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Steam Machines Announced

The second announcement of Valve's promised three announcements is live, following news of plans for SteamOS with details on Steam Machines, a "powerful new category of living-room hardware" they say is "on the horizon." Join the hardware beta now. Choose the model right for you in 2014. They describe plans for a variety of such machines coming from several partners to account for differing needs, and outline a Valve Prototype, saying they are shipping 300 of these free to Steam users to test. They outline how to qualify as a tester and also have a FAQ covering the topic. The FAQ indicates that some games will use "in-home streaming," saying Steam Machines can play: "The nearly 3,000 games on Steam. Hundreds already running natively on the SteamOS, with more to come. The rest will work seamlessly via in-home streaming." Here's word on testing:

While these products are still in development, we need your help. As always, we believe the best way to ensure that the right products are getting made is to let people try them out and then make changes as we go. We have designed a high-performance prototype thatís optimized for gaming, for the living room, and for Steam. Of course, itís also completely upgradable and open.

This year weíre shipping just 300 of these boxes to Steam users, free of charge, for testing. You can make yourself eligible to get one. How? Read on!

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93 Replies. 5 pages. Viewing page 1.
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93. Re: Steam Machines Announced Sep 26, 2013, 11:33 Jivaro
 
An article (well, actually a blog) on the Nvidia site following up the partnership between them and Steam on this...

http://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2013/09/25/steam-rolling-into-your-living-room/
 
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92. Re: Steam Machines Announced Sep 26, 2013, 11:15 Verno
 
It's not really "aimed" at anyone, it's a lot of different things at the same time - it's a test balloon and a safe guard against platform stagnation. That's why it runs on a desktop, an HTPC, etc. It also gives them an avenue to gain new customers who would otherwise not buy a desktop or gaming PC unless it was prebuilt. Typical prebuilts from companies like Alienware are ridiculously priced. They are building a GUI on top of Linux, not just giving them Linux. It's to provide a console experience for one market while retaining the power and customization that appeals to another. There are few downsides to this other than compatibility. For the user who is happy with their setup they can safely ignore this if they want or choose to experiment at some point. Most enthusiasts I know are open to trying new things and anxious to learn so I think they'll do fine with the curiosity factor from many in their traditional customer base.

This isn't just for the living room either and you can do whatever you want with it. I am actually pretty excited to have a Windows alternative for the gamer, particularly with the technology market shifting so drastically. The streaming feature is there to take care of compatibility concerns I assume.

In terms of user friendliness that's all up to GUI design and implementation. People seem to forget the PS3 was built on a Linux core and the PS4 is built on top of FreeBSD.

This comment was edited on Sep 26, 2013, 11:25.
 
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91. Re: Steam Machines Announced Sep 26, 2013, 10:59 Dmitri_M
 
Beamer wrote on Sep 26, 2013, 10:51:
it's basic business 101: you grow by gaining new customers
If this isn't aimed at existing Steam users, why do they plan to stream to the box from your Windows PC? Or did I misread something.

Let's presume this isn't aimed at me a longtime steam user.

Who is it aimed at then?

If a casual gamer asked me if he should buy a console, or a linux box that allows him to run console ports weeks or months later through emulation of Directx, I'll tell him to buy a console.

Actually. If I had to choose between Valve's product and a console I'd rather buy a console

To me this is like Google announcing a hardware TV device, or Apple, or any number of companies with HTPC like devices. I like Apple's phones. I like Google's search engine. I like Valve's games.
 
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90. Re: Steam Machines Announced Sep 26, 2013, 10:51 Beamer
 
Dmitri_M wrote on Sep 26, 2013, 10:42:
Beamer wrote on Sep 25, 2013, 22:20:
Man, so many people sitting here saying "I'd never use this" or "I already plug my TV in" or whatever.

Duh. This isn't for you. You already spend tons of cash on Steam. This is for people that don't.
Oh bluesnews. The selection of trolls on here don't bother me nearly as much as the keepers of the opinion high ground. Not that I'm specifically aiming that remark at you Beamer. This thread in general.

