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Valve's 'Steam Box' Console Is Real, Says Gabe Newell

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the come-out-right-after-half-life-3 dept.

PC Games (Games) 298

symbolset writes "The Verge is reporting that the Steam Console we discussed in November is a real thing. Gabe Newell said it will be a locked down platform for the living room. The source is a Kotaku interview with Newell at the Video Game Awards. Newell said, 'Well certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environment. 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. The nice thing about a PC is a lot of different people can try out different solutions, and customers can find the ones that work best for them.'"

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What I'd like to see... (4, Interesting)

crafty.munchkin (1220528) | about 2 years ago | (#42230621)

is Steam Big Picture as a desktop environment for ubuntu, or something along those lines - a linux OS which boots up into Steam. So you can build your own steam console with the hardware you want (and is fully upgradeable when new tech comes out) and ready to rock as soon as the OS is installed.

Re:What I'd like to see... (5, Informative)

the real darkskye (723822) | about 2 years ago | (#42230683)

We already have Ubuntu variants which boot straight to an application (XMBCbuntu), and use the official repos for updates.
Chances are someone will mix up a Steamuntu, even if its not officially supported by Valve but gets all the official Ubuntu updates.

From what I can tell of the beta Linux Steam client, its responsible for its own updates rather than adding a new repository (like Google Chrome does) and relying on the user to keep their OS up to date.

Re:What I'd like to see... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42230703)

I'll drop a steaming turd right down Gabe Newell's fat gullet.

Re:What I'd like to see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42230705)

Did you not read the article? That's the plan. Big Picture for Linux is in beta testing right now, and he wants competition, like how Google TV boxes are made by multiple companies and you can technically roll your own, I think...

Re:What I'd like to see... (1, Informative)

noh8rz9 (2716595) | about 2 years ago | (#42231055)

you know, i'm really down on tv boxes ever since the onlive people went out of business. way to go trusting your money to the cloud! I'll never do that again. i prolly had $500 worth of games on there :(((

Re:What I'd like to see... (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#42231439)

yanno, there's a lesson in there somewhere...

Re:What I'd like to see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42230777)

...Isn't that just a computer?

Re:What I'd like to see... (4, Insightful)

SeaFox (739806) | about 2 years ago | (#42230997)

...So you can build your own steam console with the hardware you want (and is fully upgradeable when new tech comes out) and ready to rock as soon as the OS is installed.

That would defeat the strongest argument for the console: it just runs and you know it will runs what's available for it. Build-your-own comes with the all the headaches that come with it: driver compatibility, hardware reliability, and performance requirements for individual games. Console games are for all the Joe Sixpacks who just wants to flip a switch and play. When I used to buy games for my SNES, I didn't have to look at the box and wonder "do I have enough RAM for this?", "will I need to install a better graphics card to get smooth gameplay?"

If you want a full-screen gaming environment for Ubuntu, when Steam is available for Linux, is there any reason you couldn't just build a dedicated gaming PC for the living room in an HTPC case, and then install Ubuntu and set it to auto-run Steam in Big Picture mode when it boots up. This sounds like a request you can already fulfill on your own.

Re:What I'd like to see... (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 2 years ago | (#42231223)

But the Steam box could be a list of minimum requirements so devs can program against a known configuration. If you choose to go off and build your own with different hardware, the support just wouldn't be there...

Re:What I'd like to see... (3, Informative)

SeaFox (739806) | about 2 years ago | (#42231279)

How is that any different than just building your own PC how you want and installing Steam on it?

Re:What I'd like to see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42231697)

Where's the argument here? He's quoted right there in the summary... buy a box that "just works" or build your own. Your choice.

Re:What I'd like to see... (2, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#42231725)

That probably wouldn't be easy as too many things are evolving too rapidly in Linux ATM, you have the kernel changes, Pulse,Unity, and of course you have the issues with the graphics drivers, its just changing far too rapidly to make a good DIY console using Linux.

I'll probably get hate for pointing this out but other than Tablets this is the one place where Win 8's metro GUI actually works well, its Metro interface is practically a 10 foot UI right OOTB, hard to miss those big ass fugly tiles with a remote on a 50 inch screen, and it probably wouldn't be hard at all to set steam to launch in BPM automatically at start up. And of course since neither the kernel nor the subsystems will be changed for the life of the OS once you have it set the way you like it just like a console that's it, it'll stay that way for the life of the system. And while I personally prefer Win 7 at $40 a pop Win 8 makes a cheap OS for a STB and of course that gives you access to the entire steam library and not just the few that use OpenGL.

That said I wish Valve nothing but luck, with both Valve and Sony bringing X86 based consoles to market its gonna be another golden age for us PC gamers, since it'll be trivial to launch both the console and the PC version at the same time. Frankly its a great time to be a PC gamer regardless, you can pick up AMD triple kits for $200, quads for less than $250, slap a cheap copy of Windows on it along with an HD4850 or HD7770 and for less than $360 you have a system that'll play nearly any game out there with great graphics on a monitor or a TV with HDMI.

