Valve Plans Lineup of Steam Machines

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#101 Posted by Jackel2072 (2235 posts) -

Still not enough info to say who this is for or even what the hell it really is. Never the less with Valve in the hardwear Business shit should be pretty fucking interesting in the next few years.

#102 Posted by mikey87144 (1649 posts) -

@joshwent said:

@mikey87144 said:

@joshwent said:

@mikey87144 said:

@joshwent: You can do that with the PC right now which is usually powered by Microsoft's OS.

Sure. But the revolution here is that Valve is bringing that open PC mentality to the console space, whereas Microsoft has been gradually bringing their closed console ideas to the PC.

I don't think so. The only two things I'm interested in is the controller and the OS. The only Steam machine I would buy is a streaming box and even then it has to be better than an HDMI cord. The actual PC has to be somewhat expensive for it to work. We're talking at least $600 with no real price drop unless you're willing to wait a year and get a slightly out of date PC.

What don't you think so? That Valve isn't being open... with its open source OS? Because that's all my point was.

If you're unimpressed, than cool, but it doesn't change the reality what these things can be and the alternative they may give to the current console/streaming box leaders.

I'm interested in the Steam OS but I'm a little concerned it will be the next Big Picture. Great idea that doesn't work all that well. I'm also concerned that this is just selling to the current PC market and not the mainstream audience this is probably aimed at.

#103 Posted by YukoAsho (2001 posts) -

I don't get the point. I mean, if you're SUPER DUPER into Valve DRM, I GUESS it's cool to have a digital-only box, but I don't see where this has a market. Us console gamers LIKE not having to bind ourselves to a vendor, and PC gamers probably like their PCs. Seriously, who's this for, other than rabid Valve fanboys?

#104 Posted by Lysergica33 (517 posts) -

I can't really figure out who this is for despite finding this all oddly exciting. Going to reserve any further judgement for now.

#105 Posted by tourgen (4427 posts) -

Maybe I'm dumb but I can't figure out what got announced. Some nebulous PC-like thing that will probably come next year some time? Specs? Pictures? Anything at all? I don't think they actually announced anything.

If I was going to go write a simple game demo right now, what would I target? Will OpenGL 4 be available on all Steam Machines or will some have some shitty Intel or broken-ass AMD OpenGL driver that barely works? What compositor? Mir, Wayland, X Window? Any guarantee on minimum number of hardware core/threads? Minimum memory? ANYTHING AT ALL?!

What shared binary libraries will be available or will every game have to pre-package and ship their own? What kind of app packaging and distribution system are they planning on using? What software repositories will be configured on every system?

Hey Valve, maybe come back when you have something to announce.

#106 Edited by FMinus (389 posts) -

@joshwent said:

Amazing! Next time fanboys say, "Hey, all that DRM stuff you whined about MS doing, Steam does it too", just link to this:

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

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

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

Openness is good for everybody. They get it.

Also, weird name, but good associations at least...

They said what is already available to everyone that has a PC at home, and Linux under GPL must include the source anyway, so woohoo, nothing new. They will eventually sell you a pre-build PC ala Dell, ranging from cheap to expensive, what is so revolutionary about that?

#107 Posted by Jesel (55 posts) -

I hope the steam box is green. The mean green steam machine just rolls off the tongue.

#108 Posted by Andorski (5179 posts) -

I feel like people are going to be surprised when the range of Steam Machines that can actually play full retail games like next-gen consoles cost +$1000 and will be more expensive than just building a PC yourself.

#109 Posted by YukoAsho (2001 posts) -

@tourgen said:

Maybe I'm dumb but I can't figure out what got announced. Some nebulous PC-like thing that will probably come next year some time? Specs? Pictures? Anything at all? I don't think they actually announced anything.

If I was going to go write a simple game demo right now, what would I target? Will OpenGL 4 be available on all Steam Machines or will some have some shitty Intel or broken-ass AMD OpenGL driver that barely works? What compositor? Mir, Wayland, X Window? Any guarantee on minimum number of hardware core/threads? Minimum memory? ANYTHING AT ALL?!

