Live from Valve's CES 2013 press conference

We're reporting live from the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas, where Valve is throwing a pre-CES press conference to talk all things Steambox.

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We're reporting live from the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas, where Valve is throwing a pre-CES press conference to talk all things Steam Machines. Already, a number of details have emerged from Valve's third-party partners have announced details, including a January launch. The event is set to begin at 5PM PT. Stay tuned for live updates.
16:50 - We just got hands-on time with the odd Steam Controller playing Metro: Last Light. It definitely has a learning curve, with super-sensitive trackpads that give back resistance while used. They're not quite analog sticks and treating them as such had us walking backwards at times. Instead, it's important to be mindful of where your hand is on the trackpad. There are all sorts of buttons as well, including multiple buttons on the handles themselves, and not knowing where "E" was certainly hindered our progress. (It was the equivalent of R3, apparently.) 17:00 - Gabe Newell just took the stage. "Dota 2 is bigger than Monday Night Football." 17:01 - "A few years ago, we were worried about the openness of the PC platform." Yet another direct blow to Windows 8 from Valve's head-honcho. It should be no surprise why SteamOS is Linux-based. 17:02 - Here are thirteen new machines. "Each of these machines represents a different take" on bringing Steam Machines to the living room. 17:03 - When asked by the audience if the machines will be low or high end, Newell confirms that it will be across the entire range. In addition, Valve plans on continuing to make their own Steam Machines, in addition to the prototypes that originally went out. "We have plans to build more machines." 17:04 - However, Newell was careful to point out that third-party manufacturers are still crucial. "We really see our view in this as enabling." The controllers will still be made by Valve, and no price or release date has been announced. 17:06 - "Vendors are telling us that this is the best thing... since the beginning of time," Newell said cheekily. There are about 250 titles running on SteamOS. "We need to give developers tools to develop on Linux, Windows, and Mac simultaneously." 17:07 - And just like that, Newell exits the stage and the conference is over. We're going to be spending a lot more time here trying to scour for details. 17:17 - And here are the models seen at the show:
  • Alienware
  • Alternate ($1339) - Intel Core i5 4570, Gigabyte GTX 760, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSHD
  • CyberpowerPC ($499+) - AMD/Intel Core i5 CPU, AMD Radeon R9 270/Nvidia GTX 760, 8GB RAM, 500GB
  • Digital Storm - Bolt II ($2584) - Intel Core i7 4770K, GTX 780Ti, 16GB RAM, 1TB HDD + 120GB SSD
  • Gigabyte + Brix Pro (TBD) - Intel Core i7-477OR, Intel Iris Pro 5200, 8GB RAM, 1TB SATA
  • Falcon Northwest Tiki ($1799+) - Nvidia GTX Titan, 8+GB RAM, up to 6TB
  • iBuyPower ($499+) - Quad Core AMD or Intel, Radeon GCN graphics, 8GB RAM, 500GB+
  • Material.net ($1098) - Intel Core i5 4440, MSi GeForce GTX 760OC, 8GB RAM, 8GB+1TB SSHD
  • Origin PC - Chronos (TBD) - Intel Core i7 4770K 3.9+ GHz, MSI GeForce GTX 760 OC, 8GB RAM, 8GB + 1TB SSHD
  • Next Spa (TBD) Intel Core i5, Nvidia GT 760, 8GB RAM, 1TB
  • Scan - NC10 ($1090) - Intel Core 93 4000M, Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M, 8GB RAM, 500GB
  • Webhallen ($1499) - Intel Core i7 4771, Nvidia GTX 780, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSHD
  • Zotac ($599) - Intel Core, Nvidia GeForce GTX

Click to see our gallery of Steam Machines

17:40 - Okay, that's it for now! We'll have a video up for you to watch tomorrow.
From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 6, 2014 4:47 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Live from Valve's CES 2013 press conference.

    We're reporting live from the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas, where Valve is throwing a pre-CES press conference to talk all things Steambox.

