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Submitted by GreenRanger 1156d ago | opinion piece

Why Valve's 'Steam Box' PC-Console Will Be A Game Changer When Newell declared Windows 8 a “catastrophe” and Valve announced their adoption of Linux, a Steam-based console seemed all but inevitable. Big Picture mode, Linux, lots of hardware accessories, and a bunch of people at Valve talking up the importance of living room-based gaming…the next logical step is a machine to pull it all together. (Next-Gen, Valve)

Godchild1020  +   1157d ago
Every new console is a " Game Changer" but how much will it change the game?

We had PS3/360 from PS2/Xbox that welcomed us to the HD era and Blu-ray. The Wii from the N64, that welcomed us to motion controls. The WiiU/Phones/Tablets that welcomed us to touch screen gaming.

I'm sure big picture mode would be something and do wonders, but if its no different from playing on a Big screen TV, its not much of a game changer. I'm going to look up more info about Big Picture Mode before digging myself in a hole, due to the lack of information.
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dedicatedtogamers  +   1156d ago
Two of the biggest hurdles against PC gaming "on the couch" have been addressed here: controller support and big-screen-TV compatibility. Of course, PC gamers have been able to get around these issues for years, but a dedicated box may be the last push console-only gamers need to jump in to Steam and PC gaming.

Two of the biggest hurdles against the console digital download market have been size of hard drives and a workable UI to organize a person's games. Steambox would be a huge upgrade for people accustomed to digital downloads on consoles.

For PC gamers, Steambox won't mean anything. However, to console-only gamers who haven't dipped their toes into the PC gaming waters yet, Steambox could be huge.
darthv72  +   1156d ago
somehow reminds me of that APEX system Via tried to market many years ago. it was essentially a PC in a box that looked like any other type of home entertainment equipment.

It was supposed to be able to allow any PC game (at that time) to be played on a tv using a traditional controller (included). If anything MS and the original xbox is a good example of a successful PC/console hybrid as it was pc parts in a console case.

Troble with those would likely be the same trouble for the steam-box. That is, Pc game development would continue to exceed the specs of a closed design and that console version would not be up to par with a real PC that can be adapted to play because of their modular and interchangeable parts.

If the steam box wants to sell, it wont be modular but more like a simple box that would have internal limits. Im sure valve would do their part to try and ensure that the box is capable of playing titles that are currently available to the service but dont expect to play watch dogs on it at the same fidelity of a high end pc. It would play but obviously be at the mercy of the hardware inside.

Valve is like SNK in a way. They made games for years and now want to make a dedicated platform. In fact, there have been many game only companies that tried their hand at hardware. Sega, Namco, Sony...

Nintendo was one of them if you can believe that. Before the NES, they made games for arcade and licensed their games to other platforms but then the idea of making their own system changed things.
MikeMyers  +   1156d ago
What we need is a console like experience without all the politics. Look at the updates on Steam and how quickly they get approved and how they don't cost an arm and a leg like on the Xbox 360. Or how Playstation Network has scheduled maintenance and large patches that take away precious time. I don't know how many times I turn on my PS3 if I haven't used it for awhile and having to wait for some system update or the game to be patched. Things are much quicker on the Xbox 360 but you have to pay to play online or the developers have to pay for fixes to be approved.

How many games support mods on consoles? Valve gets it because they don't have so many divisions and managers to go through. They also get it because the people at Valve all get their hands dirty. If they can take away the complexity of PC gaming and make it like a console experience then the others better watch out. The other big factor, that Steam won't really be able to do much about, are the exclusives. The problem is those companies have to absorb the costs and by only having a limited amount of gamers to sell to will be a hard business model to sustain while costs keep rising.
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shutUpAndTakeMyMoney  +   1156d ago
Only thing I can say is that it's valve..

Who else can make a Goty contender puzzle game? Who else offers free cloud saving, voting for what game you feel should be in the store, encourages user content, will most likely have you donwload mods straight to your console/pc?

HL3 will be amazing like there service & I have faith in them to make a great pc like console.

Just like I assume Naughty Dog games will be good I assume Valve will provide a great service. They have a good track record.

Valve never really does anything unless they bring something fresh. Remember they patented bio feedback controllers?

Also this is how weird they can get.
“I’ve signed an NDA so I can’t reveal much more. I’ll just say that I really saw the future. (it’s not a small deal to see a virtual but highly realistic alien stand beside a real human in the same room with you, walk around the room and wink at you. And all that without a screen, a projector or even a computer near you…)”

Their biggest challenge is the lack of brand recognition.

I hope they will have there own e3 conference.
They will most like do some crazy things between console and pc games. And this could also mean no more bad pc ports. since well it's a pc to pc port? or no port just pc version?

Source 2 in development for a while now + steam box = might work .

lol Now will EA bring a origin box?
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iamnsuperman  +   1157d ago
"Rather than have complicated specs determine whether a game would run on your machine, games could run on Steam Box 2 and up, or Steam Box 3 and up (similar to iOS games.) This standardization and simplification of PC gaming would be a huge benefit to many consumers and developers alike, while not really impacting more “hardcore” PC gamers."

