Steam Machines

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Steam Machines

Postby Psychotic » Fri Sep 27, 13 8:12 pm

http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/SteamMachines/

Am I the only one who just doesn't seem the point?

The most interesting factor about the whole thing is the announcement of a Linux-based OS coined "SteamOS". This should hopefully secure a stronger future for Linux-based gaming, but outside of this I see no real reason to ever invest in a "Steam Machine".

Right now we have four major gaming platforms: PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo and the PC.

I have always been dubious of having more than one brand of console. A console is a great platform, but having more than one spurred unecessary competition. It is much like having two different stores in that both do the same thing but sell different products, and I can't say I very much liked that either. Exclusives, in any situation, are just plain frustrating.

At least I don't have to pay to go to the other store.

But what is the point in the Steam Machine? Gaming in the living room on hardware people can afford and trust? ...like every other console?

Okay, let's rephrase that! PC gaming in the living room! Hrm, nope. Still not seeing the point. Why pay a few hundred dollars for a constricted box when I could pay $2 for a cable that connects my PC and my TV screen together? The entire process is about as complicated as setting up a PS3 in the first place!

Other problems I see are also related to the hardware portion of the device. First off, the device will sport it's own controller. This is fine and dandy but problems arise when you realise that it also supports the keyboard and mouse. In competitive situations I just don't see the point in ever using said controller when a keyboard and mouse combination is available. Sure, it's nowhere near as comfortable to play on a couch, but you'll be damn sure it'll be even harder to play competitively when your reaction times are slower than my dead relatives.

Next to this we have the concept that it doesn't stream from your PC, it actually plays the games itself. It can stream from your PC, but only does so when a game is not supported natively. What this leads me to believe is that developers who want their game to work on the SteamOS will not only have to work harder to support not just the OS but also the hardware the Steam Machine is on, alongside any other console they planned to support.

And what do we truly gain from any of this? An easier-access console? Remove exclusives and give developers more incentive to create multi-platform titles and we wouldn't need this in the first place. Shoehorning a new device doesn't solve the inherent issues in living room gaming, which has nothing to do with the consoles we have but the way they're presented.

Perhaps I am simply missing the point, and for that I apologise. I would sincerely appreciate it if anyone would "correct" me on my errors, because, and I shall say for the last time: I do not see the point.

The industry already asks I buy all three major consoles, alongside any handheld consoles, to play all the games I want to play. It is now asking me to buy another console instead of a $2 cable so I can play PC games in the living room.
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Postby clyzm » Fri Sep 27, 13 8:14 pm

There is no point unless you're a casual gamer who wants to play Steam games but don't know anything about computers

There are some games wherein a controller might benefit more than KB+M, but that's like 2 games

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Postby Psychotic » Fri Sep 27, 13 8:16 pm

clyzm wrote:There is no point unless you're a casual gamer who wants to play Steam games but don't know anything about computers


I mostly wanted this to be clarified, but I honest-to-God feel like I'm missing out on something.

I want to know the point. I'm not chastising the Steam Machine or the concept because I think it's inherently bad, but because I cannot see a point, and I am torn between the idea that the idea that there really is no point and the idea that no, I'm just not seeing it.
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Postby clyzm » Fri Sep 27, 13 8:21 pm

I guess what they were trying for was that still-untapped market of an intermediary between consoles and PC

But judging from the "success" of the Ouya it's not a very large market
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Postby Psychotic » Fri Sep 27, 13 8:34 pm

The Ouya, I feel, is a fantastic comparion to this. I was interested in that at first, but that interest quickly faded.
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Postby James » Sat Sep 28, 13 10:36 pm

http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=WGUqxXvq

Quite frankly it might be the best controller I have ever seen.

I've had a lot of time to meditate on the issues, I'm more than open to using these.
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Postby Tantalus » Sun Sep 29, 13 12:39 am

I find the immediate backlash to a 'trackpad' hilarious. It looks quite promising as a piece of design, and is refreshing when compared to the standard face button affair.
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Postby Psychotic » Sun Sep 29, 13 3:05 am

My issue is not with the OS or the controller, as either of those can work indepedently of a console. My problem is with the actual Steam Box itself, of which I think it's unnecessary.

Create an innovative Linux distro or a console controller all you like, but the console is not necessary. Get a few cables for less than $5 and I can show you how to connect your PC to your TV in about the same time it takes to connect your PS3 to one, achieving the same effect.

If you don't own a PC then the Steam Machine is a great concept, but it's designed for people who already own Steam games, and that's who it's marketed at, and if you already own a Steam game then you likely already own a PC.
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Postby Tantalus » Sun Sep 29, 13 7:51 am

I'm assuming it's cheaper to produce modular components that achieve 'better' or more reliable performance versus a Windows 8 PC for less outlay. Similar to how a console functions in a closed ecosystem, sold at a loss and with no upgradeable parts, Steam Machines probably use components that have drivers specifically made for each component: either a contractor or Valve itself might do that.
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Postby Siva » Sun Sep 29, 13 3:54 pm

I think the pad is awesome. That is all.
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Postby Mr357 » Mon Sep 30, 13 12:16 am

PC gamers aren't interested in this, and console gamers likely don't even know about this. The only customers I'm seeing are Linux enthusiasts.
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Postby Aidan » Mon Sep 30, 13 1:09 am

James wrote:http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=WGUqxXvq

Quite frankly it might be the best controller I have ever seen.