I have built several of these for customers and they just love it, a full blown HTPC is just so much more versatile than a console, you can rip all your music and movies to it and use it as a media center, through Steam gaming is cheap, streaming over the web means you can get rid of the cable bill, and most games support controllers now so you can just grab a couple of cheap wireless X360 pads and have fun.

With LCD TV prices falling like a stone and all of them having HDMI the gamer boxes and the dirt cheap AMD E350 "wife wants her FB" boxes are my two biggest sellers ATM, its soooo much cheaper now than it was when I first started gaming. Remember when we'd have to replace our entire systems every year and a half just to play the latest games? So I'm personally all for this, more gamers on X86 means more games and plenty of selection, sounds good to me. Go Valve!

Microsoft's Biggest Mistake (5, Interesting)

GeneralTurgidson (2464452) | about 2 years ago | (#42230645)

Arguably, Valve probably wouldn't be pushing full "steam" ahead on this if Microsoft hadn't dreamt up a Windows Store. This is in my opinion a real game changer for the PC ecosystem and the future of Windows.

Re:Microsoft's Biggest Mistake (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42230665)

Microsoft's biggest mistake was putting a tablet interface in their desktop OS.

Re:Microsoft's Biggest Mistake (4, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#42231465)

Um, they put it on the server too. Tiles with Facebook and Twitter integration on your Domain and Exchange servers. How is that not worse than the tablet interface on the desktop?

Re:Microsoft's Biggest Mistake (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42230781)

game changer? hardly.

valve not only has to compete against gfw, but also a growing number of other popular online stores as well as traditional retail/online merchants for pc gamers. some of which deliver product sans drm..... remember, fanboys, steam *IS* drm, and a brutal one at that for a family with multiple computers

against microsoft, sony, and nintendo for dedicated consoles.....

against a number of major game developers/publishers and a growing number of independents for product itself.... what was the last NEW (not a sequel, remake or rehash) game valve released?

against amazon, apple, google, etc for casual/mobile gamers.....

and against a huge number of portals/communities (facebook, pogo, kong, armor, etc) for casual/social pc gamers.

and not to mention the competition video games get from other options both on and off line.....

microsoft has the enterprise and monopoly on the desktop... they don't have to compete with anyone to turn a profit. it is their greed, tho, that tells them they have to compete against google, against apple, against sony, against valve, etc... to make even more money (often at the expense of a competitor).

Re:Microsoft's Biggest Mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42231133)

>valve not only has to compete against gfw

GFWL is universally hated by PC gamers.

>but also a growing number of other popular online stores as well as traditional retail/online merchants for pc gamers

The only service I can think of is Origin which is disliked by gamers due to the shit that EA have pulled in the past.

>what was the last NEW (not a sequel, remake or rehash) game valve released?

Dota2 is basically a new game for Valve as they hired the author of the original DOTA mod to work on it. I have played both and Dota2 is basically a different game.

Before that, Left 4 Dead in late 2008. However, unlike other companies who shit out the Modern Military Shooters(TM) at a rate of one a year, Valve actually put effort into maintaining the communities for their games.

>against amazon, apple, google, etc for casual/mobile gamers.....

Amazon mostly sell PC games which activate on... you guessed it.. Steam.

Apple and Google vs Valve is entirely different. the former two target casual gamers whereas Valve target hardcore gamers (mostly).

Re:Microsoft's Biggest Mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42230797)

Valve's user base makes up less than 1 or 2% of all PC users worldwide. Even if every single one of those users dropped Windows (which they won't) it would be nothing but a blip to Microsoft.

Re:Microsoft's Biggest Mistake (3, Insightful)

tibman (623933) | about 2 years ago | (#42230943)

lol, what percentage of gamers is that?

Re:Microsoft's Biggest Mistake (1)

twocows (1216842) | about 2 years ago | (#42231039)

To Microsoft's OS division. It would be more like a large kick in the nuts to their Xbox division if it takes off, since that's what it's actually competing with. And like tibman said above me, the metric you should be using is percentage of gamers, not percentage of PC users. You seem to be implying that gaming is something other than a multi-billion dollar industry and I'm not sure why.

Re:Microsoft's Biggest Mistake (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42231127)

70 million xbox sold, 5.6 million simulatenous users on steam tonight(presumably more total)

Yup, microsoft wouldn't even notice.

Xbox 360's Insane Failure Rate (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42231237)

The Xbox 360 has maybe a 30-35 million installed base - not 70 million by most tracking firms I've seen with most Xbox 360 owners having gone through 5-6 repurchases of newer model consoles hoping to finally get a console that works properly. And those 5-6 duplicate consoles don't count the Microsoft supplied replacement units from the RRoD fiasco and other various hardware problems that plague the Xbox 360.

It is kind funny in a pathetic sort of way that the only real bright spot for the Xbox 360 is the RRoD fiasco that helped inflate their apparent marketshare and kept them out of last place for a extra couple of years.

