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Valve Living Room PCs Next Year?

Valve expands upon their plans for hardware, with Gabe Newell telling Kotaku they hope to begin selling appliance-style PCs next year to provide a turnkey way to play Steam games in the living room using the service's new Big Picture Mode. He explains this will help to unify two oddly defined environments:

"I think in general that most customers and most developers are gonna find that [the PC is] a better environment for them," Newell told me. "Cause they won't have to split the world into thinking about 'why are my friends in the living room, why are my video sources in the living room different from everyone else?' So in a sense we hopefully are gonna unify those environments."

Newell said he's expecting a lot of different companies to release these types of packages—"We'll do it but we also think other people will as well," he told me—and that Valve's hardware might not be as open-source or as malleable as your average computer.

"Well certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environment," he said. "If you want more flexibility, you can always buy a more general purpose PC. For people who want a more turnkey solution, that's what some people are really gonna want for their living room.

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77 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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77. Re: Valve Living Room PCs Next Year? Dec 13, 2012, 15:19 hello newman
 
Interesting point below that the machine might run some Linux.

We might have heard something from Microsoft if this "console" would use some Windows to directly compete with the Xbox right?...
 
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76. Re: Valve Living Room PCs Next Year? Dec 11, 2012, 15:56 RollinThundr
 
netnerd85 wrote on Dec 11, 2012, 04:28:
RollinThundr wrote on Dec 10, 2012, 15:17:
Creston wrote on Dec 10, 2012, 13:19:
netnerd85 wrote on Dec 10, 2012, 12:57:
Not around the world. Can't get sh*t in Australia. We still have Kangaroos delivering our movies. VHS tapes in their pouches. Might as well be any way!

Steam's set up box isn't going to change that. That's the Australian cable companies having locked up the market with government blessing, so they don't have to deal with competition. It's not like Valve is going to be able to do anything about that.

Creston

Australia is one big fucking nanny state anyway. it's amazing to me that people actually want government to tell them how to live, what to eat, what they can and can't buy. etc.
People don't want that, it's just what happens. Sometimes people that think they know best get in - they tend to be Religious Men or Women with something to prove. We have a lot, and I mean A LOT of lawyers in government.

So why do people allow it? That the state can tell mature adults they can't buy a game for example due to it's content just blows my mind. Much like the New Yorkers who continue to elect idiots like Bloomberg who thinks outlawing sale of coca cola will somehow fight obesity.
 
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75. Re: Valve Living Room PCs Next Year? Dec 11, 2012, 04:28 netnerd85
 
RollinThundr wrote on Dec 10, 2012, 15:17:
Creston wrote on Dec 10, 2012, 13:19:
netnerd85 wrote on Dec 10, 2012, 12:57:
Not around the world. Can't get sh*t in Australia. We still have Kangaroos delivering our movies. VHS tapes in their pouches. Might as well be any way!

Steam's set up box isn't going to change that. That's the Australian cable companies having locked up the market with government blessing, so they don't have to deal with competition. It's not like Valve is going to be able to do anything about that.

Creston

Australia is one big fucking nanny state anyway. it's amazing to me that people actually want government to tell them how to live, what to eat, what they can and can't buy. etc.
People don't want that, it's just what happens. Sometimes people that think they know best get in - they tend to be Religious Men or Women with something to prove. We have a lot, and I mean A LOT of lawyers in government.
 
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74. Re: Valve Living Room PCs Next Year? Dec 11, 2012, 00:54 Krizzen
 
The real question is will the hardware even be viable one, two, or even three years into the future? If it's really powerful and affordable because of the sheer volume they'll sell, I can see this being a good thing. Gaming PCs aren't cheap, and consoles up till this point have been highly bastardized PCs.

So, if I can get a deal of the century on a high end gaming rig that will be viable for years, it may be worth dropping a few hundred bucks on it versus building a new $1000+ PC.

A few more points:
- Is "sideloading" permitted? (thanks Win8 for new unthinkable vocabulary) If not, crash and burn.
- Is it upgradeable? If not, crash and burn.
- Is it a standard form factor, i.e. truly customizable? If not, crash and burn.
- Will it have 16+ cores and like 64+ GB ram? If not, crash and burn.
 
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73. Re: Valve Living Room PCs Next Year? Dec 10, 2012, 23:03 TheEmissary
 
RaZ0r! wrote on Dec 9, 2012, 15:35:
You know there was one company that was the king of PC gaming and then it made a console and it nearly ruined PC gaming.

