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Valve's Steam Machines Delayed, Won't Be Coming In 2014

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the some-day-soon dept.

Input Devices 134

sfcrazy (1542989) writes "Valve has announced that its Steam Machines won't be available in the market anytime in 2014. The company delayed the release due to ongoing work on the Steam Controller. Valve's Eric Hope explains on Steam Forums why the work on controller is causing the delay: 'We're now using wireless prototype controllers to conduct live playtests, with everyone from industry professionals to die-hard gamers to casual gamers. It's generating a ton of useful feedback, and it means we'll be able to make the controller a lot better. Of course, it's also keeping us pretty busy making all those improvements. Realistically, we're now looking at a release window of 2015, not 2014.'"

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134 comments

Valve time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47118081)

'Nuff said.

Re:Valve time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47123963)

"These things, they take time" -Gabe Newell
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWidaMfeGW0 [youtube.com]

One of the classic blunders (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47118135)

Known as "development hell".

You always get feedback and always think of ways to improve your product, but you don't let that delay the release. You launch a 1st-generation, slighlty-flawed product, and spend all that development effort and feedback on the Steam Box II, which will bring in the fence-sitters, and which you get to re-sell as an upgrade to the early adopters anyway. The first-generation Roku box was pretty crappy compared to the new ones, but it actually got the Roku concept to market.

This news makes me very skeptical that the SteamBox will actually happen, and not just sit at Valve being a hacker project. Hacker projects always end up in development hell without some business person to yank the product out of the hackers' hands and put it to market.

Re:One of the classic blunders (0)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 2 months ago | (#47118211)

Traditionally, Valve have always extensively playtested their game offerings. Most of the development process has been based around player feedback.

Re:One of the classic blunders (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47118245)

Historically, this strategy has paid off damn well for Valve, e.g. for HL2. These guys aren't exactly newbies.

Re:One of the classic blunders (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 months ago | (#47118395)

Although they *are* in this market.

Re:One of the classic blunders (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47118411)

These guys aren't exactly newbies.

They are when it comes to hardware.

Re:One of the classic blunders (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 2 months ago | (#47118275)

The problem with Valve is that they're a software company that seems to have no interest in doing any of the actual heavy lifting on hardware manufacturing. They seem to think of themselves as a Google releasing Android rather than a MS releasing the first Xbox.

The problem is that, unlike with Android, no one seems particularly interested in their platform--neither hardware manufacturers nor 3rd party developers. And Valve seems to lack the testicular fortitude to even support it full-on themselves. How many of *their own games* don't even have Linux ports yet? You can't go to other companies and ask them to take all the risks when you yourself seem lukewarm on your own project.

And I can't blame companies for not being interested. The lack of Linux titles is problematic, but not insurmountable (if you build it and it sells, they will come). The problem is that one of the core principals of the console is that it has specific hardware to design for. By trying to make their console a "platform" instead, they've stripped this away and created a rather bizarre console/PC hybrid platform that seems to have embraced the worst of both worlds. My PC allows me to play Windows games and mod said games. My PS4 lets me know that I can buy a game without worrying about whether I've got the right graphics card or adjusting sliders to get a decent frame rate. This SteamOS will offer the disadvantages of both the PC and console without the advantages of either.

Re:One of the classic blunders (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 2 months ago | (#47118365)

That's because it's a hedge against Microsoft's attempts to subsume PC games into their own walled garden, locking out Steam. The conditions that would make a Steambox necessary are also the ones that would suddenly make it - and Linux in general - viable for thirdparty hardware and software manufacturers. If those conditions don't arise, Steambox will fail, but Valve won't need it anyway.

Re:One of the classic blunders (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47118459)

That's because it's a hedge against Microsoft's attempts to subsume PC games into their own walled garden, locking out Steam.

That can't happen soon enough. Steam is a huge pile of shit.

Re:One of the classic blunders (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 2 months ago | (#47118803)

...and Microsoft's equivalent had all the same problems, not as many features, and just plain didn't work properly. However you feel about Steam, a worse version of Steam is not an appealing option.

Re:One of the classic blunders (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47119731)

Steamboxes are not going to do what you claim. PC gamers are a niche audience.

Re:One of the classic blunders (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47120665)

PC gamers are a niche audience.