How humiliating for Microsoft to have rushed the shoddy and defective Xbox 360 hardware out the door a year early, sell tens of millions of duplicated consoles, and still end up in last place this gen.

Ouch.

Re:Microsoft's Biggest Mistake (2)

nschubach (922175) | about 2 years ago | (#42231257)

Estimates have Steam at just over 50 million active accounts and Xbox Live at just over 40 million.

You do know those numbers arn't comparable. (4, Interesting)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42231339)

70 million xbox sold, 5.6 million simulatenous users on steam tonight(presumably more total)

Yup, microsoft wouldn't even notice.

A more comparable figures would be Steam is 54 million active user accounts [concurrent peak users did peak at 6 million]. The numbers seem surprisingly close to seriously threaten Microsofts console gaming platform with Steam Cross-Multi-Platform

As for Microsoft not even noticing, they would be incredibly foolish not to, Microsoft has very little benefit over other platforms right now, even installations will be overtaken by android as soon as next year. Its gaming...and its control of the Graphics API lock-in are essential to if remaining relevant to the consumer market, which is being increasingly challenged.

Microsoft ALWAYS notice the competition they will be out with their chequebooks and lawyers banking on steams door.

Re:You do know those numbers arn't comparable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42231443)

They don't threaten each other. One is a Console and one is a pc. Christ, use your head. Those people running xbox, the majority at least, would not buy the steam platform, nor likely would the steam users buy the console. It is two completely different things, please, please, please, think before you spew.

Its about a Steam Console (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42231509)

They don't threaten each other. One is a Console and one is a pc.

You need to re-read my post, I coin the word Cross-Multi-Platform. I could have used the words "Steam ecosytem" if you prefer. The fact that you think gamers are either console gamers or PC gamers that is a nonsense. Ironically so as Microsoft are pushing for a convergence of their self styled ecosystem. The reality is in the modern world they are just shop fronts. I look forward to steam on my Android tablet; running on my Tivo box.

I have rechecked my original post. Its on the money.

Re:Microsoft's Biggest Mistake (3, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | about 2 years ago | (#42231533)

5.6 million concurrent Steam users.

Google "concurrent xbox live users", and it looks like they set a record of 2 million a few years back. That's all users, not just the paying Gold users. I'm sure they've grown since then, but tripled?

Now, the obvious caveat is that it's more common to play on an Xbox without an internet connection than it is to play in Steam's offline mode. But Steam's user base is definitely at least comparable to Xbox's.

Re:Microsoft's Biggest Mistake (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 2 years ago | (#42230801)

How is yet another console a real game changer? PC Gamers have had the options of consoles for decades, they just aren't appealing, a locked down ecosystem that is dictated by the manufacturer, in this case valve. This will be competing against the PS/Xbox/WiiU, yes it will be interesting to see how it goes against them but it is DOA as a gaming machine replacement.

Re:Microsoft's Biggest Mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42231027)

The potentially interesting part is it having the potential to beat Microsoft at their own game. XBox largely made inroads through publishers that were comfortable with MS APIs. Howerver, MS still made distribution *very* distinct from PC. Here, Valve strongly indicates that the same titles purchased for PC willl work on console and vice-versa, publisher/developer permitting. If Valve breaks into the console market competently, it is more interesting for PC enthusiasts, who have been more and more neglected. Basically all console games for Valve will be available for PC gamers, pretty much automatically.

Re:Microsoft's Biggest Mistake (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42231043)

The game it'll be changing is Windows dominance of PC gaming.

Already big publishers and new games under development are starting to look closer at Linux support because of the Steam beta. They don't like what they see in Win8 any more than Gabe Newell does.

My prediction is Valve will get behind Linux in a big, big way and this will be looked back upon as a turning point in history.

Start with a Steam box, then certify higher-end hardware Steam-ready with curated, updated, solid OSS drivers available for the build-your-own crowd, once that's done major vendors start taking some of that hardware, rebranding it, and adding a Steam-ready sticker. For cheaper than Win8 at equivalent specs. Remember, the reason companies that offer Linux consumer hardware usually have it more expensive due to drivers & support; if Valve takes a big chunk of that off of their hands, Linux can compete with Windows on an even playing field.

Suddenly Linux becomes EASY for Joe sixpack, he can buy it in a store, it's exposing an interface he's more familiar with (more Windows-like than Windows), comes with loads of free software, games, and the sticker price is lower. This is a potential nightmare scenario for Microsoft, and I think this is Valve's endgame.

I certainly hope it is.

Re:Microsoft's Biggest Mistake (0)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#42231477)

Valve's Steam is 90% of all Windows PC game sales. This is Valve moving as many of these games to an own-brand console as they can so as to preserve continuity for their customers.

Re:Microsoft's Biggest Mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42230929)

Valve made steam in response to distributors trying to screw them over, not because of anything MS did.

Re:Microsoft's Biggest Mistake (1)

shione (666388) | about 2 years ago | (#42231125)

They made their mistake before pissing off Newell and making him leave microsoft. When he did, he founded steam along with another ex microsoft employee.

