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Submitted by fr0sty 1143d ago | opinion piece

The 3 Established Consoles vs. Steam Box: How Could Valve Win Next Gen?

E-mpire Writes: Before we even get started, it must be acknowledged that Valve's recently announced console/PC hybrid's specifications are a mystery. We are not going to go into spec comparisons or any of that. Rather, we will take a look at some of the known hurdles that Valve and the other console manufacturers are going to have to jump this coming generation, and the potential outcomes. (Dev, Industry, Next-Gen, PC, PS3, Steam, Tech, Valve, Wii U, Xbox 360)

DigitalAnalog  +   1144d ago
Article misses the point:
Valve's MAIN source of revenue is STEAM. The "steambox" acts as an extension of the service to people who want to get into PC gaming without the quips and quirks of driver updates and the like. The big 3 on the other hand MUST SELL THEIR CONSOLES as their source of revenue (hence the slim revisions). Valve, by these standards are immune and any steambox sold is simply extra profit on top of the main distribution service which is STEAM.

Secondly, the "steambox" is made by off-the-shelf materials and since STEAM is platform agnostic ANY 3rd party company like Asus/Razer, etc can create their OWN steamboxes which in turn brings more and more people to STEAM which is the end goal. It is not about "beating" or "winning" next-gen. It's about finding alternative ways to make the service more palatable to the potential gaming masses in the living room.

More competition drives more sales, the next xbox or ps4 must find other ways to make the multi-plats favor their side since STEAM supports mods/big picture/dd/kb/mouse/x-game chat/free online and a variety of 3rd party controller support OUT of the box without hassle!
#1 (Edited 1144d ago ) | Agree(16) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
solar  +   1143d ago
The Gabe Cube is another way Valve is trying to expand Steam to console gamers. I think it's a great idea.
xyyyr  +   1143d ago
Steam sales are going to be a fantastic selling point for the console. It will be interesting to see how Sony, Microsoft & Nintendo compete now that they are all going to be in direct competition. I personally think the system will be very successful.
darthv72  +   1143d ago
its a good idea
that had been tried before. difference between then and now is now seems like a more accepting time to do such a thing.

in fact, there have been many great ideas/innovations that failed due to their time of release. But its nice to know that those ideas arent completely forgotten. they just have to find their right time to make a comeback.

Over the console history, it has been shown that three is the magic number when it comes to consoles on the market. Granted one may exceed the other two but the market cant really support four or more and it gets to divided when its only two.

There has to be that entry level, mid grade and high end to balance things out.

@solar...gabe-cube. i like that. it seems to roll off the tongue better than steam-box.
Rhythmattic  +   1143d ago
Im really trying to get my head around Valves move...

It still wont play MS box, PS or Nintendo exclusives..... So a steam box wont stop me from buying other platforms, as I imagine most gamers....
Now thats out of the way...

Steam Users are generally a tech savvy gaming bunch,, gamers that already have a Gaming Pc. So why would they think people need a steam box? Is it aimed at the apple TV crowd? Possibly so...... But.

Could Valve use an efi/bios/firmware that it specific to their Steambox hardware, and in turn, allows certain specific Valve games to run on it..... Only on it.

Before anyone says it, Im sure it would be cracked , even before release , because of the valve devotee's backlash..

Can they really penetrate a market if its not based on some form of proprietary hardware/software?

Imagine if HL3 was not on any other platform but steambox ...

What would I do? Probably build a hack to run it, but we all know how steam works...

Im thinking valve is going to move to a more apple-ized ecosystem.

Im probably wrong, and hope I am, but the questions still cant be answered......yet.

So let the discussion be just that.
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RedDragan  +   1143d ago
Valve devotee's will not produce a backlash because of this Steambox, we already know it is not marketted to us.

We are happy carrying on with our PC version of Steam and are happy to let Valve expand if they wish. It doesn't negatively impact us so why on earth would we set out to negative impact the Steambox?

