Valve’s Steam Machine is the anti-console. Here’s what it’s like to play

Touring the Bellevue, Wash. headquarters of video game company Valve can feel like stepping into the lair of a mad scientist. That's especially true in the Steam Machine project areas, where there is a graveyard of cast-off designs strewn between 3-D printers and designer stations. But the results of this chaos are Valve's first two major steps into the hardware business: The prototype Steam Machine and its controller.

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ABizzel11805d ago

I love Valve, I love Steam, but I think this thing is going to fail.

I don't see who their audience is.

PC games can simply move their PC to the living room if it's that big of a deal, and with 1440p and 4k gaming taking over in the PC a dedicated monitor is high up on a PC gamers list vs. hooking up to a TV.

Console gamers, simply aren't interested because the majority feel $500 cost too much for a console and the Steambox is going to be anywhere from $500 - $1,000 based on the specs.

I just don't see a large enough audience for Steambox to succeed in comparison to consoles. I see the hardware, I see the specs., and I see the potential. I just don't see the audience.

Mr Tretton1805d ago (Edited 1805d ago )

I think it's about space. This is a space saver built for the living room. Your standard PC isn't very living room friendly depending on some people's set up. The way many people are, there are people that wouldn't be caught dead with a big PC awkwardly stuffed next to their TV. That isn't attractive at all to many people.

So the only audience this might capture for now are those who have been thinking of going PC, and this looks more attractive to them, or possible PC gamers who are tired of the bulky PC as well.

The thing people need to stop thinking is that Valve is going seriously head on against the console guys, c'mon, even Valve can't possibly be thinking that.

This is also getting ahead of the fact that, this Steambox, is eventually what consoles will become. This is about securing and working towards the future of entertainment by getting ahead. Not fighting the upcoming consoles.


BattleAxe1805d ago (Edited 1805d ago )

The Steam Machine is simply about bringing the Steam service to the livingroom. Initially PC gamers will be the main purchasers of this product, but console gamers will slowly become interested in the Steam Machine.

It's a slick looking console, and the controller looks really nice too. I think this product will be something that grows more over time, mainly because Valve doesn't have the advertising budget that Sony or Microsoft have, but the people over at valve are smart cookies, and I'm sure that they'll find a way to get the word out.

People seem to forget that Steam Wallet cards have been available at GameStop for going on 2 years now, so console gamers aren't totally unaware of Steam. You have to know that GameStop will probably also carry Steam Machines, and we may also see them in BestBuy/Future shop or some other large retailers.

If they can hook up some retail partnerships with some of the big box stores, and have a model that is priced in the $500.00 range, then I don't see why it wouldn't be a viable alternative to the PS4 or the Xbox One in particular.

Throw in Portal 3, Left 4 Dead 3, and Half-Life 3 Steam exclusivity around the time that the steam Machines launch, and I think Valve will get some good traction.

I should also point out that all you have to do is look at Steam's more than 50 million user accounts, which adds up a lot of word of mouth. Just yesterday when I was online, I noticed that there were over 6.7 million concurrent users logged into Steam. We're not dealing with a small company here.

BattleAxe1805d ago

Wow, I didn't realize that Steam now has 65 million user accounts, way more than Microsofts 48 Million user accounts.

slayorofgods1804d ago

wait isn't the xboxone 500 dollars as well?

We all know that the steam box isn't going to be the king of the console race. Fortunately it doesn't need to be. If the steambox gets anywhere near the original xbox sales it will be a major success. Think back, people where saying MS didn't belong in the console arena way back then. Sounding familiar to the steambox reaction?

Steam is already a successful gaming platform. All steambox is going to do is expand their already huge market. I doubt pc gamers are going to uninstall steam on their pcs because they don't like steambox...

Steam box is new and it will take time for it to really catch on. Its a no brainer the PS3 and xbox will outsell it. But, as time goes on I can see the steam box finally picking up momentum, especially since it is so flexible with specs and its ability to play games at different ranges.

allgamespc20121805d ago

their audience is the 65 million steam users, what? you thought it was the console market? come on man. it is not going to fail, mark my workds. I am getting one day 1 even though i already own a titan.

This isnt for console gamers who want cheap crap like your 720 xbone or 900p ps4. this is for us, steam lovers and users.

Sevir1805d ago

The steam members are on PC... And they use Steam because it's convenient to buy cheap games, I can guarantee that the 65 million users aren't PC enthusiasts who game exclusively on PC but have just a standard pc and a console...

The Steam OS is already bringing steam machine functionality to PC's so again, who exactly the steam machines for?

Rivitur1805d ago

^ I direct you to read the steam machines reveal over on there you will find your answer and end this same question that has been answered a Bunch over the past months.

Maxor1805d ago (Edited 1805d ago )

You are completely missing the point. This is Steam attempt to move into the living room on the back of a platform which they totally dominate. Unlike MS which forces you to choose side between their console platform and the PC, Valve is covering all the options and more.

You want enjoy games on the PC? Steam does that. You want to stream PC games from your uber desktop gaming PC to the TV? Steam does that. You need a gaming PC that is designed to sit next to your TV? Steam machine. Oh you want that in Linux too? Yup Steam. Regardless of how you play or where it's all Steam all the time.

This is something which no one else can offer thus far. Considering the fact that the line between console and PC are merging each day this gaming pan-platform idea is potentially brilliant. I'm just amazed that MS haven't exploited this yet.

Sideras1805d ago

It's for people who don't already own a gaming rig and for people who would want a PC rig but are scared off by all the components and the whole building part.

It's essentially streamlining the PC market, offering a few selections of different hardware for those who don't want to go fiddeling with the PC building.