Fantastic news (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42230669)

Valve's move into this space breaks the virtual oligopoly that presently exists in the livingroom console market and opens the opportunity for further value through on-demand video with the existing STEAM infrastructure.

It sounds like the Windows Market Place was the catalyst for a true market shift.

"locked down" (1)

CHRONOSS2008 (1226498) | about 2 years ago | (#42230821)

what part of that sounds like SONY or MS or nintendo or ..(insert stupid corporation here )

Re:Fantastic news (0)

BanHammor (2587175) | about 2 years ago | (#42231499)

It's really fucking funny, you know?

The countdown begins... (2, Interesting)

mpoulton (689851) | about 2 years ago | (#42230673)

How long until someone has it cracked and running general-purpose Linux? Bonus: How long until someone makes a cluster of them?

Keyboard and Mouse? (0)

thatkid_2002 (1529917) | about 2 years ago | (#42230695)

If it has a keyboard and mouse as first class citizens (or at least a mouse!) count me in, else forget about it.

"locked down" (-1, Troll)

CHRONOSS2008 (1226498) | about 2 years ago | (#42230709)

sorry already have those no need of valve then OR steam as this seems to be the way they want to go its no different then supporting microshaft

Dammit Valve! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42230719)

"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.

Valve is shooting themselves in the foot here. One of the things that makes PC gaming interesting is the ability to use the hardware you want. Valve needs to think of this console as a way to get people interested in buying off of the Steam marketplace. Valve isn't going to win if they think they can build yet-another-console and then try to compete with Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. But they do stand to win among the enthusiasts if they leave the hardware open. If they fight the traditional closed console model then they will always have the best game experience. Closed hardware simply can't compete with the ability for a person to get top of the line hardware today. And if they want, they could even do a "Steam Box Certification" program and get a couple of bucks for the effort.

Re:Dammit Valve! (2)

gmueckl (950314) | about 2 years ago | (#42230791)

Have you read the Kotaku story? Newell expects 3rd party hardware specifically for Steam and its big screen mode; these would obviously be PCs. Their own hardware will be locked down, but you don't have to buy it.

Re:Dammit Valve! (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 2 years ago | (#42231141)

It doesn't matter. The "cheap valve box" owners will quickly rise in numbers and the "real PC gamers" will be dwarfed by this. The incentive to develop games for anything beyond the four low-end-hardware-consoles (MS, Sony, Nintendo, Valve) that cost less (combined) than even half of the cost of your gaming PC will be gone. Why sink the expense in something that will grind high end rigs when you can just hit the same target you were hitting six or eight years ago?

Good intentions, I'm sure, but the outcome will be awful.

Re:Dammit Valve! (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#42231347)

Because the gaming market is NOT one homogeneous bunch?

I mean, let's be honest, casual gamers buying $5 games for their cellphones do not have any of the returns of the dedicated gamer buying $50 games for a console, let alone a fanatical gamer who buys those $80 game + DLC / expansion packs with expensive gaming rigs. You probably won't get rich with the former, whereas the latter has been quite profitable. There may be more 'casual' gamers, but they don't spend nearly as much as intense gamers.

In short, you can be Ford, or you can be BMW.

Re:Dammit Valve! (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 2 years ago | (#42231691)

So . . . you're suggesting that the console market (including Steam Box) will stick with their $60 or $70 (whatever it is next generation) titles and gamers with high end rigs will some how get games created just for our dwindling market and they'll be sold at a $100 premium or something? Because we're talking about full-fledged full-price games, in both cases, here, otherwise. Not $5 casual console games and $60 PC games...

Price Persomance sound consumer freindly (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42231409)

It doesn't matter. The "cheap valve box" owners will quickly rise in numbers and the "real PC gamers" will be dwarfed by this. The incentive to develop games for anything beyond the four low-end-hardware-consoles (MS, Sony, Nintendo, Valve)

This is the current state of play, I'm pretty sure the idea is for "3rd Party Hardware Vendors to Compete", they will have only two things to compete on price/performance, looking at the not too dissimilar Android phone/tablet market. This seems incredibly good for the consumer.

Re:Price Persomance sound consumer freindly (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 2 years ago | (#42231715)

Performance is irrelevant, when the developers will have little incentive to create games targeted at anything but the lowest-common-denominator -- and with these commodity "steam box" things, you'll just be chewing into the PC market and transitioning them to "low-end-common-denominator console gaming" numbers.

Re:Dammit Valve! (4, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#42230811)

He's not saying they're doing away with Steam on PCs. Steam will still be available on Windows, Mac and - soon - Linux. If Steam stops working on Windows it won't be Valve's fault. And if it does stop working on Windows you'll be able to get most of your Steam games without buying them again - complete with all the in-game content - on a platform that is less hostile to successful Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). They'll maintain Windows Steam for as long as it is possible and financially feasible to do so but given the history of Lotus, Wordperfect, Borland, Aldus, Sun, Star, Netscape, Novell and many others, that won't be forever. Sooner or later Windows will be updated in a way that Steam won't run on it, and that won't be Valve's fault. They're hanging in there for you as best they can, but they don't write the platform.

