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Steam Machines Announced

The second announcement of Valve's promised three announcements is live, following news of plans for SteamOS with details on Steam Machines, a "powerful new category of living-room hardware" they say is "on the horizon." Join the hardware beta now. Choose the model right for you in 2014. They describe plans for a variety of such machines coming from several partners to account for differing needs, and outline a Valve Prototype, saying they are shipping 300 of these free to Steam users to test. They outline how to qualify as a tester and also have a FAQ covering the topic. The FAQ indicates that some games will use "in-home streaming," saying Steam Machines can play: "The nearly 3,000 games on Steam. Hundreds already running natively on the SteamOS, with more to come. The rest will work seamlessly via in-home streaming." Here's word on testing:

While these products are still in development, we need your help. As always, we believe the best way to ensure that the right products are getting made is to let people try them out and then make changes as we go. We have designed a high-performance prototype thatís optimized for gaming, for the living room, and for Steam. Of course, itís also completely upgradable and open.

This year weíre shipping just 300 of these boxes to Steam users, free of charge, for testing. You can make yourself eligible to get one. How? Read on!

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80. Re: Steam Machines Announced Sep 25, 2013, 21:53 Nameless One
It's interesting that some people seem to be treating Steam Machines in the same way as they would a PC, rather than treat it as a console, and bringing up all sorts of negatives as if they were the target audience when at best they may be a small part of it.
I hope Valve are very successful, I think it would be great to have a situation where (for the most part) "console" and "PC" are the same thing and there is no need to port anything as they are the same platform with consoles at worst being like an old PC that games companies try (perhaps a little too hard) to keep supporting ahead of bleeding edge hardware that few have.

Also, with PS4 and XBone being fancy PC hardware (what I presume is a standard x86 CPU instruction set being the key here) they are both potential Steam Machines, the work of porting SteamOS to either platform (Sony/Microsoft permitting) would be fairly easy and nothing would need to be done to the games for it to work. Sony allowing dual boot is a remote possibility I believe, Microsoft is likely to take an "over our dead bodies" approach.

edit: the Heterogeneous Unified Memory Access architecture of the consoles would likely complicate SteamOS porting matters somewhat but if the APIs such as OpenGL were suitably modified on the hypothetical PS4/XBone SteamOS ports then while it wouldn't necessarily take advantage of the different memory architecture it would still allow those consoles to behave like a standard Steam Machine from the point of view of the games and end users (assuming there isn't something else to get in the way of a port and that HUMA isn't an insurmountable obstacle).

This comment was edited on Sep 25, 2013, 22:48.
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