The only people who will try to crack it are those who never have any intention of purchasing games. And with 5 million people online virtually every day at the same time, there is no way Valve are going to stop us PC gamers playing Half-Life 3 on the PC Steam platform.
#1.2.1 (Edited 1143d ago ) | Agree(5) | Disagree(0) | Report
Rhythmattic  +   1143d ago
No, Im not agreeing , nor disagreeing....

But its the hypothetical....

What If HL3 was only available through Steam, and only playable on a Steambox ?


Gabe denounced the Steambox, and here it is... Gabe publicly trashed the PS3 , suggesting no interest at all, only for Valve to release Portal 2, which was the best console version mind you......

No matter what you or I believe, until its released and available, we both are neither right, nor wrong....

I think it is a discussion worth delving into.
#1.2.2 (Edited 1143d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(2) | Report
deafdani  +   1143d ago
I see Steambox as Valve's attempt to get more people to use the Steam service aside from the core PC gamers. It would be like a low end entry PC that would be able to play any PC title, without the hassle of upgrading parts. As in, a more console-ized PC gaming experience.

Yes, hardcore PC users aren't the target here. They already have their own awesome setups and have been using Steam since long ago. That leaves the middle Joe and Jane that can't be arsed with learning to build or maintain their own PC setup.

Regarding your question about game exclusives: aren't there many PC exclusives that aren't available on any home console, that could make the Steambox an enticing purchase for the intended market, provided those games run on said Steambox?
Rhythmattic  +   1143d ago
Firstly, I don't get the phantom disagree person...

Its an open forum, which is so far a mature , intellectual debate...

"hardcore PC users aren't the target here"
Do i know ? , Do you?
Maybe both Casual AND Hardcore are....

Why do people dismiss the fact Valve could be making a platform to sell there own exclusive content ?

Is it so far fetched ?

I almost feel dirty, to suggest that Valve would like to make money of a System they ultimately control...

As for Jo and Jane analogy, how about if i said thats why they own a Mac?

I dont know, and either do you.....

Its easy for me to just think its another Linux box running steam, but I'm still going to question the reason why, because for me, its doesn't add up.

Its an Iceberg, all we can see is whats on the surface.

My opinion .
aliengmr  +   1143d ago

I've been using Steam for a lot of years now, about 8. While wouldn't call myself an "expert" on all things Valve, I think I have a pretty good grasp of how they operate.

That being said, I just can't see Valve making HL3 exclusive to the "Steam-box" only. At most they might make it exclusive to Steam (PC and Console) for a short time then release to other platforms. Even that might be pushing it.

The thing about Valve is they are extremely secretive. They really took the HL2 source leak personally. Valve went into an information lock-down after it and hasn't eased up since.

Valve isn't just some rookie startup attempting to break into the console market. They have a proven record and plenty of cash backing them up. They also have a good amount of experience in combating piracy and have done the best job dealing with it. Valve is one of the very few companies that don't treat their customers like criminals. Steam isn't DRM free, but it doesn't get in the way either.

I don't know what they plan, but Valve has the experience and knowledge to pull it off. I would say they are probably in a far better position than MS and Sony when they were releasing the PS and XBOX for the first time.
Oh_Yeah  +   1143d ago
Microsoft only has 3 retail exclusives (halo, gears, forza) ... Just saying. Do you know how many pc exclusives there are? More than Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft combined... Thus the steambox is not lacking in exclusives.. Valves games will most likely be exclusive too, there will be mods, multiple choice of controller, great discounts on games.. All available just click and download, that big library of older games, the cheaper price point and simplicity of consoles. This is not a fail in anyway no matter how you put it. If consumers do their research or once word of mouth of how kick ass it is gets spread I have no doubt this will be the number 1 selling console of next gen.
shutUpAndTakeMyMoney  +   1139d ago
"Imagine if HL3 was not on any other platform but steambox ... "

What platform is steambox? pc right?
Somebody  +   1143d ago
That reminds me of the frustrating situation I've seen in PC gaming: there are millions of PCs out there but not all of them are cut to play a lot of games (that use a lot of power). I'm also tired of developers and gamers complaining about the "millions of PC settings" as an excuse to turn to the consoles so see Steam Box is there to give them the hassle free option.

