Valve To Release Steam-Enabled PCs To Compete With Next-Gen Consoles

By Ishaan . December 8, 2012 . 5:00pm

Valve are getting ready to roll out Steam-enabled PCs that you can hook up to your TV next year, company founder, Gabe Newell, shared with Kotaku during a recent interview.

 

These PCs, according to Newell, won’t be as open-source or malleable as regular computers, but will be targeted at consumers that want a “turnkey solution” for unifying their PC and their living room entertainment.

 

“Well certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environment,” Newell said. “If you want more flexibility, you can always buy a more general purpose PC.” Newell goes on to add that the advantage of PCs is in different kinds of packages available, which lets buyers decide what would suit them best.

 

Additionally, Valve may not be the only company releasing these types of PCS. Newell expects other companies will roll out similar packages, too, and that they will compete directly with the next generation of consoles.

 

While standardized PC hardware sounds like a fantastic proposition, the question is just how much these PCs will be restricted in terms of what you can do with them. What OS would they run on, for instance, and what software would they support? We’ll find out next year.


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  • http://s932.photobucket.com/ usagi_san

    While I’m not a PC gamer nor am I knowledgeable on the upgrading of a PC, the last paragraph are the questions that come to mind with this venture. With the main draw of PC gaming being able to continually update the various components of the PC to support future titles.

    Wouldn’t this be considered a step backwards for what PC gaming is about?

    On the other hand, wouldn’t it allow for people looking to get into PC gaming, with little to no knowledge for building gaming PCs, to have something that would provide the console experience of ‘plug in & play’?

    • Fr33Kingdom

      True but that’s not really the only draw. Pc’s also have the lowest barrier of entry when it comes to development, and of course steam.

    • Hemppa

      I would look this more from console gamer’s perspective, that’s the target audience anyway. 360 and PC gaming are so homogeneous by now, that there’s hardly difference anymore… I hope in the future we can keep having these two system categories blur the lines and have Linux come in the play.

    • CirnoLakes

      It will basically be like buying a console with the PC library. Or at least the growing chunk of the PC library that Steam has.

      When you want to upgrade it. Buy a new Steam console “PC”. Want to play the PlayStation 2 games? Upgrade by buying a PlayStation 2. Want to play the new Steam games? Upgrade from your Steambox to a Steambox 2. Plays all the new games for 8 years or so!

  • Fr33Kingdom

    My pc is already steam enabled.

  • http://whatistheexcel.com/ Excel-2014

    The joke is that most gaming PCs are already far superior in resources than the next-gen consoles.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      You’re missing the point, though. This is about standardization and people who don’t want to have to worry about components and upgrades. They just want a basic PC that they can plug into their TV and play console games on.

      • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

        I wonder if this P.C they are going to roll out will be able to play all the doujin game i bought before?

        • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

          That’s a good question. In general, what software these things will support is up in the air right now. Would one be able to run Photoshop on it and use it for work, for example?

        • http://www.carpefulgur.com SpaceDrake

          Doujin-soft is typically incredibly resource-light, so I have absolutely no doubt this would run anything of that sort you could buy on Steam. (And that’s getting to be something of a selection now!)

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            I think he meant more in the way of, “Will whatever OS this thing runs on even be compatible with those games?”

            Valve are a pretty big proponent of Linux. Who knows what OS they’ll go with. Unless, of course, different companies provide Steamboxes with different operating systems.

          • malek86

            I don’t know if Valve would choose Linux for this. I know they are making steps forward, but drivers are not at a point where you can use Steam regularly on it, and that’s not counting all the AAA games using D3D, for which there’s essentially no proper solution aside from running them on Windows.

            Perhaps they’ll strike a deal with MS and use some modified version of W8, or maybe they’ll just use W7 so they don’t ahve to deal with the Store… dunno… but a setbox with Linux would be too limited to be of use to the average guy, who would buy one and then think “hey, why can’t I buy COD?”.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            Well, W8 would be the ideal solution as far as support goes, obviously, but I don’t know if Valve and Microsoft would be able to reach an agreement on that front that they feel is mutually beneficial. After all, Valve would need to pay licensing fees in order to distribute hardware with Windows on it.

            Linux would be terrible, I agree.

          • http://www.carpefulgur.com SpaceDrake

            The main issue is that Valve and Microsoft are more or less straight-up antagonistic now; it is fairly clear that Microsoft’s long-term plan is to make Windows a walled garden with their own store as the only source of applications, including games. MS has no motivation to “cut a deal” with Valve.

          • malek86

            But right now Windows is the only thing that will run most of the modern PC blockbusters. If this Steambox can’t do that, people will not bother, and just go for consoles or some pre-assembled PC.

            Is there any solution that doesn’t involve asking every developer out there to use OpenGL instead of D3D (unlikely to happen), or using Windows (which Valve sems unwilling to do right now)?

          • http://www.carpefulgur.com SpaceDrake

            The main issue is that Valve and Microsoft are more or less straight-up antagonistic now; it is fairly clear that Microsoft’s long-term plan is to make Windows a walled garden with their own store as the only source of applications, including games. MS has no motivation to “cut a deal” with Valve.

          • CirnoLakes

            “Perhaps they’ll strike a deal with MS and use some modified version of W8″
            I would think it would be more likely for them to strike a deal for rights to DirectX distribution.

            Which I can only assume would cost many millions. I have a limited market understanding, but I’d guess somewhere between 20 and 100 million dollars. Which is insane.

          • malek86

            Would MS agree? Even if they offered like 200 millions, this move would have the potential to disrupt MS’s dominance in the gaming sector. They’d have to be crazy to agree.

            It’s more likely that Valve will run along with Linux and OpenGL and try to convince devs to use it. It might take a long time, then, to become a relevant platform.

          • http://www.carpefulgur.com SpaceDrake

            Ah, yes. Realistically they’re going to have to find some way to get their existing DX11/Windows game library to work feature-complete on Linux without extensive porting being required. Otherwise very few people will bother, even with Steam.

      • Godmars

        Yeah, but those are called consoles. At best if this works its either going to promote a return to system exclusivity – something most devs can no longer afford to do – or more of what we’re seeing now which is partial exclusivity. All the crap going on with Gamestop and Amazon getting some special DLC.

        I hate partial exclusivity.

        • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

          Yes, but consoles can only be used for two things, primarily–to play games/movies or to browse the web. They are not referring to this as a console, they’re referring to it as a living room PC or a “restricted PC”. Something in between regular PCs and consoles.

          I don’t know why this would have any bearing on exclusivity whatsoever either . If anything, more and more developers are starting to go multiplatform with their HD titles. Those that were previously console-exclusive are now starting to consider the PC a viable platform as well.