That's just ignorant

Re:One of the classic blunders (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47121879)

Gabe, is that you trolling?

Controller-friendly games from micro-ISVs (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 months ago | (#47119043)

The problem is that, unlike with Android, no one seems particularly interested in their platform--neither hardware manufacturers nor 3rd party developers.

Say a video game developer that is a home-based family business is working on a controller-friendly game. For which platform should it develop this game? Has Microsoft, Nintendo, or Sony made the developer approval and game approval process more straightforward than Steam Greenlight?

The problem is that one of the core principals of the console is that it has specific hardware to design for.

Another is that a console's monitor is more likely than that of a PC to be big enough to fit four people around [pineight.com] .

Re:Controller-friendly games from micro-ISVs (0)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 2 months ago | (#47120191)

Say a video game developer that is a home-based family business is working on a controller-friendly game. For which platform should it develop this game?

You know the answer to that question.

Has Microsoft, Nintendo, or Sony made the developer approval and game approval process more straightforward than Steam Greenlight?

You also know the answer to that question.

Stop asking rhetorical questions and and being an overly entitled whiner wanting the situation to be what you want it to be rather than the way it actually is. You deal with the world you have.

And don't bring up that idiot Bob of "Bob's Game". He was even MORE disabled than you, he was never going to produce an ambitious game like he claimed he could. And now he's every fanboy-with-aspergers martyr.

Re:Controller-friendly games from micro-ISVs (2)

tepples (727027) | about 2 months ago | (#47120507)

You know the answer to that question.

Others reading this discussion may not know the answer to that question. Please repeat the answer not for my benefit but for theirs.

Re:Controller-friendly games from micro-ISVs (3, Informative)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 2 months ago | (#47120655)

Others reading this discussion may not know the answer to that question. Please repeat the answer not for my benefit but for theirs.

Okay.

Say a video game developer that is a home-based family business is working on a controller-friendly game. For which platform should it develop this game?

All of them. Well to be more specific as many as you can. Since it's controller-friendly you'd want to focus on the PS3/PS4/Vita/360/Xboxone/DS with less focus on the Wii/Wiiu. You could also support PC with the 360 controller.

Multi-platform is the way to go.

Re:Controller-friendly games from micro-ISVs (1)

Wootery (1087023) | about 2 months ago | (#47121613)

What about the home-based family business part? You don't think focussing on just one platform would make sense, given severely constrained developer resources?

Re:Controller-friendly games from micro-ISVs (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 2 months ago | (#47122611)

Then said based developer should join forces with other developers as part of a team. This isn't a one man in a garage business anymore. You might be able to code, but are you good at graphics? Music? UI?

Re:Controller-friendly games from micro-ISVs (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 2 months ago | (#47123395)

These days tools like Unity let you target multiple platforms relatively easily now that the consoles are x86; for more difficult ports like to the Vita, Sony will actively hunt down interesting software and give the developer either technical assistance, or contact with an experience porting specialist like Curve. Excitingly, Microsoft has seen the PR coup this has been for Sony and is attempting to follow suit.

It's a great time to be into indie games.

Re:Controller-friendly games from micro-ISVs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122281)

Answer develop for everything.

Re:One of the classic blunders (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47122261)

There are people who will never buy a console. I think you don't really have a handle on what is up. Hardware is not on the plate here. Software has to come first for Steam. Linux games are not the real issue on Steams end. Windows will never be the answer its the problem for so many reasons I wont list. This has to grow up how many years for everything else? Steam is becoming a player. Testicular fortitude will not provide the brains for development or brains for anything else for that matter. Always a disaster when you crotch does the thinking for you. I think Steam is doing something truly interesting. Bravo Steam.

Re:One of the classic blunders (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47118295)

Unless, of course, the feedback is that your product is majorly flawed instead of only slightly.

Re:One of the classic blunders (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47118315)

Slight problem with that analysis - the original controller was not "slightly flawed". It looked like a chimp had designed it in MS Paint then they'd built it using only parts available from Radio Shack. It was that bad. Anyway hardware has unit costs and minimum manufacturing runs, and economies of scale are vast. You can't apply software development methodology where unit costs are zero and it's as cheap to sell 1 unit as it is to sell a thousand. Roku is a low-volume product. SteamBox is trying to complete with PS4 and XB1, and they need to build 10m units just to bring it into the right price range. It's not something where you dip your toe in the water and hope for the best. Speaking of which, I hope you don't have shares in Roku.