If Steam Box can set a standard minimum hardware requirement for PC games to follow then it'll be great news for developers and gamers alike. If your next laptop or PC is equivalent or slightly more powerful than Steam Box then you know you can play Steam games on them. A whole line of affordable Steam Boxes that you are sure will be capable of playing games right off the box. This isn't a limiting factor since PC games tend to have a maximum graphical quality that high end custom PCs can exploit.

So in the end PC gamers who can't afford the money or time to build their dream PCs can play games on an acceptable level with Steam Box while the hardcore builders can continue on gaming with their own machines with Steam.
fr0sty  +   1144d ago
@ DigitalAnalog (Post #1, I accidentally made a new post rather than replying to yours.) You do make a very good point. The points outlined in the article are still just as valid without that info, however. Even without taking the platform agnostic approach into account, the Steam Box still has what it takes to beat the big 3 consoles at their own game. We all know this is a Trojan Horse for Steam much like PS3 was for Blu-Ray. That makes Valve's position in the upcoming console race that much better for them. They really don't have anything to lose, as they don't even have to win. That doesn't mean they won't, however, for the reasons outlined in this article.
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Npugz7  +   1143d ago
Valve will definately not be console king but it might leave its mark! I would rather see Valve than Nintendo along side Sony and Microsoft.
Mathew9R   1143d ago | Spam
ALLWRONG  +   1143d ago
I don't think Valve will be trying to win. They need to get their foot in the door first and establish a nice install base. Stop trying to crystal ball this.
ginsunuva  +   1143d ago
Exclusive Half life 3 to pc and steambox.
fossilfern  +   1143d ago
Doesn't seem farfetched it could happen!
Rhythmattic  +   1143d ago
As I said above in an earlier post....

What if its was a Steambox only affair?

Id have to buy one , and I imagine many others would.

If this was to happen, where would it begin or end?
fossilfern  +   1143d ago
Id imagine it would also be for PC the Gabe Cube is just a Purpose Built PC
papashango  +   1142d ago
what if Halo came out on ps4. or Uncharted came out on Nextbox.

That's pretty much how far out there that question is. Valve controls the pc gaming industry as it stands. They are simply making a locked down pc that even console gamers can use.
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millzy102  +   1143d ago
are gamers going to stop playing zelda, uncharted or halo I think not, exclusives are what drives the console markets and even if velve make Half-Life 3 steam only its not enough to make me give up on the other 3, I see it as an addition to other consoles not a replacment and for pc gamers it is still a down grade so they won't buy it, there aiming at the console crowd and I don't think a lot will buy it over the others.
Farsendor1  +   1143d ago
i stopped playing those in 2009 in favor of the pc exclusive games
papashango  +   1142d ago
I don't think there's a console exclusive that can top Planetside 2 or DayZ...

1 is free and the other is a free mod....

just saying.
DomceM  +   1143d ago
yeah but you are missing one point. PC has a ton of exclusives too. In fact, while consoles have exclusive GAMES, PC has exclusive GENRES of games which simply cannot be done on a console.

Answer me a hypothetical question would ya? Which one is a more diversified gamer who has had more unique experiences in gaming?

1. Someone who plays racing, platformers, and shooters.


2. Someone who plays racing, platformers, shooters, Real time strategy Games, MMOs, and Multiplayer online battle arena like League of Legends or Dota?

1= console. 2= PC. So you tell me which one is more worthwhile if you call yourself a gamer.

Just like you choose between ps3 and xbox 360 b/c u like certain exclusives better, you could choose the steambox for its own share of exclusives. In fact, the steambox will give people who want to play on a console even more options.