          • Godmars

            Games/movie/web are three things actually. Three things further qualified by physical media or download.

            Also since the current gen they have been restricted PCs. At least the PS3 anyway which had Linux, which proceeded to go horribly wrong. This gen has just been a horribly implemented attempt to emulate PCs.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            Well, they can either be three categories of entertainment or they can be three different forms of entertainment all in the same “console” category. Clearly, a PC would allow for things that a console would not. That’s the whole point. This isn’t a “console trying to be a PC”. It’s a “PC trying to be a console”.

          • Godmars

            What exactly will a restricted PC do that a console wont? How is one nothing but a console except its not called one?

            Actually, the more I think about it its likely just a rebranding, the non-branding, of a game console to make people think they aren’t buying a console.

          • http://eonhack.blogspot.com theclaw

            It’s more likely a hybrid similar to Commodore 64. That had a keyboard, programming environment, and ports for things like printers or modems, yet could be used casually by booting direct to cartridge to play games using a joystick.

          • CirnoLakes

            “It’s more likely a hybrid similar to Commodore 64.”

            Ah yes, for the first time in years it is a return to those days. Those were also the days when Japanese video games were common on non Microsoft computers like the MSX.

            I really want a return to those days, and I think we may be finally seeing that for the first time since Nintendo destroyed the PC game market in Japan and Microsoft took over the PC platform. Thanks to things like Ubuntu, the problems in Windows 8, the prolific Linux-like Android OS, it looks like the Microsoft dominance of the OS market may dwindle, and the gaming market of the PC may actually rise.

            I think we may be seeing the growing pains of a new era much like the one the Commodore existed in. Where software isn’t very exclusive and hardware is more classed by being small, medium, or large, rather than console or desktop or anything like that.

            Why? Because affordable hardware can do just about anything right now. And the limitations of it is much a relic. Most hardware shares the same responsibilities as others on some level(phones are pdas, consoles are internet browsers, tvs are browsers), and that will only grow from here.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            I see pursuing this debate with you any further is pointless, since you seem adamant to not see the point of it.

          • Godmars

            What’s wrong with admitting that you don’t really know enough to draw an accurate conclusion, or that you and others might have fallen for Orwellian double-speak by the only company that could pull it off much less exploit it?

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            You aren’t “drawing an accurate conclusion,” you’re missing the point entirely. They use the word “PC” not “console”. They aren’t stupid. They know the difference. This is the company that made PC gaming relevant again this past generation.

            Just how much of a PC these boxes will be remains to be seen, but they are clearly going at it more from the PC side than from the console side—or at least, that appears to be the intent. If you can’t infer that from the wording and quotes used, I’m not sure what else to say.

            As for “What exactly will a restricted PC do that a console wont?” For starters, it will let you use a mouse/keyboard and custom controllers. It will allow you to upgrade your hardware. It will allow you to run other applications that couldn’t be run on consoles at all. I didn’t think any of this was really that hard to understand/infer.

          • Godmars

            The point is at this time consoles aren’t really consoles anymore. That for the longest Valve stayed away from them, got 3rd parties to do ports, and that Gabe walking out into a Sony conference to swallow crow was a big deal. That other mainly PC-only devs like iD and Crytech have only bitched and moaned about consoles even as they pushed console games should at least indicate that they’d be shy of calling their own such. Would make it as accessible as possible, but we just don’t know what that exactly means right now.

            Also, pretty sure the PS3 was keyboard and mouse enabled – I use a wireless one on mine – its just that devs never use or account for the functionality.

          • CirnoLakes

            “This gen has just been a horribly implemented attempt to emulate PCs.”

            That’s just the natural order of things.

            The consoles have always been trying to do things like that but never have been able to very effectively. The Famicom had a keyboard. The SNES had Mario Paint. The Super Famicom had a radio network add on. The PlayStation played audio cds. The PlayStation 2 played movie DVDs. It just wasn’t very affordable to give consoles other PC exclusive software like internet browsers and the like long ago.

            That, however, is changing. And the main real reason why people on the PC fandom side are decrying the end of console, is because PCs are becoming much more affordable and friendly with every generation, much more so than in the SNES days(those were the days of Windows 3, and if you wanted to play games, an SNES was a considerably more affordable option, and even the PlayStation was remarkably more friendly and cinematic experience than using Windows 95/98).

            As technology moves forward, the console hardware and PCs are becoming far more overlapping. Tablets in fact are essentially a kind of proprietary Linux/Unix laptop without a keyboard. And technology is moving to a point where there is not much purpose in having different hardware do different things. The real argument that the PC will take over isn’t for any real reason but that increasingly, there isn’t much point is separating hardware out into anything but small(phones/handhelds), medium(laptops/tablets), and large(desktops/consoles). And phones, tablets, and desktops may win the war against handhelds, laptops, and consoles. Or they may just further mesh to the point they’re the same thing.

            There really isn’t much point anymore in there being a difference between a phone and a handheld, a tablet and a netbook/laptop, a console and a desktop. The analogue TV is dead, the VCR is dead. And these differences left over from that era aren’t very user friendly. The console is somewhat of a relic right now. As is the handheld.

          • Godmars

            Still, much of the problem came from many devs both unable and not wanting to understand available technology. A lot of things being shown off too soon like Alan Wake and even FF13.

          • CirnoLakes

            The problem is, I think, to grab a decent portion of the console market, they would need to market it effectively to the console crowd. And that means making it very console like and very console gamer friendly. I needs to feel like a console in many respects.

            I fear it won’t be enough of a console to win over many console gamers.

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/xxHiryuuxx Tohsaka

        If we’re to expect this puppy to play Crysis 3 out of its box at recommended settings, that’s not going to be a cheap Steam Box.

        • CirnoLakes

          “If we’re to expect this puppy to play Crysis 3 out of its box at recommended settings, that’s not going to be a cheap Steam Box.”

          Not really, especially if they even remotely sell it at a loss. The average PC has been powerful enough to run the Crysis games for a long time. And Crysis 3 isn’t proving to be a lot more demanding than the other 2 that I’m aware. Personally, I think Final Fantasy XIV 1.0 was much more demanding that Crysis. Though I wouldn’t know since I don’t really pay attention to first person shooters at all.

          I think they could sell it for less than the Wii U and you be able to play all of the games just fine.

  • Syltique

    If there was any justice in this world, this would kill the next Xbox. PS4 will still offer a lot of titles that never come to PC. Microsoft being in the console business doesn’t really help anyone.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      …what?