Re:One of the classic blunders (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 2 months ago | (#47118321)

You don't want to ship early then fix when you're talking about the controller. You want that to be a steady target for developers, not just for big changes like whether you need analogue triggers, but for subtle qualitative ones like the throw of the triggers and buttons, and in this case pretty much everything about the repsonse of those touchpads. How much contact is needed to register a touch? What method do you use to smooth the capacitance data into coordinates? What's the sample rate? Developers will spend lots of time tuning the "feel" of their games to match those parameters, and if you change those a year later, suddenly their game is going to feel subtly wrong, (Anyone who has had to play a console game with a cheap thirdparty pad knows this pain.) The developer will have to live with it or go in and issue some sort of controller-version-specific patch.

Nope, with controllers, doing it right and late is more important than doing it almost right and early.

Re:One of the classic blunders (1)

Kelbear (870538) | about 2 months ago | (#47118379)

OTOH if you launch 1st generation product that's flawed just enough that there's no interest in a 2nd generation product, all of the development effort was wasted, and none of the feedback will make any difference since the opportunity has been lost.

Right now they have only mild interest in the 1st generation product to begin with, even if all of the promised features are fully realized.

Really, the "Steam Machine" isn't terribly exciting, it's just a branded PC. I don't see any realistic scenario where the Steam Machine makes an impact on the industry.

SteamOS is useful to me, since I play PC games on my TV, and further development to expand Big Picture mode into a full OS experience would be very welcome because a windows UI is horribly clunky for use on a TV. But even as one of the few people in their very niche market for this product, I'm not all that excited about it. My setup works already, though SteamOS might help, it won't be a full replacement for a long time(if ever).

The new controller is the most interesting piece since it may widen the types of games that can be playable with a controller on a couch. I have a rising coffee table and full keyboard and mouse, but I'll gladly take opportunities to play more comfortably with a controller so long as I'm not trying to play a game competitively.

Re:One of the classic blunders (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47119067)

You don't need SteamOS for Big Picture mode. It works just fine under Windows. And you can actually play all the games.

Re:One of the classic blunders (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 months ago | (#47121873)

Questions: is this wireless controller a make-or-break thing? Is it even a USP?

Of the answer to either is no, then get something shipped. Just be sure that if it does less, it does it reliably.

Re:One of the classic blunders (1)

joshuao3 (776721) | about 2 months ago | (#47120169)

Mod up parent, please.

Re:One of the classic blunders (1)

martas (1439879) | about 2 months ago | (#47122163)

didn't know EA middle management read /.

Steam / Vapor (1)

webbiedave (1631473) | about 2 months ago | (#47118177)

Someone do something witty with that will ya? It's too early for me.

Re:Steam / Vapor (5, Funny)

rolfwind (528248) | about 2 months ago | (#47118713)

It seems the effort is losing Steam.

Re:Steam / Vapor (3, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#47118811)

Vaporware? Blowing hot air? Steaming mad? Still ironing out the wrinkles? Future looks hazy?

Re:Steam / Vapor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47118979)

Posting dumb shit?

Re:Steam / Vapor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47119263)

Posting dumb shit?

Which has been the raison d'etre of Slashdot for a very long time.

That's why we have a Funny mod.

Re:Steam / Vapor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47118817)

I remember this console from a decade ago when it was called The Phantom.

Enjoy your proprietary locked down linsux box if it ever ships!

So 2014 won't be the year of Linux? (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 2 months ago | (#47118195)

Sigh, maybe 2015.

Re:So 2014 won't be the year of Linux? (1)

dinfinity (2300094) | about 2 months ago | (#47119971)

Are you kidding? Have you been keeping an eye on Android sales?

Re:So 2014 won't be the year of Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47121941)

No one considers Android to be Linux except for Linux zealots and FOSS bigots.

Still... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47118215)

It'll still beat Half-Life 2 Ep3 to the market...

Re:Still... (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 2 months ago | (#47118355)

My bet? They'll never make either a HL2 ep 3 or a HL3.

Why?