By doing this he's maybe building an intimidating counter-threat to Microsoft: break Steam like you break the OS for other competing ISVs and we'll take our users elsewhere. By doing so he may be incentivizing Microsoft to not break Windows-based steam. By making a platform they DO own, Valve is making a commitment to continue to offer you a platform your Steam games will run on, in as much as their participating developers will support it. They can't make the developers support it, but this is the best they can do. Buy the Steam console, and your Steam games will be able to continue to be supported because they DO own the platform.

Re:Dammit Valve! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42231131)

..... you want to talk about an OS breaking software via updates, and you're voting FOR linux....

You really do need to notice that windows while introducing new features has been an amazing set of backwards compatibility. That can only go on for so long and things will break. While I've had kernel updates break a piece of software I manage quite a bit.

Re:Dammit Valve! (2)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#42231337)

You do know that Gabe Newell used to work for Microsoft, and knows how they play this game, don't you? When he was there he worked this to his advantage and now that he's competing with them he's working his understanding of the way they do things to his advantage also.

Re:Dammit Valve! (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about 2 years ago | (#42231539)

His inside understanding about how Microsoft does things is almost 20 years out of date.

Re:Dammit Valve! (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#42231631)

Cultures change slow.

Re:Dammit Valve! (2)

caitsith01 (606117) | about 2 years ago | (#42231173)

Sooner or later Windows will be updated in a way that Steam won't run on it

Given that Windows 7 (what I use... haven't tried 8) still natively runs things designed for Windows 95 and 98, I'm not sure when or how you think Steam is going to "stop working" on Windows.

Re:Dammit Valve! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42231187)

he might be one of the 'OMG WINRT IS COMING' guys. Hell, there's still a bit of DOS functionality built into 8 still(pretty much what exists in 7 right now). I bet he thinks they're trying to drop the win32 lib, seen a few idiots screaming that at the top of their lungs.

Re:Dammit Valve! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42231357)

When Microsoft decides the best way to go ahead is with mandatory software signing?

Re:Dammit Valve! (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#42231363)

The long and inglorious history of Microsoft killing their most successful ISVs to take their customers is a part of the public courts record. It is not a disputable nor debatable thing. Microsoft considers the broad realm of ISVs an orchard where they can pluck the finest fruit, leaving the rest to ripen or rot.

The Windows app store is a move to cut off Valve's "air supply". Steam is an app store.

Re:Dammit Valve! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42231463)

So the apple app store was designed to cut of steam's users as well then? and the Google one. It's just Microsoft is now adopting peoples seemingly preferred way to get programs. If they made a steam app, metro app...blah that allowed for picking choosing...then once selected kicked you into full blown "STEAM" mode it would work. But no they want complete control in their hands....same as origin or whatever....complete control in Microsoft hands or steams is no real difference in the long run.

Re:Dammit Valve! (0)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#42231559)

You might want to have your doctor adjust your dosage. I can't quite make out what you're trying to say. You wouldn't happen to be in Denver, would you?

What is true of iOs is not true of Android. (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42231619)

So the apple app store was designed to cut of steam's users as well then? and the Google one.

Your half getting it. Microsoft is trying to mimic Apples walled garden, so the possibility of not allowing other stores other than Microsoft's on your machine is very likely...unlike Google on Android which allows for you to have multiple stores on your device.

As for being in Microsoft control or Streams...My vote is for competition which is why I will always chose devices that are more open. :)

This could be a very good thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42230727)

For gaming.
For linux.
For users.

It could only be bad for Microsoft, unless Valve screws it up, and judging by thier track record for the last few years I don't think they will.

My hope:
If you want a brain-dead easy, pre-built machine, buy a SteamBox: all the advantages of PC Gaming, with Wide Screen, TV support and the ease of use of a console.
If you want the same experience only BETTER- learn how to build your own pc, match the guidelines set forth by Valve as far as recommended hardware and build your own with upgraded performance levels.

This is a great thing to see and I truly hope they succeed.

And my 12 year old nephew already wants a SteamBox too.

Re:This could be a very good thing (1, Troll)

Seumas (6865) | about 2 years ago | (#42231129)

It's a terrible thing for gamers, because it reduces the target for PC development to that of shitty low-end aged hardware, just like the consoles run. Yes, we can still build and run our own rigs of any extreme, but there won't be nearly as many of us as there are console-owners and Valve-Box owners. So they'll port their shitty games to the shitty "PC Console" and that will be that. No sense developing expensive engines with insane textures and complexities when you can just port it to the $300 Valve Box and say "there, we've done our PC job".

Re:This could be a very good thing (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | about 2 years ago | (#42231289)

PC developers already target the low end.

Re:This could be a very good thing (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#42231353)

Depends. Game developers tend to target the current high-end, because by the time the game is released (a year or so later), it will be mid-range.