    • reply
      January 6, 2014 4:52 PM

      SteamBox? Give me HL3 GABE

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      January 6, 2014 5:12 PM

      Shortest press conference ever. The alienware box looks pretty badass.

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      January 6, 2014 5:19 PM

      Having Valve purchase something like unity, integrate it into their own tools and then give it away to developers..makes some sense..

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      January 6, 2014 5:20 PM

      Weeeeellll this was pretty unsatisfying. Also what does "bigger than MNF" mean?

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      January 6, 2014 5:28 PM

      Based on these prices (thanks for including that, Verge did not), I'm thinking at this point it'd be cheaper to just build a Steam machine, particularly if I'm trying to merely meet 'stream' requirements.

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      January 6, 2014 5:31 PM

      These prices are almost all universally way too much. There's almost no attempt to differentiate them from normal pc pricing, at all.

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        January 6, 2014 5:33 PM

        That's because they are normal PCs, just in slightly sexier form factors.

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          January 6, 2014 5:42 PM

          But they need to be marketing them as less pc and more turnkey console like solution, and this isn't it price or form-factor wise.

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            January 6, 2014 5:53 PM

            how exactly would they do that price? Only Valve themselves could have a hope to if they're willing to sell at a loss and recoup with Steam sales (ie the console business model). No OEM is going to do that so they need to profit off a normal PC that actually has some premium focus on size/design/form factor/noise.

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            January 6, 2014 6:42 PM

            [deleted]

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        January 6, 2014 5:42 PM

        That's exactly what it is. A normal PC with a Valve controller, and Steam OS (Linux) installed at the vendor instead of Windows.

        The weird thing is Valve wants to put no skin in this game. They don't want to subsidize prices or anything like that. They're just kinda like "whatever, we're fine and this thing can sink of swim on its own" which is sort of sad to see for the people that are going to buy this thing believing in them.

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          January 6, 2014 5:51 PM

          What's the worse case scenario though? They just put Windows on the machine?

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            January 6, 2014 5:56 PM

            Yeah - it's not about the Steam Machines being a success or a failure - they can't "fail", there will always be PC games and they are PCs. The biggest possible failure for Valve is that they don't make a dent in X1/PS4 console sales and just continue to trundle along as a large-but-not-quite-as-large-as-it-could-be PC market.

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            January 6, 2014 6:03 PM

            Then what does that say if the whole project was a salvo at MS dominance? It just seems like that's the original aim but in the end they decided to stand down. Instead of really asking if the world needs MS, Steambox has retreated for the most part to the realm of a living room oddity.

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            January 6, 2014 6:43 PM

            [deleted]

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              January 6, 2014 6:46 PM

              I'm not really clear on what the point of a Steambox is, to be honest.

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                January 6, 2014 6:53 PM

                [deleted]

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                  January 6, 2014 7:04 PM

                  Can you just say it straight up? I don't really care to riddle this out.

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                    January 6, 2014 7:07 PM

                    Valve/Gabe think that PC gaming is going away and consoles have huge stretches between generations. In order to keep steam alive, they're making their own console because EVERYTHING is going to be a walled garden that will not allow STEAM to exist so STEAM is making its own universe. It's some Marvel Comics New Universe shit.

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                      January 6, 2014 7:09 PM

                      They're in trouble then, since I sure can't come up with a good reason for anyone to buy one of these things. They need to turn them into sweet HTPCs.

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                        January 6, 2014 7:10 PM

                        Also, I just summarized and interpreted the stuff he posted. Someone with a lot of SERIOUS REASEARCH KNOWLEDGE could probably step in and walk all over my snark pretty easily.

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                        January 6, 2014 7:12 PM

                        [deleted]

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                    January 6, 2014 7:07 PM

                    [deleted]

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                      January 6, 2014 7:10 PM

                      Tell me like I'm someone who hates to read.

