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Gabe Newell Reveals More About Steam Boxes, New Input Devices

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the serious-business dept.

Input Devices 218

adeelarshad82 writes "Valve's presence at CES this year isn't to show off some new games, it's all about meeting with hardware manufacturers behind closed doors to talk about Steam Box. In an interview at CES which highlights Valve's plans for the console, Gabe Newell describes Steam Box as two projects. The first, codenamed Bigfoot, focuses on the hardware for use in the home with a TV. The second, codenamed Littlefoot, is investigating mobile gaming. Gabe goes on to discuss Valve plans on having three levels of Steam Box described as 'Good, Better, or Best' and expectations for the controller where the company wants something that's more high precision than anything else out there at the moment." The interview at the Verge is pretty extensive.

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Fortooth (0)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about a year and a half ago | (#42533767)

I grow wary of the wopopooopopopology.

The future belongs to the WORKERS. EVVIVA KARL MARX!

Re:Fortooth (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42533925)

I grow wary of the wopopooopopopology.

The future belongs to the WORKERS. EVVIVA KARL MARX!

Hey look, another Barack Hussein Obama voter!

Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42533791)

Well I'm all for innovation but I remain skeptical that any of this can really rival the advantage of the raw compute power and versatility of a traditional PC

Re:Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (1)

telchine (719345) | about a year and a half ago | (#42533873)

Well I'm all for innovation but I remain skeptical that any of this can really rival the advantage of the raw compute power and versatility of a traditional PC

Agreed... I read this from the article...

expectations for the controller where the company wants something that's more high precision than anything else out there at the moment

More high precision than a keyboard and mouse? Good luck with that!

Re:Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (3)

nthitz (840462) | about a year and a half ago | (#42533915)

Presumably that means higher precision than the current console controllers..

Re:Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42533957)

They may be referring to a controller that is more high precision than anything else out there at the moment within the specific subdomain of game controllers.

Many have tried, but I guess that if anyone can do it it's Valve.

Re:Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (3, Informative)

drsquare (530038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42533985)

A keyboard has no precision at all, it's either 1 or 0.

Re:Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534025)

A keyboard has no precision at all, it's either 1 or 0.

Duhhh that's why the term used was "keyboard and mouse" herp derp.

Re:Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534081)

You have a binary keyboard?

Re:Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (1, Insightful)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534119)

Considering a bit is the limit for how fine grained you can get on a computer, the keyboard is the most precise input device you could create.... it just has many other shortcomings. Imagine gaming in binary.

Re:Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534247)

Massive pedantry fail.

Re:Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534683)

The problem is, maximum 3 simultaneous key presses are registered.

Re:Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (4, Informative)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534811)

Depends on keyboard. PS/2 interface limitations are long gone in the age of USB keyboards, and this is mainly limited by the microcontroller used in the keyboard itself as well as how keys are linked to it.

For example, my G15 handles six simultaneous key presses. In some combinations it can handle even more, but six is what it's advertised for.

Re:Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (2)

putch (469506) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534831)

Not if you get a gaming keyboard. Most of the Razer models register 5+ key presses at a time.

Re:Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534951)

Or you know you can buy a KB that isn't a pos

Re:Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (4, Informative)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534721)

Considering a bit is the limit for how fine grained you can get on a computer

Actually, no. A bit is the smallest logical unit a modern computer can handle, but the more bits you use the more fine-grained you get, ie. a 1bit register can only represent on or off, whereas an 8bit register can register 256 different values. Ergo, your assessment is incorrect.

the keyboard is the most precise input device you could create....

Incorrect, see above.

Imagine gaming in binary.

That doesn't even make sense. Binary literally means a representation of two different values -- how do you game in a representation of two different values? Well, the answer is easy: you can't play a logical, numerical representation of a system with only two possible values. That's like saying "imagine gaming in biodiversity."

Re:Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534131)

It has temporal resolution.

Math (1)

kwerle (39371) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534227)

A keyboard has no precision at all, it's either 1 or 0.

Dude. You need a new keyboard. Morse clickers went out a long time ago.