What shared binary libraries will be available or will every game have to pre-package and ship their own? What kind of app packaging and distribution system are they planning on using? What software repositories will be configured on every system?

Hey Valve, maybe come back when you have something to announce.

There's also the fact that a ton of games are still Windows only. I don't see Ubi, Capcom or any of the other big names going into Linux development any time soon. Then there's still the "who's this for" factor. The mainstream consumer isn't going to want the hassle of upgrading constantly, and the Steam enthusiast can likely already hook a PC to a TV and enjoy the FULL library, not just the titles on Linux.

This is just something for the anti-disc people to crow about as some sign of being "teh futurez" instead of an actual, mass-market product. MS and Sony have fuck-all to worry about.

#110 Posted by Vorhenze (93 posts) -

Will I be able to channel my Steam Machine through my Xbox One?

#111 Posted by Stimpack (808 posts) -

@tinygrasshopper: Yeah I was waiting to see the news and did it about 20 minutes after it all went down. I don't know what the problem is, but I'll probably try again in a little bit.

#112 Posted by Amafi (520 posts) -

@tourgen said:

Maybe I'm dumb but I can't figure out what got announced. Some nebulous PC-like thing that will probably come next year some time? Specs? Pictures? Anything at all? I don't think they actually announced anything.

If I was going to go write a simple game demo right now, what would I target? Will OpenGL 4 be available on all Steam Machines or will some have some shitty Intel or broken-ass AMD OpenGL driver that barely works? What compositor? Mir, Wayland, X Window? Any guarantee on minimum number of hardware core/threads? Minimum memory? ANYTHING AT ALL?!

What shared binary libraries will be available or will every game have to pre-package and ship their own? What kind of app packaging and distribution system are they planning on using? What software repositories will be configured on every system?

Hey Valve, maybe come back when you have something to announce.

Just do what anyone would. Make the game for windows and you get the streaming to the linux box for free, sounds like. Greatest disincentive for native linux ports ever? Not likely. Still up there though.

Potentially cool stuff coming, but not actually cool yet. Looking forward to the round of announcements with actual information in them.

#113 Posted by joshwent (2056 posts) -

Nothing, because that's missing the point entirely. SteamOS will be open source, which means (as they said in that quote) anyone or any company can alter it and use it in any device they like. When you say "they" will eventually sell you..., the 'they' you mean is Valve, but you're dismissing every other person/business that can build any kind of hardware that will now easily be able to support Steam.

If Microsoft came out and said, "Here's the XBoxOneOS for free. Tweak it. Use it however you want and you'll be able to play XBox games on any device you buy or make from anywhere that integrates it.", people would call that revolutionary. And that's exactly what Valve just did in the console/streaming space.

#114 Posted by TopCat88 (174 posts) -

As someone who is interested in new consoles, but isn't buying either immediately, this is great news. Potentially a third option. (Yes, I'm not considering a Wii U as an option). It'll be very interesting to see what Valve does with this, especially the multiple SKUs or configuration options/customisation. Sounds to me like a flexible, open console that can evolve naturally as my wallet allows!

Ps. I do need 10 friends on steam to access this Beta however. (I have 7 right now :(. ) If anyone feels inclined to add me, my SteamName is: SaltyPigHands.

#115 Posted by Amafi (520 posts) -

@topcat88 said:

As someone who is interested in new consoles, but isn't buying either immediately, this is great news. Potentially a third option. (Yes, I'm not considering a Wii U as an option). It'll be very interesting to see what Valve does with this, especially the multiple SKUs or configuration options/customisation. Sounds to me like a flexible, open console that can evolve naturally as my wallet allows!

Ps. I do need 10 friends on steam to access this Beta however. (I have 7 right now :(. ) If anyone feels inclined to add me, my SteamName is: SaltyPigHands.