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                        January 6, 2014 10:40 PM

                        PC games need a PC. PCs that play games are going away (thinks Valve), which means no Steam revenues. Therefore, SteamBox runs Steam, which means people can buy it to play Steam games and keep money flowing in.

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                          January 7, 2014 6:54 AM

                          PC's that play games are not going away, that's stupid. You might as well say that PC's are going away, which they are not. The PC market *may* shrink, but it probably won't, especially given that the current gen of consoles are so goddamn weak, and that the world is increasingly full of people who can afford to buy PC's.

                          Everybody likes to present the gaming market as some kind of war where one "side" has to win out, but it's not that simple at all. Even if every PC gamer in the world suddenly decided to stop buying PC games, the PC would *still be there*. There's a built-in market for PC hardware, and even the video cards would still spin off into gaming no matter what. There will *always* be PC hardware available for gaming for decades to come.

                          The general purpose computer is just too powerful of a paradigm. And that's what Valve is trying to capitalize on here: make a PC that *can* sit in the living room and run games or apps or whatever. The comfort of the couch with *much* more flexibility. It's just a software platform, not hardware, and a software platform costs almost nothing to distribute. And makers in mind that we also happen to be in an era where the tools to write cross-platform games are easier to use and more capable than ever.

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                    January 6, 2014 7:12 PM

                    There is nothing to riddle out. Singlespace put it super clearly then and its super clear now.

                    Platforms don't form wholly formed overnight. Steam took years to realize its potential. Something like apps didn't even exist on iOS when it launched, now it is the biggest mobile software platform in the world. The list goes on.

                    If Valve wants to make sure that there is a place for Steam they have to start now, even if the current version isn't ideal. I think this will start when technology catches up in two years or so. IGPs will be very powerful, eliminating the need for dedicated GPUs in more configurations. Solid state storage will continue to drop in price, reducing the physical size of machines going forward (especially if use mSATA or PCIe SSD). Etc etc.

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                  January 6, 2014 10:39 PM

                  This is a great post, thanks for this. Really summarizes it nicely.

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                January 6, 2014 6:55 PM

                Play Steam games with a console controller in your living room using solid hardware that is built exactly for that purpose is my best guess.

    • reply
      January 6, 2014 5:38 PM

      7 minutes? haha.

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        January 6, 2014 5:55 PM

        lol 7 minutes thats all? hahaha

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      January 6, 2014 5:42 PM

      What are you paying for if it's not cheaper or special components?

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        January 6, 2014 5:44 PM

        Nothing..it's just a pc that looks like a pc and is price like...a pc. There's nothing here, it's just smoke and mirrors from the majority of them. I'd get it if they were trying to be more console like, but a lot of these just look like pc's.

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          January 6, 2014 5:49 PM

          Form factor isn't even particularly small. Seems mostly like a branding exercise

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      January 6, 2014 5:45 PM

      STEEEEAAAMMM MASHEEEEEEEENNN

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        January 6, 2014 5:48 PM

        Valve is the Daft Punk of console manufacturers. (I have no idea what this means anymore)

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        January 6, 2014 5:54 PM

        "Whose machines?"

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      January 6, 2014 5:51 PM

      I think the mods jumped the gun a bit marking this 'interesting'.

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      January 6, 2014 5:52 PM

      None of the machines sound like any kind of bargain.

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        January 6, 2014 6:51 PM

        did you expect one? it's for people that can't be bothered to build their own PC. you either put together your own one and use their operating system or you have a place like alienware build you one with neon lights on it and pay the premium for the steambox package.

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        January 6, 2014 11:13 PM

        The big fish are waiting to see what the little fish and the boutique fish are doing before dealing out potential hits and misses with other big fish. If they didn't they could lose an arm. Meanwhile vendors/suppliers for the big fish are spinning their wheels to keep the rust off, like always.

        The real consumer devices are somewhere down the road, likely after Valve releases their own. Until then everything is likely, definitely, maybe.