My keyboard has what - about 40 keys? And I know I can do combinations of at least 3 keys at once - but I don't know the full limit. Let's say it's 3, and any 3 at that.

That means my keyboard is capable of about 40^3 combinations. Hey - that looks like 64,000, which is closer to 2^16 than it is to 2^1.

Re:Math (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534355)

But will it properly register a partial press of a key? That's what the 1-or-0 is about.

Re:Math (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534397)

It is not 40^3 when you press 3 keys at once as you'll no longer have 40 key after the first key press.
It would be 40x39x38

Re:Math (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534425)

Can't wait to play your racing game... with acceleration defined from 1 to 9 on the keyboard ;)

Re:Math (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534441)

Mine can do 6. 40^6 = 4,096,000,000

Re:Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year and a half ago | (#42535159)

He is probably talking about turning. Turning n a keyboard in a game is tighter then on a console.
This is a major headache if you want people on the console to play people in a PC. You end up having to change the response from the keyboard.

Re:Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (1)

citizenr (871508) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534335)

More high precision than a keyboard and mouse? Good luck with that!

Have you seen Leap Motion? Looks like a perfect mouse replacement

Re:Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | about a year and a half ago | (#42535079)

I agree that a keyboard and mouse are more precise. They lack the comfort of a controller, though.

I don't play online FPS games and even if I did, precision is less important to me than the ability to lay on my sofa and not needing a flat surface while playing a game.

Re:Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (4, Insightful)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534185)

At the risk of feeding the troll...

First off it won't be competing against PCs. It's going to be competing against consoles.

Secondly... why not? You realize that under the hood most consoles are just small form factor PCs right? Have a look at the hardware in an XBox 360 [wikipedia.org] or a Playstation 3 [wikipedia.org] and things will look familiar.

Then add in the fact that console gaming isn't necessarily about just horsepower (look at the Wii). This product will be jumping into the arena with a tried and true digital distribution system already in place, which is one of the bigger remaining speed bumps in the console market. From TFA they're also looking at having tiered hardware, which is going to appeal to a lot of people.

I'm not saying you're wrong to be skeptical, but saying that it's because it can't compete with something it's not really competing with... well to use the old car analogy it's like saying, "That Nissan Leaf has some great innovation, but I remain skeptical that it can really rival the advantage of the raw horsepower and versatility of the F-150."

Re:Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534323)

First off it won't be competing against PCs. It's going to be competing against consoles.

Are you so sure about that? Adding up all the variables here, considering this is Valve, backed with Steam, using what seems to be stock(ish) hardware, and considering the work Valve's been putting into Big Picture and the Linux port, not to mention GabeN's vocal disdain of the direction Windows 8 is taking PCs, I wouldn't be surprised if this "console" really is just a simplified PC that just boots into Steam right away. I mean, moreso than other consoles.

Or in other words, imagine if Valve is taking steps to blur the line between consoles and PCs. As in, there'll be a definite, concrete "target" PC that developers can develop for, yet still release the same game with the same code on "normal" PCs. "PC Requirements: Best Steam Box, or [list of reqs]", that sort. Sure, they've got a high-precision controller for it, but what if they leave it open so you can plug your own mice/keyboards in and treat the whole thing like a plain PC, just smaller in form and on your TV?

Of course, they'd need some easy way to, for instance, dump custom maps or mods onto the device (i.e. TF2 maps), but I wouldn't put it past them to do so.

Re:Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (1)

ssam (2723487) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534379)

the xbox was 'just a PC' hardware wise.

Re:Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534385)

Are you so sure about that? Adding up all the variables here, considering this is Valve, backed with Steam, using what seems to be stock(ish) hardware, and considering the work Valve's been putting into Big Picture and the Linux port, not to mention GabeN's vocal disdain of the direction Windows 8 is taking PCs, I wouldn't be surprised if this "console" really is just a simplified PC that just boots into Steam right away. I mean, moreso than other consoles.

That's true, but that doesn't mean that it'll be competing against PCs. It's being marketed as a device to hook up to your TV, likely in your living/rec room and will have controllers. THAT'S what is going to make it compete against consoles.

