Submitted by breadisgood14501 635d ago | news

Steam Machines And What They Bring To The Table

Valve released a brochure full of pictures of funny little boxes and specs during the CES 2014. A total of fourteen were released. Prices vary from US$499.00 up to US$6000.00, which is rather hefty. Some of these router-like looking boxes come with a standard build while a few others can be customized. - See more at: http://themodernmage.com/st... (Dev, Tech)

TopDudeMan  +   635d ago
Some of these are quite reasonably priced. Others are... Well... let's just say it'd be easier to just upgrade an older PC and run SteamOS on it.
DragonKnight  +   635d ago
Absolutely nothing.
ABizzel1  +   634d ago

They bring nothing new, besides overcharging you for squeezing PC parts into a console like case.

The $499 steam machines are decent deals, and so is the $1499 for the hardware you get, but that's about it.
Orionsangel  +   634d ago

I have a PC and Steam. The 360 and PS3. I stopped buying retail games a while ago. I now download every game. I just can't afford 60 dollar games on my income. I was just looking at it for a poor person's perspective.
ABizzel1  +   634d ago

I have a pretty much all the consoles. PS3, 360, Wii U (Wii), PS4, and a PC. The majority of my multiplatforms are purchased on my PC, simply because I could run it better than a PS360 could.

I completely agree, that PC gaming is a lot cheaper than people make it out to be. You can make a gaming PC comparable to the PS4 for around $600 or less (It'll have a better CPU, slightly better GPU due to higher clocks + over-clocking, and more RAM).

The problem with Steam Machines as I said is the $499 (aka $500) don't offer the same level of performance that a $600 self made PC will have. Until they can get that $600 build down to the price of $499, then Steam Machines are pointless.

Their sole success depends on pricing, and they failed on that mark. PC gamers looking to upgrade, could have easily bought a Steam Machine and been happy, but most PC gamers can build their own more powerful machine for just $100 more, or build an entry level gaming PC for $300.

Steam Machines aren't worth it looking at it from the perspective of a PC gamer.

Looking at it from a console gamer who doesn't know how to build a gaming PC, is the only consumer who Steam Machines makes sense for, and even then they have to be somewhat informed when it comes to PC hardware, because the average consumer isn't going to walk in the store and know what the difference is between the 12+ versions of Steam Machines.

Valve should have built their own Steam Machines first, released them at

$499: AMD FX 6300, R9 270X, 8GB DDR3 2133MHz
$999: i7 4770k, GTX 770, 16GB DDR3 2133MHz

Then it would make sense, as both platforms would be well worth the asking price, and you can buy which ever platform fits your gaming needs. The problem is no one is willing to invest big into Steam Machines, which means these things aren't being made in serious long term bulk.
Orionsangel  +   634d ago
Why do you say that? If you have a slow computer and you're poor can only afford one console. Because you saved up. Which one do you choose? Xbox One or PS4 with expensive 60 dollars games or a $499 Steam machine. Where you can get many of the same 60 dollar games for $5 to $10 bucks during Steam Deals.
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DragonKnight  +   634d ago
Steam machines aren't worth it right now. They rely on games that can run without Windows, and how many of those games exist? Unless you're content on playing emulated games of the past forever on emulators that do run on Linux, what are you going to play?

That's the thing people aren't talking about here. They seem to think that these devices will allow you to play every PC game that exists, and it won't.

So what does this offer now?
tontontam0  +   634d ago
I'll build a $499 PC and install steam OS on it.

it may not be compact but I'll surely make it

more powerful than a $499 steambox.
Somebody  +   634d ago
"So what does this offer now? "

A foundation for the future. It has to start somewhere and some gamble is inevitable. Valve can't just stay locked in digital distribution business knowing that everybody else is closing the walls on their own respective platforms. MS did a similar thing when it suddenly wanted to make a game console on their own when there's an abundance of PC games in the market. X box started out with a handful of games.
DragonKnight  +   634d ago
But you see, it's not a foundation for the future. Already we see that these machines have an identity crisis. They won't sell to PC gamers, that's a guarantee. Why? Because like someone has already posted... "I'll build a $499 PC and install steam OS on it."

That's the PC market right there.

It won't sell to the casual market because A)There is no unified starter machine the way consoles are and B)Casuals have already moved on to mobile gaming.

As for what's left, the core console gamer, the only potential there is for those who might want to dabble in PC gaming. But the problem there is, again, support. Steam machines will not have the library of PC gaming or console gaming, not for a long time.

This wasn't the time to bring out Steam machines. And if they absolutely had to, then they should have had a set design range in place. None of this $500 to %6000 crap filled with either terrible parts, or parts you're supposed to pick out yourself. This machine was supposed to bring the ease of console gaming to PC and it's not doing that with the current offerings.
Somebody  +   634d ago
Let's look at the mobile market. Apple has experience and resources to make their own hardware while Google has to depend on other manufacturers to propagate its Android OS.