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      January 6, 2014 5:52 PM

      Oh I thought they were going to show the "catastrophe for everyone in the PC space" that Windows 8 had caused and Gabe predicted about two years ago. Yet here I am, with a new revision of the os (8.1), happily running Steam on my PC, and buying more games on it than ever. CATASTROPHE

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        January 6, 2014 5:57 PM

        Win 8 is only the start, MSFT is trying to created a walled garden.

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          January 6, 2014 6:48 PM

          lol no

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          January 6, 2014 6:57 PM

          O_o

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          January 6, 2014 8:53 PM

          [deleted]

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          January 6, 2014 9:11 PM

          There's nothing walled on Win 8 at all. Yes, it has a stupid app store but it's useless anyway. Everything runs like normal off the desktop screen. I won't say it was a good OS update in terms of Metro. That shit is from Planet of the Tech Gimmicks and the fact that there's no built-in OFF switch for it was a stupid stupid choice.

          But it's not the end of Windows at all. It's the best performing OS going.

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            January 6, 2014 11:16 PM

            My computer boots in 25 seconds. From power button to working on the desktop. IT IS INSANE.

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          January 6, 2014 9:28 PM

          yeahok.gif

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      January 6, 2014 6:31 PM

      8.1 is fine, get back to making Half-Life, Valve.

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      January 6, 2014 6:52 PM

      Andrew Yoon, can you explain why your watch strap is that of a giant's?!

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      January 6, 2014 6:56 PM

      That Alienware system looks really spiffy. I assumed they were just going to slap "Steam" onto their X51, but they put some effort in. Too bad they don't list price or specs for it.

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      January 6, 2014 7:01 PM

      Since a Steam box wouldn't include a Windows license, I would have expected prices to be a tad lower.

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        January 6, 2014 7:23 PM

        I agree. These prices are really inflated. I remember reading that Valve was going to release 3 first-party Steam Machines at three tiers/price points, perhaps that will help set the prices and these early announcements are totally out-of-standard for what is to come? I sure hope so.

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      January 6, 2014 7:11 PM

      So really, Day One how many games currently in the STEAM store would play on a STEAM box with Linux under the hood?

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      January 6, 2014 7:28 PM

      Gaben talking in Intel conference right now again. They have him in front of a giant HL2 pic, lmao.

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      January 6, 2014 7:32 PM

      I was kind of hoping Valve would work with some HW manufacturers to produce a cheaper dedicated box of some sort.
      ie: Gigabyte has all the products needed, so work with them to order 100,000 fully built cheap PC's solely for the Steam market and made by Gigabyte. Sell and ship them from Valve, pre-installed SteamOS, ready to go.

      The difference from what's offered is we have the manufacturers producing the usual HW and shipping those to consumers at the usual consumer price. No bulk-buy benefits.

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        January 6, 2014 8:21 PM

        It could come installed with five of your games from your library. Or something.

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      January 6, 2014 7:51 PM

      Long time fan of GabeNsoft for their FPS efforts. Half-Life is the best series ever made and I would love to play a new one someday soon.

      There was an Episode 3 and Arkane Studios was working on Episode 4 (that would supposedly return the player to Ravenholm). Quality over quantity is always important, but with all this waiting for Episode 3 I cannot help but feel I now have neither.

      I don't see a problem with Windows 6.x (Vista, 7, 8) as I can still run Steam when I want to. Also how are they going to get games that only support DirectX to work on the SteamBox without streaming or porting? An expensive PC that cannot handle DirectX (without Windows).

      Steam OS and the controller are great, but the hardware is way over-priced to make any kind of major market penetration.

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      January 6, 2014 8:25 PM

      I find myself asking, what can a Steambox do that a regular PC can't? And there still isn't any answer to that question.

      Ask the inverse, however, and you could go on all day. This is going to be a tough sell.

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        January 6, 2014 8:31 PM

        It's a form factor for a PC. So: Sit under your TV and be small.