      • Syltique

        I’m not sure what’s so confusing about it. Several of Microsoft’s exclusives are also on PC. They only really have Gears and Halo, and that’s about it. Xbox is a standardized PC, only with a huge paygate for Xbox Live, and more expensive games. A Steam Box would do everything Xbox does, but better, and cheaper. You would really only miss two game series.

        Sony on the other hand has a much stronger 1st party lineup of stuff that will never be on PC. They also have a lot of Japanese exclusives that will never be on PC.

        A lot of people this gen got PS3 and Xbox 360. If the Steam Box delivers they should get that and PS4. The next Xbox will be largely redundant.

        • http://twitter.com/RaiuLyn Raiu

          So what you’re saying is…

          Microsoft might leave the console market due to lack of support and software… The third-party games that Microsoft heavily relies on is already available for this so-called PC/Console/Whatever-it-is from Valve as well as it being better and cheaper thus could entice a lot Xbox consumers migrating over… Sony and Nintendo survive this by ensuring many exclusive titles that are not available anywhere and since the only games Microsoft has left as their first party titles to keep them afloat are Halo, Gears of War and Forza… With that little selection of exclusive titles in mind, consumers might get less interested in Microsoft’s console thus leaving them the choice of either Sony’s PS4, Nintendo’s WiiU and Valve’s consolized PC..

          TL;DR version, it’s gonna be like the Dreamcast all over for Microsoft thus makes Valve’s consolized PC the spiritual successor of the Xbox… Like how Xbox is that of Dreamcast’s spiritual successor…

          • Syltique

            Yes, exactly. I’m not saying it will happen. I’m saying that if consumers are actually informed and make informed purchasing decisions, it should happen.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            Yes, and Microsoft are just going to sit there and not do anything with all those new studios they’ve been acquiring/constructing these past few years. Riiiight.

          • http://twitter.com/RaiuLyn Raiu

            We haven’t heard anything from those new studios for a while now, have we? I was making sure of the comment I was commenting on… It doesn’t mean it will happen according to what I said…

        • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

          Except… you seem to be forgetting that PS3 wouldn’t have as many games to begin with, if not for the Xbox. Most multiplatform titles are built with the Xbox in mind and then ported out to other platforms. Increasingly, even those from Japan.

          I’m not sure what these amazing Japanese exclusives on PS3 are either. Square Enix and Capcom titles are all multiplatform. From Software games are multiplatform. Most of the major RPGs are on portables. If anything, Sony have lost the majority of their exclusives this generation, aside from their first-party ones.

          If you’re looking at games like those from Gust or NIS, I’m sorry, but those appeal to a very, very tiny portion of the market. I wouldn’t even use those to predict market trends in Japan, let alone the worldwide market at large.

          • Syltique

            Xbox lost nearly every exclusive they had. Mass Effect, Alan Wake, even one of the Gears games, Ninja Gaiden 2, The Last Remnant, Star Ocean, and on and on. They had a string of exclusives at the very beginning of this gen, and then that dropped off a sharp cliff. They now only have a handful of games.

            Sony has too many to even list them all, and they hold on to almost all of them. Puppeteer, Uncharted, Last of Us, Ni No Kuni, Yakuza series, Versus XIII, Valkyria Chronicles, Gran Turismo, 3D Dot Game Heroes, Flower, Journey, Unfinished Swan, Resistance series, Ratchet and Clank series, Demon’s Souls, Dead Nation, Disgaea, Heavy Rain, Beyond, Metal Gear 4, Little Big Planet, Tales of series, White Knight Chronicles 1 & 2, Folklore, just off the top of my head. I’m sure I’m forgetting several.

            And I don’t know what you’re talking about with the building for Xbox first comment. This gen started with devs building for Xbox first, and they had a lot of problems with PS3 versions. Now most build PS3 first because it’s easier to port to 360, and both versions turn out better. Also, this has no relevance at all in regards to next gen development. I’m pretty sure Sony won’t go for cell again, and the days of making your architecture complex so that the systems slowly increase in quality over time is over. Sony won’t do it next time, so it really won’t be a differentiating factor at all.

            “Yes, and Microsoft are just going to sit there and not do anything with all those new studios they’ve been acquiring/constructing these past few years. Riiiight.”

            How many of these will stay exclusive though? How many won’t be on PC? This is the only question that matters. Microsoft spends their money on keeping DLC out of other people’s hands for 30 days. Sony spends their money on making more 1st party games.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            I’m… I’m not quite sure how to reply to this. You’re rather delusional. If you’re going to lower this debate to level of fanboy list wars, I’m not really interested in participating.

          • Syltique

            I tried to be civil, but you’re going to call me delusional and then say I’m lowering the debate? That’s pretty ridiculous.

            The whole discussion was about exclusives. Why is a list inappropriate? It was about comparing the number of exclusives on PS3 versus the number of exclusives on Xbox. My post was 4 paragraphs long, and it’s not all a list. Feel free to list all the upcoming 360 exclusives though if you want. I won’t call you a fanboy if you do.

            Also, I’m not at all a fanboy. I got a 360 at launch for Oblivion and Ninja Gaiden 2, and had it for years before I ever got a PS3. I still have both systems. I also had the first Xbox, and preferred it over PS2.

            If you don’t want to respond at all, that’s fine. But don’t call me a delusional fanboy for no reason. I never made this personal.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            No, this discussion is about you going: “I like X console, so Y console should die because nobody else likes it, too.”

            (Ignoring the fact that 50% of the market owns Y console and that more people are buying Y console than X console in the U.S. even as recently as this month.)

            You then proceeded to try and justify the death Y console deserves by pointing out a list of games that supposedly went from being exclusive to being multiplatform when that was the intent all along. No developer ever committed to those games being exclusives. They were out first on 360 because the PS3 wasn’t going to come to market until much later.

            During this elaborate explanation, you also mysteriously ignored all of the games that were fully expected (and intended) to be exclusive to X console (Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Monster Hunter being the major ones) but were made multiplatform or exclusive to other consoles because X was selling like crap and is hard to develop for.

            Your whole argument is based around the fact that you think Y console should die in the future because X console is somehow magically better, when clearly, game publishers and developers appear not to agree with this logic. If that isn’t delusional, I don’t know what is.

          • Syltique

            “You then proceeded to try and justify the death Y console deserves by pointing out a list of games that supposedly went from being exclusive to being multiplatform when that was the intent all along. No developer ever committed to those games being exclusives. They were out first on 360 because the PS3 wasn’t going to come to market until much later.”

            I have the games still, and they have the “ONLY ON XBOX” tag on the front. They were definitely sold to the public as exclusives. Ask Tales of Vesperia fans in Japan.

