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12. Re: Evening Consolidation Jan 10, 2013, 06:55 RenownWolf
Beamer I disagree HTPCs are closer to what the steam box will most likely be. Difference I see is that they will all have the same (or close to) CPU/Video setups to keep that part consistent.

Imagine they release 2 versions, the normal package which runs the majority of games at med-high settings, then a second top tier which runs them at the high-ultra levels. Assuming you only had to support 2 CPUs (both same manufacturer), 2 GPUs (same as cpu), same motherboard/audio you could just have a steambox update monthly (or whatever period that suits) which would make it idiot proof.

And since they are doing the updates and distributing them themselves they can check if the drivers work with the games before release, or force a rollback if required.

If they could also get netflix/hulu/media company to add their stuff to it, then add all the computer software that they find compatible, sure you can uses whatever, but this way they have a short list of what is safe to use, and as we know people will generally use what they are told.

This is why I think steam wanted to start working with selling software too. Plus they control what products go there, and then they can on boot show off ads for the new software. Really they don't have to spend heaps on R&D the best they can do is use their market power (ie buying millions of units) to get the cpu/gpu/audio/ram combo down to cheap and box it up. I believe the Xi3 stuff is simply their way to test the market, and see if it is feasible.

These guys are damn smart if they are going that way, and I look forward to it. If they can get it on the same level as a console but with the power of a pc they will make people happy. Why have a locked down console when you have choices, you can even Skype to grandma with her pc while you sit on the couch.

I can see this as a better way to get into the living room, and worry about making game/software sales. The hardware business is nothing more than a vehicle to get there.

Heck, they make it look like the Xi3 I can unplug goto a friends place, find a spare screen (most middleclass houses these days have multiple screens with HDMI or similar connections) and just get into gaming.

Finally if they could license something similar to the keyboard/mouse combo that the phantom console turned into (google it) then they could even put me on the couch playing an RTS.

Lots of ifs and maybes, but damn it could be good. They really just need to work on the manufacturing costs and distribution. I hope Xi3 is a great test pilot for them. Cutting out the cost of the OS will save them bundles that can be gained as profit. Heck breaking even on the Steambox would be a great strategy just because they are getting their store in front of more eyes, and people already love it.
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