Do you already have a gaming PC? If not, these new valve branded gaming PCs will only play a small percentage of the available games out of the box. You can just buy one of these things and install windows on it and have access to all of them, I guess, but you can already do that right now. Won't have any steam branding but I imagine you can find some stickers online.

#116 Posted by paulmako (46 posts) -

Can someone say in plain English what is interesting or exciting about this, what it could do differently?

I am happy to admit that I don't get it. Does anyone?

#117 Edited by Zevvion (1798 posts) -

@joshwent said:

Nothing, because that's missing the point entirely. SteamOS will be open source, which means (as they said in that quote) anyone or any company can alter it and use it in any device they like. When you say "they" will eventually sell you..., the 'they' you mean is Valve, but you're dismissing every other person/business that can build any kind of hardware that will now easily be able to support Steam.

If Microsoft came out and said, "Here's the XBoxOneOS for free. Tweak it. Use it however you want and you'll be able to play XBox games on any device you buy or make from anywhere that integrates it.", people would call that revolutionary. And that's exactly what Valve just did in the console/streaming space.

That's not an accurate comparison.

I can go out right now and buy some stuff and create a PC in a custom case that I can place under my TV. Hook it up, make some tweaks to launch straight into Big Picture and I have exactly what these Steam Machines offer in terms of games.

They are not a new console. SteamOS is not a new platform. This isn't anything other than a PC that is optimized for the living room. At least, not right now. I'm sure SteamOS will go in some interesting places, but when it first comes out, there is no point in getting it. There is also no point in getting a Steam Machine unless you were looking to buy a new rig.

But I can already go out and get the stuff I need to run PC games. In fact, when I do it I can run all PC games, not just the few hundred Linux ones that these Steam Machines can only run.

@paulmako With the information so far, Steam Machines can do nothing more than a PC. If you have an up to date PC, there is no reason for getting a Steam Machine.

However, if you are looking for a new rig anyway, and prefer to play on your couch, these can be a good option as they are essentially PC's optimized for the living room. It'll be easier than buying a PC since it's a pre-build thing like a console, while you can still upgrade it when you want to.

They can also stream Windows based games, but you'd need a PC for that to actually run the game. So unless you have some weird position where you have a PC in one room, TV in the other and want to play there without using a cable, it'll be an option.

But no... other than that, there isn't anything to them.

#118 Posted by joshwent (2056 posts) -

@zevvion said:

I can go out right now and buy some stuff and create a PC in a custom case that I can place under my TV. Hook it up, make some tweaks to launch straight into Big Picture and I have exactly what these Steam Machines offer in terms of games.

Sure, but you and I are in the minority of people who can actually build a computer. The vast majority of other folks, console gamers included, couldn't. So this gives them potential access to games that they'd never had before if they don't have a modern PC.

They are not a new console. SteamOS is not a new platform. This isn't anything other than a PC that is optimized for the living room.

Right. SteamOS isn't a console, and that's the entire point that so many people here refuse or are somehow unable to grasp. SteamOS is an operating system that will enable applications to run as well as facilitate game and other media streaming from devices to TVs, which is not bound to any device. Again, they're not even trying to make a specific console.

People seem pissed because this reveal wasn't another shiny black box that you just plug into your TV, and they've totally missed the point, because you're right, that would just be another PC in your living room. But that's not what Valve is doing here. They've instead set up the ability for any person/company to incorporate features of SteamOS (or even re-code the OS itself) in their devices in addition to whatever 'machines' Steam eventually directly backs.

The sea change here is not about the hardware at all, it's about facilitating playing games/streaming media/whatever in the console environment through a completely open system rather than the totally closed Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo environments.

#119 Posted by Amafi (520 posts) -

@paulmako said:

Can someone say in plain English what is interesting or exciting about this, what it could do differently?

I am happy to admit that I don't get it. Does anyone?