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          January 6, 2014 9:15 PM

          ^^^ so true. Just being able to play games in front of a tv which are great steam games is huge

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        January 6, 2014 8:31 PM

        Yeah I just see like one box from tonight where it looks like the manufacturer cares at all. The rest just look like regular PC's with a Steam sticker on them. I mean yeah, you can run games on Linux. Yay? I can run them all on Windows already, and don't need to mess around with a beta OS. I just can't get excited about it. I'd love to find something that excited me later on, though.

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        January 6, 2014 11:34 PM

        Similar arguments could be made for consoles or even Steam itself. It was nothing but a horrible piece of DRM on their own software until it was "all of your games on any machine to install as many times as you want; we don't care as long as the publisher isn't a prick about it". Then came the Steam sales.

        If lightning strikes a 2nd time they'll have to find some "value added" that the other consoles willfully ignore and hit a reasonable price point (between $200 and $600). Not sure if "always backwards compatible and no idiotic subscription fees" will be enough. Then again, I guess there is always Half-Life 3. If not, that controller better be damned fine.

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        January 6, 2014 11:53 PM

        I would venture to believe that most people view the PC as being "in the office". Most of us around here know that is not the case, but it's the stigma the PC has. The goal with the SteamBox and SteamOS is to get people to think of the PC as another "console" they can have. They want the masses to get to the point where they see these systems (SteamOS) as consoles with giant libraries of games at your fingertips instead of a "PC thing".

        Valve wants to show the "console gamer" that they have all the games they can get on a console and a huge amount more than that. It gives Valve an "In" to take on consoles, and show that the PC should be hooked up to your TV just as much as a PS4 and Xbone.

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        January 7, 2014 6:06 AM

        I think there is a growing segment of people like myself who used to be a pc gamer, and would like to get back into that world, but I'm kind of put off my building a pc just for games.

        I've got a mac for work, a laptop, and other devices that mean most of what a pc offers me is irrelevant. If I could get a small quiet box that will play most pc games for the next 4 or 5 years, that seems like a good deal.

        I think people are confused that Valve doesn't seem too concerned about chasing Sony or MS. I dont think that's even on their radar right now, this is super early in their plan to make steam an independent platform. I think for a lot of their consumers that doesn't mean much to them right now, but maybe in a few years time, when they're due to replace their gaming rig, maybe they'll decide to just get a steam machine instead.

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        January 7, 2014 7:13 AM

        It's just a software platform that will run your games or whatever other apps you want, right there in your living room. Install it on any hardware you want.

        It doesn't have to have revolutionary features to be incredibly useful. All it has to do is run software and not cost a lot of money.

        Here's the real problem that's being solved: Microsoft is a software company that has a large part of its revenues tied up in selling an operating system. That's a market that isn't nearly as lucrative as it once was, because operating systems now are basically "good enough" for most people. But Microsoft is still clinging to that market and will likely try to monetize it in ways that are bad for the consumer, which they can do if they're the only game in town. Consequently, it's good for consumers to have other options.

        Why are there no indie games on the Xbox? Because Microsoft makes it hard as hell to publish on there, and expensive too. This is your alternative. Yes, it's a little more on the power user side of things, but it's a better option.

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      January 6, 2014 8:26 PM

      The Digital Storm - Bolt II looks beast!

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        January 6, 2014 9:42 PM

        Except it may not even come with SteamOS shipped on it until it's out of beta and won't include a steam controller. It's also 1,900 starting and goes up from there.

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      January 6, 2014 9:11 PM

      Goodbye xbox and playstation. Maybe now Bungie will be smart enough to see the wind changing.

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      January 6, 2014 9:56 PM

      Gaming wise I find Valve has dropped the ball lately.

      I don't give a fuck about DOTA 2, CS GO wa alright but where the fuck is CS 2 already, Portal 2 was fantastic but was so long ago now, not to mention HL...

      Fuck you Valve, I don't care about Steam OS or Steam Machines, get your ass in gear.

