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Steam Hardware

Polygon has what details PC maker Xi3 is revealing about "Piston," a Steam-optimized mini computer that seems to be the first blow in Valve's much discussed foray into gaming hardware. This is be a powerful little PC in a cool form factor, said to be based on its "performance level" X7A PC, a version of a modular PC that failed to achieve its Kickstarter goals last year. This seems clearly aimed at the living room and Valve's "Big Picture" initiative.

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38. Re: Steam Hardware Jan 8, 2013, 20:36 Sepharo
 
Computational slivers with standardized wireless video streaming to ubiquitous displays is the future. Those slivers will become more powerful and simultaneously more storage and computation will be done in the cloud. Eventually the slivers and (personal) displays will phase out as we implant the tiny display and network technology into our bodies/brains.

But in the meantime Valve will make a box that Johnny Dumbass can hook to his TV.
 
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37. Re: More Big Picture Details Jan 8, 2013, 20:26 Dades
 
HorrorScope wrote on Jan 8, 2013, 19:31:
3/4'ths of my family, desktop computing, one on the couch. Pc Gamers in general are a little more passionate with their pc's then the couch crowd. There are still millions of us and we pay. So the market will continue. Two boys, they started on pc's, went to consoles, I told them I'll see them back here later. Now they are 95% pc players. Another time dad was right.

I'm sure the comeback will involve telling you that this is a market niche and the masses don't do that. Those 50+ million Steam accounts aren't enough to sustain a market even though consoles do the same with similar install bases.

SteamBox looks cool, I would get one.

- DADES - This is a signature of my name, enjoy!
 
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36. Re: Steam Hardware Jan 8, 2013, 19:48 Esoteric
 
Interview with Gabe HERE  
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35. Re: More Big Picture Details Jan 8, 2013, 19:31 HorrorScope
 
Beamer wrote on Jan 8, 2013, 15:27:
Desktop PC sales began slowing long before it just became about not upgrading. People do NOT want that form factor anymore. Computing is done mostly on the couch these days. Tying someone to a single desk, as well as devoting that desk solely to computing, isn't a viable option anymore.

3/4'ths of my family, desktop computing, one on the couch. Pc Gamers in general are a little more passionate with their pc's then the couch crowd. There are still millions of us and we pay. So the market will continue. Two boys, they started on pc's, went to consoles, I told them I'll see them back here later. Now they are 95% pc players. Another time dad was right.
 
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34. Re: More Big Picture Details Jan 8, 2013, 19:28 HorrorScope
 
Verno wrote on Jan 8, 2013, 14:56:
HorrorScope wrote on Jan 8, 2013, 14:08:
saluk wrote on Jan 8, 2013, 12:18:
TV sales have also slowed. I don't know what that means.

They are dying. People like small screens vs large screens. In the future all we will have is a phone, for everything, well until there is no more growth money in them and at that time WS will abandon that and go with whatever is making them free money.

I'm not convinced, I think people still love televisions, it's just that they've pretty much sold everyone a TV already and TVs arent the kind of device you want to upgrade every year.

To be clear, I was playing around with it, you are correct. Because something isn't selling in growth doesn't mean it's not wildly popular. See appliances.
 
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33. Re: More Big Picture Details Jan 8, 2013, 17:30 RollinThundr
 
Beamer wrote on Jan 8, 2013, 15:48:
Verno wrote on Jan 8, 2013, 15:34:

I don't really care if my PC is an immobile "desktop" or a small form factor to be honest. I just want expandability and customization intact, I could care less if it moves around or not. As long as it runs what I need without issues then I'm fine. Currently no tablet or laptop does this sufficiently and I don't see that changing any time soon. The casual user is fine with a consumption device like a tablet and that's fine for them but there's still a large market that is not well served. Different products for different needs.

Functionality won't change, form factor will. That's all. With more and more computing time being done on the couch in front of Honey Boo Boo the form factor companies design will follow.

