[Oct 04, 2013, 3:40 pm ET] - Share - Viewing Comments
Steam Community website
has more details on plans for Steam hardware and the
prototypes they plan on shipping to testers. Here's a bit on the update from the
Steam hardware bunker:
So for our own first prototype Steam Machine (
the one we're
shipping to 300 Steam users ), we've chosen to build something special. The
prototype machine is a high-end, high-performance box, built out of
off-the-shelf PC parts. It is also fully upgradable, allowing any user to swap
out the GPU, hard drive, CPU, even the motherboard if you really want to. Apart
from the custom enclosure, anyone can go and build exactly the same machine by
shopping for components and assembling it themselves. And we expect that at
least a few people will do just that. (We'll also share the source CAD files for
our enclosure, in case people want to replicate it as well.)
And to be clear, this design is not meant to serve the needs of all of the tens
of millions of Steam users. It may, however, be the kind of machine that a
significant percentage of Steam users would actually want to purchase - those
who want plenty of performance in a high-end living room package. Many others
would opt for machines that have been more carefully designed to cost less, or
to be tiny, or super quiet, and there will be Steam Machines that fit those
Here are the specifications for Valve's 300 prototypes.
The 300 prototype units will ship with the following components: GPU: some units
with NVidia Titan, some GTX780, some GTX760, and some GTX660 CPU: some boxes
with Intel : i7-4770, some i5-4570, and some i3 RAM: 16GB DDR3-1600 (CPU), 3GB
DDR5 (GPU) Storage: 1TB/8GB Hybrid SSHD Power Supply: Internal 450w 80Plus Gold
Dimensions: approx. 12 x 12.4 x 2.9 in high
As a hardware platform, the Steam ecosystem will change over time, so any
upgrades will be at each user's discretion. In the future we'll talk about how
Steam will help customers understand the differences between machines, hardware
strengths and weaknesses, and upgrade decisions.
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||Re: Steam Hardware Prototype Details
||Oct 5, 2013, 06:16
|I will have to wait and see, but I am skeptical just like many others.
The form factor and new controller design are interesting, but this will not be a direct console competitor nor does it appear to some fantastical reimagining of the PC.
On the PC front, my fear is a dumbing down of the PC's capabilities and the decrease in customization from Valve's presumed intent to consolidate everything into a handful of SKUs. At a certain point, if my "PC" system becomes less robust, the console systems keep moving towards a classic PC architecture, and resolutions/capabilities stagnate (such as Carmack's love for 1080p...,) I could see a future console, especially one that finally accepts and properly utilizes a mouse and keyboard option, might be a better option based upon price and performance.
Otherwise, Valve's OS better show amazing, profound performance differences, though past operating systems have not shown this ability. I am very, very interested in streaming my PC and/or consoles to different screens, but I don't currently see a point or feel any type of hook for the Steam systems. I already have a nice system that I can customize endlessly on a whim and I am able to do so for a relatively lean cost due to my ability to change out individual components on a whim, by having a wide range of options and being able to select the one with an exceptional price to performance ratio, and/or delaying purchase over a one or two week period and watching for brief online deals from numerous retails that may last only a day or even a few hours.
I can partially see this as Valve's attempt as an upscale console - start out with the consoles, then learn to do more or want for more customization or graphical fidelity with our mini-PC - but there already seem to be good alternatives to this. This might a good option for the rich/lazy/uninformed people that buy Alienware systems or as a response to graphics cards vendors that are trying to sell you three or four GPU system, but it doesn't initially seem price efficient nor is it appealing to me as a system builder. I would need a lot more to give up my current system and I certainly won't buy two high end systems, to say nothing of the "average" gaming consumer that is locked out by cost from buying anything more than a console.
Screw it unless the price is there and the OS numbers are insane.
Skeptical and waiting,