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        January 6, 2014 10:42 PM

        You realize that premiere developers like Bungie, Irrational, and Rockstar will go 4-5 years between releases? It's been less than 3 years since Portal 2 came out, but Valve has come out with Dota 2 and CS:GO (the two most popular games on Steam). They have also come out with an operating system and made major improvements to the Steam client.

        They have been extraordinarily active and prolific.

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      January 6, 2014 10:59 PM

      CyberPower is looking good price/power. Wonder if paired with SteamOS if it can deliver higher performance than a PS4.

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      January 7, 2014 2:35 AM

      Steam Machines will die off pretty soon. Mark my words.

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        January 7, 2014 3:55 AM

        Sure, but which shacktag should we use to mark them?

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        January 7, 2014 4:01 AM

        I'll join you in this prognostication. I don't think this will be all that successful and will be looked at in a few years as a failure.

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        January 7, 2014 5:24 AM

        Give it time. You think Steam was an instant hit when it first started. Valve be in for the long run.

        • reply
          January 7, 2014 6:51 PM

          What are they in it for? The controller?

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        January 7, 2014 5:49 AM

        nope.

        even if they fail to be popular, valve will try to push them at least a couple years before putting it away.

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          January 7, 2014 6:23 AM

          You might be right but look back at what people said when Steam was announced and the general consensus was that it would fail and that Valve should just keep making Half Life and now Steam has 65 million accounts and 300,000 concurrently playing DOTA 2 at peak and no one says PC gaming is dead they way they did just a few years ago. Its not like Valve or its partners are making millions of these systems and are now stuck with a design for ten years and they will go out of business if it fails, they can tweak elements or even totally rethink them as they get feedback. Finally its the internet and not Valve that has been making this out to be a PS4/Xbone killer that will be a failure if they don't sell as many units as the console makers, Valve wants more attention on PC gaming, more people running Steam, console players to know that they can buy a prebuilt PC that doesn't cost 6000 dollars (which is a number I still hear console players throw out) and a back up plan if Windows does go the walled garden route.

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            January 7, 2014 7:12 AM

            calm down dude, i never said it would fail. i just said even if

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        January 7, 2014 6:09 AM

        I think it's part of a larger strategy that involves expanding the steam brand. HT boxes are the future, whether it's roku, apple, playstation, whatever. Steam is trying to make sure they're a part of that, whether it means steam is included in future Roku's or some other piece of hardware.

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          January 7, 2014 7:02 AM

          I think you're on to something here - part of a larger strategy. To me it's a foregone conclusion that we will end up in time where all games are streamed ala LiveOn. It's going to happen. The lag issues will be overcome and publishers will finally have that iron grip on their products that they desire. Steam is hedging their bets.

          On the one hand, they want the open platform that the WinTel model introduced decades ago. It simply lowers the barrier of entry and gives a wide range from that lowest barrier all the way to the highend that surpasses everything on the market and keeps the edge being pushed forward.

          On the other hand, the day of streamed games will come. Eventually. Steam is making the inroads now so they aren't left behind when that happens. In fact, it almost feels like they want to get there before MS and Sony (Nintnedo is headed for the cliff if they can't innovate better). Since both MS and Sony have made recent investment into streaming technology, it's a bit of a technology horse race. Steam's trying to take a slightly different route with the Big Screen approach and trying to foster their relationship with developers. How will they bridge the gap to stream from a central server to a thinner client? Can't say yet. But, considering Steam's ground work on Greenlight with a machine in the living room that can do local games as cloud games both, it seems like they're hedging their bets.

          This is all my own wild speculation. I've been saying for a while that this cloud gaming thing will be a reality. I wondered if we'd get some form of it with the now current gen consoles, and there are pieces in place. So, the next gen in about 5 years or so will almost undoubtedly have a near all or nothing cloud approach to it. What about the console at the lake house that can't get internet? Same answer that Blizz has for you today I'm afraid. I'd expect MS and Sony to start lobbying for more and faster internet coverage across the entire nation. Could you imagine if the next wave of consoles launched in Asia and Europe first simply because they have better internet service to support this business model? Crazy I know, but I think it could happen if the publishers strong arm MS and Sony into a streaming only model.