"Spending tons of cash on Steam", sounds like a great reason to have an opinion on a Steam related product. This being a pc gamer website and users being a little more technically inclined perhaps having used Linux and Windows operating systems means..well some of us might make comparisons. Knowing how to run cables between a TV and a PC..perhaps means some of us will have opinions on whether we'd purchase this or not.

I'd rather see Valve making games. Though I realise they are now better at installing digital ATM machines in my home office. And now living room.



I don't see how it's trolling.
You're [I]already[/I] spending tons of cash on Steam.

There are only a few ways to grow your business. Catering to your most loyal customers is one way, assuming that doing so will get more money out of them. Another way is to get new customers.

Valve isn't expecting SteamOS to get more money out of its most loyal customers, because you're already giving it virtually all of your gaming money. This is instead a play for new customers.

So no, this is not a product aimed at you. It's like Coke buying Aquafina, and Coke fans whining that they're a cola company and who cares about water?

You can argue that my opinion is obnoxious, but sorry, it's basic business 101: you grow by gaining new customers, and here Valve is going after new customers. They really don't care as much about the guy with a PC 3 feet from his TV with regards to this product, because that guy is already spending hundreds a year on Steam.
 
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89. Re: Steam Machines Announced Sep 26, 2013, 10:43 MindStalker3
 
Zanderat1 wrote on Sep 25, 2013, 21:14:
Will they allow non-STEAM games to run on the OS?

I'm quite sure the answer is yes. Valve has stated that it will be OpenSource and that its Linux, and that they are approaching this as an open platform. So you should be able to install anything you can install in Linux right now. Will it be "integrated" into your Steam Library? Probably. Currently you can add any of your Windows installed programs into the steam launcher. I see no reason why SteamOS wouldn't allow for this as well. Only issue I see is you might not have Gamepad support for random program X.
 
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88. Re: Steam Machines Announced Sep 26, 2013, 10:42 Dmitri_M
 
Beamer wrote on Sep 25, 2013, 22:20:
Man, so many people sitting here saying "I'd never use this" or "I already plug my TV in" or whatever.

Duh. This isn't for you. You already spend tons of cash on Steam. This is for people that don't.
Oh bluesnews. The selection of trolls on here don't bother me nearly as much as the keepers of the opinion high ground. Not that I'm specifically aiming that remark at you Beamer. This thread in general.

"Spending tons of cash on Steam", sounds like a great reason to have an opinion on a Steam related product. This being a pc gamer website and users being a little more technically inclined perhaps having used Linux and Windows operating systems means..well some of us might make comparisons. Knowing how to run cables between a TV and a PC..perhaps means some of us will have opinions on whether we'd purchase this or not.

I'd rather see Valve making games. Though I realise they are now better at installing digital ATM machines in my home office. And now living room.


 
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87. Re: Steam Machines Announced Sep 26, 2013, 00:30 HorrorScope
 
Nameless One wrote on Sep 25, 2013, 23:43:
What a shame that there are so many nay-sayers pissing all over it given that failure is as likely to be because of the nay-sayers swaying enough of everyone else as because of any inherent flaw in Valve's plans.

Hey if it's good it will rise. Everything is judged. I'm interested in seeing everything that is Steam Machine.
 
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86. Re: Steam Machines Announced Sep 25, 2013, 23:43 Nameless One
 
Just as some console gamers own both consoles (and probably a PC too) some PC owners will want to buy one of these, Valve are certainly making it as attractive as possible for them to do so.
By convincing as many Windows users as possible to run SteamOS/Linux (dual booting be it for older games or just for general use) and/or buying a Steam Machine they are presumably trying for as close as they can get to a single market of about PC + one console in size which for any games company but especially for the smaller ones would be very tempting.

Plenty of what-ifs and strong (possibly misplaced) optimism but at any rate, the only guarantee is that if they don't try then they will fail.