Yeah my first reaction to the controller was, "It looks comfy, dynamic, and different. I want to try it."


The 'console' or whatever you want to call it is (as everyone has said) the dumbest fucking idea ever.

It's a PC that doesn't run windows, and makes it easy for casuals to upgrade... THAT'S ALL IT IS. Valve won't be able to compete if THIS is their grand scheme.

Although what we've seen so far is a disappointment (other than the neat controller), but that doesn't mean I'm not calling it a close case. I bet there are many details about the device that have not been released yet.
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Postby Aidan » Mon Sep 30, 13 1:28 am

James wrote:http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=WGUqxXvq

Quite frankly it might be the best controller I have ever seen.


Yeah my first reaction to the controller was, "It looks comfy, dynamic, and different. I want to try it."


The 'console' or whatever you want to call it is (as everyone has said) the dumbest fucking idea ever.

It's a PC that doesn't run windows, and makes it easy for casuals to upgrade... THAT'S ALL IT IS. Valve won't be able to compete if THIS is their grand scheme.

Although what we've seen so far is a disappointment (other than the neat controller), but that doesn't mean I'm not calling it a close case. I bet there are many details about the device that have not been released yet.
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Postby Psychotic » Fri Dec 20, 13 7:51 am

http://www.joystiq.com/2013/12/19/steam ... _truncated

Inside the Steam Machine - we stress that this is a beta version of the device; things may change before it hits retail - iFixit discovered an NVIDIA GTX 780 with 3GB of on-board RAM, 16GB of DDR3 RAM, a 1TB Seagate solid state hybrid hard drive, a 450W power supply and an Intel Core i5-4570 CPU running at 3.6GHz. These are all items you could find at your local computer retailer, though according to iFixit's math, purchasing these items piecemeal would set you back about $1,300.


To be honest, the price and hardware is something I glossed over when I shouldn't have. Given the hardware in this system, if it's subsidized at all like a console basically is, this could compensate for a lack of "control".

It has KB+M support so, frankly, if I could get one of these for ~$500 I probably would. I can still plug the damn thing into a monitor, the only downside would be the lack of freedom in changing or customizing the OS (though we're not too sure on how that works just yet).
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Postby clyzm » Fri Dec 20, 13 8:47 am

GTX 780 and the 16 gigs of RAM alone is like $500. Also a 450W power supply powering all that? Either Valve has got some badass PSUs we're not aware of or something's not adding up, 450W seems way too little
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Postby Siva » Fri Dec 20, 13 9:47 am

A good 450W PSU is enough to handle a machine of that caliber.
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Postby Tantalus » Fri Dec 20, 13 3:17 pm

Hardware wise, this is seriously hard to fault. The 3D-printed case, additional SATA cable and HDD space, combined with the actual possibility of upgrading? MWWWAAAH!

The software side...Jesus. I know it's Linux and there's less resource overhead which can be given to games or whatever, but it's just not there yet. Metro Last Light doesn't have any options! It's a slider of 'quality', and Serious Sam 3 loses 10-15 frames going from Windows to SteamOS on the SAME COMPUTER!

Valve better put little to no profit margin on these things, I was expecting them to sell for a slight loss to compete with console pricing - apparently not.

the only downside would be the lack of freedom in changing or customizing the OS (though we're not too sure on how that works just yet).


Someone's managed to put Windows 7 on the beta hardware, doesn't seem too difficult.

EDIT: Check this out - http://piixl.com/ Crazy
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Re: Steam Machines

Postby Psychotic » Thu Jan 08, 15 8:27 am

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/steam- ... 0-6424515/

"It's like a living room PC--is now the new term. Living room PCs have been around forever. That's not anything new either. But it seems like there's a legitimate demand and push for living room PCs." -- Origin PC CEO, Kevin Wasielewski


Except, you know, there isn't. At least not in the form of an external machine that looks and feels like a console.

I never had a problem with the Steam controller or the SteamOS (though the controller is beginning to look more and more like an Xbox controller nowadays) but the Steam Machine was nothing more than a marketing gimmick. You can achieve the same effect by buying an HDMI cable for less than $5.
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Re: Steam Machines

Postby Siva » Fri Feb 20, 15 2:50 am

As the proud owner of a Chromebook, I now fully see a purpose in owning a steam machine.

If I have a desktop at home, lets call it a mainframe. And I seek to play DOTA on my chromebook out in say, the middle of the desert on an EE MiFi connection, SteamOS will let me do that.

I cannot do this with a HDMI cable.

Basically, it's an idea ahead of it's time, so it looks about as dumb as a dreamcast. When we look back on it, we will wonder why we didn't just get steam machines instead of these fucking PS4's and what not (speaking as the previous owner of an Xbox One)
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Re: Steam Machines

Postby Psychotic » Fri Feb 20, 15 11:25 pm

You don't need a Steam Machine to stream your monitor onto another computer. You could just use TeamViewer for that.

The thing is, that feature is great but it's something related to the SteamOS, not the Steam Machine, which I already mentioned was a novel idea (that and the controller).

The actual idea of a box you plug into your TV and play PC games on is the idea that's silly, because you can do that already with an HDMI cable. The idea that you can stream games from your desktop to your laptop isn't a bad one, but it's already technically possible.

The NVIDIA Shield was designed for that very purpose.
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