            “During this elaborate explanation, you also mysteriously ignored all of the games that were fully expected (and intended) to be exclusive to X console (Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Monster Hunter being the major ones) but were made multiplatform or exclusive to other consoles because X was selling like crap and is hard to develop for.”

            You say elaborate in more of your mocking tone, making it personal when I’m still not. It’s just 4 paragraphs. It took me 30 seconds to write it. It’s not that elaborate. Yes, PS3 lost some exclusives, mostly Final Fantasy XIII. Why are you listing Monster Hunter and Dragon Quest? Were these series ever announced for PS3? I don’t know what you’re talking about here.

            And where did I say anything about PS3 sales numbers? It had a pretty rough launch because of the price, and an overly complex programming architecture. I said this as much in my last post, which is also why most games are developed for PS3 first now. Again, this isn’t going to be a factor next gen. This is a conversation about Valve’s console competing with PS4 and the next Xbox. PS4 won’t use the cell, I can guarantee it. Your point here is valid, but it’s pretty much irrelevant. I never contested any of it.

            “Your whole argument is based around the fact that you think Y console should die in the future because X console is somehow magically better, when clearly, game publishers and developers appear not to agree with this logic. If that isn’t delusional, I don’t know what is.”

            Mocking me again. When did I say it’s magically better? I said it’s better because it offers more exclusive games. That’s all I said all along. Microsoft will offer a system with less exclusives, and more games that will appear on a strong competitor’s console, the Steam Box. In contrast, PS4 will likely hold on to more exclusives, differentiating it from the Steam Box. It’s not magic, so again, I don’t know why you’re being rude.

            What are you talking about game publishers and consumers for, saying they don’t agree? I said in my post at the bottom that I’m not predicting that this will happen. I’m saying that if consumers made more informed choices, they would make it happen. If the next Xbox doesn’t offer much in the way of competition or exclusive content, why should people pick it over PS4 or the Steam Box? I don’t know honestly. Halo, Gears?

            If you want to respond, try and do it without insulting me next time. The only one that seems like an angry fanboy here is you. Ban me if you want.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            Of course they have the “only on Xbox tag”. They were only on Xbox at the time that they were released. I don’t understand how this is relevant to the discussion at all?

            You were the one that started this inane discussion in the first place. I don’t see why there’s need for any console to “die” at all.

          • CirnoLakes

            Honestly, I think that the number of exclusives between the consoles is about equal. While the XBOX did miss out on many exclusive games. my beloved Tales of Graces f just being one of them.

            They also got:
            DoDonPachi Daifukkatsu
            Blue Dragon
            Beautiful Katamari
            Lost Odyssey
            Deathsmiles
            Instant Brain
            Fez
            Forza Motorsport 4
            Pac-Man Championship Edition DX
            The Idolm@ster
            Otomedius

            I say this as someone who likes my PlayStation 3 a lot better than my XBOX 360, by the way.

          • http://twitter.com/Zufield Zufield

            I’m pretty sure Pac-Man DX is a multiplatform release, because I’m playing it on my Trips right now. Just saying.

          • CirnoLakes

            Gust and Nippon Ichi should be more popular.;_;

            But that is indeed a very correct assessment. Also, I feel that a large part of the reason the XBOX 360 hasn’t done better in Japan is a complicated mixture of poor marketing(advertising kinds of games not very popular in Japan) greater familiarity with Sony and Nintendo, and a feeling of user unfriendliness in comparison to Sony and Nintendo’s products(red ring of death notoriety, noisiness, and Mii looking characters all over the place is not the way to make a good first impression.)

            And even despite all this, it is not as if the XBOX 360 had not sold at all in Japan. In fact in comparison to things like the Gamecube it did fairly well. And I think that Japan is becoming more familiar with the XBOX product. And the XBOX got massive support from Japanese developers.

    • Luna Kazemaru

      What the hell did I just read.

      • malek86

        I don’t know, but I think my IQ just went down a few notches simply by reading it.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/kaishou Kaishou

      uh…ignorant much?!

  • enorka miho

    I do not particularly mind.. As long as I still get my occasional shot of JRPG… Or else, this thing will be out of my radar..

    • Mike Pureka

      uh, good luck with that. The number of JRPGs on Steam is TINY, and they’re mostly just ports of 16 bit titles.

  • Suicunesol

    Price please. If it’s going to compete with consoles, it will need a competitive price no matter how powerful it is.

    • Hemppa

      Somehow I think Valve would price a living room PC pretty comfortably, don’t see reason for them to try get huge profits from the hardware. Much more important for the is to get the machines into living rooms in the first place, even at loss.

  • Jungo

    This is what all those hardware engineers they were hiring were about, right? Not particularly surprised if so, and this seems like a very logical next step.

  • http://www.segalization.com/ Kuronoa

    Hmm I”ll keep this in mind cause I don’t have much desire to upgrade unless my current computer goes out but I do want to play a couple of games exclusive to Steam. Thankfully many I can play now but lazy.

    • http://openid.anonymity.com/5HuDuQyz Woot

      I agree. I just upgraded mine recently after going through 5 years with an old one, which, to be honest, gave me no problem whatsoever, but it felt like I needed this upgrade. Hopefully, this new one will last another 5-6 years or even more.

      That and I’ve always been a console gamer anyway.

  • TruSpindash

    This is interesting to say the least. I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea that it might serve as a sort of in between for a PC and Game Console. The only thing I can imagine is a gaming computer at console prices, that can continue to be ungraded at lower cost then a regular Computer.

  • Crazy_O

    It might lead to more japanese developers releasing their games in english on Steam.

    One can only dream…

    • CirnoLakes

      That’s basically my entire reasoning for supporting this move.

      I want to chip away at the console exclusive library, and I covet the library of Japanese games the XBOX 360 has I’d rather play on my PC.

  • Locklear93

    This doesn’t need to compete with the console manufacturers in order for it to be a win for gamers. I know some downright PS3 fanboys who love their trophies–something Sony brought into play AFTER launch, when they realized people really liked Xbox 360′s achievements. The PS3 and Xbox 360 have been aggressively courting video services in an effort to stay ahead of each other (something I gotta admit, I don’t care about, but more features for the consumer is a win regardless). I’m sure I could come up with more examples, but the point is this: the console race outside of Japan is very aggressive. If a Steam consoleish-PC introduces features, it may inspire the PS3 and Xbox 360 to follow suit, to the benefit of us all.

    For me? Steam is far and away easier for indies and minor studios to get into than either major console. If a Steam-based system motivates the “big boys” to start treating indies better, I’m all for it–even if I myself continue to play my PC games on the full tower sitting on my desk.

