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Steam Hardware Plans?

A post on The Verge follows up on recent comments by Valve's Gabe Newell about the possibility of Steam hardware by saying this is exactly what Valve is working on, and a reveal may come as early as next week at San Francisco's Game Developer's Conference (thanks Kotaku).

The article cites unnamed "sources" who say Valve is working with various hardware vendors on a "Steam Box," which sounds more exotic than "Windows PC," which is what this seems like, as word is: "Apparently meetings were held during CES to demo a hand-built version of the device to potential partners. We're told that the basic specs of the Steam Box include a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GPU. The devices will be able to run any standard PC titles, and will also allow for rival gaming services (like EA's Origin) to be loaded up." They note a couple of possibilities that may make this more distinctive than a hardware specification, speculating it may include a proprietary controller, a biometric feedback device, and could take better advantage of Steam's "big picture mode."

This all still speculation at this point, as Valve has not responded to their request for comment.

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103. Re: Steam Hardware Plans? Mar 4, 2012, 16:16 Dev
 
RollinThundr wrote on Mar 4, 2012, 02:14:
But calling them customer centric is a stretch imo. Justifying shit not getting finished by them because their employees aren't interested in it? Why should anyone justify that? Or think that it's ok?
[...]
They care about their fans, yet have erratic patching and half the time don't fix issues for years or at all. Yep that's real customer care right there! Yes indeedy! Headscratch
Nowhere did I call them customer centric. I said that they care about their customers. There's a wide gulf. I said "they care more about their employees" which explains nearly all the things you mentioned (in fact what I said should lead any reasonable person to think I was closer to saying they are more employee centric than customer centric). In fact, gabe says he's "obsessed" (his word not mine) with employee health. And nowhere did I say I was trying to justify it. I'm merely trying to EXPLAIN it. And I individually explained a couple of the other issues too in your little list.
eunichron wrote on Mar 4, 2012, 04:51:
Valve isn't going to win anyone over with this, console players are going to stick to their Playstation and Xbox, and PC gamers are going to stay with their current machines.
Depends. They have a unique opportunity to win some players into PC gaming in the time before the next gen consoles come out. If valve considers why people choose consoles over PC's, and tries to address the reasons, they have a shot at getting some into PC. For instance, ease of use. Valve could make the steam interface easier to use for consolers. Many are interested in flashy things rather than substantial things, especially how good a game looks, and the PC looks far better than a console. Another would be cost, many consolers have the impression a gaming PC costs $1000+. It doesn't, one can get one for $500 or less. It still may not be as cheap as a PS3, but its not terribly far away from the $300 or so it sells at now (and as I recall, didn't the PS3 come out at more than $500?). If they make the PC smallish and able to get sound and video through HDMI, and target consolers, than many people could use their TV monitor instead od thinking they need to buy a new PC monitor. Plus it would reduce cost of the system. And valve needs to emphasize that games tend to be less expensive on PC and they have great sales.

There's other things valve could do too. Its not perfect, and I doubt it will convince a huge number of consolers, but I think it could easily convince some.
This comment was edited on Mar 4, 2012, 17:27.
 
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