Re:Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534461)

...but my PC is *ALREADY* connected to my tv, you insensitive clod!

Re:Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (2)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534579)

Also, you can get "more horsepower" out of the same hardware in a console sense than a PC sense, because you can more readily optimize for that hardware.

Re:Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year and a half ago | (#42535233)

You can opitimze of PCs as well. People don't, but you can. In fact, I remember when the setup of of some games would actually compile module on your machine.
Doing so menas you need to also distribute the compiler, library and ONLY use libraries you include with the installer.

Re:Carmack, Newell and Stephenson (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year and a half ago | (#42535201)

"First off it won't be competing against PCs. It's going to be competing against consoles."

Yes, but he wants console gamers to be playing with PC gamers.

Remember the types of games valve puts out. They want to do that in a multi-platform co-op.

All very well and good, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42533857)

Where's Half Life 2 Episode 3...?

Re:All very well and good, but... (1)

telchine (719345) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534063)

Where's Half Life 2 Episode 3...?

You may joke, but people used to say that about Duke Nukem Forever.

Re:All very well and good, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534369)

Then it came out after 10+ years and sucked horribly. Hopefully Ep3 will be worth the weight.

Re:All very well and good, but... (3, Funny)

silentbrad (1488951) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534655)

Hopefully Ep3 will be worth the weight.

So if it's distributed digitally, it'll be worthless?

Re:All very well and good, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534657)

Then it came out after 10+ years and sucked horribly. Hopefully Ep3 will be worth the weight.

How much do you suppose it will weigh?

Re:All very well and good, but... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year and a half ago | (#42535251)

".. say that about Duke Nukem Forever."
With that comparison are you SURE you want ep3?

Re:All very well and good, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534133)

You mean half-life 3?

AFAIK, HL2: EP3 was expanded into a full sequel to HL2...

Re:All very well and good, but... (1)

Dunge (922521) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534389)

Yeah Valve was respectable when it was a game developer company, doing great campaign of single player action games. Then they moved to online matches, then they moved to a online store and now they want to go in the hardware business. GO BACK TO YOUR ROOTS!

Re:All very well and good, but... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year and a half ago | (#42535273)

Since they have done everything very well, Why go back to their roots. How about have these products that can pay for the type of work environment that creates great games?

Re:All very well and good, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42535229)

You must mean Half Life 2 Episode 2 Part 2.

Valve can't count to 3.

High precision controllers (3, Insightful)

Noctis-Kaban (2758815) | about a year and a half ago | (#42533859)

Trust valve to be the first to be putting thought into this. If it’s truly a steam based console, I expect console players to be mixed in with pc players online. If that minor leap of gestimation is correct, they will need high precision controllers to stand any chance of not getting destroyed by much more proficient and accurate pc gamers with keyboards and mice. I will look forward to seeing how this developes.

Re:High precision controllers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534037)

I've heard that Sony's lollipop controller is accurate enough to play FPSes, it's just that console people got used to autotarget.

Re:High precision controllers (1)

ikaruga (2725453) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534219)

they will need high precision controllers to stand any chance of not getting destroyed by much more proficient and accurate pc gamers with keyboards and mice. I will look forward to seeing how this developes.

That depends on the game, FPS is not the only genre out there. If its a fighter or a racing or a competitive SHMUP, I'm sure any noob using a dualshock can destroy a kb+m user.
Anyway, I hope they are really putting some though in the controller as well and actually have a original idea, because by reading that article I couldn't help but to think the only thing I saw was Gabe, when asked about input methods, criticizing standard motion controls(fair enough) and using cool words like "biometrics" to describe something that looks like it's going to be your standard modern game pad. At least they have a good portfolio so they deserve the benefit of doubt. Everything else, save for the biometrics stuff, sounded great, so I wish good luck for them, can't wait to see the final product.

Re:High precision controllers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534623)

And anyone with a good arcade joystick will mop the floor with the dualshock user.