    • Nemesis_Dawn

      You’ll forgive me if I am having trouble figuring out what anything in the first paragraph has to do with the second one of your post. There’s something about fanboys and trophies, then suddenly, you’re talking about video, which you don’t care about…but the console race outside of Japan is very aggressive.

      Then suddenly, your subject becomes about indies and how hard it is for them to get on a console.

      • Locklear93

        The point is that good things from one place can move to another if the other manufacturers get concerned about looking like they’re behind. It happened with achievements for Sony (they implemented trophies in response), and my personal hope would be that Steam’s friendliness toward indies would spur the others to improve their own. I didn’t really think the connection was that vague, but I could be mistaken.

  • Grenalie

    This is a pretty stupid idea and will probably flop.

    • CirnoLakes

      Care to give a reasoning for this argument?

      • Grenalie

        Consoles have the “restricted game box” idea down pat, the thing that makes PC more appealing is that it’s open.

  • Silver Citizen

    I’ve always been interested in playing certain games on PC but I’ve never been too knowledgeable at PC building so this actually has my attention. I’m just wondering what it can handle in terms of graphics and framerate. An example would be the The Witcher and The Witcher 2. Could I play those at max settings on Valve’s machine?

    • malek86

      There’s little point in asking ourselves this until we get specs.

      However, I imagine that Valve will convince devs to have a “Steambox” setting in their games, which essentially regulates graphics so that they’ll run well on the machine.

  • Andar

    I’m all for Valve trying to make PC gaming more approachable for people, but to echo what a few others have said here, I have some major worries (not problems, just worries) about this approach. From what I understand, Valve isn’t trying to introduce a ‘new’ system by any means, which is great! What I worry about, then, is that somewhere along the line, someone will start getting the idea that this is separate from a ‘regular’ PC.

    I’ll be honest. Even though the number of major consoles in the market isn’t increasing (yet, I guess we’ll have to wait and see what exactly Ouya does to it, but bear with me), I feel like we are getting to a point where there are too many consoles. An exceedingly large number of high-budget, Western-made games are being released for PC, PS3, and X360 all at once, and now with the WiiU carrying similar capabilities to the latter two, expect to see the trend adapt to all four consoles (and expect a fair number of Eastern games to appear on all the consoles, with a gradually increasing number on PC anyway). In a way, that’s not so bad; it frees consumers to have their choice of system. But then what exactly becomes the major factor in choosing a system? Controls? The dwindling number of exclusive games?

    I feel like Microsoft is putting up a hard fight to stay in the market. Many of the top selling console games released for it are on other consoles, and while it does have exclusives, it can’t compare to the number of top selling exclusives on the other consoles. Microsoft doesn’t have a handheld out (and with the way that market is going for the two that do, I’m not saying they should), and they even compete with PC, which is to a small extent self-defeating. What I do see happening, is Microsoft getting a lot of ‘timed exclusives’. Games, demos, DLC packs. I can’t blame them for doing what they can to stay competitive in a tough market, but this is an example of the kind of thing I’m having a hard time getting behind. And this is by no means limited to Microsoft either. Sony has become a bit infamous over the past few years for some quality issues with games first released on other systems, and conspicuously absent DLC packs. And there are plenty of ports of console games to PC that just did not pan out very well. What I’m getting at here is that developers make one game, with one experience in mind, and consumers all want that particular experience. But when it gets to the various systems it is to be played on, that game becomes differentiated in ways it was never intended to be. We see good games turn into very bad games, and consumers feeling penalized for not buying the ‘correct’ system for a particular game (or for buying the wrong version of the game if they own multiple systems).

    tl;dr: If companies want to compete in the video game market, great, but the consumer should benefit from competition, not suffer for it. I hope Valve’s approach doesn’t make this worse (not saying it will either, I hope it goes well for them).

  • Kai2591

    Interesting….Let’s see how it’ll go~

  • psycho_bandaid

    I wonder will this system retain the same specs throughout the generation or will it be like apples products where you have to buy a new one every 2 years in order to stay current? Or will future games on steam be required to be playable on the steam box?

  • Go2hell66

    so it will just be a really expensive console?

    • CirnoLakes

      I theory, it shouldn’t have to be. Looking at the price of the Ouya, which is trying to enter the console market, it doesn’t take a lot of power to run a lot of games, especially if it the software is optimized.

      I built a home theatre PC recently for around $200 that plays pretty much every game on my Steam library. This means Valve could do it even more efficiently and might even make a more powerful console than the Wii U for a cheaper price.

      I rather tire of the notion that the gaming PC is really just a really expensive console. When in fact it is a very economical platform all around.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Samanosuke John Esteves

    Another victory for PC Master race~ <3

  • Lazulis

    I just got a custom built gaming pc, and I’m looking forward to that thing lasting 5+ years. I wonder how long the Steam PC would last hardware wise, among other things. Give Valve all the moneys!

  • zazza345

    A semi-monopolistic enterprise in the digital delivery field wants to introduce another closed system (because Steam IS closed, no matter how you look at it), while complaining about Windows 8 being “closed”…. I’m not supporting Valve now and I don’t plan on doing in the future.

    • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

      Windows 8 is an operating system. Steam is an integrated game store program. When an OS is limiting, it limits everything from a fundamental level – like, say, developing games for/on it. When a store is limiting… it just means the selection isn’t varied – which certainly isn’t the case with Steam.

      • zazza345

        I’ll just point this out: even in offline mode, you need the Steam client running. Steamworks DRM requires online authentication, even if it’s less annoying than others it’s still bad. Steam offers, if the publisher requires it, “price fixing” based on regions. You can’t do anything about it: it’s a closed environment. And it’s as bad as region locked DLC on consoles. Yet people keep praising the chains which bind them.
        Steam is limiting as any other closed system, just people like it and make up excuses for it.

        • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

          I don’t disagree that those sorts of limitations exist. But given the data manipulation potential of PCs, what’ll happen without them, especially for digital releases? I can understand the legitimate criticism regarding DRMs other companies use, like limited installations or constant online check, because that’s actually counter-productive. Since Valve can implement a DRM that doesn’t have the drawbacks of its competition, I would think the user preference and favor they got was quite natural and expectable. PSN (and quite likely XBL) also have that one-time online authentication system too.

          Granted, it’d be great if we could do away with all the limitations including DRMs, but in reality, I don’t think our civilization in general is rich enough in character yet to be able to function on a trust system.