I honestly don't see what people are so confused about.

LeoDDestroyer1805d ago

Maybe because they are already pre-built gaming pc out there. When I decided to make my own I could have got one that was already made but I wanted to do it myself.

H0RSE1804d ago (Edited 1804d ago )

Pre-built systems still require maintenance - driver conflicts, software updates, BIOS settings, etc. You still need to have some sense of know-how to effectively maintain a PC, regardless who built it.

In addition to the building part, this is the other big reason many people shy away from PC's for gaming.

Blackdeath_6631805d ago

its for console gamers who want in on PC gaming but can't build and configure a pc themselves or just don't want to put up with that hassle. dealing with PC's can be a big headache sometime and all you want to do is just play games this console is for you. besides about the price its upgradeable so they can pay for a base model now and a few years down the line just update the part they want to renew instead of buying a new console

awi59511805d ago (Edited 1805d ago )

Those monitors wont be mainstream for 10 years they are stupid high. Who is going to spend 4k on a 31 inch monitor just buy you a giant ass 100 inch LED TV i would be happier and more impressed with that.

Erdrick1805d ago

steam boxes are using hardware components from multiple manufacturers - so there will be competition to provide the best, cheapest system. i'd say bang per buck will generally be much better than a console. this is for people sick of fanboys and console wars and just want to play on a system where the user is king.

JasonKCK1805d ago

MS moved from the PC to the couch so why can't Steam?

thisismyaccount1804d ago

Yep, same dilemma i have.. i don´t see this flourish anywhere.

Quote by Tretton

Your standard PC isn't very living room friendly depending on some people's set up.<>That isn't attractive at all to many people.

Throwing 1000 dollars or more for a small form factor made by Valve is okay with your standards, simply because your current PC-case is fugly ? Ahem... how about this :

A> buy a HTPC case
B> put that cr-p into the new case
C> pretend that you have games

This is beyond stupid, just because Gabe or Valves wan´t this or that, doesnt mean it going to succeed or be anything worth spending "extra" money at it. Valve the new Apple?

Quote by BattleAxe
..console gamers will slowly become interested in the Steam Machine.

You have to elaborate on this, i simply don´t see any console gamer jump or getting a Valve Box for another 500 or more dollars..., especially if you already have a top-notch PC for your Kerbal goes to PC - desire at 4k.

Sudden interested... sure. If consoles still had 8bit gfx! Otherwise i don´t see the appeal at all....

Enthusiast - Group A playing on 3x or 5x 30" in portrait mode
720-1080p PC Gamer 650-1000$ Group B
Console Gamer - Group C
Handheld Gamer - Group D
No Gamer - Group E Nanny....
Valve Freaks - Group F Gabelover

Only those, that are currenlty planing on upgrading their PC Rig and can dig this "PC on 65" Tellie Gaming" concept might wait with their purchase and see what the Valve Box will be... everyone else, who already owns a great - uber PC does not give a fuck about playing on their 42"LCD, nor do Console Gamer want to get another box for the same games they already get for 60 bucks (multiplats) on their system, same goes for hardcore handheld gamers or ppl. who dont know cr-p about PC or Gaming at all...

I´m interested because my PC is from 2008, gpu from 2011 and only because of those number im waiting til 2014 instead of getting now a i5 or newest i7 CPU with a 500$ gpu.

Again this can only succeed if they heavly subsidize (which so many wishful dream of... TITAN for 500 dollars), only then this can hit like a meteorite, until then it´s more like a fly having some digestion problem..

if Price is right > 100%
if Price is about the same as of now (PC components), no discount all > -99% interest

Let´s wait and see what 2014 will bring us, thank god we dont have to wait til end of next year to find out what Valve really wants... besides your Money.

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SpiralTear1805d ago

The only people who I think would be interested in the Steam Machines are people who are already educated with Valve and PC gaming, but they probably already have powerful enough rigs, so a Steam Machine would be a redundant purchase.

The fact that we're still not seeing a clear use of exclusive features just yet is another issue. Where's the advantage? What does the Steam Box deliver that you can't already find on a console or gaming PC? That will determine how the Steam Machines will do, and right now, it's not looking too bright for them.

But as always, time will tell.

punisher991805d ago

They say they are the anti console. I say they are the anti windows. They will be a great answer and a scapegoat for those who want to get away from windows.

punisher991805d ago (Edited 1805d ago )


And I guarantee you all those supposedly windows only PC games, will end up working on the steam os.

JasonKCK1804d ago

Windows 8 is bad. MS needs to go back to 7 and just update that over and over.

dredgewalker1805d ago

Yep, it's more anti windows. It's just another pc with a different os and it's games are mostly targeted at the pc crowd. Though I do have to say that the line between consoles and pc is slowly becoming a blur.

Drummerdude411805d ago

I don't need a steam console cause i have a rig and enjoy having a workstation and game console in one machine. The benefits of a steam console for me are that when i upgrade my pc i can put my old hardware in a steam machine for my brother who is more into console gaming. That's where the whole anti console thing comes into play. Valve is all about freedom and keeping everything open(Like modding and in some senses custom firmware) where as consoles are all about tight restrictions and keeping the platform as closed as possible(no mods,hardware changes, firmware deviations etc.). The ability to have a console that can be adapted to your lifestyle, schedule and level of interest is very thoughtful.

nominal2661805d ago

I am mildly interested in the steam box. I think the biggest issue for me is price point and hardware for this one. I have a huge library on steam, and to see this library come to life on my TV in an orderly and neat fashion would be interesting.

I just cant help but imagine how many rounds of updates it is going to take to make the OS seem smooth with the amount of diversity in the Steam gaming library.

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