Re:High precision controllers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534669)

A racing title, I could see. Neither mouse nor keyboard have ever offered me anything like precision turning. SHMUPs, however, don't seem to me to have an advantage either way. Take that how you will, since I play them only occasionally and not competitively. Fighters, on the other hand, can be played on a console controller.. but the thumb is responsible for multiple buttons. Keyboard players, by contrast, essentially have a Hit Box festooned with extra buttons. Attacks can be triggered with any of the fingers. Some fighters are simple enough that the controller is at no disadvantage, but it won't hold any advantage either.

If Valve can design a better controller for general gaming, that'd be great. Playstation controllers haven't changed that much in 15 years. Xbox controllers started out terrible (unless you abused HGH all your childhood), and have settled on something roughly parallel to a dualshock with the left stick and dpad swapped. And basically every feature on them, Nintendo had before them. Dpad on the NES, shoulder buttons on the SNES, analogue thumb stick on N64.

Re:High precision controllers (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534877)

Shmups, once you learn how to control them with a mouse, you'll never go back to joysticks, UNLESS it's a shmup with a very low speed of movement (think touhou focus mode).

Hail Gaben (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42533865)

That man is a living legend. I'll buy console whatever it costs!

Not sure how I feel (1)

james_van (2241758) | about a year and a half ago | (#42533887)

about different levels of hardware... I can certainly see where they're coming from, but it's certainly not the route I would take. But hey, what do I know?

Re:Not sure how I feel (2)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534029)

I can understand the approach.

A "good" console for casual gamers that want to play something like worms or farmville would be dirt cheap, a "Better" console for some single player RPG players that require a bit more power, or just can't afford/justify the high end, and a "best" console for the MMO(RPG/FPS) for people that need the best performance and think squeezing 5 FPS out of the hardware justifies a $200 difference. Each console would be priced for their respective group, a casual gamer isn't going to lay down $800 for a machine to play word games with their friends and someone in the MMO genera wouldn't even bother with something basically as powerful as a phone.

Others may just buy what they can afford.

Re:Not sure how I feel (1)

Emetophobe (878584) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534611)

I don't see a problem with it. PC games are already designed to handle various levels of hardware, and you can always adjust the game settings to suit your specs.

Re:Not sure how I feel (1)

firewrought (36952) | about a year and a half ago | (#42535087)

I don't see a problem with it. PC games are already designed to handle various levels of hardware.

...at the cost of development time for developers, play time for players, and headaches for both. Know this: the awesomest technical product you can ever build is something that just works.

Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42533935)

I'm bored with Steam. Where is HL2 Ep3? Where is HL3? Get with it!

Crowbar controller (4, Funny)

Cyberax (705495) | about a year and a half ago | (#42533967)

Dream come true: Half-Life 3 with a real crowbar controller!

Re:Crowbar controller (1)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534071)

Plastic crowbar with a WiiMote socket?

Re:Crowbar controller (2)

Cyberax (705495) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534141)

Real crowbar with taped WiiMote. And don't anyone dare to come close!

Re:Crowbar controller (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534155)

No, iron. We're going for realism here. But if you thought you could do damage with a wiimote slipping out of your hand.... let's just say the crowbar wrist strap is going to have to be heavy duty.

Occulus Rift? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42533973)

High precision, how about VR _&_ high precision? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oculus_Rift [wikipedia.org]

"Doomed to fail".... (3, Interesting)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534107)

... is the universal prognostication from producers and technical directors where I work. I'd personally love to see a Linux console succeed, but I just don't know if this is gonna work. I'd heard that the consoles are going to be priced in the neighborhood of $500 or more, and I fear they may price themselves out of the market for all but people who were planning on getting the console anyways simply for the sake of owning one. As an even worse side effect, if their device does not succeed, it might even have the consequence of steering future people away from the idea of trying to use Linux as a viable gaming platform ever again.

Re:"Doomed to fail".... (2)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534177)

That makes quite a bit of sense. Another factor is there are a bunch of similar consoles coming out all at the same time. They may end up spreading the people willing to buy the consoles too thin. I've already ordered an Ouya through their kickstarter, I'm most likely not going to get a Steambox or a game stick as well.