Not because it wouldn't be successful - it would. But because it would harm their wider business interests.

Valve makes a lot more money these days from running what is in essence a platform than it ever made from being a games developer. Steam is a big and successful platform. Numbers relating to its success are notoriously hard to come by, but by joining together a few pieces of publisher and charts data (which exclude Steam sales) and feeling out the gaps, you can work out that in the closing year of the PS3/Xbox 360 console cycle, Steam was managing major games sales on a par with either of those consoles, while probably managing a lot more sales of small indie titles.

A big part of running a successful platform is managing your relationship with the wider industry - publishers in particular. Historically, in console land, Sony has been particularly good at this and Nintendo has been particularly bad, with MS somewhere in the middle. Valve is, by all accounts, pretty good at it. Almost everybody publishes on their platform. EA is trying to make a go of their own alternative with Origin, but that's hardly turning into a stunning success. Ubisoft thought about making a break for it with uPlay, but have relented and uPlay has just ended up as a pointless and inconvenient "wrapper" for Ubisoft games which often requires Steam to be running in the background anyway.

And a big element of having a good relationship with publishers is being seen by them as a partner, not a competitor. Since Steam first started to get momentum, Valve has confined its first-party games development to titles outside of the major commercial arenas. Portal and its sequel exist more or less in isolation in genre terms (at least outside of the indie market). Left 4 Dead was like nothing else around when it launched (though others have copied it since).

But if Valve were to release a major high-profile mass-market shooter, like another Half-Life, then Activision and all of those other companies who publish on Steam at the moment might start to look at Valve differently. All of a sudden, they're getting nervous about being reliant on a platform owned by somebody who is competing with them. Worried that their visibility on the platform will be reduced, or that they might get shunted onto the ass-end download servers if they launch in the same window. Why do you think non-EA support on Origin is so poor, despite EA being happy to carry other publishers' games?

It's the same over in console-land. MS and Sony do develop and publish first party games, but they're pretty blatant about the fact that they basically do it just to build the installed base of the console (making it more attractive to third parties). Their main revenue is from third party licensing fees, so the last thing they want to do is get into a cut-throat competition with those third parties. Nintendo, on the other hand, make first-party publishing a huge part of their business, which makes their platforms a scary place for third parties.

So yeah. Steam is great and all that. But it's probably killed off any prospect of more Half-Life for the immediate future.

The only way I could ever imagine that lock being broken would be with Half-Life 3 as a Steambox launch exclusive to give the console's installed base a flying start (so essentially acting as a loss-leader for the sake of third parties).

Re:Still... (0)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | about 2 months ago | (#47118723)

you're a moron.

Re:Still... (1)

Rafael Jaimes III (3430609) | about 2 months ago | (#47118915)

Steambox will never have an exclusive. Gaben has repeated this several times.

Re:Still... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47119131)

Steambox will never have an exclusive. Gaben has repeated this several times.

That in no way addresses the statement of the comment to which you replied. It's idiotic to think that Valve can't release blockbusters of their own on Steam, because gamers don't tend to play just one title a year, or a lifetime or whatever.

Re:Still... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47121925)

The statement "you're moron" does not have to be addressed in any way. ~cyborg_monkey is a crackpot who posts shit like that all the time.

Re:Still... (0)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | about 2 months ago | (#47122529)

Comment still stands, you anonymous ball sack.

Re:Still... (1)

hendrips (2722525) | about 2 months ago | (#47121783)

I'll second this opinion. Valve's current darling is Dota 2, which I play frequently. I think Valve has done a fantastic job of releasing a free to play game that is simultaneously profitable and utterly free of the annoyances that plague most free to play games. However, it's very clear that Dota 2 is intended to be a "reference design" rather than a cash cow franchise - its a demonstration to other publishers that they can use Steam to make profitable but non-exploitative freemium games. Heck, Valve didn't even develop Dota; they just persuaded Icefrog to give them the rights to it, and incorporated it into the Source engine.

I think of Valve's first party titles these days in the same way that I think of Google's Nexus program. We're seeing Google wind down the Nexus program because it has largely accomplished its goal of convincing OEMs to make their phones more Googley (for better or worse); Valve is likewise de-emphasizing their first party titles.