When the steambox launches the big 3 will bleed customers. The question is not if but rather how much.
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millzy102  +   1143d ago
your missing the point if gamers like pc exclusives they probably already have one to play them, I don't like rts or mmo, I like platform, horror, third and first person shooter, normal rpg's not MMO, action adventure and consoles do enough to keep me and a lot of other people happy, like I said it will be an addition not a replacment, I've got a Wii u, be getting a ps4 and probably a 720, you don't get any of the advantages of pc gaming on steambox as you can't play games in ultra your restricted which defeats the point of pc gaming. if pc shows me a game I want I would probably build a pc I just have no motivation to build one yet.

a few people might jump ship to steamox but I only see that in the Xbox playing crowd as steambox sounds like what xbox wanted to be.
DomceM  +   1143d ago
no. you are missing the point still.

" I don't like rts or mmo, I like platform, horror, third and first person shooter"

Yeah.. you. YOU dont like any genre thats not on a console. time and time again i see people to think that they are the standard for everything. you may not like the ton of exclusives pc has, but you cannot make that claim for millions of other gamers. You do not make up 99% of the gaming market. In fact, you dont even make up 1%.

A lot of them dont play pc because they have no idea how to build one, think its too expensive (which its not), or prefer the controller. Steambox will address all of these.

Also i find it interesting that many console gamers look at people who only play facebook games and iphone games and call them casuals. What do you think it makes you look like when you freely admit you will never have any interest in any game that isnt bound by console controls or ecosystem. Yeah, I look at you the same way you look at those iphone/facebook gamers...
Ryto  +   1143d ago
And your standardised view of a gamer playing all these genres also isn't 99% of the market either.

Talk about trying to seem superior because you sit at a computer instead of a couch jeeeeezz.

Personally, I've always had a decent computer that can at least play games on medium-high, but besides the odd genre which - as you blew your own trumpet saying - don't USUALLY play well on console (I cant think of one genre that isn't on a console and a pc, even F2P FPS Dust 514) I still prefer a console, I love my big TV, I still love splitscreen over multiplayer any day of the week.

I do plug my computer into my TV with a HDMI lead, use a wireless 360 controller or keyboard and mouse, but still doesn't feel right, even with steams big picture. The steam box sounds like a great idea, plug and play.
millzy102  +   1143d ago
yeah because uncharted, halo and zelda are the same as facebook games, your an idiot, alot of people who play console games dont like pc, alot of console gamers choose to buy 2 or 3 consoles so money isnt an issue and if people find it hard to make a gaming rig but want to play pc they will find out how, its not that hard. why you upset that people like consoles over pc, it doesn't matter we all play games thats what matters. i dont care about 60 fps or playing in ultra settings, a good game is good and a bad game is bad regardless and we all know you can plug a controller into pc to play but that defeat the point of pc gaming. i know alot of gamers and only 2 play on pc the rest are happy with consoles with no intrest at all in what pc has to offer.
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DomceM  +   1143d ago
@mylzy and ryto.

"Talk about trying to seem superior because you sit at a computer instead of a couch jeeeeezz. "

First fact. I own a ps3, 30 games and am a PS+ subscriber. Also i use pc and play with controller from my comfy chair (and obviously my ps3). Also got a ps vita coming this xmas. The nonsense you posted is your own interpretation which is completely wrong. Has nothing to do with superiority, i was merely talking about a system's potential. I think im superior because i dont game on a couch? Newsflash i am one of the people on the couch whenever i play ps3. So you are saying i feel superior than myself? makes no sense.

So you can stop any bs about me being upset about people liking consoles or something. I am one of those people. That is why i think that the steambox console is a great idea.

Too bad it rubs you so wrong that not everyone worships closed down systems that charge exorbitant prices for games and are continually implementing as many anti-consumer practices as possible to further their own ends.

