips tightly sealed regarding release dates and prices for the various Steam Machines. We'll be updating this preview with new information as and when we get it, so stay tuned.

Update 12/12/13: Valve has announced that gamers will be able to download Steam OS from 13 December. That's also the date when 300 lucky US beta testers will be receiving their Steam Machines ahead of the general 2014 launch, which still hasn't received a solid date. We're expecting to hear much more at International CES 2014.

Questions!

When can I buy one?!

Beginning in 2014, there will be multiple SteamOS machines to choose from, made by different manufacturers.

I’m pretty happy with my PC Gaming setup, do I have to buy a new piece of hardware now?

No. Everything that we’ve been doing on Steam for the last 10 years will continue to move forward.

If you guys are delivering an OS to hardware manufacturers, why is Valve also making its own box?

We're conducting a beta of the overall Steam living-room experience, so we needed to build prototype hardware on which to run tests. At Valve we always rely on real-world testing as part of our design process. The specific machine we're testing is designed for users who want the most control possible over their hardware. Other boxes will optimize for size, price, quietness, or other factors.

How will you choose the 300 beta participants?

A small number of users (30 or less) will be chosen based on their past community contributions and beta participation. The remainder will be chosen at random from the eligible pool.

Should I create lots of Steam accounts to increase my chances of getting selected?

No, that won’t work.What are the specs of the Valve prototype?We'll tell you more about it soon. Remember, there will ultimately be several boxes to choose from, with an array of specifications, price, and performance.

Where’s a picture of it? How big is it?We promise we'll tell you more about it soon.When will the prototypes ship?

This year.

Will beta testers be allowed to share info about their experience and post pictures and opinions online?

Yes, that really is the whole point. The input from testers should come in many forms: bug reports, forum posts, concept art, 3D prints, haikus, and also very publicly stated opinions.

Will I be able to build my own box to run SteamOS?

Yes.

Can I hack this box? Run another OS? Change the hardware? Install my own software? Use it to build a robot?

Sure.

Can I download the OS to try it out?

You will be able to download it (including the source code, if you're into that) but not yet.

If I’m not in the beta, how can I help and contribute feedback?

The Steam Universe Group is where feedback is being collected. Most areas of the group will remain open for participation by all Steam users. Some may be limited to beta participants only, but there will be plenty of ways to contribute feedback for everyone.

What games will be available during the beta?

The nearly 3,000 games on Steam. Hundreds already running natively on the SteamOS, with more to come. The rest will work seamlessly via in-home streaming.

What is SteamOS? What’s included?

Here's a link to what we said earlier about SteamOS. We'll have more details to tell you, soon.

Am I going to be using a mouse and a keyboard in the living-room?

If you want. But Steam and SteamOS work well with gamepads, too. Stay tuned, though - we have some more to say very soon on the topic of input.

And that...my firiends, is why you should get a PS4 and a Steambox

You're welcome : ) (just ask the girl in my sig)

#2 Posted by soulitane (13490 posts) -

I'd rather have an xbox one than a steam machine.

#3 Posted by lundy86_4 (43249 posts) -

Nah. I'm buying an X1, and i'll just build a small form-factor PC when I want it.

#4 Posted by Sweenix (5399 posts) -

I would rather have an ouya then a sega dreamcast

#5 Posted by k2theswiss (16599 posts) -

official announcement of the steam box isn't until jan 15 or something. I hope they do it right by targeting the right people. They have A LOT of potential to take a vast market share from ps4/x1

Most importantly I hope they are right about what there OS can do

#6 Posted by killatwill15 (845 posts) -

this is where it is at,

the real killer would be pricing, imagine it being twice as powerful as ps4,

yet sells for 500,

they just need some commercials with spock and robots from a game that hasn't been released to get people hyped

#7 Posted by John_Matherson (2031 posts) -

official announcement of the steam box isn't until jan 15 or something. I hope they do it right by targeting the right people. They have A LOT of potential to take a vast market share from ps4/x1

Most importantly I hope they are right about what there OS can do

They can take market from Xbone but they'll never touch the PS4 market. We have too many 1st solid parties while the Xbone will need to depend on 3rd party.

