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120. Re: Steam Hardware Plans? Mar 4, 2012, 23:15 Jerykk
Bhruic wrote on Mar 4, 2012, 21:43:
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.

If you've got dedicated hardware then you can ship a config file specifically designed for that hardware, and eliminate the need for the end user to fiddle with settings.

True. That said, some options are pretty subjective. V-sync, for example. People with 60 Hz monitors tend to swear by V-Sync, as they're willing to deal with input lag in favor of preventing tearing. Conversely, others are more tolerant of tearing instead of input lag. Same deal with mouse smoothing.

There's also the matter of standards. What will be considered a minimum acceptable framerate? Or resolution? Or AA level? Or AF level? Given the size of the machine, I highly doubt it'll be capable of running every game at 1080p, 8xAA, 16xAF, all at 60 FPS. It's much more likely that 30 FPS will be considered standard, in which case the Steam Box won't be much of an improvement over consoles.

I just really can't see the Steam Box appealing to either console or PC gamers. It won't be as cheap, easy or convenient as a console, nor will it be as powerful or flexible as a regular PC. It also won't have any high-profile exclusives. It will suffer from the same issue that the WiiU will inevitably face; no definitive target audience.
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