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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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122. Re: Steam Hardware Plans? Mar 5, 2012, 06:58 Beamer
Jerykk wrote on Mar 4, 2012, 20:05:
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.

But how many of those people are PC gamers? You don't really need a lot of tech knowledge in order to check your e-mail or browse the web. Being a PC gamer, on the other hand, requires significantly more tech savvy.

Even if Valve hides all the OS stuff, you still have the in-game stuff to deal with. How many console gamers know what V-Sync is? Or mouse smoothing? Or DX11? Or triple buffering? Or anisotropic filtering? Or antialiasing? The average console gamer doesn't know or care about any of these things. They just want to sit on their couch and play games. Sure, players can skip all the video and control configuration and just jump into the game, but that typically results in an inferior experience because default settings are usually crap. And if someone doesn't care about having an inferior experience, they'll just stick with consoles.

And even then, the people with ZERO knowledge are the ones that get bogged down with viruses and spyware that they never manage to clear. They don't understand how they get it and don't learn how to remove it.

With consoles you don't have that issue. You put a disc in and you play a disc. You get the same experience every time. There's no antivirus or fake antivirus eating up CPU cycles. There are no worries. Yeah, RROD, but even in that case you just ship it back to Microsoft and take out a new one a few days later. Slap the HDD from Unit A back into Unit B and it's almost like things never changed. No technical skill required, no worries - something either works or doesn't work, no gray area where it works but not well and the guy you're playing against probably has it working better and is kicking your ass because of it.

People here may not find that compelling. People here are a niche. It's like if I went into a BMW dealership and started berating everyone not buying an M3. What, you think your stupid 525 is going to be as fun to drive? It hardly snows here, why are you wasting weight on AWD?! Oh, right, maybe what is awesome for my priorities is niche and doesn't fit what you want...
I know Jerykk hates car analogies and loves describing PC gaming as objectively better, but he always forgets that convenience, ease, lack of worrying/fiddling and a level playing field matter very much to many people and not at all to him, making things subjective.
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