#8 Posted by leandrro (841 posts) -

2 times performance for the price? yeah...may be

#9 Posted by lostrib (36168 posts) -

Another Copy-pasta

#10 Posted by k2theswiss (16599 posts) -

@k2theswiss said:

official announcement of the steam box isn't until jan 15 or something. I hope they do it right by targeting the right people. They have A LOT of potential to take a vast market share from ps4/x1

Most importantly I hope they are right about what there OS can do

They can take market from Xbone but they'll never touch the PS4 market. We have too many 1st solid parties while the Xbone will need to depend on 3rd party.

lol. FAR more stuff on pc.

#11 Posted by speedfreak48t5p (7472 posts) -

Your threads are boring. Stop making them.

#12 Posted by iambatman7986 (411 posts) -

I want to see the selling price in comparison to upgrading my current gaming pc. This could hurt consoles if it is done right. I'm interested in seeing the Steam OS in action.

#13 Edited by Jacobistheman (3975 posts) -

That is a pretty good deal for the hardware you get in it, but you run into an issue that almost no games will run in it. It runs linux and Valve doesn't really have the muscle to force big developers away from DirectX and Microsoft and onto OpenGL which can be easily ported and run on the SteamOS.

And this will take just as much, if not more market from the PS4.

EDIT: Think about it, there is more overlap with the Xbox One and a PC, than there is with the PS4 and PC, so people with good PCs are less likely to buy a Xbox One. People without good PCs are most likely to buy this.

#14 Edited by John_Matherson (2031 posts) -

@speedfreak48t5p said:

Your threads are boring. Stop making them.

If my threads are boring system wars is Screwed

#15 Edited by millerlight89 (18509 posts) -

I know what I wanted. I got it. I don't want this thing. I have absolutely no use for this thing. Nothing about it is appealing.

#16 Edited by Jacobistheman (3975 posts) -

@speedfreak48t5p said:

Your threads are boring. Stop making them.

If my threads are boring system wars is crewed

Yes, there is a crew of mods, devs, IT people, managers, marketing people, etc that make sure that run system wars.


#17 Posted by cainetao11 (17420 posts) -

Like what I am seeing. Good thread TC. I'll see on this. PS4/X1 for me.

#19 Edited by lundy86_4 (43249 posts) -

@juarbles said:

Any intelligent person and real gamer would rather choose a dog's turd than a xbone.

Yeah... No. Go away, alt.

#20 Posted by always_explicit (2787 posts) -

@k2theswiss said:

official announcement of the steam box isn't until jan 15 or something. I hope they do it right by targeting the right people. They have A LOT of potential to take a vast market share from ps4/x1

Most importantly I hope they are right about what there OS can do

They can take market from Xbone but they'll never touch the PS4 market. We have too many 1st solid parties while the Xbone will need to depend on 3rd party.

We??? Jesus, are you on the payroll.

On topic:-

The steam machine will not capture any of the casual market unless it does some extremely clever marketing. Most casuals will not have heard of valve or have any idea why a steam machine is better or worse than a PS4/Xbox/PC.

The problem with allowing multiple manufacturers to make these steam machines is who exactly is responsible for marketing them? If each manufacturer is responsible for marketing their own steam machine then its just going to appear confusing to the consumer. All of a sudden a new product enters the market....and multiple manufacturers are going to be making different versions of the same product.

Its going to be like buying a t.v....a wall of screens with sticky labels containing monotonous specifications, thats not a product thats easy to sell in great quantities. Sure steam will profit because they dont foot the manufacturing cost but Im not sure whats in it for these multiple manufacturers at all.

#21 Posted by iwasgood2u (780 posts) -

Sorry steambox I wont get to play titanfall on it unless respawn port it to steamos

#22 Edited by lundy86_4 (43249 posts) -

@iwasgood2u said:

Sorry steambox I wont get to play titanfall on it unless respawn port it to steamos

You can install Windows. Hell, I would think you can run multiple OS' on a single system (including SteamOS).