Change Apple to console makers and Google to Valve, we have a similar story about to unfold. Just look at the extremely varied types of devices from a sorts of manufactures they put Android in and then look back the Steam Machines. MS and Sony offered apps, games and features when promoting their next gen consoles, just like Apple. Valve is offering what Google offered- customizable OS for everyone.

I believe it's a good time for the Steam Machines to come out. Not perfect timing but delaying it further will only make it worse. Steam was introduced during a time when everyone's calling for the death of PC gaming after the 360 and PS3 were launched. Guess what's been happening in the PC world atm? Everybody is talking about its decline thanks to mobile devices. And here comes Valve offering SteamOS and Machines to the PC manufacturers. It may not help the PC get out of its current situation but it does give an option for them to open up a new market.
ABizzel1  +   634d ago

Did you see all the if's you had to come up with just to make the current Steam Machines sound reasonable.

It's just not worth it at this point. As I said the $499 and $1499 Steam Machines are decent deals, but the majority of people who are interested in PC gaming, will simply build their own PC's (or upgrade their current PC for even less), and download Steam OS for Free.

Console gamers looking for a streamlined PC experience, are the sole audience for Steam Machines. Thus they bring nothing new to the table, besides allowing PC manufacturers the opportunity to build PC's a slightly less prices without worrying about the Windows OS overhead. But as you can see in the pricing structure of many of the Steam Machines they're still charging as if Windows was still in there.

Steam Machines won't be where they need to be performance : price wise until a company invest in them fully.

1. Steam for Linux isn't up to par with the Windows version at all.

2. Price : Performance: $499 Steam Machines are better for games than the XBO, but shocking worse in CPU and would be worse as well if it wasn't for the GPU's GDDR5 RAM. And the PS4 is arguably better than them.

The only real benefit from this, is Steam OS itself. The actual PC's acting as consoles, are a pass unless you don't know how to build your own PC (which is extremely easy, and can be done with a 20 minute YouTube video).
amiga-man  +   634d ago
If nothing else they bring potential, a PC without windows focused on gaming running an efficient game based operating system could take PC gaming to the next level.

It will be a slow burner but overtime really could take over the PC gaming market.
Grave  +   634d ago
Well said, I agree. Look at how hated Steam was in the beginning. Everyone was saying it would be a colossal failure and wasn't necessary. Now it's the leader of the pack when it comes to PC gaming.

Everyone hating now will be proven wrong, again.
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Gh05t  +   634d ago
The problem is you don't need a steam machine to make a better OS. I mean if they fundamentally changed the whole OS and it got supported and took off you still don't need the steam machine.

I have Steam OS but no steam machine... I really want them to continue and make it better and I hope that the OS takes off but still don't need a steam machine for it.

Crawl before you run...
Einhert  +   634d ago
Because it has Linux as an operating system which is just flat out bad.

Not able to run DX games means for now it is completely pointless for anybody because every developer is developing for DX.

If this creates a rift in PC gaming were some games are restricted to linux and others restricted to DX it will be disastrous and fracture the PC market.
Dude420  +   634d ago
LOL, you really have no idea what you're spouting.

Having a Linux OS is good because it's a free license for developers unlike Windows. When SteamOS takes off with a strong support for games, people won't have to worry about buying a Windows home license.

Valve is trying to transition the developers from Windows to Linux as smoothly as possible. If some want to develop on Windows, that's fine. SteamOS will provide a streaming functionality where you can still play Windows games on your machine with SteamOS. All you need is a system at least capable of running SteamOS and your Windows gaming machine can flex its muscles.

This is evolution, some people want change, some don't.
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Einhert  +   634d ago
LOL, Clearly you have no idea what you are talking about.

Do you even understand how redundant the streaming of DX games is?

So for me to stream DX games I technically need two PCs, one obviously running windows anyway so what is the point in that?

Is every PC developer going to switch to linux? and start using OpenGL instead of Direct X?

I seriously doubt it.
Dude420  +   634d ago
You appear to be misinformed. It's not redundant just because you yourself have no use for it. However, other people may have use for it if their PC's aren't hooked up to their TVs (if they wish to play Windows games on TV).

The other thing you don't seem to realize is that SteamOS, again, is a free OS. You don't need 2 PC's to run both Linux and Windows games at all, because you can do what's called a Dual-boot, perhaps you've heard of it, so where does this fracture come in again?

Maybe not all PC developers are going to switch to Linux any time soon, but the free license certainly makes the option attractive. One of the most graphically demanding games, Metro: Last Light is supported on SteamOS so that appears to be a start.
Pintheshadows  +   634d ago
I am sorry, but they bring nothing to the table whatsoever. They are overpriced PC's (as in I could make similar spec machines for cheaper) in pretty little boxes and as it stands the OS needs some serious work as Einhert alluded to.

