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post #1 of 28 Old 03-03-2012, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
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What I initially thought was a single machine (which I stated prior to editing this post), there are rumors floating around that Valve is developing a set of standards for compact machines that play PC games, but are configured to possibly compete with gaming consoles.

If true, I hope Valve succeeds and makes PC gaming much more popular by making it more accessible to those who are accustomed to the simplified and streamlined console experience.

More info: http://pcper.com/news/Editorial/GDC-...x-be-announced

What do you think?
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post #2 of 28 Old 03-03-2012, 08:49 PM
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all it needs is cod on it and advertise it has better graphics on it. and it will sell

although you could just hook your computer up to tv and a controller... hopefully it will be a way for people to play pc games without having to worry about tweaks/upgrading or just to lazy to research and fix things yourself which we all know is a big part of gaming on a pc. Some people are to lazy and just wanna pop disc in and play and pay for dlc at $15 a map pack >_>

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post #3 of 28 Old 03-03-2012, 09:11 PM
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I think this idea is really dumb, unless they have somebody like Intel or Nvidia in their corner. Or maybe a partnership with Google or some other huge company. Valve can't pull off something of this magnitude all by themselves. I just can't see it. Unless Sony is partnering with them, and this will technically be a PS4 ? I doubt it, but something about this just doesn't make any sense.

This has to compete directly with consoles, otherwise what's the point? Anybody can build a PC. Why do they need Valve to pre-build it for them? If they are really doing something crazy, then they have to be all-in, and they would still need a huge company to partner up with. As much money as Valve has made off Steam, they simply don't have that much cash that they can enter the console race all by themselves. You need a full 1 billion that you're willing to lose, if you're going to enter this race.

And if they aren't actually trying to compete with PS4, Xbox 720 and Wii U, then what exactly is the point? Again, anybody can build a gaming PC..
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post #4 of 28 Old 03-03-2012, 11:03 PM
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Since many new Steam games save to the cloud I could see them trying to compete with OnLive type services and not necessarily Sony, Nintenedo, MS VG platforms.

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post #5 of 28 Old 03-03-2012, 11:08 PM
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As long as they don't fragment their software by making certain features only available on their...console, no wait, pc box, then I'm fine with it. I won't buy it but I can see how it could be beneficial to the market in some form or fashion.
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post #6 of 28 Old 03-04-2012, 05:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Reading more into it, it seems that the Steam Box concept is more of a standard set by Valve for certain devices that meet minimum specifications and use Valve's software package. The Alienware X51 is said to be one such machine that might eventually be considered a "Steam Box."

Choice is always a good thing, but I wonder how popular Steam Box will get if there isn't one particular low-priced machine to grab the attention of the majority of console gamers.
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post #7 of 28 Old 03-04-2012, 12:19 PM
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if you buy alienware...

facepalm.

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post #8 of 28 Old 03-05-2012, 07:08 AM
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I think this is a great idea. I have my 50" plasma tv in the living room. My PC is three rooms away. I have no way of easily setting everything up to where I can game from my pc in the living room, and I don't have room for a tv in the PC/music room, nor do I want one.

I'd love to be able to buy a steam box for $400 or so and plug it straight into my tv (as long as it's the size of a normal console), pick up a wireless mouse/kb and be ready to go. I could still play my fps games on my pc if I want. If they make this like a console (no need for a windows operating system/drivers), they could keep the cost and a lot of the normal pc issues out of it.

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post #9 of 28 Old 03-05-2012, 08:01 AM
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Great idea, I think this has been tried in some similar fashion before. Was it panasonic 3D0 and Phillips CDi?, I forget. So would this be a ever evolving machine that you could periodically upgrade with modular circiut board access or something? How would this work? The Joystiq article I read mentioned modular controllers too.
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post #10 of 28 Old 03-05-2012, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony1 View Post

I think this idea is really dumb, unless they have somebody like Intel or Nvidia in their corner. Or maybe a partnership with Google or some other huge company. Valve can't pull off something of this magnitude all by themselves. I just can't see it. Unless Sony is partnering with them, and this will technically be a PS4 ? I doubt it, but something about this just doesn't make any sense.

I disagree. A console is nothing without its developers & games (think: Sega Dreamcast).

The general public doesn't fully grasp the relationship that Valve has with its software developers (a.k.a. how Valve's distribution system better compensates its developers at a much higher percentage than retail outlets or other digital distribution systems).