          • http://twitter.com/RaiuLyn Raiu

            But it would be nice if Steam go easy on how games start…

            Like one time I bought a retail copy of Skyrim for my PC, I installed it and got excited… Instead of actually playing it, I got hit with an update procedure… I was pissed that I couldn’t play the game straight away and had to wait two days to download a massive update(2GBs+?)… All that excitement died down during that day…

            Can I skip the update? No… Otherwise I can’t play the thing unless I patched it…

          • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

            I can understand that. That being said, updates are meant to reduce errors and increase stability. If users were given a choice to skip updates for any game, and then they run into problems, I doubt it’s gonna give them any better a time than having to wait for an update to download. (Worse if they blame the developers or someone else for it, but that’d quite obviously be a case of unfair blames.)

            I’m not trying to invalidate your experience, mind you. If you’re really determined to tackle the potential consequences of playing a game that isn’t up to date, you can go to Library, right-click the game, Properties, Updates tab, click on Automatic Updates drop-down list and choose “Do not automatically update this game”.

          • http://twitter.com/RaiuLyn Raiu

            Yeah, tried that… Didn’t work and still requires me to update… Probably because of while downloading the update before choosing the “Do not automatically update this game”…

          • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

            Yes, that’s probably why. You can stop the update in the Download section, right?

          • http://twitter.com/RaiuLyn Raiu

            Like I said, the game can’t start without being up-to-date even if you stopped the downloading…

          • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

            [Shrug] Not much we can do at this point then.

          • zazza345

            GOG.com is the only way I accept for DD releases. DRM just means that in the future you won’t be able to access it if anything happens (despite what Valve can claim about it). PSN and XBL are bad as well, in that regard.

            Do I have to remind what happened when Valve found the loophole that permitted people to buy stuff for less?

          • http://twitter.com/RaiuLyn Raiu

            When you buy Steam games, you do not actually own the games but rather the license to play the games… A sad fact…

            Valve found a loophole? Haven’t heard of that, link please?

          • zazza345

            That license isn’t valid in all the world. To be precise, it would technically be illegal in EU. As for the loophole, it was when Steam was still in its infancy, people found a way to purchase HL2 via Steam in a country in which prices were very low to combat piracy. When Valve found it, it closed the hole and invalidated all the keys purchased that way.

          • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

            I know about GOG, and I support what they’re doing. But if you honestly believe that nobody’s going to abuse their generosity, I’m really gonna have to differ there. If a trust- and honor-based system was enough, there wouldn’t have been a need for copy-protection systems to begin with. I’m not a supporter of extreme restrictions, but a moderate amount of restrictions have to be made, if only as some form of discipline or for the sake of practicality. (Also, don’t forget that many games on GOG are old games that aren’t as big targets of piracy as latest releases.)

            And yes, I’m also aware of potential downsides in case servers go off. But in the case of Steam, PSN and XBL, games you’ve downloaded will still be there and functional; the difference between those and GOG would be that you get an installation file which you can keep. And those installers would stop being available for download if GOG servers ever go out, so I don’t think it’s particularly fair to blame Steam, PSN and XBL for a big drawback all DD services are susceptible to. Although I would give credit to GOG that their installers are re-usable, so they have an edge in that regard, even if it’s ripe for abuse.

          • zazza345

            The issue of DRM is more complicated than this, and I think it’s way out of the scope of this thread. Let’s just say that the equation copy downloaded = copy not sold is a complete lie. GOG is the only way to go because you can keep the installation file and you don’t need any external program, such as Steam. I find ironic people are really wanting a monopoly (Steam) to succeed. And that’s why I find even more absurd people praising Steam on Linux.

          • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

            I do like what GOG is doing as well; it’s pretty much a legal equivalent of downloading and storing an installer or ISO. I can imagine in which regards it could be considered an ideal form of DD; just that I can’t see the system working that well for every game. At least not in the current state of technology (and perhaps its consumer culture as well).

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephen-Mc-Devitt/100002626261475 Stephen Mc Devitt

    It’s really sad on how Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are struggling to make new consoles but Valve ends up surpassing them all easily with just a lift of it’s finger like it’s nothing. PC developers and gamers are bullies.

    • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

      “Bullies”? Why is it their fault that PC development is more fundamental and less demanding compared to console development?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephen-Mc-Devitt/100002626261475 Stephen Mc Devitt

        PC has too many buttons for gaming and you have to upgrade hardware. Why can’t it just simply be “insert disc and play game?”

        • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

          That’s what they’re trying to do here. Since it’s a store selling PC games, of course you’re gonna need to use a keyboard, but many games support gamepads anyway.

          (By the way, you changed to a different topic out of the blue.)

    • Elvick

      Who said they were struggling?

  • http://twitter.com/Xerain Xerain

    Assuming the machines will be targeting a sub $500 price point….

    Remember those old e-machines people would buy due to price, only to find out the hardware, for example the motherboard, sucked so badly it was impossible to upgrade it?

    What I’m imagining is a vastly superior alternative to that. By completely forgoing the illusion of upgradability, parts can be more tightly integrated, possibly with multiple components being printed on one board. The expectation then is the savings will be used to make a quality piece of hardware at that price point as opposed to using the cheapest interchangeable parts on the market to hit a price point.

    • malek86

      Most heavy gamers and tech geeks would be horrified at the idea. I remember the outcries just some days ago, when Intel said their post-Haswell CPUs would probably forgo the LGA method and go for BGA like Atom CPUs.

      But then, mainstream buyers aren’t heavy gamers or tech geeks, so the idea could be good for this. It would probably be a step toward the direction of making PCs generally more expensive and difficult to upgrade… but that’s something we can’t really stop anyway, with the rise of the mobile market and its all-in-one solutions.

      So yes, I’m looking forward to what the future will offer us. We can complain about new technologies but in the end it’s not like we can’t get used to them.

  • Wolframium

    I don’t know if any of you is a linux enthusiast that reads phoronix.com but, they’ve been saying since the beginning of this year that the steambox will be a cheap, standartized, linux running pc.
    Tha’ts why Valve ported Steam to Linux. They also talked about this suposed new engine two months ago.

    That same site claims that the steambox, while being closed on a hardware standpoint, will be open on a software standpoint, being a standart linux distro running an yet undisclosed window manager.

    So, yeah, to answer your questions.

    The OS?
    Easy one, Linux

    What kind of software supported?
    Anything you can install on a Linux distro, plus being able to develop software for it.

    • malek86

      But isn’t the Linux version of Steam pretty much only going to support OpenGL games? That might be ok for Valve games and a number of indies, but not so much for 95% of the mainstream titles out there which use D3D instead. A few devs might support Linux, but as seen from the number of Mac versions on Steam, it’s probably not even gonna be half of the catalogue.