#23 Posted by AmazonTreeBoa (16745 posts) -

The Steambox would be a waste of my money.

#24 Posted by Joedgabe (5111 posts) -

I wish i could get Excited for the Steam machine... but i already have good PC!

#25 Posted by joehult (365 posts) -

Wiiu will no longer have the gayest controller, that's an accomplishment. Seriously, when this thing fails miserably, you have only yourself to blame for the wasted money.

#26 Posted by killatwill15 (845 posts) -

@John_Matherson said:

@speedfreak48t5p said:

Your threads are boring. Stop making them.

If my threads are boring system wars is crewed

Yes, there is a crew of mods, devs, IT people, managers, marketing people, etc that make sure that run system wars.

so that is why we have so many people hard in the paint for xbox one?

#27 Posted by Jankarcop (9304 posts) -

I'd rather have an xbox one than a steam machine.

-exponentially less games

-worse gfx

-worse performance

-worse controller

-kinect instead of rift

Yup, you sound like someone who failed at life.

#28 Posted by soulitane (13490 posts) -

@soulitane said:

I'd rather have an xbox one than a steam machine.

-exponentially less games

-worse gfx

-worse performance

-worse controller

-kinect instead of rift

Yup, you sound like someone who failed at life.

Why would I want to spend more money on something like a steam machine when I can build my own PC (with windows not shitty linux) for cheaper? You're not very smart are you?

#29 Posted by ryangcnx-2 (1228 posts) -

Nope, I would rather stick to my xbox one, ps4, wii-u and custom built tower for work + PC exclusive games. And I've been trying to get my games of gog.com rather than steam as well since gog have no drm. And if you made me choose directly between Xbox one and steam box and not include the other consoles I would still choose x1 because of forza 5 and killer instinct.

#30 Posted by Zelda187 (768 posts) -

There's no doubt that the Steam Machine is destined to be far and away the most powerful "console" on the market...but...it will most likely fail miserably.

The majority of casual gamers are drawn to the reputable, household names.

Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo.

Most gamers outside of the PC community have no idea what the fuck Steam even is.

#31 Edited by moix123 (67 posts) -

stream box will gonna face some serious issues in the starting, reasons are obvious, Duo poly of x box and play stations will create problems.

#32 Posted by iwasgood2u (780 posts) -

@lundy86_4: I dont like putting multiple os on it because had bad experiences with it. It works for a few months or so then windows would stop booting up. I had linux and windows on separate partitions . Linux continued to work but not windows. Happened twice on two different pc with different linux distros. I gave up on it and my friend had the same issue as me.

#33 Posted by k2theswiss (16599 posts) -

@John_Matherson said:

@k2theswiss said:

official announcement of the steam box isn't until jan 15 or something. I hope they do it right by targeting the right people. They have A LOT of potential to take a vast market share from ps4/x1

Most importantly I hope they are right about what there OS can do

They can take market from Xbone but they'll never touch the PS4 market. We have too many 1st solid parties while the Xbone will need to depend on 3rd party.

We??? Jesus, are you on the payroll.

On topic:-

The steam machine will not capture any of the casual market unless it does some extremely clever marketing. Most casuals will not have heard of valve or have any idea why a steam machine is better or worse than a PS4/Xbox/PC.

The problem with allowing multiple manufacturers to make these steam machines is who exactly is responsible for marketing them? If each manufacturer is responsible for marketing their own steam machine then its just going to appear confusing to the consumer. All of a sudden a new product enters the market....and multiple manufacturers are going to be making different versions of the same product.

Its going to be like buying a t.v....a wall of screens with sticky labels containing monotonous specifications, thats not a product thats easy to sell in great quantities. Sure steam will profit because they dont foot the manufacturing cost but Im not sure whats in it for these multiple manufacturers at all.

i agree, If they don't do it right it will fail to do anything

#34 Posted by Snugenz (11869 posts) -

I already have a seperate Steam Machine (if i installed SteamOS, though atm it plays more games through Big Picture so meh).

