The Gist - 3 Ways To Choose Which Steam Machine Is For You

There are over a dozen Steam Machines on the market, so how do you figure out which one is right for you? We're here to help!

Discussion

88 comments
inmate_of_death
inmate_of_death

As much as i like valve and want them to do well I've never been sure who these steams machines are for.  Console gamers are more than likely wanna stick with consoles and same with PC gamers.  You buy consoles for simple easy setup and exclusive games and PC's for better and more varied controls, along with its own exclusive lineup, so steam machines would be a mix between the two but no console exclusives.  So that would make it lean more to a PC, and most PC gamers already have a PC they would prefer over a steam machine.  Then the streaming games is cool but its still impractical to spend that much just to put it on your TV when there are better options.  Like if I want to game on my TV with a controller i have a wireless xbox controller and i bought a 30 foot HDMI cable for about 15 bucks to put from my PC to TV, and with a few clicks its switched over.

Maj_Wood
Maj_Wood

I built by new pc for £1300-1500 it has :


Intel  i7-4770k
32 GB Cosair vengance pro ram
MSI Geforce GTX 760 2GB Twin Frozer graphics card
225 GB SSD
1TB hard drive
MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming extream motherboard


Not going to send money on something less advanced


taker254isback
taker254isback

I would never spend 2500k on a steam machine lol. Ide rather build my own i7 4770k, 16gb ddr3 2100, sabertooth mobo, 2 Tb HDD, and a single 290x for way less! A steam machine IMO is just another console!

Hells_rebelion
Hells_rebelion

Isn't a 1,500-2,500 steam machine defeating the purpose of even having one??  I thought they were bringing this concept out because it was an affordable option to standard PC gaming?  Or am I just missing the point?

Daveof89
Daveof89

I don't think I understand the concept of steam machines (or maybe they're as ridiculous to you guys as they sound to me). I built a pc (the one I'm typing on now) that is capable of running just about any game on high settings. I built it 2 years ago for just under $1,000. In January, I bought an i7 gaming laptop for about $1350, also capable of running games at high settings (and with an hdmi out/xbox controller, can play games in my living room). The laptop also functions as, well, a laptop. 


So my question becomes, why would someone want to spend $1,000+ on a machine that only serves as a console for running pc games? Even if you didn't want to (or know how to) build your own computer, you can buy a good gaming computer that can do more than just play games for the same or less than a lot of these steam boxes.

Spybreak
Spybreak

Haha, to think I wanted Falcon's Frag box a few years back when I was still in college, ahead of their time.

sickbeard
sickbeard

Unless SteamOS starts running more games, SteamBoxes will just be your run of the mill gaming desktops, of which there are plenty without Valve getting into it. Valve should have focused more on getting SteamOS to a more mainstream level before moving forward with SteamBoxes.

biggest_loser
biggest_loser

Have Valve lost their minds? Who in this economy is seriously going to pay close to $4K for a games only console? I'd hate to think. 

0o-saxon
0o-saxon

Large Monitor in entertainment room already used for PC and console, question about Steam OS, games purchased on origin, Uplay or independent non-steam games do they work on the OS?


Windows  tends to have background tasks that are not required for gaming, but essential to run windows.  What is the point of having a steam machine or OS alongside the setup mentioned above?


SaintsRowLA
SaintsRowLA

Outstanding show. Thank you Jess.


I'll have to watch it again and take notes.


Yes, the Steam Machine is something that caught me interest.  I'll go for the one that dual-boots Lynix (I don't think I spelled that correctly) and Windows.


"Upgrading hardware and updating drivers."

Very simple.  Take ESD precautions, replace video card, update with latest driver from manufactures website--the disc might not have the latest.  I don't they actually pay people for this.


sebbysebbseb
sebbysebbseb

I think I saw a mishap or two in your video Jess!  You showed a scene from Planescape: Torment and Crysis 3. Those two games isn't on steam. Unless you can stream games that isn't on the steam list? 

hystavito
hystavito

I feel like it's too early for this episode to be of any real practical use, but still it was a decent watch since there were some Steam Machines in there I hadn't heard of.

riotinto876
riotinto876

Great episode jess, but I must say you missed the opportunity to not only reference the sub $500 PC article from gamespot, but also the fact that generally buying branded PCs is a waste of money as they are grossly overpriced. What's important are the components, not the name on the box.