There is absolutely nothing interesting or exciting about the boxes, those are just personal computers, probably in a small form factor. Literally every vendor under the sun already sell those.

The OS is potentially exciting and interesting once they actually release some information about it, and the upcoming controller reveal is going to be interesting too, I bet. Assuming there's actual information in that announcement unlike the first couple.

#120 Posted by Devil240Z (3251 posts) -

I'm most interested in the gamepad. I don't have a living room so I have no use for a living room gaming pc. but I love gaming with a gamepad. so I want the one that will work best with steam.

#121 Posted by Amafi (520 posts) -

@joshwent: I'm pretty sure even the most technically incompetent people in the world could handle buying something like the revolt from ibuypower, or an alienware x51.

There are mini itx and micro atx form factor gaming PCs for sale out there. Of course, they're overpriced and they underperform, but that's the price you have to pay for miniaturization. That and the incessant whine of fans.

#122 Posted by Zevvion (1798 posts) -

@joshwent: Pre-build PC's are still a thing. Companies like Alienware already sell console-like PC's that fit nicely under your TV. Pre-build even has Steam pre-installed. You don't need to have knowledge of building a PC to be able to play PC games.

People aren't pissed that it isn't a console. I can only speak for myself, but I find SteamOS interesting and given enough time, I'm sure a lot of interesting things will come of it. But regarding the Steam Machines as it stands right now with the information we have, it can't do anything a PC can't. You seem to be making arguments for SteamOS, but I wasn't trying to argue that SteamOS is pointless. I was saying Steam Machines are.

When SteamOS launches we can build or buy a pre-build PC and install SteamOS on it. We will have build our own Steam Machine that isn't actually an official one. Steam Machines are just another way to get pre-build hardware. I also realize that that is the appeal of it. Free OS, can install it on anything you want, you're not limited to the hardware they put out and so on.

But as far we know right now, SteamOS can't do anything another OS can't do. That will come with time.

#123 Edited by Amafi (520 posts) -

@zevvion said:

@joshwent: Pre-build PC's are still a thing. Companies like Alienware already sell console-like PC's that fit nicely under your TV. Pre-build even has Steam pre-installed. You don't need to have knowledge of building a PC to be able to play PC games.

People aren't pissed that it isn't a console. I can only speak for myself, but I find SteamOS interesting and given enough time, I'm sure a lot of interesting things will come of it. But regarding the Steam Machines as it stands right now with the information we have, it can't do anything a PC can't. You seem to be making arguments for SteamOS, but I wasn't trying to argue that SteamOS is pointless. I was saying Steam Machines are.

When SteamOS launches we can build or buy a pre-build PC and install SteamOS on it. We will have build our own Steam Machine that isn't actually an official one. Steam Machines are just another way to get pre-build hardware. I also realize that that is the appeal of it. Free OS, can install it on anything you want, you're not limited to the hardware they put out and so on.

But as far we know right now, SteamOS can't do anything another OS can't do. That will come with time.

I have to imagine it's basically a controller driven desktop environment. What I'm really interested to see is what they end up going with for their display server. I'm kinda hoping they go with Wayland or even Mir over xorg, that stuff is really starting to show it's age.

#124 Posted by joshwent (2056 posts) -

@amafi said:

@paulmako said:

Can someone say in plain English what is interesting or exciting about this, what it could do differently?

I am happy to admit that I don't get it. Does anyone?

There is absolutely nothing interesting or exciting about the boxes, those are just personal computers, probably in a small form factor. Literally every vendor under the sun already sell those.

Okay, if the 'official' Steam Machines are just like the Revolt or the Alienware Minis, then sure, nothing too exciting. But you can't even say that yet...

because they don't exist!

We have no specs, no photos, no design docs, and no real idea what any of these devices will be like. You're saying that there is nothing interesting about something which you have no idea about. Like someone saying 2 years ago that there's nothing interesting about the next XBox or Playstation. Misleading assumptions don't help anyone.