I don't think value is mainstream enough to be able to release steam box 2,3,4....quite so quickly form each other. They are not apple. In terms of apple their games work across all devices because the jump is pretty much nothing which is why the app side of the thing works (some apps will have loading issues on older devices). I think saying this game works with steam box 1 and this game works with steam box 1,2,3 could get confusing to the average consumer if these releases are in a short time span.

My main concern is it going to be digital only. Obviously steam is digital but what shops are going to stock this device if it is digital only (no extra return for them). Also how easy is it going to be to upgrade? Will it confuse the average consumer? So much more information is needed to judge if it is really going to be a game changer because the market is the non PC crowd and the average consumer is what makes a "game changer"
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dirthurts  +   1156d ago
To someone who buys all of their games digital (online), what's buying the hardware online to them?
Anyone who would be initially interested in this (pc gamers, steam fans) is obviously going to be an online shopper anyway.
iamnsuperman  +   1156d ago
why are PC gamers going to get this if they have a rig all ready.
Eldyraen  +   1156d ago
@Iamnsuperman: That's a valid point but think in most ways this is targeting more console/casual PC users than the hardcore PC gamer anyways. Even today not everyone has a PC, and definitely not a gaming rig--even an older one as strong as consoles today.

What we know about steam box is even less than rumors surrounding next gen consoles though. More than likely Valve isn't directly competing for console market anyways and is more for a streamlined, intro to PC gaming sort of plan. In recent years more and more console market base has been turning towards the PC again and something like this could further revive/strengthen PC gaming markets if they market it right.

What they really need is to find a strong distribution/marketing partnership. Valve is a great gaming name but outside of gamers it doesn't have the same recognition as Sony, Microsoft, or even Nintendo (it may be "gaming" but its been a household name for decades).
sorceror171  +   1156d ago
I suspect that there will be a "Steam Box" *standard* that other companies can build to (and pay Valve to get certified for). People will be able to buy a Valve-branded one, or other options (up to a full PC).
ginsunuva  +   1156d ago
Either they redesign the steambox specs every 2 years or it will just become another console. That's the dilemma.
Dno  +   1156d ago
not if every single game can be played on my PC. cause i got a monster PC so i am not gonna get this when ill just get a ps4 instead
dirthurts  +   1156d ago
The "monster pc" gamer isn't the target audience here.
Dno  +   1156d ago
right which is why i added the ps4 part. the people they are targetting are getting a ps4, xbox next, wii u, vita, 3ds.

No room for a system that plays PC games only which can be played on the PC.
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aquamala  +   1156d ago
I have a htpc that pretty much like this, connects to my tv just like consoles and use a Xbox controller, and play steam games. But not everyone can/want to build a pc, it's great they can just buy from Valve
Npugz7  +   1156d ago
Mehh! I will stick with the Xbox 720
MagneticDeath  +   1156d ago
Launch with half life 3 and instantly sell millions.
Dojan123  +   1156d ago
That is the plan. I will be shocked if it does not release with HL3. I suspect it will come with all their games.
Mathew9R   1156d ago | Spam
MilkMan  +   1156d ago
Oh look a game chang...Zzzzz
Pillsbury1  +   1156d ago
Valve is smart they will not release a locked down pc without an incentive to
Buy it, half life 3?... Pc gamers will hesitate as they have their pcs and they would have to bring something unique to sway console gamers. One thing is true 2013 will be a VERY interesting year...
Dread  +   1156d ago
Now I c.

VALVE has been hating on MS and windows to set the stage for their entrance into the console market. It kind of affects their creadibility a bit since they have a stake in their competitors demise.

however, I wish them the best, and hope they have more class when they enter the race.
_LarZen_  +   1156d ago
It's cool With New consoles, but im starting to get tired to have to have so many systems.

As of now I have a Pc,Wii U,PS3 and a X360 and im sick of all these machines in my livingroom!

I hope this machine from Valve wil make it possible to remove some machines from my house. I just want to play games....
josephayal  +   1156d ago
VALVE Console will sell like hot cakes next Year
VALVE console is what gaming needs, Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony should be worried
Rikus  +   1156d ago
I find this whole situation a little ridiculous, instead of giving fans what they want & are practically begging for in HL2:ep3/HL3 they are working on something NO ONE is asking for. I don't know about anyone else... but the last thing I want is a console pc hybrid, I own all the major consoles & I just dropped 1200$ on a new pc, ad in the next gen consoles when they drop & I'm good. What I want from Valve is great games & not have to wait nearly a decade to continue the storylines.

Another thing that I find amusing is all the love Valve is getting & most people think this is going to be a game changer & pure gold, I'm assuming the people thinking that are to young to remember what Steam was like when it first rolled up, let me sum it up for you.... it was a giant steaming pile of shit & it took years for valve to make it run properly. So sorry Valve... but pass. let me know when HL2:ep3/HL3 is dropping until then I'm perfectly happy with what I already have.

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