      Will mainstream gamers (ie. the ones who don’t care about system open-ness and don’t have any thoughts about GNU and stuff) want to buy a system that will not allow them to access every new release?

      While those people who do care, are usually tech-savvy enough that they’d probably end up spending less by building their own computers and putting Ubuntu or whatever.

      Essentially, if this system ends up being based on Linux, I’m not sure who it will be aimed at.

      • http://twitter.com/RaiuLyn Raiu

        If the mainstream titles have a Ps3 or WiiU release, I don’t see a reason why can’t Linux version of Steam use those(with some adjustments) instead since PS3 and WiiU are using OpenGL….

        “Will mainstream gamers (ie. the ones who don’t care about system
        open-ness and don’t have any thoughts about GNU and stuff) want to buy a system that will not allow them to access every new release?”

        That’s what makes Apple so successful because of its user friendliness and stream-lined nature… Many people don’t want to deal with any kinds of hassle, they want products that work right out of the box… Regarding to that mainstream gamers question, if they are uninformed, then yes….

        • malek86

          “If the mainstream titles have a Ps3 or WiiU release, I don’t see a reason why can’t Linux version of Steam use those(with some adjustments) instead since PS3 and WiiU are using OpenGL….”

          I think people are underestimating the differences between the OpenGL used in computers and that used in consoles (which is probably pretty different between consoles too anyway).

          Mac games use OpenGL too, but as you can see, simultaneous new PC+Mac releases are few and far between, with most big developers preferring to use D3D alone. If they keep doing that, I have to assume that porting from PS3 to PC is just not as easy as porting from 360 to PC. Or maybe they are simply more used to D3D by this point. Or perhaps it yields better performance results.

          I don’t know the real reason. I only know that OpenGL games are not as popular as they could be, given that every non-Microsoft platform uses OpenGL, and you don’t see many devs trying to change attitude either. So that will definitely be a problem.

          • http://twitter.com/RaiuLyn Raiu

            Not sure… Is that a problem to Linux gaming or in general?

          • malek86

            It’s definitely a problem to Linux gaming, and to Mac gaming as well. As you can see, very few games using OpenGL = very few Mac games around.

            I also think, but that’s just me, it will be a problem for gaming in general, even on Windows, because D3D still comes with all the limitations of a closed platform.

            That said, since D3D works for every developer who wants to make Windows games and presumbably has no big disadvantage from a business stand point (except being unable to put your game on Mac and Linux, but it seems the percentage of Mac/Linux gamers is probably low enough since it’s ignored almost all the time), it probably won’t change too soon.

            Incidentally and perhaps ironically, the popularity of a closed system such as Mac OS might be what helps gaming get to Linux as well, since if Macs become more popular, more companies might start making games with OpenGL, and those should work easily on Linux too.

            If you are interested in knowing what happened between OpenGL and D3D, you can read this:

            http://programmers.stackexchange.com/a/88055

          • Wolframium

            Yes, there are some differences between using OpenGL on the PS3, the Wii U and the PC. Both consoles use a tweaked version of OpenGL only supporting certains aspects of the specification.

            But I highly doubt that the big softhouses won’t support the steambox, don’t take my word for it, Ryan “Icculus” Gordon, an veteran programer who ported lots of software to linux said that if he, only one guy, can port a major game in a few months, there’s nothing stopping someone else from doing the same, also, that if a game is built from the start with multiplatform in mind, it is even faster to port it (keep in mind that most games ARE developed with multiplatform in mind since they run in different consoles and on the PC).

            And you seem to be forgetting the indies, you almost can’t see indie devs on consoles, even though there are some, they are the minority.

            On the MacOS being the driving force to the sudden Linux embrace on the part of softhouses, I disagree.
            For years is known that all the major game engines (apart from the source engine, who was recently ported) run natively on Linux. Blizzard seems to have a internal linux client for WoW and some other games, Unreal engine was ported by Icculus some years ago for a unreleased port of Unreal Tournament 3, the Cryengine 3 also runs natively on linux. Not to mention all of the id software games and engines, until Rage, having a native linux version.

            Also, now with the version 4 of the Unity engine supporting linux and with the opensourcing of the Torque3D engine (that is already being ported to linux), there is no major hurdle even for the big name developers to embrace the platform. the only ones who will hame some troubles are the ones like Konami that develop their engines in house.

            So I believe that the steambox won’t be a failure, too many good things happening at the same time for me to believe that it will fail.

          • malek86

            I agree that steps forward are being made, but right now it’s not enough. If you want to offer a “Steambox” you have to offer the entire catalogue. This isn’t doable because right now very few companies are making games in OpenGL (I think the only big Mac releases in the recent months have been Borderlands 2 and FM2013).

            And you can’t even use Wine for the rest because that wouldn’t be optimal. Wine is ok for the average Linux user, but for mainstream players, when they buy something like this, they’ll want it to work well “out of the box”. Telling them to tweak anything is out of the question. As is giving them a subpar experience, whether it’s because of laggy sound or sow graphics.

            As of now, the biggest problem is, would the average player want to buy a setbox that won’t allow him to play Black Ops 2 and Skyrim?

            Valve would need to convince many software houses to work with OpenGL, and I’m not sure how many would bite.

          • Wolframium

            I agree with you that it won’t be easy and will take some tibe before the Steambox really succeeds, but, in my opinion, you are thinking that the OpenGL problem is bigger than it really is.

            Sure, OpenGL is a completely different beast than Direct3D, but most softhouses aren’t targeting that directly either.

            Most of them just license some big name engine and code for that engine, they don’t touch the low level code.

            As for one of the games you used as examples, until very recently, all the Call of Duty games ran on a modified id engine 3 that already ran on OpenGL and linux.

            Not counting that the iOS and Android platforms, that many big name companies are targetting also run on OpenGL, OpenGL ES, true, but OpenGL nonetheless.

            tl;dr

            I agree with you, I just choose to be optimistic.

          • Wolframium

            I agree with you that it won’t be easy and will take some tibe before the Steambox really succeeds, but, in my opinion, you are thinking that the OpenGL problem is bigger than it really is.

            Sure, OpenGL is a completely different beast than Direct3D, but most softhouses aren’t targeting that directly either.

            Most of them just license some big name engine and code for that engine, they don’t touch the low level code.

            As for one of the games you used as examples, until very recently, all the Call of Duty games ran on a modified id engine 3 that already ran on OpenGL and linux.

            Not counting that the iOS and Android platforms, that many big name companies are targetting also run on OpenGL, OpenGL ES, true, but OpenGL nonetheless.

            tl;dr

            I agree with you, I just choose to be optimistic.