#125 Posted by Amafi (520 posts) -

@joshwent said:

@amafi said:

@paulmako said:

Can someone say in plain English what is interesting or exciting about this, what it could do differently?

I am happy to admit that I don't get it. Does anyone?

There is absolutely nothing interesting or exciting about the boxes, those are just personal computers, probably in a small form factor. Literally every vendor under the sun already sell those.

Okay, if the 'official' Steam Machines are just like the Revolt or the Alienware Minis, then sure, nothing too exciting. But you can't even say that yet...

because they don't exist!

We have no specs, no photos, no design docs, and no real idea what any of these devices will be like. You're saying that there is nothing interesting about something which you have no idea about. Like someone saying 2 years ago that there's nothing interesting about the next XBox or Playstation. Misleading assumptions don't help anyone.

Yeah, like I said, these announcements were almost completely devoid of actual information. In the absence of actual information we have to speculate. Considering the little information they DID release, namely:

You can install windows on the thing if you like

You can get the same functionality if you build your own and install steamos or install steam os on your current computer

which is the more reasonable speculation? That these will be revolutionary devices enabling all new kinds of interaction and performance, or that they're taking mini itx motherboards, intel cpus, an SSD, slapping it in a tiny lianli case and etching a steam logo on the thing?

#126 Posted by selbie (1835 posts) -

*willsmithcumface*

#127 Posted by joshwent (2056 posts) -

Maybe the most reasonable thing is to wait and judge something when you actually know about it.

No one's forcing you to speculate. I'm certainly not saying, "These Steam Machine's will be Amazing!". I'm just saying, "Hey, wait and see. And maybe don't bash a hypothetical device for a user just looking for some information".

#128 Edited by Amafi (520 posts) -
@joshwent said:

Maybe the most reasonable thing is to wait and judge something when you actually know about it.

No one's forcing you to speculate. I'm certainly not saying, "These Steam Machine's will be Amazing!". I'm just saying, "Hey, wait and see. And maybe don't bash a hypothetical device for a user just looking for some information".


I'm just saying they'll be computers capable of running a computer OS. They might have some kind of crazy ass modular design that will make upgrading as easy as playing with legos, but I'm willing to bet a fair amount of money that won't be the case. The interesting part is the software and whatever control mechanisms they cook up, not these boxes. Seeing as they're going to be upgradeable computers compatible with existing operating systems there is very little they can do to make them all that interesting, hardware-wise.

#129 Posted by TWISTEDH34T (51 posts) -

So it's a different range of gaming PCs, put in console format (where you probably can't switch out hardware yourself)? I still don't get it. Who's the target market here?

#130 Posted by Arath (58 posts) -

What a cock tease. An announcement about practically nothing. No details on what the box actually is, price, specs, or even a ballpark.

I don't see why you wouldn't want a PC instead of this. If it's sole purpose is a streaming box, that's fine I guess, but it's pretty obvious they want it to do more. Also creating an open platform "games console", when the hardware is flexible, the OS is flexible, at what point to we come back to just having a Windows machine, because that plays all my games.

#131 Edited by Hasuto (15 posts) -
@zevvion said:

People aren't pissed that it isn't a console. I can only speak for myself, but I find SteamOS interesting and given enough time, I'm sure a lot of interesting things will come of it. But regarding the Steam Machines as it stands right now with the information we have, it can't do anything a PC can't. You seem to be making arguments for SteamOS, but I wasn't trying to argue that SteamOS is pointless. I was saying Steam Machines are.

I really think Valve is playing a much bigger game here than most people are giving them credit for.

The point of SteamOS and a Steam Machine isn't to replace your currently working Windows box with Steam running on it. That will continue to work just fine and Valve will be happy to sell you games on Steam in the future.

Neither is the goal of the Steam Machine to compete directly with consoles. Rather these will initially be machines that can stream games from your main PC to any screen in your home. If you live in a one room apartment this may not matter much, but for bigger homes pulling an HDMI cable isn't all that easy.

