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Full Steam Machines Ahead at CES

This week's CES will feature looks at Steam Machines from various partners in Valve's hardware initiative. Engadget reports a dozen companies have announced plans to show off SteamOS machines at the show: Alienware, Falcon Northwest, iBuyPower, CyberPowerPC, Origin PC, Gigabyte, Materiel.net, Webhallen, Alternate, Next, Zotac, and Scan Computers (thanks Destructoid). On a related note, CyberPowerPC sends along specs for two of their SteamOS-powered machines to give a sense of what to expect:

CYBERPOWERPC Steam Machine will come in several pre-configured options priced from $499 to $699 with the ability customize all models.

CYBERPOWERPC Steam Machine A CYBERPOWERPC Steam Machine I
Base Price $499 $699
Case CYBERPOWERPC Steam Machine Gaming Chassis
Graphics AMD Radeon R9 270 2GB GDDR5 Video Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB GDDR5 Video Card
Processor AMD A6-6400K 3.90 GHz Intel® Core™ i3-4330 3.50 GHz
Storage 500GB SATA-III 7200 RPM HDD
RAM 8GB DDR3 1600MHz Dual Channel Memory
Chipset mITX motherboard w/ 802.11 WiFi + Bluetooth mITX motherboard w/ 802.11 AC WiFi + Bluetooth
Accessory Steam Controller
OS SteamOS
Availability ETA: 2H 2014

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17. Re: Full Steam Machines Ahead at CES Jan 6, 2014, 15:14 Prez
 
I'm really curious to see how these things are received. Like others I find myself wondering if there is even a market for such a device. I find myself hoping that there is, if only to get more people playing PC games.  
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16. Re: Full Steam Machines Ahead at CES Jan 6, 2014, 14:33 Tim Collins
 
If they had anything cheaper then $2200 for good gaming computer like when I was a kid, then yea they'll want it. I think people underestimate the bug that gets in you when u start tinkering with electronics at a young age.  
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15. Re: Full Steam Machines Ahead at CES Jan 6, 2014, 14:30 Beamer
 
descender wrote on Jan 6, 2014, 13:34:
Do not discount the "parent can walk in and buy a box" syndrome.


What makes you think that you won't be able to walk into a BestBuy and buy one of these off the shelf, or see ads for it on TV?

But that doesn't solve the "there are 6 on the shelf, which one do I buy" problem.

You don't have that with consoles. People want either a PS or an Xbox. They then buy. No further questions.
 
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14. Re: Full Steam Machines Ahead at CES Jan 6, 2014, 14:24 harlock
 
jacobvandy wrote on Jan 6, 2014, 12:44:
It's $400 if you were to buy just the GTX 760 and i3-4330 yourself, so you can decide whether the rest of the package is worth $300.
no

oem parts do not cost the same as aftermarket parts, even though you may want to compare them that way - but from a hardware standpoint its just not the same thing

they are manufactured and regulated differently, and that is why they cost less
 
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13. Re: Full Steam Machines Ahead at CES Jan 6, 2014, 14:16 Cutter
 
Ray Marden wrote on Jan 6, 2014, 12:38:
Er...what?

If it was a layman, I would tell them to go buy a PS4. If somebody was serious about building and maintaining a PC, I would handpick components and discuss overclocking.
Heck, even for all the functionality a normal PC would have.
Maybe there is this really big group of slightly timid, but slightly interested PC gamers in the making that just need to have a prebuilt box, but I'm not otherwise sure who this is aimed at. The OS hasn't managed to double gaming performance, right?

Expecting these to die off,
Ray

Agreed. I see zero point to these.
 
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12. Re: Full Steam Machines Ahead at CES Jan 6, 2014, 13:34 descender
 
Do not discount the "parent can walk in and buy a box" syndrome.


What makes you think that you won't be able to walk into a BestBuy and buy one of these off the shelf, or see ads for it on TV?

CyberPower is a big-box store brand for their peripherals/accessories... where else are they going to sell these? THe custom built versions will simply be sold via a kiosk in the store, right next to the pre-configured boxes (heck probably literally ON one of the display models).

The niche they seem to be filling is the monstrous gap between what current consoles provide (bend over while I cram these next-gen fingers in your backwards compatibility port) and what would actually be good for those same consumers.

As along as they don't totally fumble the launch (i'm looking at you PS4), they should be sitting in a pretty good position in the market.
 
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11. Re: Full Steam Machines Ahead at CES Jan 6, 2014, 13:28 Verno
 

Gaben might say that he's filling a niche, but I bet you he's salivating at the idea of getting a piece of the console moola pie...

I'm sure every business owner wants success but the console market is a different beast than the PC and I don't see this as directly competitive in the same demographics. Many companies in the console market lose quite a bit of money anyway so I doubt that's his aim. I think it has more to do with Microsoft trying to put an Apple store down on everything, they're just hedging their bets with stuff like this and SteamOS.
 