It is nice to see some enthusiasm and genuine innovation in amongst the usual world of marketing driven sequels and sure bets.
What a shame that there are so many nay-sayers pissing all over it given that failure is as likely to be because of the nay-sayers swaying enough of everyone else as because of any inherent flaw in Valve's plans.
 
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85. Re: Steam Machines Announced Sep 25, 2013, 23:15 2nd_floor
 
Nameless One wrote on Sep 25, 2013, 22:51:
2nd_floor wrote on Sep 25, 2013, 22:40:
But like you're saying, Valve may not be after the PC user base.
Valve are after anyone and everyone they can convince to become their (ongoing) customer on Steam.

But they already have the PC user base, and my guess is that PC people will not be interested in switching to the living room. SteamOS may do well with PC gamers on their desktops, but to support the living room initiative of hardware, new customers will need to be found or converted from Xbox and PS. And is this possible in the numbers that Valve will need and game developers will want to see before writing their games for SteamOS. Who knows, we'll see.
 
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84. Re: Steam Machines Announced Sep 25, 2013, 22:51 Nameless One
 
2nd_floor wrote on Sep 25, 2013, 22:40:
But like you're saying, Valve may not be after the PC user base.
Valve are after anyone and everyone they can convince to become their (ongoing) customer on Steam.
 
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83. Re: Steam Machines Announced Sep 25, 2013, 22:40 2nd_floor
 
Beamer wrote on Sep 25, 2013, 22:20:
Man, so many people sitting here saying "I'd never use this" or "I already plug my TV in" or whatever.

Duh. This isn't for you. You already spend tons of cash on Steam. This is for people that don't.

I think you're right maybe. Valve want to draw people away from Xbox and PS. But is this realistic? Can they really compete against the multi billion dollar budgets of Microsoft and Sony and maybe even Nintendo? Anyone know how Ouya is doing?

I wonder how many people Big Picture Mode got using it, from PC. But like you're saying, Valve may not be after the PC user base.

But Valve is starting from near scratch with their console and OS. Are people really going to switch from Xbox/Kinect and PS to use Steam? Risky risky stuff I think.

The only difference this new Steam hardware and software is maybe, is that its an "open, upgradable" PC/console (whichever you want to call it), controller or mouse and keyboard, for the living room. And I guess this idea doesnt exist in the market yet, much anyway.

I'm looking forward to Occulus Rift on PC, that sounds exciting!

This comment was edited on Sep 25, 2013, 22:51.
 
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82. Re: Steam Machines Announced Sep 25, 2013, 22:20 Beamer
 
Man, so many people sitting here saying "I'd never use this" or "I already plug my TV in" or whatever.

Duh. This isn't for you. You already spend tons of cash on Steam. This is for people that don't.
 
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81. Re: Steam Machines Announced Sep 25, 2013, 22:16 Redmask
 
Zanderat1 wrote on Sep 25, 2013, 21:14:
Will they allow non-STEAM games to run on the OS?

Yes, it's just Linux. It is a completely open operating system, they are releasing source for it and you can do whatever you want with it. The questions and answers section of the SteamBox and SteamOS page answer the vast majority of these concerns and speculation. Like 90% of what people are going nuts about.
 
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80. Re: Steam Machines Announced Sep 25, 2013, 21:53 Nameless One
 
It's interesting that some people seem to be treating Steam Machines in the same way as they would a PC, rather than treat it as a console, and bringing up all sorts of negatives as if they were the target audience when at best they may be a small part of it.
I hope Valve are very successful, I think it would be great to have a situation where (for the most part) "console" and "PC" are the same thing and there is no need to port anything as they are the same platform with consoles at worst being like an old PC that games companies try (perhaps a little too hard) to keep supporting ahead of bleeding edge hardware that few have.

