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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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112. Re: Steam Hardware Plans? Mar 4, 2012, 19:49 Dev
CJ_Parker wrote on Mar 4, 2012, 18:57:
Dev wrote on Mar 4, 2012, 18:34:
Huh, would you look at that. We are only up to $495 for all the core components. And those are the prices I as an end buyer can achieve, presumably valve could get them for less in quantity.

Interesting. So we don't need a case and a power supply? Oops.
Interesting. I said "core components" in that bit you quoted. Oops.

Those parts are something I spent just a few minutes researching the prices to demonstrate that a powerful gaming computer can be built for far less than most people assume. Its definitely not the perfect machine with a perfect mix of cost/performance/reliability/quietness.

As for the xbox RROD, their poor power supply was only one small part of the problems that caused the early RRODs. They also had things like bad solder jobs (the non leaded solder bugs were still being worked out as I recall). Incidentally, this is why some people could overheat the xbox (wrapping a towel around it) and get some RROD boxes working again. I think they had as high as a 66% failure rate on the first run of xboxes.
Amusingly enough, MS has power supply problems that led to mass replacement on BOTH the xbox 1 and xbox 360.
Jerykk wrote on Mar 4, 2012, 19:05:
A small PC is still a PC and as such, requires an OS, drivers and occasional maintenance. It also requires knowledge and understanding of hardware.
My guess is steam would make some sorta rethemed overlay to whatever OS they used. Kinda like those HTPC things that make everything simpler and cover up things that aren't needed to play media.
Steam already has a driver checker that can do updates, they can use expand that. Updates can generally be configured to be done silently and automatically. Other maintenance type things can be configured to be automatic too such as a background defrag. Lots of people own and use PC's with ZERO knowledge and understanding of hardware, and valve can make a lot of stuff happen automatically under the hood.
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