But then there was this awesome game company that made a awesome digital download service that people trusted with their games that helped keep PC gaming relevant and afloat.

But then they made a console....

Get real. There is really no universal definition of is a PC other than a Personal Computer. A PC can be a machine running Windows, Linux, Mac or any other OS. PCs can be made to fit in console like cases see Zbox or other HTPC cases. PCs pretty much can be used in whatever space the user wants it to be in. They have been in the living room for years but not for novice consumers. I don't think Valve wants to make a console they want to eliminate the hurdles for getting the PC in living room for the average user.
 
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72. Re: Valve Living Room PCs Next Year? Dec 10, 2012, 16:06 Fletch
 
Prez wrote on Dec 9, 2012, 21:34:
When you reply to a quote, make sure the "Remember Me" button is checked. The ignore script works on cookies I think.

That worked. Thanks.
 
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71. Re: Valve Living Room PCs Next Year? Dec 10, 2012, 15:37 wtf_man
 
RollinThundr wrote on Dec 10, 2012, 15:17:
Australia is one big fucking nanny state anyway. it's amazing to me that people actually want government to tell them how to live, what to eat, what they can and can't buy. etc.

Welcome to the USA, as well. George Orwell was only off by about 20 years or so.

Big Brother Is Watching You.
 
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70. Re: Valve Living Room PCs Next Year? Dec 10, 2012, 15:17 RollinThundr
 
Creston wrote on Dec 10, 2012, 13:19:
netnerd85 wrote on Dec 10, 2012, 12:57:
Not around the world. Can't get sh*t in Australia. We still have Kangaroos delivering our movies. VHS tapes in their pouches. Might as well be any way!

Steam's set up box isn't going to change that. That's the Australian cable companies having locked up the market with government blessing, so they don't have to deal with competition. It's not like Valve is going to be able to do anything about that.

Creston

Australia is one big fucking nanny state anyway. it's amazing to me that people actually want government to tell them how to live, what to eat, what they can and can't buy. etc.
 
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69. Re: Valve Living Room PCs Next Year? Dec 10, 2012, 13:38 nate12345
 
This is good for Valve. The Windows platform is a sinking ship, and Microsoft heading towards a walled garden. They are already locking out Steam from some flavors of Windows8. Windows 8 RT does not allow side loading of apps, so they can only be installed from Microsoft's app store, Steam not allowed. Value is not leaving Windows, but they are shifting their center of gravity by supporting Linux so they are not as dependent on Microsoft.

This new Steam box will no doubt run a flavor of Linux, which I think is why Value has announced future support for Linux. You will still be able to use Windows, or Linux, and probably even your own SteamBox (custom parts running Linux or Windows).
 
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68. Re: Valve Living Room PCs Next Year? Dec 10, 2012, 13:19 Creston
 
netnerd85 wrote on Dec 10, 2012, 12:57:
Not around the world. Can't get sh*t in Australia. We still have Kangaroos delivering our movies. VHS tapes in their pouches. Might as well be any way!

Steam's set up box isn't going to change that. That's the Australian cable companies having locked up the market with government blessing, so they don't have to deal with competition. It's not like Valve is going to be able to do anything about that.

Creston
 
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67. Re: Valve Living Room PCs Next Year? Dec 10, 2012, 12:57 netnerd85
 
Creston wrote on Dec 10, 2012, 12:25:
Beamer wrote on Dec 10, 2012, 11:39:
So, no one else thinks this is a big step towards Steam offering TV and movies?

The more pertinent question is: Is that something to get excited over? You can get TV and movies over just about everything nowadays. So maybe in a year you'll have Yet Another Thing That Gives You TV And Movies?

You'll forgive me if I don't hoist the Freedom Flag just yet.

Creston
Not around the world. Can't get sh*t in Australia. We still have Kangaroos delivering our movies. VHS tapes in their pouches. Might as well be any way!
 
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66. Re: Valve Living Room PCs Next Year? Dec 10, 2012, 12:25 Creston
 
Beamer wrote on Dec 10, 2012, 11:39:
So, no one else thinks this is a big step towards Steam offering TV and movies?

The more pertinent question is: Is that something to get excited over? You can get TV and movies over just about everything nowadays. So maybe in a year you'll have Yet Another Thing That Gives You TV And Movies?

You'll forgive me if I don't hoist the Freedom Flag just yet.