Also, with PS4 and XBone being fancy PC hardware (what I presume is a standard x86 CPU instruction set being the key here) they are both potential Steam Machines, the work of porting SteamOS to either platform (Sony/Microsoft permitting) would be fairly easy and nothing would need to be done to the games for it to work. Sony allowing dual boot is a remote possibility I believe, Microsoft is likely to take an "over our dead bodies" approach.

edit: the Heterogeneous Unified Memory Access architecture of the consoles would likely complicate SteamOS porting matters somewhat but if the APIs such as OpenGL were suitably modified on the hypothetical PS4/XBone SteamOS ports then while it wouldn't necessarily take advantage of the different memory architecture it would still allow those consoles to behave like a standard Steam Machine from the point of view of the games and end users (assuming there isn't something else to get in the way of a port and that HUMA isn't an insurmountable obstacle).

This comment was edited on Sep 25, 2013, 22:48.
 
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79. Re: Steam Machines Announced Sep 25, 2013, 21:14 Zanderat1
 
Will they allow non-STEAM games to run on the OS?

This comment was edited on Sep 25, 2013, 21:30.
 
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78. Re: Steam Machines Announced Sep 25, 2013, 21:14 Cyanotetyphas
 
Drayth wrote on Sep 25, 2013, 18:05:
Ricochet: Source

Play Ricochet with the new Steam Power Glove peripheral. The power is in your hands! Our entire building has been working on this for some reason!
 
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77. Re: Steam Machines Announced Sep 25, 2013, 21:07 wtf_man
 
jdreyer wrote on Sep 25, 2013, 18:48:
Jivaro wrote on Sep 25, 2013, 16:46:
Just dropping this here...

http://i.imgur.com/UbnwGnI.jpg

Heh.

From the screenshot:
On Friday we announce Source 2... ...it doesn't have a line of DirectX in it... supports Linux, Windows and OSX... ...and tentative PS4.

I'll crap if that turns out to be true.... No XBone support... LOL

Then again... I think even a good chunk of AAA developers are looking hard at the Unity engine... so they'd have to compete price-wise with that.
 
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76. Re: Steam Machines Announced Sep 25, 2013, 21:07 Silicon Avatar
 
Everybody wants HL3. At this point I think it'd be funny if the last announcement was a new type of waggle controller for the Steam Machine.

Full disclosure: I have wanted HL3 for so long I have become numb to it.
 
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75. Re: Steam Machines Announced Sep 25, 2013, 21:05 Redmask
 
There's some truth to what hes saying though. I setup a little video box for the living room, nothing special in terms of hardware but adequate. I put Windows 8 on it and ran Xbox Media Center through it, lots of performance related issues with certain skins and video playback. The same thing running a Linux distro with the same applications has yielded no problems and is in fact what I'm sticking with. The deficiencies in most games between platforms are driver related.  
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74. Re: Steam Machines Announced Sep 25, 2013, 20:00 Parallax Abstraction
 
jdreyer wrote on Sep 25, 2013, 18:48:
Jivaro wrote on Sep 25, 2013, 16:46:
Just dropping this here...

http://i.imgur.com/UbnwGnI.jpg

Heh.

For starters, I'll eat my hat (though I don't normally wear a hat...) if that's an actual Valve employee. Secondly, even if it is, they seriously can't get live streaming working in Steam? Then how come a bunch of games (including poorly optimised ones like The Showdown Effect) have it built in and it works with no severe performance drop? The Steam client is slow and bloated, always has been. That's not a Windows problem, that's a Valve problem. Others can get live streaming working in-game just fine so once again, if Valve can't do it in Steam, that's a Valve problem and not a Windows problem.

I frankly welcome SteamOS as I think Windows needs competition on this front but honestly, I think Steam on Windows would be a lot better if they put the same amount of effort into that client that they seem to be putting into this OS. That and the fact that the reason Gabe hates Windows 8 isn't because it's "closed" (it is as open as Windows 7 aside from the Microsoft Store which is 100% optional), it's because it's competition. It's only a closed off walled garden if it isn't HIS closed off walled garden.
 
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