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10. Re: Full Steam Machines Ahead at CES Jan 6, 2014, 13:25 BitWraith
 
descender wrote on Jan 6, 2014, 13:16:
The XBone and the PS4 are really not even capable of competing with these Steam Boxes on any level.

Do not discount the "parent can walk in and buy a box" syndrome. Unless these things have some sort of advertising presence on TV etc, no one other than us is really going to know what they even are.

Gaben might say that he's filling a niche, but I bet you he's salivating at the idea of getting a piece of the console moola pie...
 
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9. Re: Full Steam Machines Ahead at CES Jan 6, 2014, 13:18 Verno
 
BitWraith wrote on Jan 6, 2014, 13:15:
Too many options. These will not be successful on the level of Xbox and Playstation. No kid's mom is going to do the homework necessary to buy one of these things. They're just going to buy him an xbox, and he's going to be thrilled with it.

This isn't targeted at that crowd anyway. Valve has said already that they're just trying to fill a niche here and it gives them some relationships with OEMs on SteamOS possibilities.
 
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8. Re: Full Steam Machines Ahead at CES Jan 6, 2014, 13:16 descender
 
but "completely and irrelevantly" weaker performance.

FTFY.

The Blue's crowd isn't dumb enough to think everyone needs i7's and $500 video cards, are they? What they need are some properly optimized and non-ported game engines.

PC gaming should be able to make some substantial leaps forward in graphic technology with basically zero difference in the hardware requirements.

I already have an old gaming machine hooked up to my TV with a Phenom II 3.4GHZ and a GTX480 in it... and the only game that doesn't run blazingly fast on it is Planetside 2, because that engine is pure poop on a stick.

The most daunting games out there still don't even use 4 cores properly.

And I think parents will jump at the opportunity to buy a game console that provides access to 30 years worth of games. I know my own father used to complain to no end that all of the games wouldn't work on new systems.

The XBone and the PS4 are really not even capable of competing with these Steam Boxes on any level. "Exclusive" games are a problem that the consoles themselves created, and they can take that problem with them when they leave.
 
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7. Re: Full Steam Machines Ahead at CES Jan 6, 2014, 13:15 BitWraith
 
Too many options. These will not be successful on the level of Xbox and Playstation. No kid's mom is going to do the homework necessary to buy one of these things. They're just going to buy him an xbox, and he's going to be thrilled with it.  
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6. Re: Full Steam Machines Ahead at CES Jan 6, 2014, 12:50 Optional Nickname!
 
So Steam wants to be the new Apple, if poor value in hardware for your money combined with ludicrous astro-turfing is your metric.  
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5. Re: Full Steam Machines Ahead at CES Jan 6, 2014, 12:44 jacobvandy
 
It's $400 if you were to buy just the GTX 760 and i3-4330 yourself, so you can decide whether the rest of the package is worth $300. The AMD one is the better deal, but weaker performance. That includes the controller, too, have they said how much that's going to cost? I wouldn't be surprised at $69-99 separately.

The value here over building your own is the build quality. Do you really want to spend a bunch of time and effort and probably more money trying to fit all that stuff into the space of a VCR while keeping it cool and quiet? Shit, some people might not even know what size that is... Probably two blu-ray players on top of each other.

This comment was edited on Jan 6, 2014, 12:52.
 
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4. Re: Full Steam Machines Ahead at CES Jan 6, 2014, 12:40 Beamer
 
Steam Machine A? Steam Machine I?

Valve really needed some level of standardization here. How is this different than building your own? You still need to put a lot of research into how much different the parts are and whether one is really worth $200 more than another.

I definitely would have gone with hardware levels, and rated games for levels. Certain configs would be Level 1, others would be Level 2, etc. Games would be rated minimum Level 1, ideal Level 2, etc., so that people would immediately know the abilities of the machine.

Because, for right now, it's a product aimed at those of us that build our own, but offers no advantages over that.
 
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Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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3. Re: Full Steam Machines Ahead at CES Jan 6, 2014, 12:38 Ray Marden
 
Er...what?

If it was a layman, I would tell them to go buy a PS4. If somebody was serious about building and maintaining a PC, I would handpick components and discuss overclocking.
Heck, even for all the functionality a normal PC would have.
Maybe there is this really big group of slightly timid, but slightly interested PC gamers in the making that just need to have a prebuilt box, but I'm not otherwise sure who this is aimed at. The OS hasn't managed to double gaming performance, right?

Expecting these to die off,
Ray
 
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2. Re: Full Steam Machines Ahead at CES Jan 6, 2014, 12:34 harlock
 
wow that seems like a really crappy deal for oem prices  
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1. Re: Full Steam Machines Ahead at CES Jan 6, 2014, 12:28 Task
 
I think if I were to buy one I would simply get it for the modular functionality - as in strip out what it comes, in each of the boxes, and make it as powerful as possible.  
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