Re:"Doomed to fail".... (1)

theRunicBard (2662581) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534303)

Maybe this is a sign that I'm becoming spoiled (or anti-social) but I would get both. Steam seems to be the next big thing on near-Google levels and I'd like to see where this goes. Ouya is just a very cool system that for some reason seems to have a lot of rpgs, which I'm a fan of. Though I agree, most people would stick to only one or the other, and even then, most would stick to the xbox. Shame. Both the Steambox and the Ouya could become big among the sub-gamer culture that's also interested in more hack-ish linuxy things though. Too early to call in my opinion.

Re:"Doomed to fail".... (1)

citizenr (871508) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534431)

Ouya is just a very cool system

no, its a $80 chinese tablet sold for >$100 without a screen.

Re:"Doomed to fail".... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534955)

The $100 price does include one controller, which is typically a $30-$50 item on its own.

Re:"Doomed to fail".... (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | about a year and a half ago | (#42535293)

Ouya has the strongest GPU that's on the tablet market, so your $80 Chinese tablet doesn't compete with it.

Re:"Doomed to fail".... (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534459)

Yeah, I respect that opinion.

I would get both as well, but I saw the Ouya first and I have a wife.

Off-topic I know, but It's funny. My wife loves what all the fancy electronics do (media servers, personal laptop, gaming machine, phones, T.V., etc...), but she sees them as a waste of money even though we use them everyday, just going one day without them throws her into fits of withdrawals. We frequently end up in arguments over what's more worth the cost a $1,500 shiny ring (which she already has several) or a new console/laptop/TV/Router. I'm tell you, if you're ever hard up for cash, just go chop off some married woman's hand, it'd pretty quickly settle your financial issues if you can avoid prison. The finger on my wife's left hand could easily pay for all the electronics in the house and she's got almost every finger decorated, not to mention the earrings and necklaces.

Re:"Doomed to fail".... (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534937)

Jewelry is woman's safety net. Basically when a wealthy man dumps her for a younger model, she'll still have her jewelry for financial support. It's an ancient tradition that is unlikely to go away any time soon, and one that will keep price of gold and gems up.

Re:"Doomed to fail".... (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534717)

If you already have a decent PC the Steambox isn't targeted at you anyway. But I agree with the spreading too thin part.

Re:"Doomed to fail".... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534179)

To be fair, many in the industry said the same about Steam.

Re:"Doomed to fail".... (1)

Xian97 (714198) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534245)

$500 might seem steep, but if you look at your total cost over the lifetime of the console it would probably be less expensive in the long run. It wouldn't take too many $60 games to run up the total cost of your system to higher levels, compared to getting games for a quarter of that price on Steam sales.

Re:"Doomed to fail".... (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534407)

You can get games below cost for Xbox and Playstation too. You can either buy second hand or even borrow games from friends. I've gotten many year old games for pennies on the dollar out of the bins at Gamestop. And then there's always sales on Xbox live sales (don't know about PSN since I don't have a PS), which discount games like Steam. Skyrim was only $30 during Christmas.

Re:"Doomed to fail".... (2)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534911)

You can either buy second hand or even borrow games from friends.

Not for much longer, Sony's planning on putting an end to that with their new patent, and even if they don't enforce the patent what you end up seeing is more "incomplete" games sold first hand for $60 that'll then be used to nickle and dime second hand consumers for DLC that's probably already on the media. The future of console gaming isn't looking very bright and the prospective DRM schemes publishers are coming out with is making PC gaming less and less viable unless you're willing to pirate games to get rid of the crap DRMs. I've spent soooooo many hours trouble shooting my PC to try and figure out why a game wouldn't play only to find out it's because of some conflicting game I have installed, and screw that always on DRM crap. I wouldn't even touch Diablo III, I'm not going to be a slave to someone elses server/whims on when and how I get to play the games I paid an arm and a leg for.