Re:This could be a very good thing (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#42231405)

no, developers target the high end and mark on the box the absolute minimum spec the software will run on. That's NOT to say "this will run as smooth as if you bought our XBox version", you would be lucky to pull 3fps@800x600 at minimum spec.

Example:

Emperor: Battle For Dune. Box spec: 400MHz PII, 64MB RAM, DX7, 16MB D3D GPU, 600MB HDD for minimum install. I bought this game when I had an AMD K6/II-400 with 256MB RAM and a 32MB GeForce II MX, and it was a bag of shit. I could count the frame rate on ONE HAND and have change!

My laptop which runs like a proper gaming rig for games like this: dual core AMD E350, 6GB RAM, 2GB Radeon HD, 64-bit host OS. I run Emperor in a VM with 1GB memory, 256MB video and just one core. Fucking FLIES in fullscreen, on an external monitor and forced to 1440x900.

Steam DRM fans get ultimate form of DRM... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42230793)

... I told you gabe was not your friend.

Re:Steam DRM fans get ultimate form of DRM... (1)

guises (2423402) | about 2 years ago | (#42231643)

Don't assume. I like hardware DRM: sure it's strict, but console games don't require activation (this is changing... but still mostly true). That's the sticking point for me - retaining ownership of my media. I've never used Steam, I've avoided it since its debut for this reason, but I would get one of these if it meant that I could play games without going online to ask permission first.

DVR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42230861)

Add digital tuning card and a Mcard slot, and rule the living room!

Just what the world needs (0)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#42230897)

another locked down console to sit under TV that plays all the same games the other locked down consoles play

Re:Just what the world needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42231263)

If it runs Linux it most definitely will not play all the same games as the other locked down consoles...

Re:Just what the world needs (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#42231367)

Depends how tuned the emulator for it turns out to be. I would find it entertaining to play PS3 and XBox360 games on a Steam 'console.'

It's even more amusing to think of the presidents of those respective companies hearing that news.

For the love of plush headcrabs... (0)

Newms118 (2671911) | about 2 years ago | (#42230987)

where the hell is Half-Life 3?????? I dont care about this console, and I barely use my PS3. Just give me something, like maybe this will be used to play Half-life 3, i dunno, ANYTHING. I mean christ, finishing grad school was faster.

Knowing Gabe (5, Funny)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | about 2 years ago | (#42230999)

It won't make it past its 2nd iteration

Locked down? (1)

theascension (2784697) | about 2 years ago | (#42231047)

I'm hesitated to get excited about this... I have to wonder just how locked down it will be. Hopefully it will continue in the tradition of steam drm being not malware infesting and generally just enough to get the job done. Advertisements and other annoyances will hopefully be easily disabled like on the PC (the xbox 360 is just disgusting to navigate these days).

With the increasing use of tiny solid state drives in hardware these days (the ipod classic going the way of the dodo, slim models of everything),
I wonder how much space the unit will have? Team Fortress 2 on its own is like 18gb with all the updates. I can't see the unit realistically being less than 300 if a standard hard drive must be included.

Re:Locked down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42231155)

I'm seeing it being 800+ tbh if they want to make sure their games run at higher frames and in better quality than consoles. They're not going to be able to build a 400 dollar A10 based pc box and ship that, it will run games like arse. They're not going to be able to really design custom hardware either, it's going to have to be off the shelf parts at LEAST mid range otherwise why would anyone pick one up? I don't see this coming in under 800 dollars and being anywhere near a good experience unless they autoset all game settings to low when you boot up games to make sure you dont' have a lagtastic experience?

Re:Locked down? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#42231361)

"I'm seeing it being 800+ tbh if they want to make sure their games run at higher frames and in better quality than consoles."

Valve Steam Survey [steampowered.com]

Most common GPU: Intel HD 3000.
Most common CPU: dual core @ ~2.5ghz

Thats a survey of gamers. The market is quite different than it once was, when only enthusiasts played games.

You can build a better box for sub-$400 easily. The AMD A8-3850 is currently $90 retail, quad core @ 2.9ghz and has a significantly better GPU than the Intel HD 3000 (and even the XBOX 360's GPU since that is about equal to the HD 3000), and thats without any volume discount.

This sort of commodity use is exactly what the APU's were designed for.

thanks for all the beta test work suckers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42231075)

Does anyone seriously believe that Valve will maintain their Linux port after their steam box is released? If they do, it will be along the same lines as Google's Chrome - free, but impossible to actually build from source and use. But thanks to all the clueless beta-testers who thought Valve believed in free software - they got debugging for cheap, and now you're dumped. Windows users will be next, unless of course the box fails, in which case Valve will go crawling back to the "faithful."

It's happened before, it happened again.

I'm not really sure what your point it (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42231365)

If they do, it will be along the same lines as Google's Chrome - free, but impossible to actually build from source and use.