LittleMac19
LittleMac19

I'm sure the best Steam machine is the one you can build yourself.

UltimateBastard
UltimateBastard

have to feel sorry for the poor bastards playing up against keyboard&mouse with those joypads

Pawfalcon
Pawfalcon

I'm no early adopter so I'll see how the whole steam machine deal works out before I consider buying one but as a mostly console gamer I can see myself getting one if it ends up being as hassle-free as I expect its supposed to be. But I definitely ain't gonna be paying 4 large 0_0

VegasDawg
VegasDawg

So I got to ask, what is the purpose of this extra power if you playing on an1080p television? Soon both consoles will be doing it no problem at a fraction of those god awful prices. So help me understand 1080 is 1080 what cha going to do with all that extra power? Please don't say 4k tv, those won't be viable for another 6-7 years.

meedokicky
meedokicky

Some of those designs look pretty sweet! :)

Balderick1974
Balderick1974

The Steam machines need to get more games support local play support as I was disappointed playing on PC under the TV and I couldn't play local co-op on NBA 2k14 only server online game play (so when my mates came round they where all on laptops not ideal.  So please more local play games now PCs are entering the living room please.


I have decided to stick with PC's and sold all my consoles.  The Games etc are cheaper on PC and backwards compatibility.  Not saying consoles are crap they are still fun, I just don't have time for them and the PC (so prefer PC for Diablo 3, star craft 2, Half Life, etc, etc loads of exclusive games on all formats. I'll only miss The last of us 2 and Gears Of War but will play these at a friends house when it comes out.  Everything else is covered on PC.


Building a PC is better if you can do it yourself or get a mate to do it as far more bang for your buck compared to buying a pre-built Steam PC (don't forget you can still play origin games and what ever else you have, you are not just limited to Steam ).

steaminpotatoes
steaminpotatoes

Hmmm , I want to see the cheapest streaming, low powered machine someone can come up with, have to worry about the electrical bills :( & native game play is not a requirement of mine and was thinking of something similar to the Vita TV in size and power consumption :)

wa128
wa128

A pc of 1000 dollars might be cheaper than a console of 499 dollars... You have way more games to your disposal and they are way cheaper... Seriously like 3 or 4x cheaper most of the time.


You can get most of the AAA titles for a few years back for 9 dollar on sale... Some are even cheaper than that..


Also there is way more choice in games on pc than on console.... 


I'd say absolutely go for it to my console brothers and sisters!!



lfebaggins
lfebaggins

3 Ways To Choose Which Steam Machine Is For You

3 = Half Life 3

Half Life 3 Confirmed

Afinati
Afinati

I'm gonna stick to my laptops. The Steam machine controllers are still a bit unruly, or they at least seem like it.

wEEman33
wEEman33

STEAM MACHINE

STEAM MACHINE

DADDY SAID SON YOU'RE GONNA' DRIVE ME TO DRINKIN'

bsford
bsford

I know all of you Gamespot people LOOOOVVVEE your PC's but... 


Consoles are tried and true -they will never be replaced with steam machines. I don't get the whole (paying bucket loads to play similar games consoles have with a fraction of improved graphics) but if I were to be on board with pc gaming, then I think i would prefer an actual PC, over a steam machine... I mean, what is that controller about anyways!?


Sorry but I'll stick with my Xbox One. Almost identical graphics and games -fraction of the price, and no hassle with upgrading drivers or hardware. 

taker254isback
taker254isback

@Hells_rebelion I would never spend 2500k on a steam machine lol. Ide rather build my own i7 4770k, 16gb ddr3 2100, sabertooth mobo, 2 Tb HDD, and a single 290x for way less!

sickbeard
sickbeard

@0o-saxon  SteamOS is Linux-based. It doesn't run most games in the Steam Library unless they run on Linux

0o-saxon
0o-saxon

@shinjuki A windows gaming mode or OS on startup would be great but sadly windows concentrates on business. And MAC seems performance lacking

riotinto876
riotinto876

@VegasDawg  Those prices are branded machines prices. Never buy branded computers unless you treasure "looks" more than money.

wa128
wa128

@meedokicky  Check out the crazyyy amount of choice there is when it comes to cases.. I bet there are more than 1000 cases you can chose for pc... You can even order some custom work if you ilke.