Re:Still... (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 months ago | (#47119075)

It'll still beat Half-Life 2 Ep3 to the market...

I don't expect there to be any new games in the Half-Life franchise anymore. They already tried making HL2EP3 but ditched the project. The leaked screenshots from their project tracker showed a Half-Life 3 stub with no development activity surrounding it. At that time their most efforts were clearly in creating the Source 2 engine (with massive development effort) and a new Left 4 Dead game to go with it. Meanwhile, time has passed and already a decade has elapsed since the initial release of Half-Life 2.

Of course Valve probably wants to keep the Half-Life hype going and dream alive as long as possible, to maximize people's interest in the company.

Linux games waiting on this (2)

Maquis196 (535256) | about 2 months ago | (#47118243)

The rumour mill suggests that some games like Civ5, Rome 2:TW and XCOM are waiting on the steambox being released so theyre seen as "release" titles. If this pushes back long enough, hopefully the games will come out anyway.

Re:Linux games waiting on this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47118331)

Civ V is not coming to Linux. You mean Civilization Beyond Earth.

Re:Linux games waiting on this (2)

Maquis196 (535256) | about 2 months ago | (#47118351)

Wrong;

http://www.gamingonlinux.com/a... [gamingonlinux.com]

Now its not confirmed 100%, but its looking good based on its publishers track record.

Re:Linux games waiting on this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47119069)

No, I'm not wrong. You have unconfirmed rumor while I have actual reality.

Re:Linux games waiting on this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47120879)

Actually, he has unconfirmed rumor while you have a completely unsupported assertion.

Re:Linux games waiting on this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47118337)

I'm pretty sure no developer in their right mind would hitch their wagon to this turd. If any company is "holding back" their games waiting for this vaporware, they have a pretty fucking stupid CEO.

Controllers are hard (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47118305)

Controllers are hard to get right. This ain't the eighties where you just slapped some buttons on a box and put it in the players' hands. And they want to make a controller whose basic idea is completely daft anyway, because it totally screws up position feedback.

What's really wanted is a game console where all controls can be remapped on all titles. Let's see a console maker have the balls to implement such a feature. THAT would be a revolution in control, not a stupid zero-travel joystick.

Re:Controllers are hard (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 2 months ago | (#47118577)

THIS. I loved Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 on the PC so much more than XBox because of this. On the PC I could remap the controls on my gamepad so that you could reach the ollie and jump buttons at the same time. On the XBox, they make it quite difficult to press these two buttons at the same time. They should seriously just make all the controls re-mappable. Many other games I've found have been made less than stellar simply because I was unable to remap the controls to what I felt comfortable with.

Re:Controllers are hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47119015)

Think of this:

The buttons have OLED or E-Ink displays so that you can remap the positions of the buttons and have them appear to move.

Easier yet, a multi-color LED behind the buttons (to change color) and E-Ink on the surface (to change the symbol).

Re:Controllers are hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47120473)

Why overcomplicate things?

Control mappings editor. Done.

People Happy. Move on.

Re:Controllers are hard (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 2 months ago | (#47119317)

They should have just sketched out some rough (but tight where it counts) specs for the controller, released to the world then partnered with a company with experience in the field (Logitech, Nyko whoever) for one to put in the box. Bring some real competition in and we'd see some fantastic options.

Re:Controllers are hard (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 2 months ago | (#47120369)

What's really wanted is a game console where all controls can be remapped on all titles.

We already have those, and have had them for decades. The console makers just leave the decision on whether to allow total remapping to the developer. Controll mapping is not a hardware issue but a software one.

Re:Controllers are hard (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47120409)

What's really wanted is a game console where all controls can be remapped on all titles.

We already have those, and have had them for decades.

No, no we don't.

The console makers just leave the decision on whether to allow total remapping to the developer.

And that's why we don't have a game console where all controls can be remapped on all titles.

Controll mapping is not a hardware issue but a software one.

Yes, and a controller driver, or a layer between the game and the controller API permitting remapping without the developer having to support it is not a hardware issue, but a software one. Can I explain any other very simple concepts to you this morning?

Static linking (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 months ago | (#47120589)

a controller driver, or a layer between the game and the controller API permitting remapping without the developer having to support it is not a hardware issue, but a software one.