When people need to do actual work there will be mice, keyboards, and larger monitors to connect to. When people want to stream Netflix there will be TVs to connect to. When people want to play video games there will be TVs and controllers to connect to. But when people want to sit on the couch and check their fantasy team stats or play Carcassone while watching Doctor Who they'll be able to.

Surface Pro does much this (admittedly awkwardly.) That new Razer tablet does all of this (admittedly awkwardly.) Next year at CES we'll just see more and more of this.

Yeah people will sure be productive typing out reports on a fucking tablet on the couch watching honey boo boo. VR was "just around the corner" for years too, and flying cars were supposed to be the norm by now.

Crysis 4 is going to look so awesome on that fancy surface pro, hardcore gamers will be lining up in droves to plug a mouse and keyboard into it and awkwardly game on their couch.

Let's just be honest here Beamer, not everyone gets a hard on for tablets and OMG WIRELESS EVERYTHING SO AWESOME!!! Most of us really couldn't give a fuck less.
 
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32. Re: Steam Hardware Jan 8, 2013, 16:33 Creston
 
Looks interesting enough, but if it's going to run with integrated graphics it's going to suck, no matter how hard Intel bleats that its integrated graphics solution is now capable of actually playing games at more than 2 fps.

I've also seen rumors of the low-end spec costing $1100, which is really way way WAY too much money if they're intending this to compete with the upcoming consoles.

Still, design wise it's pretty awesome. I love its modularity.

Creston
 
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31. Re: More Big Picture Details Jan 8, 2013, 15:48 Beamer
 
Verno wrote on Jan 8, 2013, 15:34:

I don't really care if my PC is an immobile "desktop" or a small form factor to be honest. I just want expandability and customization intact, I could care less if it moves around or not. As long as it runs what I need without issues then I'm fine. Currently no tablet or laptop does this sufficiently and I don't see that changing any time soon. The casual user is fine with a consumption device like a tablet and that's fine for them but there's still a large market that is not well served. Different products for different needs.

Functionality won't change, form factor will. That's all. With more and more computing time being done on the couch in front of Honey Boo Boo the form factor companies design will follow.

When people need to do actual work there will be mice, keyboards, and larger monitors to connect to. When people want to stream Netflix there will be TVs to connect to. When people want to play video games there will be TVs and controllers to connect to. But when people want to sit on the couch and check their fantasy team stats or play Carcassone while watching Doctor Who they'll be able to.

Surface Pro does much this (admittedly awkwardly.) That new Razer tablet does all of this (admittedly awkwardly.) Next year at CES we'll just see more and more of this.
 
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http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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30. Re: More Big Picture Details Jan 8, 2013, 15:34 Verno
 
descender wrote on Jan 8, 2013, 15:22:
This is the same exact reason that PC sales are stagnate. There has been NO REASON for people to upgrade all of the Core2Duo's and such that have been sold for the last 5-6 years, because the software has become stagnate.

Yep, people have been saying this for awhile. Software isn't driving hardware anymore, the only area that does that is gaming.

The "home PC' are dying" crowd is hilarious. People are just starting to really integrate them into HT systems, and soon whole-home PC's with attachable "screens" will become the norm.

I don't really care if my PC is an immobile "desktop" or a small form factor to be honest. I just want expandability and customization intact, I could care less if it moves around or not. As long as it runs what I need without issues then I'm fine. Currently no tablet or laptop does this sufficiently and I don't see that changing any time soon. The casual user is fine with a consumption device like a tablet and that's fine for them but there's still a large market that is not well served. Different products for different needs.
 
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Watching: Intruders, Coherence, The Rover
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29. Re: More Big Picture Details Jan 8, 2013, 15:27 Beamer
 
descender wrote on Jan 8, 2013, 15:22:
Precisely. LCD's have a completely different lifespan than Tube TV's, and people are just not replacing the cheap... huge LCD screens they bought with LED or Plasma. THere is just not enough of a difference to warrant it.