Re:"Doomed to fail".... (3, Informative)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year and a half ago | (#42535027)

There are no sales on console that come anywhere near Steam Sales. Its not even close. Rage for $5 on Xbox360, never happening. Sleeping Dogs for $16, forget it Console's purpose is to establish a locked in fanbase, and exploit them heavily and to always keep the premium facade up. You will NEVER see sales on console like they have on Steam because Microsoft/Sony wont allow it.

Re:"Doomed to fail".... (1)

gfxguy (98788) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534255)

The way I look at it is that if I'm going to 'invest' $800 I can get a spanking good PC and run steam on it - and a lot more, and I can upgrade it when new hardware becomes available; I can also spread out the cost by buying a cheaper PC and upgrading it as time goes on.

Re:"Doomed to fail".... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534367)

Then you're not their target market for this

Re:"Doomed to fail".... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534541)

Actually, the good steam box seems to be made for him. He will have a good pc which he can then use to stream to his tv or whatever he wants to do at whatever time.

Valve watching (3, Interesting)

pr0nbot (313417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534149)

It's nice to watch a company in that phase of its existence where it's still essentially "good", i.e. doing interesting things in a better way, just ramping up, and morally fairly neutral. If they get anywhere they'll inevitably metamorphose into rapacious consumer-o-phobes, but for the moment I wish them godspeed.

Re:Valve watching (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534415)

I wonder how much of that has to do with the fact that Valve doesn't have shareholders to answer to.

Re:Valve watching (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534785)

I would say an awful lot.

fuck 3a shit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534153)

be trea7Ed by your

Precision controller (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534263)

Replace the D-pad with a thumb-sized trackball mouse and I'm sold.

Re:Precision controller (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534311)

shut up.

Re:Precision controller (1)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534695)

Ouya has a Trackpad on the controller you know. =)

Steam Box Server (5, Interesting)

ApharmdB (572578) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534281)

From the Verge article: "For example, Valve intends to make Steam Box a server, which can serve games on multiple TVs around the home simultaneously. So you could purchase a single Steam Box and use it with multiple controllers for playing games on the different TVs around your home." I'd like this very much please, thank you. If I could share games in a steam account within a household that would be awesome. Currently, when I'm logged in and playing Game X from the account then no one can play Game Y. That's not any different than with consoles but you can buy multiple consoles. Buying multiple consoles solves the problem completely. Having multiple steam accounts with games split across them doesn't. You aren't going to have a separate steam account for each game. And then you still can have the issue of two desired-at-the-moment games being on the same account. And constant account switching. This is not a major issue, but it would be a very-nice-to-have.

Re:Steam Box Server (1)

GonzoPhysicist (1231558) | about a year and a half ago | (#42535241)

Steam in Off-line mode helps a bit with this (still only 1 on-line game at a time), but it's not all that different from console games that often tie themselves to an on-line account once activated.

So it's not a console (1, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534325)

They're making a PC and not only that they're already planning for people to install windows on it. So it sounds more like this is a half assed move to piss of Microsoft.

Re:So it's not a console (1, Interesting)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534755)

Exactly what I was thinking, why all the Linux talk when you are just going to enable people to Install Windows, which they will. What Valve has done is gotten Linux users excited, and then spat in our faces. Developers will NOT make games for Linux in this fashion. I can see Devs now telling people if they want to play their game on a Steambox, they need to Install Windows. I'm Personally upset and if this is the case, I'm finished supporting the liars and scam artists at Valve.

Re:So it's not a console (2)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about a year and a half ago | (#42535185)

Where's the (-5 : Whiny shit) mod option?

Re:So it's not a console (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534827)

How exactly would this be a move to piss off Microsoft?

Re:So it's not a console (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year and a half ago | (#42535103)

Valve's Steambox is more likely to hard the 360 than the PS3 or Nintendo. The reason being is because the PC doesn't offer anything Nintendo does and both Sony and Nintendo have way more exclusives than the 360. The xbox 360 is also quite unpopular outside of North America. Because of that Sony still managed to catch and finally pass the 360 despite being more expensive, initially having fewer games and all the bad press about it's online service.