      • CirnoLakes

        Yeah, that is a problem. And buying rights to DirectX, if even possible, would costs millions. Not worth it at all.

        The best bet would be that this would expand the support for OpenGL. Which I do hope to be the case. OpenGL really is better and freer than DirectX. I hate how limited DirectX keeps things and wish everything would be ported to OpenGL. Maybe at least along with Mac support this will bring more OpenGL support to Steam and the PC in general.

        And now I sound like a Linux nutter.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJ_wXOFQV3M

      • CirnoLakes

        “Essentially, if this system ends up being based on Linux, I’m not sure who it will be aimed at.”

        People who want to be free!

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJ_wXOFQV3M

        (Ironic considering that Stallman of course hates Steam for being fairly proprietary. Though Stallman has said shockingly said positive things about Steam on Linux as someone who even opposes the open-source movement as not being “free” enough. I like free and open source. Hey, at least it is less proprietary than the PlayStation Network!)

  • Dyne

    best way to do it is to have the Valve own os on it and people can put a 2nd os on there if they want

    • CirnoLakes

      I think that better than that it would just be better to support Linux in general.

  • http://altsune.com/ Ovada Bey

    I guess my views are really simple on this-
    What is there to compete with? PC already won. Once I started getting into altering costumes and modding- I could not turn back.
    I would happily buy this for a family member (since I already have a great PC).

    • Miss_Madness

      It’s mostly just because it’s better doesn’t mean it’s won.

      • http://altsune.com/ Ovada Bey

        My mind struggles with that logic.

        • CirnoLakes

          I think it is an industry and fandom habit.

          Back in the day, the NES and SNES were much better quality gaming machines for the money during their day. And this was also the the time Microsoft was finally starting to create market dominance with an expensive proprietary software, Windows 3. Thus killing off the slew of many non-Microsoft PCs and console PC hybrids like the Commodore or MSX(or the popular pc-98, for that matter).

          And consoles were still very advantageous even during the PlayStaton 2 era. Though for the first time in years it was starting to fade.

          The biggest thing in the way of PC being the dominant platform is that old habits die hard. Gamers have been used to handhelds and consoles even though the PC and even phone is starting to catch up to them. There is also the fact that Windows isn’t becoming any more

          The PC is going through a revolution right now, mostly because of things like the Android competitor. Google really could give Microsoft a rival OS, it has the money. And definitely has a better philosophy than Apple. And console gamers are slowly starting to realize that the only really good benefit of console gaming is exclusive titles.

          But it may take a while. Because again, corporate hold on things and customers are still used to buying consoles(even though we live in a world where everyone owns a gaming capable computer). Consoles need to lose the gaming software monopoloy, and Microsoft needs to lose the OS monopoly.

        • Miss_Madness

          Think about this more people play on consoles then on PCs. Though most gamers are aware of the fact that PC are better.

          This might but what needed to get much more people into PC gaming even again maybe not. Sadly this is left up to people as a whole. For the most part you really can’t tell what people will do.

  • Nemesis_Dawn

    So, we’re at that point of the console generation, i guess. You know, the point that happens near the end of every gen, where people start saying that the next gen of consoles will be the last one and that PC’s are the wave of the future, because you can mod them. Then people start coming up with ideas like this and everybody gets excited until the next gen of consoles show up, people stop talking about PC’s, and the cycle begins all over again.

    • CirnoLakes

      This is much less cyclical and much more common now than you think.

      This didn’t happen all that often in previous years. Though I’d be happy to look at any evidence to the contrary and that people thought the PlayStation 2 marked the last console generation. And thought so with great frequency.

  • Alexandra Cordes

    Well this is very interesting. Color me intrigued.

  • Solomon_Kano

    This is supremely interesting as someone who doesn’t want to have to bother with building his own PC, but it begs the question: what happens to the most appealing aspect of PC gaming — upgrading? Will Valve’s Steamboxes simply streamline that and keep it in place, or will these really just be shorter-lived consoles where I’ll need to buy a new one every few years?

    Either way, you have my interest Valve. I’m on board with you already, but what you say next determines whether or not I stay on board.

  • http://www.tastythailand.com/ Rachel – Tasty Thailand

    LOL, Valve are all over the place. They’ll implode eventually as too many fingers in too many pies. But hey, ‘Gabe’ always thinks he’s the leader in everything. God I can’t stand that guy.

  • CirnoLakes

    When I heard that Valve was making hardware, I had assumed they would be going further into the console market than this.

    That being said, it is a sign of the lines between PC and console blurring ever further than they have been since the 80s(when the line between console and PC was extremely blurry).

    I worry this won’t do too well since it it still basically a PC. But I can only hope this might blur lines. For the sake of my Steam account that means more games I like will come to the platform. In fact the more console friendly Steam becomes the more major Japanese developers will take an interest in it. And that means more jRPGs on my PC and Steam account.

    I’ll have to see just how console this is. In the best case scenario this will be extremely console gamer friendly or at least lead a trend to blurry PC consoles along with the Ouya which is a Unix based console that might possibly do okay(I kind of want one just because I’d rather play Android exclusives on a console than a tablet or phone). Japanese developers have absolutely fed the XBOX 360 so if things like Steam console-like-PCs did very well, it’s assure that it would mark a gateway in the Japanese gaming world for the PC. And would open the floodgates and mark the motherload of Japanese games.

    The XBOX 360 even got Tales of Vesperia, albeit the imperfect and less featured port. Imagine getting a library like the XBOX 360 has on your PC. The mere thought makes me drool. Heck, the PlayStation 3 barely even has any exclusives in comparison to the PlayStation 3 which is a shocker. Great games like Tales of Graces f, Disgaea 4, and so forth. But still, the Japanese XBOX 360 library is incredible. As a PC enthusiast I covet that library. And any chance at stealing even a portion of it makes me smile.

    I also feel that the Steam interface is more friendly to Japanese customers than the XBOX 360. It would be hard to win even a decent portion of the industry over, since this sounds like much less of a console than the XBOX 360. But I can only hope. Valve really should go all the way with trying to gain a spot in the console market and market and create it as a console first with PC qualities(Unix/Linux/GNU/Windows software compatibility, the Steam Library, other PC benefits). The goal here can and should be to compete in the console market. Considering it ha only the Wii U in this generation to compete with right now, Valve has a chance to take a head start like Microsoft did last generation.

  • http://twitter.com/MrYuzhai *Certified_geek™

    i would sooooooooooooo buy a steam box..

  • Lester Paredes

    If they do that, I certainly hope they make all of their games compatible… wow… that’s gonna be a coding nightmare…

  • CirnoLakes

    Again, why?

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