To minimize complexity, a lot of console game platforms statically link the controller drivers. The remapping would likewise have to be statically linked.

Re:Static linking (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47121955)

To minimize complexity, a lot of console game platforms statically link the controller drivers. The remapping would likewise have to be statically linked.

Who does that today? I would only believe Nintendo. And the remapping support only has to be in the part that's statically linked. The console's menu interface can be used to actually perform it. Frankly, I'd be happy with a "swap button with..." option, "swap triggers", the option to swap analog sticks and invert axes, although obviously I want to be able to map axes.

Cloud gaming (1, Interesting)

DrXym (126579) | about 2 months ago | (#47118349)

If Steam wants to sell devices they should sell an HDMI stick (like a Chromecast) and pack in a controller. Sell it for $80 or so. People could use it to play games streamed over their network, or through the cloud. If they end up selling a PC running a Linux dist with a crappy selection of ported games and costing hundreds of dollars it will not sell as well since it will be competing directly against two consoles and even other PCs which enjoy a full selection of games, not just a handful.

Re:Cloud gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47118381)

You can use the steam box to stream from your current gaming pc.

Re:Cloud gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47118579)

nice, i'm sure millions of people are willing to pay hundreds of $$$ for that feature alone

Re:Cloud gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47118767)

Or you know, buy a pi and put limelight on it. Or make use of an old machine sitting collecting dust by putting steam os on it for free. Or wait for someone else to start selling cheap streaming only computer usb sticks.

Re:Cloud gaming (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47118477)

You mean cloud based streaming gaming. . . like OnLive [onlive.com] or Gaikai [gaikai.com] ?

Re:Cloud gaming (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 2 months ago | (#47120739)

You mean cloud based streaming gaming. . . like OnLive or Gaikai?

Sort of, except NOT on the cloud.

But rather from, for example, the powerful gaming rig downstairs at your desk, to the less powerful PC upstairs next to the PC.

Re:Cloud gaming (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 2 months ago | (#47123951)

Yes similar but through Valve's service and tied to their existing store. Imagine buying a game and an option to stream it for free even while it's still downloading. Or a subscription service with an a la carte option. Point being something Valve could sell or drive business their way.

Re:Cloud gaming (3, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | about 2 months ago | (#47120913)

You are missing half the point of steamOS/steambox. One half is to make the 'PC' platform big-screent tv-living-room gaming friendly.

The other half, is that its Valves hedge against Microsoft destroying their entire business by altering windows.

Valve saw Metro, Microsoft accounts to sign in being the preferred default, and the Windows App Store. They saw Windows RT with complete and total lock down. They heard the rumours of Windows going subscription based, and cloud based.

Steambox/SteamOS is a hedge against Microsoft Windows becoming hostile to Steam.

Thank God for Valve (2, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 months ago | (#47118511)

Thank God for Valve. The gaming industry would be terrible if they weren't around. Any other company would have just pushed this out the door and made their quick buck... hell, no other company would have even tried to make an open gaming platform. If Valve ever offers an IPO I'll be first in line. They're one of the few tech companies out there that are actually doing something I'd consider of value.

Re:Thank God for Valve (2)

Andrio (2580551) | about 2 months ago | (#47118797)

I'm actually pretty terrified of Valve going public. A company like Valve can't be Valve with shareholders in control. Unless Gabe retains 51% of the stock... :)

Re:Thank God for Valve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47119843)

This is very true and the reason so many other companies would push out a flawed product. They are under pressure from the shareholders to do something now. Shareholders (typically hedge funds, and the like) are all about now and are perfectly willing to kill 50 years of future success that may come if they could get some short term success now because they too are under pressure to deliver results and profits now.

A private company such as Valve has the ability to form a 5 or 10 year plan and actually attempt to execute it fully. Their Half-Life development cycle appears to be one of those 10 year plans.

Re:Thank God for Valve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47120297)

A company like Valve can't go bankrupt with shareholders in control. Unless Gabe retains 51% of the stock

FTFY

Re:Thank God for Valve (1)

hendrips (2722525) | about 2 months ago | (#47121867)

The thing is, Valve makes the vast majority of its money from Steam. Everything else they do, like the Steambox, their first party titles, etc., are designed in some way to further the usage of Steam as a platform by gamers and publishers. The Steambox isn't a product that they expect to make much money from - it's a hedge against Microsoft iOSing Windows first, and an advertisement for Steam second. So I don't think that a more typical gaming company would have rushed this thing either.