Also if you (milzy) dont get the analogy i made about facebook gamers then dont even reply anymore.Facebook gamers and iphone gamers select a small subset of games and play them. You think thats casual. Then you do the exact same thing, on a smaller scale, and now you think you are hardcore. If you dont expand your horizons and consider all games, then i consider you a casual. Not because you are a console gamer but because you are close minded. also, that is my definition, doesnt have to be anyone elses. But in my view: You = casual.

No hardcore gamer i know would come out and say "Im not interested in any game that is on a console/phone/pc".

Real gamers, by MY definition, dont discount games because they are on certain platforms.

It doesnt matter to me if you (milzy) care about graphics or not. How is that relevant to this conversation. we are talking about GENRES of video games. NOT graphics. we are talking gameplay and variability of different experiences.

And im glad you provided personal anecdotes to support your view. Here is a newsflash: they are irrelevant. We will only know if steambox is a success or failure based on how the masses recieve it, not based on how millzy and his friends game.

Game on...
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millzy102  +   1143d ago
just because i dont play RTS or MMO Doesn't mean i dont play only a select few games i play every genre apart from those 2, everybody has genres they dont like, geeze you need a chill pill i wouldn't touch a facebook game with a 10 foot pole, I dont care about people choosing pc over consoles anyway im not saying that i was saying if people like pc exclusives they prob have a gaming pc, i dont like the exclusives so i dont but if pc shows me a game i need i will make one but it hasn't so far, im no less of a hardcore gamer than you because i dont like pc gaming, when someone spends almost all of there free time playing different genres of games across multipal formats thats hardcore gaming. your closer to a facebook gamer than me as facebook started on pc, how you feel about that. theres only been 1 pc game ive enjoyed and thats dungeon keeper, i do play a few pc games on my friends machine but i dont see the need for one myself.
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Ryto  +   1142d ago
You are so arrogant, you have completely amazed me.
Saryk  +   1143d ago
Steambox is only going to be a ITX pc with the ability to play Steam games on a standard setting. I am sure that Valve will communicate with developers that their games will need to run at a bare minimum of X. The developers wanting to sell more of their product will volunteer to make this happen.
fr0sty  +   1143d ago
The beauty is, as I pointed out in the article, steambox can be easily upgraded and you will still be able to play all of your old games, since PC games are built to be scalable. You get the best backwards compatibility you could ever ask for. So, releasing a new console every 2 years won't confuse the customer, all the software still works.
InTheLab  +   1143d ago
Valve is a name mostly known to PC gamers and PC gamers have no need of a Steambox.
swice  +   1143d ago
Does anyone think that instead of Valve winning, it will be the gamers? I do
Npugz7  +   1143d ago
Valve will not SteamRoll the competition!!!
OneAboveAll  +   1143d ago
It won't. PC gamers have no need for as they already have steam. (for free might I add) and console gamers won't need something like this because they already have established consoles.

Doomed to fail.
aliengmr  +   1143d ago
Because there is no way Valve considered this. If only they had the wisdom and foresight that you alone possess, they might have avoided the inevitable failure.
BitbyDeath  +   1143d ago
1. Free online
2. Made in America
3. Exclusive shooter (Half-life 3)

That'll win the americans over.
wiiulee  +   1143d ago
there is no how valve can win next my book the wiiu already won it...despite haters...miiverse, browser, tvii, great thirdparty support now and nintendo games coming....a few months for nintendo to establish the system....despite lies from haters..its game over already..
Droid Control  +   1142d ago
I'm actually looking forward to the Steambox more than the 720 or PS4.

I've been wanting to get into PC gaming for a while and this box seems like its built for people like me in mind.

Backwards compatibility GUARANTEED. No casual shift, no gimmicks forced, no online fees. Woo hoo!

Steam has games for everyone. Not just the hardcore gaming PC-building crowd. So a Steambox for people like that will sell in the millions. Valve simply can't lose here.
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