It won't be relevant for a while yet, probably not until next gen. It will take a while to bed in much like Steam at its inception but I am not so sure this will be a success on that level. I think Valve have misjudged this a little.
Lou Ferrigno  +   634d ago
Although I am not defending the steam machines by any means ..
Please do explain how $500 is overpriced for a machine that can run alongside the PS4 and XBone? And some of them are even upgradable..

Also, can you explain in detail how you would make a cheaper with "Similar" specs? I'm all ears :)
Dude420  +   634d ago
Well, for one thing, I would at least put a quad core CPU like the Athlon 750K (same CPU performance as an A10-5700), which can be found for only $10 more than the A6. Other than that, it's a nice system since they have an R9 270 in there.
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Pintheshadows  +   634d ago
I am talking in comparison to a PC I could build for the same price which would be better and not restricted by Linux.

Quite easy Lou, buy parts on the internet and build it yourself without the stupid overpriced cases.
Lou Ferrigno  +   634d ago
pintheshadows - you must of miss interpreted the latter part of my comment .. I said in "detail" , not a summary ..A summary does not explain anything or help understand what you are trying to say ..

I was giving you the opportunity to back up your statements within your comment :)
Pintheshadows  +   634d ago
I'd back it up if I felt I had to but anyone who has been around PC gaming for a while will know that is common knowledge. I am not going to list websites and prices where I can find all the components for good prices to satisfy you.

Do it yourself. You were the Hulk. I have faith in you. It may also open your eyes to the fact that Steam Machines are not that good of a deal.
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GentlemenRUs  +   634d ago
Not split-screen gaming that's for sure.
Dude420  +   634d ago
How do you know there won't be split screen? It's not something exclusive to consoles you know, it's up to the devs to implement split-screen in PC games. However, most of the time they no need for it because PC's are not generally used for more than 1 person. While there are few, there are games out there that support split-screen.

If the steam machines do take off, then they might have an effect on split-screens in the future.
Gh05t  +   634d ago
They bring less than pre built crappy pc from the shelf at bestbuy considering it runs a linux OS.

All I have to say is it would cost me far less to buy a 25-50 foot Hdmi cable and plug that into my tv with "big picture" then have to buy a steam machine and stream my non linux games from my already custom built pc.

I know not everyone has a high end pc but the steam machine offers far less than a mid range pc with the ability to play almost every game. Basically the steam machine without the support of another pc offers nothing for that price. As a pc at that price offers so much more and you could dual boot steam OS if you wanted to.
Dude420  +   634d ago
Offers nothing? What are you talking about? The Steam machines + the OS haven't been officially released yet and they're already starting to get a lot of support from developers. By the time they release, there will probably be more games supported.

Yes, if you already have a gaming PC, then there's no point. The steam machines are for those who want to get into PC gaming without having to build it themselves. While it's true you could probably build it yourself for cheaper, some of the prices are at least much better than the pre-built Windows machines.

On the other hand, this is why they're releasing steam machines and the OS by itself, so you can try it out if you want to.
Gh05t  +   634d ago
Your logic is messed up.

Steam machine brings nothing to the table.

Even if it supported by more devs that doesn't mean that another pc can't play it too.

Until it has exclusives than it brings zero to the table that another pc for the same price can't do? It's just another option and at this point in an option that offers less.

That's what I'm talking about. Unless you can tell me what they truly off that can't be achieved by anything or any other way?

Edited for phones bad autocorrect.
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Lou Ferrigno  +   634d ago
@dude420's logic makes perfect sense , you (Gho5t) fail to see it is all ..
you have to stop thinking about yourself and take off the blindfold.. this is for people that want PC gaming without building their own PC .. you would be VERY surprised at how many people fear and/or do not know a thing about building PC's ..ESPECAILLY for gaming ..

I believe the Steam Machines will give more light to the world of PC gaming to the masses instead of being some Hardcore nerd .. It will give everyone the opportunity to try PC gaming out as @Dude420 was saying...

Think outside the box, man.. If it came with Windows 8.1 installed then there would be more of a valid argument I agree ,but it's a solid OS specifically for gaming and I'm all for more ways for people to get into gaming :)
CaulkSlap  +   634d ago
They're something I have no practical use for. Yet I hope they're successful and do damage to the DirectX monopoly on PC gaming. If MS is going to force garbage like Metro in Windows then I would love to make the Linux jump (without losing games).
Mac420  +   634d ago
Exclusive do nothing, don't know why people bring that up. I'm a console player an thinking of getting into PC gaming. But I'm sorry nobody buys consoles because of exclusives, those days have long faded. Biggest games every year are Multiplats, There might be games perceived as better ( Last of Us, Halo Series etc) But there numbers don't compare to a multiplat.

An if you really want to get technical, once Steam OS is supported more, they will have the most exclusives. So your point has no point.
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mochachino  +   634d ago
Prior to their CES reveal, I thought a revolution in PC gaming.

Post-CES I'm thinking more along the lines of yet another way to sell over priced gaming PCs.
#9 (Edited 634d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply

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