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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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121. Re: Steam Hardware Plans? Mar 4, 2012, 23:31 Dev
Jerykk wrote on Mar 4, 2012, 23:15:
I just really can't see the Steam Box appealing to either console or PC gamers.
I have friends that ask me what they should buy if they want to game on PC but don't want to spend a lot (often the kinda person who plays WoW). Most "gaming" machines from places like dell are overpriced crap, and people would be better off getting a regular dell and adding a low end graphics card. If valve comes out with this, I can tell them to get a steam box.

So yeah, there are some people it would appeal to, thats at least one category I have personal experience with.

Jerykk wrote on Mar 4, 2012, 23:15:
That said, some options are pretty subjective. V-sync, for example. People with 60 Hz monitors tend to swear by V-Sync, as they're willing to deal with input lag in favor of preventing tearing. Conversely, others are more tolerant of tearing instead of input lag. Same deal with mouse smoothing.
And those people are the ones who know what the options are and do (or at least think they do) and don't need the help setting it. Every game has a default v-sync setting, I don't think valve would normally need to mess with it.
Jerykk wrote on Mar 4, 2012, 23:15:
There's also the matter of standards. What will be considered a minimum acceptable framerate? Or resolution? Or AA level? Or AF level? Given the size of the machine, I highly doubt it'll be capable of running every game at 1080p, 8xAA, 16xAF, all at 60 FPS. It's much more likely that 30 FPS will be considered standard, in which case the Steam Box won't be much of an improvement over consoles.
Most likely, the kinda people who worry about that stuff are probably going to want to build their own box (or if they have oodles of money, buy an alienware).
The 6870 that I mentioned before should be more than capable of running most games at 1080p with the settings you mentioned. As for FPS, that's only ONE of the things that make up a game's graphics level. Anything that a console can run at 30fps, a PC such as the $500 one I specced out can run at 60 FPS with far more graphical details and settings.

As for acceptable settings, I'm fairly sure I already mentioned in this thread a way valve could get that info.

This comment was edited on Mar 5, 2012, 00:04.
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