It will be a failure. (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | about 2 months ago | (#47118551)

Who wants last-gen games for a Linux console that nobody is really supporting?

Valve's ONLY motivation isn't the goodness of their hearts to the Linux community, it's to stop Microsoft from eating their lunch with the storefront. And right now, Steam works great on Windows 8.1 but MS is also making improvements (albeit small ones) to their store. It will be a long while before I give up Steam.

But the threat is real to Valve, and they want us to undertake all the heavy lifting, all the change, so that only 30% of our library now works instead of 100% on Windows. Thanks, but I'll stay with Windows. The Steam Box holds zero purpose for me since they introduced in home streaming. I can just stream a game to a small HTPC in my living room, or onto my tablet and have it powered by my main rig. But again... MS has technology like RemoteFX that can do the same thing... just a matter of time before it's implemented.

Re:It will be a failure. (1)

Rafael Jaimes III (3430609) | about 2 months ago | (#47118967)

I can just stream a game to a small HTPC in my living room, or onto my tablet and have it powered by my main rig.

I think that is one of the main points of the steambox. The way I see it is that valve is expecting most gamers to have a high power windows gaming rig separate from their home theater system. The steambox will serve as an entry to the console market, and allow you to stream your entire library onto the linux steambox. Sure you could have windows on your HTPC too, it doesn't really make a difference. But windows is not exactly the best HTPC OS, it's designed for keyboard/mouse (and more recently, touchscreens) so steam wants more control over designing a better suited HTPC specific OS that can be controlled by controller or remote. Think about how XBMC looks. Do you hate that too?

People are really waiting for Steam machines? (1)

Kimomaru (2579489) | about 2 months ago | (#47118583)

Valve needs to put out their controller and that's pretty much it. Most Steam users who want to use a PC in the living room are going to build their own rigs. Alienware even mentioned that there's not a heck of a lot in it for them (http://www.gamespot.com/articles/alienware-s-steam-machine-will-be-their-least-profitable-system-ever/1100-6419770/). The whole issue doesn't feel that important.

Re:People are really waiting for Steam machines? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 months ago | (#47119891)

Valve needs to put out their controller and that's pretty much it. Most Steam users who want to use a PC in the living room are going to build their own rigs. Alienware even mentioned that there's not a heck of a lot in it for them (http://www.gamespot.com/articles/alienware-s-steam-machine-will-be-their-least-profitable-system-ever/1100-6419770/). The whole issue doesn't feel that important.

Of course there's not a lot in it for the PC makers. Think of what a console is - a box that you buy that typically lasts say, 5 years if you ignore early adopters.

Well, that means you need a PC that costs $500 and is good for 5 years. That limits your options severely because it means midrange graphics card, midrange processor, midrange amount of RAM, etc. People just aren't going to buy those $1200 steam boxes with the top end graphics and processors just like they aren't buying them as regular PCs today.

So in the end, you have a PC that's trying to cost the same as an expensive console (by the time the Steamboxes come out, you can bet both the Xbone and PS4 are going to be cheaper) in order to compete, and it's going to have to last just as long because people don't want to upgrade.

So in the end, all you really have is a PC with a special controller. And controllers got nearly wiped out because Microsoft decided to release their Xbox360 one for PCs, putting a fairly nice controller in the hands of the population (including wireless).

And controllers aren't easy. In fact, they're remarkably easy to screw up - see all the cheap ass controllers that cost $40 out there. Even 3rd party console controllers are well known to feel like crap, work like crap, etc., all to save $20 over the cost of a first party controller.

And Microsoft spent a ton of money revising the Xbone controller. Sony spent less, but that's just because there were so many flaws with the PS3 controller that any change would be an improvement.

Re:People are really waiting for Steam machines? (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 2 months ago | (#47120347)

Sony spent less, but that's just because there were so many flaws with the PS3 controller that any change would be an improvement.

What flaws? Besides the weight, the L2/R2 buttons, the short "arms", the d-pad, and the analog stick shape, I mean. :-)

It's not a horribly unusable controller, but it's not a great controller either. But trust me, DCUO is more comfortable with the PS4 controller.