#35 Posted by nyzma23 (924 posts) -

you can't play directx games on steam os so meh... i rather connect my laptop to tv and play steam big picture with 360 controller

#36 Edited by always_explicit (2787 posts) -

One of the first rules when entering the market with a new product is insuring it is understood by the potential consumers.

For seasoned internet forum dwellers and PC/console users thats a yes.

For Mr Smith who already owns an average PC Xbox or PS4 im not so sure.

The list of objective reasons for me to buy one is actually very small considering I already have a relatively new PC and a next gen console.

#37 Posted by Mystery_Writer (7924 posts) -

I'd like to see fully fledged Linux gaming, not stupid controller tacked on Linux gaming. Until then, it's definitely not for me.

#38 Posted by Telekill (4554 posts) -

Thank god they lowered the price to something more affordable. $500 is way better than the laughable $1300 I kept hearing.

I still won't buy one as I don't like the controller.

#39 Posted by MonsieurX (30038 posts) -

Why only over a X1 and not PS4?

#40 Posted by GravityX (712 posts) -

DRM box, You didn't want it in your game 'console' but here it's ok?You confused short side mega corporation hating hypocrites.

#41 Edited by speedfreak48t5p (7472 posts) -

Why only over a X1 and not PS4?

PS4 is a wonderful console. X1 is a way for Microsoft to suck money out of consumers.

#42 Posted by clone01 (24674 posts) -

@lostrib said:

Another Copy-pasta

Kid needs to be let out of the locker he was stuffed into in middle school and get some fresh air. It must be incredibly difficult to copy and paste on a phone from such an enclosed space.

#43 Edited by treedoor (7648 posts) -

Steambox looks better than PS4, but not the Xbox One.

You should change your title, TC

#44 Posted by clone01 (24674 posts) -

@speedfreak48t5p said:

Your threads are boring. Stop making them.

If my threads are boring system wars is Screwed

No. Your threads suck.

#45 Posted by clone01 (24674 posts) -

@soulitane said:

I'd rather have an xbox one than a steam machine.

-exponentially less games

-worse gfx

-worse performance

-worse controller

-kinect instead of rift

Yup, you sound like someone who failed at life.

Oh, the irony, Sniper.

#46 Edited by heretrix (37354 posts) -

I already own a Steambox it's called my PC, so I'd rather get an X1 (8 months to a year from now).

#47 Edited by clone01 (24674 posts) -

@Zelda187 said:

There's no doubt that the Steam Machine is destined to be far and away the most powerful "console" on the market...but...it will most likely fail miserably.

The majority of casual gamers are drawn to the reputable, household names.

Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo.

Most gamers outside of the PC community have no idea what the fuck Steam even is.

Pretty much. Valve and Steam are awesome. But ask anyone outside the gaming community who they are, an you'd be hard-pressed to get an answer. Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft on the other hand.

#48 Edited by Jankarcop (9304 posts) -

@clone01 said:

@Zelda187 said:

There's no doubt that the Steam Machine is destined to be far and away the most powerful "console" on the market...but...it will most likely fail miserably.

The majority of casual gamers are drawn to the reputable, household names.

Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo.

Most gamers outside of the PC community have no idea what the fuck Steam even is.

But ask anyone outside the gaming community who they are, an you'd be hard-pressed to get an answer. Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft on the other hand.

PC has more gamers and sales revenue each year than any single console.....Steam has more concurrent users than xbl and psn (4 systems) combined........

Lying isn't interesting nor worth the while on SW.

#49 Edited by Jakandsigz (4512 posts) -

Whys is your pattern only two things over and over:

1.Make overly big thread for no reason based on nothing and start arguments with Xbox people or sometimes PC people, or animal-mother.

2.Then proceed to make 1, 2, or 3, Xbox hate thread.

#50 Posted by tormentos (17801 posts) -

If the 660 model was $500 i without doubt it for a second to jump in instead of an xbox one,but higher than that i don't know.