Creston
 
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65. Re: Valve Living Room PCs Next Year? Dec 10, 2012, 12:02 Beamer
 
4D-Boxing wrote on Dec 10, 2012, 11:52:
I was one of the first to say this would fail but after seeing Nvidia's road map.... They could easily succeed.

Upcoming gpus will be able to boot/run the os. All the costs associated to this endeavor went down 30% imho

But they can't run the games...
 
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64. Re: Valve Living Room PCs Next Year? Dec 10, 2012, 11:52 4D-Boxing
 
I was one of the first to say this would fail but after seeing Nvidia's road map.... They could easily succeed.

Upcoming gpus will be able to boot/run the os. All the costs associated to this endeavor went down 30% imho
 
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63. Re: Valve Living Room PCs Next Year? Dec 10, 2012, 11:39 Beamer
 
So, no one else thinks this is a big step towards Steam offering TV and movies?  
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http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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62. Re: Valve Living Room PCs Next Year? Dec 10, 2012, 11:37 PHJF
 
What consumer is Valve aiming for exactly and are those consumers numerous?

The millions already on Steam who (probably) game on capable desktops who still wouldn't mind gaming on a TV in the living room. Yeah there is nothing stopping anyone from making a HTPC and using that, but there's nothing stopping Valve from trying it themselves, either. They are flush. It all depends on price and specs.

And maybe a device like this would allow simultaneous access to a single Steam account across multiple devices? Prez could play Snuggle Truck on his PC while his kids play his other 1700 games in the living room.
 
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61. Re: Valve Living Room PCs Next Year? Dec 10, 2012, 11:19 avianflu
 
Sorry folks but this plan has about a 10% chance of winning market share:

1. you've got new shiny consoles coming out in less than a year. Console folks know those names and brands. They will have no idea who "steam and Valve" are. That's a problem.

2. The Valve box will be underpowered versus the desktop PC's of many gamers because it MUST compete via price. AND It will have to compete with the new $399 consoles of 2013. And many gamers already have PC's.

What consumer is Valve aiming for exactly and are those consumers numerous?

I like the idea Valve is presenting but in reality it will just be another low-power device that underwhelms most gamers. They will vote with their wallets.
 
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60. Re: Valve Living Room PCs Next Year? Dec 10, 2012, 10:24 PHJF
 
And nothing about this makes me think Valve is developing a locked-down console equivalent.

Newell said he's expecting a lot of different companies to release these types of packages—"We'll do it but we also think other people will as well,"

It sounds like Valve is making an Apple TV or Slingbox-like device, or rather a more robust version of the same theme. A media device explicitly for Steam, and Gaben wants other companies' devices to feature "Steam compatible" on the box same as current devices market themselves as "Netflix and Hulu-ready". And really as more people migrate their home computer usage to tablets, a device like this is pretty much necessary (then again, many people already have consoles doing just this). You can't readily use a tablet as a living room media center.

But the problem is where to draw the line between Steam box and PC, and how Valve can manage to get the hardware required for sufficiently smooth gaming while keeping cost down.

Actually now that I think about it, this would be a fine opportunity for a cooperative effort with AMD. AMD's Trinity just released and is the first realistically capable CPU/GPU chipset. While it obviously doesn't compete with discreet graphics, it blows Intel's integrated GPU out of the water.
 
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59. Re: Valve Living Room PCs Next Year? Dec 10, 2012, 09:42 Verno
 
I don't really have a problem with owning a locked down STB and I doubt their security would be anything other than a handwave for the publishers. PC STBs are awesome, I have a Zotac AD10 running Windows 7 for XBMC in my living room. I already play emulated stuff on it, might as well make it a proper Steam box too.

I have my desktop PC for flexibility and for things like modded games. You largely won't be playing big name releases on these things anyway, it'll be smaller, indie releases and I doubt the DRM would be anything other than what Steam already has.
 
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Playing: Dragon Age Inquisition, Far Cry 4, This War of Mine
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58. Re: Valve Living Room PCs Next Year? Dec 10, 2012, 08:27 Beamer
 
Trevellian wrote on Dec 9, 2012, 19:41:
Sepharo wrote on Dec 9, 2012, 16:50:
If it makes PC gaming easier for the masses I'm for it.

Though I would argue that PC gaming is already pretty damn easy these days.

Please no. I'd appreciate if the Brotards stuck to their console COD slop and left the PC gaming to intelligent people.

Ironic, eh, that use of the word "brotard" probably makes you one.
 
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