This is the same exact reason that PC sales are stagnate. There has been NO REASON for people to upgrade all of the Core2Duo's and such that have been sold for the last 5-6 years, because the software has become stagnate.

The "home PC' are dying" crowd is hilarious. People are just starting to really integrate them into HT systems, and soon whole-home PC's with attachable "screens" will become the norm. THe central unit is't going anywhere. The only thing that will be "dying" are the cutesy little tablets and such, once everyone gets over that fad and realizes that they can't do any real work on them.

Desktop PC sales began slowing long before it just became about not upgrading. People do NOT want that form factor anymore. Computing is done mostly on the couch these days. Tying someone to a single desk, as well as devoting that desk solely to computing, isn't a viable option anymore.


Why can't people do work on a tablet? Because of the input? Well, then fix that (the tablet Razer just showed at CES does just this.) Because they're not powerful enough? Then fix that (the tablet Razer just showed at CES does just this.)

Heck, let's look more closely at that Razer tablet. It's designed to be a full Windows 8 tablet, complete with an i7 and a GeForce mobile. It has a dock that turns it into a laptop, giving keyboard and a mouse. It has a dock that has HDMI out and 4 USB, turning it into a Steambox console.

Sorry, descender, this is the future. A box wired up to a monitor or two on a desk in the corner of someone's apartment is not.
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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28. Re: More Big Picture Details Jan 8, 2013, 15:22 descender
 
Precisely. LCD's have a completely different lifespan than Tube TV's, and people are just not replacing the cheap... huge LCD screens they bought with LED or Plasma. THere is just not enough of a difference to warrant it.

This is the same exact reason that PC sales are stagnate. There has been NO REASON for people to upgrade all of the Core2Duo's and such that have been sold for the last 5-6 years, because the software has become stagnate.

The "home PC' are dying" crowd is hilarious. People are just starting to really integrate them into HT systems, and soon whole-home PC's with attachable "screens" will become the norm. THe central unit is't going anywhere. The only thing that will be "dying" are the cutesy little tablets and such, once everyone gets over that fad and realizes that they can't do any real work on them.
 
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27. Re: More Big Picture Details Jan 8, 2013, 14:56 Verno
 
HorrorScope wrote on Jan 8, 2013, 14:08:
saluk wrote on Jan 8, 2013, 12:18:
TV sales have also slowed. I don't know what that means.

They are dying. People like small screens vs large screens. In the future all we will have is a phone, for everything, well until there is no more growth money in them and at that time WS will abandon that and go with whatever is making them free money.

I'm not convinced, I think people still love televisions, it's just that they've pretty much sold everyone a TV already and TVs arent the kind of device you want to upgrade every year.
 
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Watching: Intruders, Coherence, The Rover
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26. Re: Steam Hardware Jan 8, 2013, 14:50 Overon
 
What graphics hardware does thing have? My graphics cards are huge and that thing is so little. Is it intended to play PC games? I know that graphics quality has stagnated given that consoles is largely holding back the need for heavy duty graphics cards, I don't want this kind of low graphics hardware to stagnating graphic fidelity.

Imagine that instead of console graphics stagnating graphics on the PC, you have Piston stagnating graphic fidelity on the PC, a double whammy. I'm scared!
 
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25. Re: Steam Hardware Jan 8, 2013, 14:45 kyleb
 
Quinn wrote on Jan 8, 2013, 10:58:
And like wtf_man said, there has to be a genius invention to put the comfort of the KB/M on my lap.

There is a better way.
 
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24. Re: More Big Picture Details Jan 8, 2013, 14:25 Jay
 
HorrorScope wrote on Jan 8, 2013, 14:11:
Jay wrote on Jan 8, 2013, 14:02:
Streaming video/audio is already acceptable for gaming - OnLive (if you live near their servers) and WiiU are proof of that.