From the chromium web-site "Due mostly to its history and its complexity, Chromium uses a nonstandard set of custom tools to check out and build. Here's an overview of the steps you'll run:"

http://code.google.com/p/chromium/wiki/LinuxBuildInstructions [google.com]

...as for Valve on Linux. They are not just here for the penguins they are being driven out of Windows. I see no reason why the wouldn't continue to support Linux, especially if they plan on promoting a cross-platform storefront. Lets be honest Android on its own will have more installations than Windows next year.

This will KILL PC gaming. (0)

Seumas (6865) | about 2 years ago | (#42231083)

The problem is that they will always have to work with a specific set of commodity hardware. You and I might spend $1,000 USD just on our video cards for our new rig, but most people don't want to spend even the $300 for a brand new gaming console, let alone anything more. So, that means Valve will be forced to (as they said, themselves) focus on one specific set of hardware that their turnkey "PC gaming rig" will come with.

For the rest of us, we can use their software and services to enjoy the same sort of experience, but with as much hardware power as we want to throw at it, by building our own systems.

Unfortunately, this is not going to be a BOON to PC gaming. It is going to be the DEATH OF PC GAMING.

As it is, developers primarily focus on consoles and then make shitty PC ports. With a Steam system on a specific set of commodity hardware, they'll now be developing for three sets of shitty, out-dated, cheap commodity hardware. There will be no incentive to make any software/games that will really bring your $3500 rig to its knees. In which case, you might as well just have an XBox or Playstation, in the first place.

Re:This will KILL PC gaming. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42231137)

PC gaming has been dying since the mid-nineties. Now excuse me, I'm going to go play more Guild Wars 2.

Re:This will KILL PC gaming. (1)

csumpi (2258986) | about 2 years ago | (#42231201)

Why would this kill PC gaming? It's sounds like just another new console. It's locked down. Not any different than an Xbox or PS. Except without a designated controller, and good luck trying to find a wireless keyboard and mouse that will work for gaming.

You don't have to spend $1000 on new gfx cards every year. There is a sea of awesome games out there that will run more than happily on a $100 card or on integrated Intel gfx.

Re:This will KILL PC gaming. (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 2 years ago | (#42231747)

Exactly. It's taking the incentive away from playing on a beefy PC gaming rig to get access to PC games and transitioning those people into just more "console players", further dwindling the "PC gaming market", which in-turn diminishes the potential return for developers to target high end gaming systems (or, rather, anything other than console-quality hardware systems).

To be of any use, your high end gaming rig needs software developed for it that will take advantage of it.
To compel developers to create demanding and impressive software and engines that need the power of a decent PC rig, there must be a large market.
Putting out a Valve-Console improves the Steam market/audience at the cost of the more general "PC gaming" market.

And the circle is complete. Fewer people gaming on PC, fewer developers developing for it as a result, and fewer things for you to play, which means less reason for you to buy beefy hardware and so on and so on.

Valve will be next Google (1)

detain (687995) | about 2 years ago | (#42231085)

Valve over the years has gotten a large foothold in Windows gaming, now working on Linux gaming and set-top gaming. All they will be missing is smartphone (and mac?) presence before they can start having a google-like influence and presence.

Re:Valve will be next Google (1)

csumpi (2258986) | about 2 years ago | (#42231225)

I know two people with Valve accounts. But everyone I know uses Google. So they have some ways to go.

Billion user club (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42231581)

Its only slightly off-topic Tomi's latest article is about Android replacing Windows as the dominant computing platform http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2012/12/android-won-windows-lost-now-what-the-battle-of-the-century-is-decided-microsoft-relegated-to-ever-s.html [blogs.com] but I like this quote which is relevant.

"Android will breach the rarefied Billion user club in just six months from today, by June of 2013. A Billion users? Only a handful of brands have ever reached that lofty level. Facebook, Skype, Windows, Nokia, Coca Cola, Visa and Mastercard."

Re:Valve will be next Google (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about 2 years ago | (#42231593)

This is a bit worrisome, because Valve has a tendency to let non-critical issues go unaddressed for long periods of time, instead preferring to work on some new feature that will inevitably have its own set of ignored issues.

As more and more games have decided to integrate completely with Steam, I've been having more and more problems with friends dropping from games when Steam decides to just randomly disconnect people as they update servers or whatever. This happens 1-3 times a week, where their servers just constantly disconnect people every so often for a few hours. Some of the games are even completely unplayable when Steam is down (Dungeon Defenders, looking at you!). Some of this is the game's fault for being so deeply tied to Steam, but really Steam's devs need to learn how to provide a more robust user experience before they get into the living room.

I get it -- servicing 6 million concurrent users is tough -- but other services have been doing it just fine for far longer than Steam has existed.

By locked down... (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 2 years ago | (#42231177)

I am assuming that by locked down, they imply a signed bootloader and/or a signed kernel image. I wouldn't be opposed to that provided all games remain available for the open PC platform as well.