At first Steam Machines will likely be more like a more powerful (and more expensive) micro-console than a complete PC or next gen console. If for no other reason than most games being made for Windows first and foremost.

However, the long game of SteamOS is likely to challenge Windows as the default gaming OS on PC. And if they can make something that works well enough with support from the hardware manufacturers to make a stable base then it could well bump Windows off the throne. (Because really, the last 10+ years Microsoft has failed to make much of a contribution to gaming on PC besides teasing people to upgrade with new DirectX releases.)

I just put together a new PC that's more portable. If I could have spend the $100 for Windows on something more fun I would have. Heck, with SteamOS you could have a gaming ready OS installed in BIOS flash for every new "gaming class" motherboard and laptop sold. Only that would be pretty neat.

If I could put my old Windows gaming rig in the closet and just stream games to any other netbook, computer,TV or tablet in the house that would be pretty sweet. And it seems like this will make that possible.

The game here is not for buying a new device to replace your desktop or laptop today. The plan is to make something that you will buy when you want to replace your current machine.

Edit: And regarding support from other major publishers, I really don't think this is as big an issue as people might think. Sure, it's more work to support yet another platform, but any engine has to support a bunch of platforms already and each one you add becomes less of a problem as your code already makes less assumptions on the platform by design. Not to mention that big third party engines like Unity and Unreal Engine can target Linux already.

#132 Posted by Craig_Duda (6 posts) -

So is this "machine" basically a standalone console? Or is this something you connect to an existing PC?

#133 Edited by Amafi (520 posts) -

@craig_duda: Both. It's a PC. If you install the steam linux distro it'll play native linux games, so far about 8% of the total library, and stream the rest. If you install windows on it it'll play everything.

#134 Posted by Hasuto (15 posts) -

So is this "machine" basically a standalone console? Or is this something you connect to an existing PC?

Both. It's standalone for games with Linux support and games without it streams from an existing PC.

#135 Posted by Spiritof (2017 posts) -

Really, not at all what I was expecting the beta units to look like.

#136 Posted by smileyforall220 (31 posts) -

This does not interest me in one bit. Oh yay, I can spend what I spend on a real gaming computer on a faux gaming computer to only run some games out of the steam library. Who at valve thought this as a good idea?

#137 Posted by Sotakas (6 posts) -

Ladies and gentlemen get ready for the Steam World were everything is possible....with steam.

#138 Edited by H8RAID (26 posts) -

We can't get HL2:EP3 because of this shit. Come on Gabe, priorities man. We already have gaming rigs!

#139 Edited by TopCat88 (174 posts) -

@amafi said:

@topcat88 said:

As someone who is interested in new consoles, but isn't buying either immediately, this is great news. Potentially a third option. (Yes, I'm not considering a Wii U as an option). It'll be very interesting to see what Valve does with this, especially the multiple SKUs or configuration options/customisation. Sounds to me like a flexible, open console that can evolve naturally as my wallet allows!

Ps. I do need 10 friends on steam to access this Beta however. (I have 7 right now :(. ) If anyone feels inclined to add me, my SteamName is: SaltyPigHands.

Do you already have a gaming PC? If not, these new valve branded gaming PCs will only play a small percentage of the available games out of the box. You can just buy one of these things and install windows on it and have access to all of them, I guess, but you can already do that right now. Won't have any steam branding but I imagine you can find some stickers online.

My PC is pretty outdated: Around 7,000 on 3D Benchmark (Speccy below). It is still doing what I need it to do for gaming, but only just.

I'm not interested in this BECAUSE it is from Valve, just good to have something else to look at. I doubt I need to get any Steam Stickers :P

#140 Posted by FoxMulder (1611 posts) -

As some one who only has a laptop as their main computer, this is really interesting. I have no need to spend $1000+ on a gaming PC when I already have a computer. I can play many games reasonably well, but there are a good amount of games I have on my Steam library that I cannot play.

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