Not only that any gamer it draws away from the 360 potentially takes them away from Windows too as this is just a PC. Unlike now where if Steam steals customers from the 360 it would be placing them on windows.

Gabe made it clear he feels Windows 8 is a threat to his business (especially the app store) so now he's being all anti-windows despite the fact he was all too happy to support windows for the longest time. So I wouldn't be that surprised if Microsoft makes him a sweet deal in some way and he accepts.

Bizarre final statement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534479)

"The internet is super smart. If you do something that is cool, that's actually worth people's time, then they'll adopt it. If you do something that's not cool and sucks, you can spend as many marketing dollars as you want, [they] just won't." ... riiiiiight. The "internet" is full of morons who promote stupid worthless crap and wouldn't use or promote something good if their lives depended on it.

One Box to rule them all (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534531)

Valve, please, make a "companion cube"-styled Steam Box and take all our monies

Signed, the Internets

Netflix (2)

goldsaturn (1220086) | about a year and a half ago | (#42534547)

From the article:

"So... Netflix on the Steam Box?" "Oh absolutely. You can fire up a web browser, you can do whatever you want."

Until Netflix runs in something other than silverlight, this isn't going to work the way Gabe seems to think it is.

Re:Netflix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42534865)

From the article:

"So... Netflix on the Steam Box?"
"Oh absolutely. You can fire up a web browser, you can do whatever you want."

Until Netflix runs in something other than silverlight, this isn't going to work the way Gabe seems to think it is.

Well, he did elsewhere say that you could install Windows on it, so yes, you could in theory view netflix... Just not out of the box on the original Linux OS.

Re:Netflix (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about a year and a half ago | (#42535003)

Seriously? You don't think they can't figure something out with Netflix, who has custom software on every single console on the market, plus most mainstream handheld devices?

I'm not sure he was implying that you would launch Netflix from a browser. He seemed to just be listing off every day tasks that you traditionally do with a computer that you can do with the steam box.

That's not to say that you can't already run Netflix inside Linux, because, you know, you can.

Re:Netflix (1)

iroll (717924) | about a year and a half ago | (#42535107)

I can watch Netflix on my Nexus S, and I don't think that it uses Silverlight.

No more (1)

systemidx (2708649) | about a year and a half ago | (#42535063)

No more multi-function consoles, please. Please refocus all energies into Half Life 3 / 2 - Episode: 3.

That is all. Thank you.

Gaming History; The Fate of Dedicated Hardware (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42535181)

Where is my watch? My Alarm Clock? Oh, that's right, I don't use one. I use the general purpose computer in my pocket: A "Smart" Phone...

Once, not so long ago, Game machines were purely mechanical. Levers, knobs, gears, buttons and contractors shot balls through hoops or pucks into goals, etc. This meant that each Arcade Game's hardware was custom fit to the game itself. With the advent of digital games with integrated circuits it got cheaper to mass produce the games because you could install multiple different games onto the hardware, but memory constraints and controller configurations meant that the arcade cabinets only supported one game at a time.

As hardware got cheap enough the demand for digital games resulted in home gaming consoles. These early consoles weren't as powerful as the arcade machines, but they allowed one piece of hardware to run many different games. The console hardware was necessarily dedicated to gaming because it needed to be designed for speed: Consoles favored read-only cartridges for near instant data access speed vs slow magnetic media, and dedicated graphics systems with hardware collision detection over general purpose computing logic. The game consoles were less powerful than the arcade machines, but eventually they closed the gap.

As before with single game Arcade Cabinet hardware vs multi-game supporting hardware, the more general purpose game hardware became dominant; Thus, Consoles destroyed the Arcade market. PCs were even more general purpose that consoles, but as with the more powerful dedicated Arcade Cabinets vs weaker Consoles, the consoles held dominion in the game market. The circuitry in game consoles had become so generalized it was nearly indistinguishable from PCs. Some consoles even flirted with being both a Console and a general purpose PC (Atari PC), but their hardware optimizations for sprite collisions and scrolling kept them in in first place.