Such a thing is reasonable if they want to subsidize the hardware with games purchases and minimize tech support costs (There's far less headache to deal with if they can't do anything other than what you specifically approved. Anybody who has ever worked in an end user facing IT position would know this.) We can talk about software freedom all day (which I very much do want) but if ma, pa, and billy joe average either can't afford it or otherwise won't use it anyways due to it being too technical to them, then what's the point in having freedom over something you otherwise have nothing to do with?

It's as real as HL3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42231221)

and they're not fantastic.

Steam Still Locked to One Concurrent User (5, Insightful)

deweyhewson (1323623) | about 2 years ago | (#42231233)

Until this is resolved [imgur.com] , I'm wary of locking myself into Valve any more than I already am. The thought of a locked down environment worries me, too; that seems antithetical to what has made PC gaming and enthusiasm what it is.

Still, it's Valve, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, but being trapped in one more walled garden not only with software but hardware is not the direction I like the industry to move.

Re:Steam Still Locked to One Concurrent User (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#42231327)

Games on steam have mods some even have in game downing / installing of them.

Re:Steam Still Locked to One Concurrent User (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42231489)

Exactly the same flaming idiots who complain about the Apple's walled garden are championing the same thing for valve, but because they LIKE steam and they LIKE Linux, somehow it is now all okay. Until you can play anything you want on your said platform....curiously "WINDOWS" is the closest thing to that...once you have the os, you can virtual play any game you want that is for pc....i don't have to be locked into origin, valve, etc...what if the new game you like doesn't come on steam? I'm sorry, microsoft has it's problems, but their OS...and you cannot argue this, you cannot even try....PC wise gives me the greatest flexibility for gaming in the history of gaming. Everything else is just a niche product. Consoles not included as that is separate from PC based gaming....many people have both...more have on or the other. steambox would be a waste of time, at least at the immediate start. hell Android or IOS would have more games....they cannot port the games you use on steam now...or even in the immediate future to something that works without windows...look at WINE, it sucks.

Given time it might prove worthy, but that can be said...and has been said about every failed gaming platofrom in the world ...at least at the start of things.

Steam is a wall climer :) (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42231557)

Exactly the same flaming idiots who complain about the Apple's walled garden are championing the same thing for valve

With the massive difference that Value does not restrict you from loading alternative software on that machine, or limits the platform your running on...On second thoughts its nothing like Apples closed garden. In fact its starting to be incredibly cross platform...In fact it breaks walls. In fact Steam is doing this because it fears Microsoft's Walled garden,

Now it does have [loose] DRM, locking programs to the store, at the cost of convenience. Which is completely different issue...whatever you think of that.

Re:Steam Still Locked to One Concurrent User (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42231507)

Simple solution: create a new steam account for every game that you buy.

Re:Steam Still Locked to One Concurrent User (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42231525)

On the other hand, Steam isn't limited to 2 machines. It's per user account and you can use it from as many machines (albeit one at a time) as you want.

Re:Steam Still Locked to One Concurrent User (3, Insightful)

Hadlock (143607) | about 2 years ago | (#42231709)

Can we keep the reddit imgur spam on reddit please? If you can't explain your point in complete paragraphs without an image macro for assistance, you might want to look elsewhere.

Meh (2)

Dunge (922521) | about 2 years ago | (#42231277)

We don't need more hardware, the current PC is good enough. Just give us some good software/games for it already.

Re:Meh (1)

JimboFBX (1097277) | about 2 years ago | (#42231389)

The point is to standardize the system. For example, will the walking dead play on my sister's 4 year old laptop if I give it to her this christmas?

Stream still didn't work behind a firewall (1, Informative)

JimboFBX (1097277) | about 2 years ago | (#42231323)

I had the privilege of trying to install stream from behind a hotel firewall/router. Still doesn't work. Would download at under 16 kb/sec and there is hundreds of megs to download. I seen to recall that this is because it only uses a single tcp connection when there is a firewall and basically steam wasn't designed with this in mind. Remember, steam is fundamentally a web browser and file downloader. I know a few games where the stream based server browser also is very spotty. Firewall/NAT issues are pretty common, so if valve is aiming for mainstream then they have so far failed miserably. You need system administrator privileges to get stream to work.

Re:Stream still didn't work behind a firewall (1)

JimboFBX (1097277) | about 2 years ago | (#42231401)

Stream = steam... Stupid swype...

Pro Tip (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42231457)

Copy an installed steam directory to a flash drive.

Delete the copied .blob file

Copy to the new system's HD

Download, install, and point the Steam download at the copied directory.

profit

You will save a lot of time this way as the "steam install" is pretty small.

Cartridges should make a comeback (4, Insightful)

MindPrison (864299) | about 2 years ago | (#42231675)

And you would have the console everyone missed.

You could just plug it in, and play straight away few seconds later, nothing beats that feeling.
Today everything has to boot forever, it takes several minutes just to wait for another game to boot up, I hate that. I live with it, but I don't like it.

With todays amazing solid state drive developments, this shouldn't be impossible. USB-memory sticks costs almost as little as CD's and Floppy Disks did back in the days, so we're getting there.

And the first console to do this, will win.

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