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        January 7, 2014 6:15 AM

        A lot of shackers said the same thing about Steam.

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        January 7, 2014 6:16 AM

        What were you honestly expecting from valve?

        I think their biggest hurdle is building a significant library of Linux games so that they're current customers will eventually consider making a switch. I don't think they're even considering attacking the console market right now, this is about keeping the customers they already have long term, and making them platform independent.

        Once the platform has been out for a couple of years and the library has gathered some steam, and hardware prices for systems lower then they'll be in a great position to start attempting to encroach on the other home consoles.

        This is exactly how steam became popular, they released a somewhat premature service that people couldn't see the use of, the improved it and built on it rapidly, then eventually through providing a great quality experience people flocked to it. Largely through word of mouth.

        I think in 3-4 years time when the average jo starts hearing his friends talk about all the cheap games on their steam box, they might get really curious.

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        January 7, 2014 6:27 AM

        HEH @ the mrk tag.

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        January 7, 2014 6:33 AM

        I'm more eager to get my hands on (heh, get my hands on) the Steam Controller. I'm not that interested in SteamOS until it's as widely supported as Windows.

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        January 7, 2014 6:37 AM

        I would like to imagine a future where I can skip building a pc and buying a windows license and just order a steambox. Have it stream to multiple screens.
        Sounds good to me, and I see the definite advantage for valve. They'd dominate the PC gaming market even further.
        Like if you want a pc for other stuff aren't you more likely to use a laptop or a tablet?

        I don't think its gonna be any time soon though, maybe in a few years.

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        January 7, 2014 6:49 AM

        just like steam, that was a dumb fad

      • gmd legacy 10 years mercury mega
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        January 7, 2014 7:07 AM

        I want one just for the form factor, for my regular pc

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        January 7, 2014 7:22 AM

        Isn't the imminent threat to the PC hobbyist world that soon enough CPUs and Mobos will become one, literally soldered/integrated and inseparable, vs the pick-and-choose-every-component style that we have now?

        If that's the case, SteamBoxen might offer up some interesting options. Standard purchase becomes CPUMobo+Case as the barebones, but you select all the other bits and pieces... mostly just a GPU and how much RAM you want to throw in there.

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        January 7, 2014 8:34 AM

        Why would they fail? They don't need to sell a lot of units to break even, and the software platform isn't particularly expensive to distribute but does bolster their steam revenues.

        To me this is much more about having a software platform that runs games and apps but isn't tied to Microsoft's dreams of world domination.

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          January 7, 2014 8:48 AM

          I think when people say "fail" they often just mean "won't change the world". And I agree. I don't think this will be a paradigm shift or a big deal at all.

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            January 7, 2014 8:52 AM

            well sure. it's a computer in a set top box. it's not like that's never been done before. i don't think changing the world was the intention. it's a product designed to fit a need

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              January 7, 2014 9:04 AM

              Agreed. I'm mostly referring to the internet commentators who seemed to think the announcement of Steam OS/Controller/Box was a game-changer.

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              January 7, 2014 10:13 AM

              I'll be content so long as that controller gains some mainstream support.

    • reply
      January 7, 2014 7:08 AM

      One advantage this will have is full backward compatibility; which has been a hallmark of the WinTel platform for decades. This is a feature that all consoles have struggled with. I think it's a near worthless feature, but the media always harps on it. So, Steam Machine. When you buy your next Machine it'll still play the games you bought even before there was a Steam Machine (assuming the game has been migrated to the Steam OS platform). No other console can say that. And, you won't have to mess with re-buying your games. Again. And again. Though, I suspect at some point the publishers will start crying about that.

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