There are a few points as to why I think this may work from a marketing/product standpoint:
  • From a business standpoint, even if Steam takes a financial hit on "The Steam Box," they are going to make up for it through software sales (which has always been their bread & butter). Unlike Microsoft & Sony which had to work with developers in building a software library for their consoles, Steam already has a significant portion of this backing from existing relationships with developers.
  • Valve's rumored "The Steam Box" & "The Big Picture" (Small Form Factor standards) will help usher in a new generation where consoles and PC's merge into one unit. Yes, the Xbox 360 is essentially an entry-level gaming PC in disguise, but it's limited in its capabilities beyond gaming + XBMC.
  • None of the rumors about next-generation consoles indicate a "merged" environment. Think about it: can you run Photoshop on the Xbox 360? Nope. I bet Valve will market the heck out of this flexibility.
  • One knock against PC gaming was the lack of standards, making it harder to develop (and then optimize) games when you have so many different hardware components, software driverts, and software OS's to adhere to.
  • With some basic effort, you can hook up a gaming PC to your Home Theater (or vice versa - hook up an Xbox 360/PS3 to your computer monitor). However, the lay person won't go to those lengths and Microsoft/Sony haven't really pushed for console gaming via computer monitors nor PC gaming via big screen.
  • If more people knew about HTPC gaming (or could afford to build one), they'd laugh at the console version's framerates and low resolutions in popular titles (such as Battlefield, Call of Duty, Mass Effect, etc.). I've been playing Mass Effect 1 and there are times when I feel like I'm watching a slideshow......
  • The cost of entry into HTPC gaming is lower and easier than ever.
  • The concept of cross-platform gaming is starting to catch steam (no pun intended) within the last year or so.

Frankly, I'm surprised that it's taken this long for a "merged" ecosystem to come to fruition, and when it does, it'll be a welcome change to the gaming community.
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post #11 of 28 Old 03-05-2012, 09:38 AM
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The thing is, steam won't even take a hit on manufacturing the consoles because they are not manufacturing the consoles. They are just developing a specification to which other hardware manufacturers can develop to and be labeled a steam box. So asus can come out with their own steam box, hp can come out with a steam box, and I could build my own. More than likely their will be many different price ranges with differing horsepower, but if developed to the base spec, all boxes should play the current games without any problems.

What this will lead to is games being labeled "optimized for steambox". That way you can purchase a game and know that the optimizations are already there with no tweaking or anything. Just download from steam and poof, you're ready.

Oh, and the spec is already that it will be an nvidia gpu, probably because they are so much better with the drivers.

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post #12 of 28 Old 03-05-2012, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Also, the Windows 8 Metro UI should make things much simpler for Valve to create a software solution that focuses on gaming and other media. One tile for games, one for Steam store, one for Internet browsing, etc. Add driver and OS updates so simple that all a user has to do is click "yes" on an update prompt.

Another thing that would need focus is to make the proprietary controller that Valve supposedly has planned to automatically map well with game keyboard commands.
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post #13 of 28 Old 03-05-2012, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RemoWilliams84 View Post

The thing is, steam won't even take a hit on manufacturing the consoles because they are not manufacturing the consoles. They are just developing a specification to which other hardware manufacturers can develop to and be labeled a steam box. So asus can come out with their own steam box, hp can come out with a steam box, and I could build my own. More than likely their will be many different price ranges with differing horsepower, but if developed to the base spec, all boxes should play the current games without any problems.

Totally agree! Let's assume Steam only releases the specs and doesn't manufacture the hardware, this is almost a No-Risk situation. They are essentially using their credibility and leverage as a top content distributor to set industry standards on how the end product should be used (in this case, how a game should be developed/played) -- this has and continues to be a sorely lacking attribute within the PC gaming industry.

The worst thing they could lose is their credibility, but Valve is a smart company.

Aren't "The Steam Box" & "The Big Picture" exciting concepts? I am tired of seeing awful Console to PC ports (Saints Row 2), Console favoritism (Alan Wake) and Console Games that are graphically stuck in the 2006-era due to hardware limitations (Battlefield 3).
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post #14 of 28 Old 03-05-2012, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post

Aren't "The Steam Box" & "The Big Picture" exciting concepts? I am tired of seeing awful Console to PC ports (Saints Row 2), Console favoritism (Alan Wake) and Console Games that are graphically stuck in the 2006-era due to hardware limitations (Battlefield 3).

Unless Valve wants to throw around money, this isn't going to change at all. Developers will gladly make pc exclusives if you have some guaranteed upfront money for them. And Valve doesn't strike me as a company that gives money to people. I look at more of the same in pc gaming, despite some sort of arbitrary standard Gabe and company want to impose on the industry.
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post #15 of 28 Old 03-05-2012, 07:19 PM
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How about they make Half Life 3? I bet that would do more for PC gaming than this Steam Box.

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post #16 of 28 Old 03-05-2012, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
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How about they make Half Life 3? I bet that would do more for PC gaming than this Steam Box.

There are undoubtedly separate teams for the two projects, and I would be surprised if Half-Life 3 hasn't been worked on for a while now. I read a rumor stating that the full-time team assigned to the Steam Box concept could be as small as a few people.
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post #17 of 28 Old 03-05-2012, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RemoWilliams84 View Post

The thing is, steam won't even take a hit on manufacturing the consoles because they are not manufacturing the consoles. They are just developing a specification to which other hardware manufacturers can develop to and be labeled a steam box.