I'm sure everyone can find a design they would like to see in their living room.

steaminpotatoes
steaminpotatoes

@Balderick1974  Well ... there's always the first gears of war on PC if you can find a copy ^_^


Also pretty sure street fighter supports local multiplayer and many more these days , sadly not all, but were getting there.


Hear towerfall is local co-op only too, so least it exists :D


wa128
wa128

@bsford  Xbox-one does not have almost identical graphics to pc...


Also games are wayyyyy cheaper on pc.



Problem with most people is that if they have already purchased a system they feel that hey have to stick by it or otherwise they have to face the fact that they have made the wrong purchase and that it is their own fault.



Petty though, there is nothing wrong with switching system after initially making the wrong pruchase.. 


I did it myself as well, but i got over my stubbornest and switched from console to pc... Never looked back, absolutely love pc gaming... 


I own 100+ games for it now, all of them better graphics and extra stuff like mods with paying only a fraction of the price.. it is awesome



We'd love to see you on steam ;)

wEEman33
wEEman33

DON'T YOU DARE MESS WITH MY STEAM MACHINE

IT'S LONG

AND SLICK

AND OLIVE GREEN

@bsford

VegasDawg
VegasDawg

@UltimateBastard @VegasDawg  I guess you just don't get it, if your TV can only display 1080p then your not going get more than 1080p so why spend the extra money? Is this really that hard?

To answer your question I've played 100's of PC games, I switched to console because I got tired of the hassle and the price of upgrading every year or so.These pc makers got you on a leash, good boy rufus good boy.

Afinati
Afinati

I'm still a pretty committed keyboard+mouse user.

wa128
wa128

@bsford @GSGuy321  I would go for a 770... plays everything and is only about 20% slower than a titan... 


You'll save enough that you can buy the 870 next year... you'll be more up to date while spending less 

bsford
bsford

@GSGuy321 @bsford  True in 2006 it might've been benificial, but not today. That gap is becoming more and more narrow. 

allty123
allty123

@VegasDawg @UltimateBastard  


It's not just about resolution! There are scores of other features; like anti-aliasing, ambient occlusion, draw distance, particles on screen, in-game physics processing, texture fidelity, AI computing (a massive one! Ever wondered why games have never had convincing massive battles or crowded cities? They have to cheat because NPC's take a lot of processing power!)... many of these are off, or turned down for the console releases! I could play Wolfenstein 3D in 1080p, but that's got nothing to do with overall 'graphics fidelity' or graphical features. 

Daveof89
Daveof89

@wa128 @bsford @GSGuy321  Can I ask you how many games you have that you play regularly?


Don't get me wrong, I'm a PC AND console gamer. I know steam sales are awesome, but I have games that I bought on sale and haven't even played yet. Plus, most of the time, I play through games once, and that's enough for me, so even though I have quite a few games in my steam library, I hardly use most of them anymore. 


I recently signed up for gamefly, and at less than $160 per year, I can essentially play whatever I feel like on the console (new releases or not). Do I get to keep them? No, but like I said, most games, I play through once, and I'm done.

wa128
wa128

@VegasDawg @wa128 @bsford @GSGuy321  They are always more expensive than on steam..


Some games go on sale for 2 dollar. Also there are more sales and more games on sale and the standard price is lower annddd the pc version is usually the superior version... 

wa128
wa128

@bsford @GSGuy321  Can I ask, how many games do you own for your consoles? And what did you pay for them?



Count them up and compare them to what you would have paid for them on pc (with better graphics and more functionality) 


You can buy last years AAA titles for 9 bucks during steam sale. Even the new releases are cheaper on pc...


You'd probably save so much on games that you can spend a little more on a better machine than your xbox one


bsford
bsford

@GSGuy321 @bsford  PC's are more capable machines that much is true, but they also cost WAY more. To me it isn't worth it.