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Why Valve's 'Steam Box' PC-Console Will Be A Game Changer

forbes.com: 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.

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Godchild10201323d ago (Edited 1323d 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.

dedicatedtogamers1323d 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.

darthv721323d 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.

MikeMyers1322d ago (Edited 1322d 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.

shutUpAndTakeMyMoney1323d ago (Edited 1323d 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…)”
http://www.vg247.com/2012/1...
O_o

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?

iamnsuperman1323d ago (Edited 1323d 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"

dirthurts1323d 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.

iamnsuperman1323d ago

why are PC gamers going to get this if they have a rig all ready.

Eldyraen1323d 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).

sorceror1711323d 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).

ginsunuva1323d ago

Either they redesign the steambox specs every 2 years or it will just become another console. That's the dilemma.

Dno1323d 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

dirthurts1323d ago

The "monster pc" gamer isn't the target audience here.

Dno1323d ago (Edited 1323d 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.

aquamala1323d 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

Npugz71323d ago

Mehh! I will stick with the Xbox 720

MagneticDeath1323d ago

Launch with half life 3 and instantly sell millions.

Dojan1231323d 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.

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