Let off some Steam é, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47118609)

Valve é

Seems reasonable. (1)

B33rNinj4 (666756) | about 2 months ago | (#47118665)

Half-life 3 confirmed.

*cough*keyboard!*cough* (1)

docwatson223 (986360) | about 2 months ago | (#47118689)

Seriously, how about a USB keyboard and mouse option? It sure would get the thing to market a whole lot faster.

Re:*cough*keyboard!*cough* (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 2 months ago | (#47118779)

What do you mean, "option"? They're Linux PCs running Steam, they all natively support keyboards and mice.

Re:*cough*keyboard!*cough* (1)

docwatson223 (986360) | about 2 months ago | (#47118873)

Thanks for that clarification since I read 'game controller' and start thinking 'WTF, *another* console??' Still, they shouldn't delay a rollout because of that.

Re:*cough*keyboard!*cough* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47120361)

Seriously, how about a USB keyboard and mouse option? It sure would get the thing to market a whole lot faster.

Yeah, they already have those. They're called "PC's" and you can buy one at your local Best Buy today if you like.

Half-Life 2 Ep. 3... does this surprise anyone? (4, Interesting)

yodleboy (982200) | about 2 months ago | (#47118699)

given that after 7 years they have yet to release a conclusion to the cliffhanger ending of Ep. 2 for one of the biggest games ever developed is it any surprise that they won't be releasing SteamBox on time? I've long since stopped caring about Ep. 3 and I won't hold my breath for SteamBox. Even if it is released, will Valve ensure a steady supply of content for it?

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep. 3... does this surprise anyone? (2, Funny)

space_jake (687452) | about 2 months ago | (#47119485)

Rest assured, there will be plenty of hats.

Should have spun off game development (1)

Uberbah (647458) | about 2 months ago | (#47119747)

Let Gabe rake in the cash on Steam, but spin off a Games division that only has to worry about...making games. Then we'd already have Portal 3 & Half Life 3 instead of holding our breaths Forever.

Re:Should have spun off game development (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 2 months ago | (#47120385)

Wait, Valve makes games too??

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep. 3... does this surprise anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47119869)

I'm pretty sure there will be a new Half Life coinciding with the Steam Machines release. It might even be linux exclusive before releasing it on PC.

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep. 3... does this surprise anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47120551)

It might even be linux exclusive before releasing it on PC.
 
I almost LOL'd at this but we've seen bigger companies pull off dumber moves and wonder what went wrong.
 
If I have to wait so much as a week to get my hands on HL3 after the Linux community gets it I simply won't buy HL3 or any other Valve game again and I'll never buy from Steam again. Hate the fact all you want but the Windows market (and somewhat theOS X market) have kept Steam going for a long long long time. It would be an absolute insult to have Valve turn their back on us now to pimp their new rig. I don't care if a publisher publishes Linux only titles on Steam but I will not let the dog bite the hand that feeds it for petty reasons such as this. Valve isn't just another publisher and Steam supporters aren't just another client doing business.

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep. 3... does this surprise anyone? (1)

antdude (79039) | about 2 months ago | (#47122583)

HL2 hack delayed its release. I don't remember by how long though.

Infinium Labs/Phantom Entertainment anyone? (1)

Chas (5144) | about 2 months ago | (#47118839)

Please oh please oh PLEASE don't let this become another Phantom console!

I have a USB gamepad. (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | about 2 months ago | (#47118891)

Release the boxes without controllers this year then release a deluxe edition with controllers next year. I have a keyboard, mouse, and a gamepad all of which speak USB just fine. Mark up the controllers and sell them separately, too, if they are so much better.

Waiting for their release title (1)

Kinthelt (96845) | about 2 months ago | (#47119521)

I heard they're waiting for their release title to be completed first: Duke Nukem Forever 2.

Valve Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47120419)

with Valve time, they mean they might release it in 50 years!

It'll be shit that's why (0)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 months ago | (#47121241)

Even Valve and see it'll be a turd unless they take it seriously and focus on making an actual console and make their games exclusive to it.

But then again PC gaming isn't exactly thriving and it certainly isn't profitable given that most of its users are over entitled little pirates.
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