As the gap closed between PC and Game Console, the game consoles themselves became the exact same as a PC in hardware terms, even to the point of running PC OSs like a modified version of Windows, and Linux. At this point the PCs had eclipsed Game Consoles in terms of raw power. The PC's more general purpose design had been eroding all dedicated electronics, not just the game industry. Everything from, Televisions, set-top cable boxes, TV remotes, phones, had been installed with general purpose computing components. The future looked bleak for any dedicated circuitry, especially dedicated gaming hardware, as phones and tablet computers quickly approached and even surpassed the power of some gaming hardware (Wii).

We are at the end of the dedicated gaming hardware history, having caught up with the present. Vendor lock-in, DRM, and dedicated controllers have become the only differentiating features between general purpose computing and dedicated gaming hardware -- And console like controllers are now available for PCs (but the more general purpose keyboard and mouse aren't on consoles...), leaving only anti-features as "pros" in the console's corner. Console hardware cycles have slowed, unable to keep pace with the more rapidly improving mobile and desktop computing markets, they need to take more time to make the next leap because they know the console hardware is sub-par vs PCs even before the console is released (this wasn't always true in the past, however), and they can milk the console for the most money possible -- Much to the chagrin of hardcore gamers and developers alike who both want to play and make better games if only the hardware were better... Gamers continue to buy games for dedicated hardware made by entrenched publishers due to nostalgia, ease of install and availability only, everything else from exclusivity to DRM being ant-features. Meanwhile developers try ever harder to make cross platform titles so that all gamers can play their games. AAA studios, being forced to dumb down games because of the lowest common denominator (consoles) and costs to produce multiple level of fidelity content, find that indie games can once again compete with them because they take more risks, run on more platforms (everyone with a console has a home PC, most have smart phones), and the independent studios don't have to bow to publisher demands...

Once, huge advancements in graphical fidelity drove newer console purchases: Much more colors, much higher resolutions, bigger games, now in 3D! Pixel Shaders! More... polygons? Now the small improvements in graphical fidelity leaves many a consumer nonplussed. Why would one drive out to and pump money into an arcade cabinet for each game they want to play when one can switch cartridges at home? MORE GAMES and easier access due to general purpose hardware is what killed Arcades; It's also what is killing consoles now. Esp. since the more general purpose PCs, and portable PCs are now viable alternatives to console gaming.

It's like Valve hasn't studied the history of their own industry... Now is not the time to make dedicated hardware. I already HAVE a PC. Why would I buy another device just to play games? They only offer me non-features. Game studios complain about not having a standardized system requirement to code to, but it's their own doing. Set minimum system requirements and stick to them. Driver issues? They'll be ironed out by the market place if you stop babying the hardware MFGs and working around their bugs. Their "good, better, best" is purely arbitrary limitations, they should follow these themselves in their engines (which they will anyway) instead of imposing hardware rules. To me this sounds like a ploy to better enforce non-features like exclusivity and DRM, not a better way to make or play games... If you want to stay relevant in today's industry you have to let everything grow and adapt. I could still load up Doom or Commander Keen, on my 368, 486, Pentium, Pentium 2/3/4 PC. Unreal still plays on newer hardware. Android 1 games for HTC-One still run on the newer phones with more capabilities.

I myself am making a brand new 3D engine, and everything all libraries, image loading, codecs, etc from scratch. Guess what? It runs on almost every PC because I set the minimum system requirements for this engine to be OpenGL 2.1... Crazy dumb, I know, but it's just part of the plan: Next engine I'll build for much higher end cards. Abstracting the logic from the assets and the graphics, I'll be able to author games that run across most any PC platform / OS, or target it at high end only, and even upgrade the engine out from under a game. Standardize on engines and APIs (like devs already do), and write cross platform abstraction layers, to reach the whole market at once. You don't make dedicated hardware to capture fragments of market share! Dedicated Hardware for gaming is OVER. Cross Platform is the Bright Future, and once long console cycles are dead, gaming will really take off!

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