In other words, they aren't going to actually compete head to head with Wii U, Xbox 720 and PS4. This thing wont be sold at GameStop or at Toys R Us. Or Target or Wal-Mart or Costco.


A non-story.
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post #18 of 28 Old 03-07-2012, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony1 View Post

In other words, they aren't going to actually compete head to head with Wii U, Xbox 720 and PS4. This thing wont be sold at GameStop or at Toys R Us. Or Target or Wal-Mart or Costco.


A non-story.

I would love to see an additional set of standards for PC gaming. Steam has been working on the user environment. I like the xbox live and PSN user environments better; but odds are that the steam environment will improve.

I build my own PCs and when I build my next one I would love to have multiple choices for a CPU, video card and sound card that are steam certified. I could then customize the PC to meet my needs. I would be able to buy a quiet optical drive and fans. If game load times are poor, I could buy a SSD.

In the future as better APIs are developed, I could update the PC/OS to meet these (think of DX9 versus DX11).

I am assuming that the steam certified would add newer certifications in the future. Think of how Dolby Digital added newer certifications for Dolby Digital Surround EX and then Dolby TrueHD.
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post #19 of 28 Old 03-07-2012, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by mhufnagel View Post

Unless Valve wants to throw around money, this isn't going to change at all. Developers will gladly make pc exclusives if you have some guaranteed upfront money for them. And Valve doesn't strike me as a company that gives money to people. I look at more of the same in pc gaming, despite some sort of arbitrary standard Gabe and company want to impose on the industry.

I disagree - check out this article.

Full Steam Ahead
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post #20 of 28 Old 03-08-2012, 05:11 AM
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Gabe will have his cake, and eat it too. Yum!
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post #21 of 28 Old 03-08-2012, 06:31 AM
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I disagree - check out this article.

Full Steam Ahead

This is going on right now. Why then why are most developers using a console as the lead platform? What will be different in the future? Is Valve going to cut it's take to free up more money? Will they be paying people to develop on the pc and have their games as Steamworks exclusives? I don't find either scenario very likely.
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post #22 of 28 Old 03-08-2012, 02:06 PM
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post #23 of 28 Old 03-10-2012, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonstiller View Post

Great idea, I think this has been tried in some similar fashion before. Was it panasonic 3D0 and Phillips CDi?, I forget. So would this be a ever evolving machine that you could periodically upgrade with modular circiut board access or something? How would this work? The Joystiq article I read mentioned modular controllers too.

Pioneer maybe?
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post #24 of 28 Old 03-11-2012, 12:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonstiller View Post

Great idea, I think this has been tried in some similar fashion before. Was it panasonic 3D0 and Phillips CDi?, I forget. So would this be a ever evolving machine that you could periodically upgrade with modular circiut board access or something? How would this work? The Joystiq article I read mentioned modular controllers too.

It was Trip Hawkins and 3DO. They let several manufacturers build the 3DO system but kept the platform common. Their problem was they wanted to charge $700 bucks for what basically amounted to a under performing PSX or Saturn. No thanks. The M2 was supposed to be their ace in the hole but we see how that turned out. Ah, memories...
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post #25 of 28 Old 03-11-2012, 12:46 AM - Thread Starter
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I was one person who got a Panasonic 3DO when it was first released. I fired it up a few months ago, and it apparently still works perfectly. It is a nicely built machine.

The price tag was worth it for just all those fun nights playing Twisted, Pebble Beach Golf, Road Rash, Way of the Warrior and Super Street Fighter II Turbo.
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post #26 of 28 Old 03-11-2012, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

I was one person who got a Panasonic 3DO when it was first released. I fired it up a few months ago, and it apparently still works perfectly. It is a nicely built machine.

The price tag was worth it for just all those fun nights playing Twisted, Pebble Beach Golf, Road Rash, Way of the Warrior and Super Street Fighter II Turbo.

Same here but for me it was Crash and Burn,Escape from Monster Manor,Total Eclipse and Shockwave
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post #27 of 28 Old 03-11-2012, 12:50 PM
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I also bought a 3DO on release day. Return fire, need 4 speed, road rash were my weapons of choice. Every few months of so I'll have a retro gaming party and hook up a bunch of my old systems (Have every system to be released in NA).
Just before Xmas, I had 40 people come over to mess around. Man it brings back sooooooo many memories.
Overall 3DO is my favorite system, with Dreamcast and Genesis and Sega CD close behind. The total turd af the bunch is Atari's Jaguar and Neo Geo.

Blasting brown notes for 10 years and counting!

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post #28 of 28 Old 03-11-2012, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
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Since many new Steam games save to the cloud I could see them trying to compete with OnLive type services and not necessarily Sony, Nintenedo, MS VG platforms.

I agree with this idea!
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