What .000001% of gamers use it and that's real proof of success?

I was talking about the technology, not commercial viability.
 
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23. Re: More Big Picture Details Jan 8, 2013, 14:11 HorrorScope
 
Jay wrote on Jan 8, 2013, 14:02:
Streaming video/audio is already acceptable for gaming - OnLive (if you live near their servers) and WiiU are proof of that.

What .000001% of gamers use it and that's real proof of success?
 
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22. Re: More Big Picture Details Jan 8, 2013, 14:08 HorrorScope
 
saluk wrote on Jan 8, 2013, 12:18:
TV sales have also slowed. I don't know what that means.

They are dying. People like small screens vs large screens. In the future all we will have is a phone, for everything, well until there is no more growth money in them and at that time WS will abandon that and go with whatever is making them free money.
 
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21. Re: Steam Hardware Jan 8, 2013, 14:02 Jay
 
Streaming video/audio is already acceptable for gaming - OnLive (if you live near their servers) and WiiU are proof of that. In fact there are plenty tests online that shows WiiU's streaming is even faster than low latency TVs (over wifi, no less!).

one such demo:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=317sF_ngN3I
 
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20. Re: Steam Hardware Jan 8, 2013, 13:48 SmyTTor
 
Far be it from me to interrupt someone's self-delusional 'only I have vision' rant, but battery technology is nowhere near able to support casual gaming much less what regularly runs on current generation consoles and PCs. And pretty much, no one is going to want to tone down their "WOW" factor. I'm not even going to ponder the time and costs it would take to further miniaturize processor fabrication to come close to the amount of horsepower needed to run the most popular games.


Even with the possibility of the nascent low-latency bluetooth compression routines, there will still be way too much lag time streaming video and sound to external devices. It simply is not conducive to multiplayer gaming and there is only the faintest hint of a promise of seeing something within the next two decades.


I'm not knocking people that like "Angry Birds", but that's not exactly what most gamers hold as the standard of gaming, but it is close to the pinnacle of what is achievable today and the foreseeable future.
 
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19. Re: More Big Picture Details Jan 8, 2013, 13:43 HorrorScope
 
Beamer wrote on Jan 8, 2013, 12:10:
How much longer until your cellphone is more powerful than an xbox?

PCs are NOT selling very well. Sales are crumbling. Dell and HP are reeling. It's brutal, and making things worse they're trying to get back to higher priced PCs (laptops mostly) and no one is biting.

It's just denying the inevitable if you think that desktop PCs will still be a thing much longer into the future. Dell sells 2 desktop PCs to home users. 2! They occupy 1 page in Best Buy's circular, compared to 5+ for laptops. Internet traffic is increasingly coming from mobile/tablet devices.

I keep saying it, but I'll repeat: we're moving to a world were we have limited devices and instead of different form factors that device communicates with. Mice, controllers, keyboards and displays all connect to your mobile device. It keeps everything. Hell, we're probably moving to them mostly being dummy with most computation being cloud based.

Does this mean the fringe will abandon dedicated machines? No. People on this board will build their devices as long as that's possible. But this isn't the mainstream. We're not who companies put billions of R&D dollars to pleasing.

Your first question. How much longer cellphone/xbox? Really probably years off, but at that time the new Xbox will be out, new pc's will be out. So again the best will be there, are you ready for 3rd best?

Sales aren't crumbling, they are down <10%, it's everything WS worries about, but numbers are still very strong.

Inevitable is an infinite word, so yes inevitably I can agree with that. But it could be a long time before people will decide "all the power I ever need is on my phone/pad". Grandma and mom may have already decided that today even, but Blue News gamers have not and I'll bet dollars to donuts, we'll what that extra power that devs will need and use that will make the experience that wee bit better. That is what we've been doing all along, why change now?

We are easily 10 years away from all the power we ever need, probably more like 50.
 
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