Monday, March 9th 2015

ASUS Announces the ROG GR8S Steam Machine

A fusion between PC hardware giant ASUS' Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand, and Valve's Steam Machines, was bound to happen. With the new ROG GR8S, ASUS has taken a plunge into the exciting new gaming platform that bridges living room gaming consoles, and full-blown gaming PCs, backed by Steam. The ROG GR8S is roughly as big as a modern console such as Xbox One, but features ASUS' signature red and black ROG product design.

The ROG GR8S is peppered with a lot more wired connectivity than a console, offering two USB 2.0 (for controllers, keyboards, mice), four USB 3.0 SuperSpeed ports, DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0 - both of support 4K Ultra HD at 60 Hz; gigabit Ethernet (Intel controller), digital and analog multi-channel audio connectivity. Under the hood, ASUS offers Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processors (options), GeForce GTX 900 "Maxwell" graphics (options), between 4 GB and 16 GB of DDR3 system RAM (options), either 500 GB to 1 TB HDD or 128 GB to 512 GB SSD storage, and an 802.11 ac WLAN controller with Miracast receiver.
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10 Comments on ASUS Announces the ROG GR8S Steam Machine

#1
m6tzg6r
looks pretty sexy. but aren't steam machines just a way to make pc gaming possible for console gamers who don't have the brains to build and configure their own pc? pc gamers who build and operate their own gaming computers probably wont be interested in these things, i know i'm not. hell i don't even have a couch or living room, i live in a tiny studio apartment....
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#2
lZKoce
Impressive feat for 2.5 liters of volume.
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#3
hardcore_gamer
Master race won't buy this. Peasants won't buy this either because they don't mind playing at sub-par resolutions and frame rates as long as their consoles are cheap, and their friends also play on the same platform. Also, there are too many options for steam machines which may confuse peasants. Sorry Lord Gaben, I don't see a future for steam machines.
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#4
LDNL
hardcore_gamer said:
Master race won't buy this. Peasants won't buy this either because they don't mind playing at sub-par resolutions and frame rates as long as their consoles are cheap, and their friends also play on the same platform. Also, there are too many options for steam machines which may confuse peasants. Sorry Lord Gaben, I don't see a future for steam machines.
What you fail to see is the concept. Having a PC instead of a console. It doesn't have to be as powerful as a high end desktop pc or as cheap as console. Its about having a more powerful device take over the living room space and evolve. Consoles at release are low-medium build pcs and most of the costs come from the OS development. Spending all that money on hardware, maybe more, slap on Steam OS and you got better gaming platform which you can maintain and upgrade. And yes I do release that this ASUS is expensive and doesn't have the best hardware but its still more powerful than a console. And the formfactor is amazing and to some might justify the cost. But let this idea grow and maybe someday we will stop seeing console ports and instead great games that will utilize more resources what a PC has to offer.
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#5
hardcore_gamer
LDNL said:
Its about having a more powerful device take over the living room space and evolve.
The problem is, you need a steam machine with at least a Core i3, + R9 270x to get the console level graphics. A steam machine with such a config will be more expensive than consoles.
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#6
silapakorn
LDNL said:
What you fail to see is the concept. Having a PC instead of a console. It doesn't have to be as powerful as a high end desktop pc or as cheap as console. Its about having a more powerful device take over the living room space and evolve. Consoles at release are low-medium build pcs and most of the costs come from the OS development. Spending all that money on hardware, maybe more, slap on Steam OS and you got better gaming platform which you can maintain and upgrade. And yes I do release that this ASUS is expensive and doesn't have the best hardware but its still more powerful than a console. And the formfactor is amazing and to some might justify the cost. But let this idea grow and maybe someday we will stop seeing console ports and instead great games that will utilize more resources what a PC has to offer.
This is not a new concept at all. Living room PCs already exist in this time and age. We don't need steam machine just for that, since any PC can be hooked up to TV at almost no extra cost.

In theory SM should benefit from free OS that helps lower the cost, but judging from their release price I would say it's still not tempting enough.

I have to agree with hardcore_gamer here: existing PC gamers won't find it beneficial to have a console-like PC, because the reason they bought PC in the first place is that it doesn't have console's limitation.
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#7
LDNL
silapakorn said:
This is not a new concept at all. Living room PCs already exist in this time and age. We don't need steam machine just for that, since any PC can be hooked up to TV at almost no extra cost.
Steam Machine is a new concept and is not aimed at us PC users. Its about having an operating system that has the ease of use with a controller but the hardware of something way more powerful. Some people just don't want play games on Windows.

silapakorn said:
In theory SM should benefit from free OS that helps lower the cost, but judging from their release price I would say it's still not tempting enough.
Yes right now it is more expensive but we need people to support this idea. Just a few years ago we were enjoying the console ports of 8-9 year old consoles. Since new components are released almost every second year you get a performance boost and developers can make more demanding games.

silapakorn said:
I have to agree with hardcore_gamer here: existing PC gamers won't find it beneficial to have a console-like PC, because the reason they bought PC in the first place is that it doesn't have console's limitation.
I see console limitations only in the hardware side. SM would take care of that.
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#8
cwtech
LDNL does have a point more people need to get behind this and let it grow. It is a new concept after all. Can't see the potential of it until it is given the chance to take off and show what it can do. But also, there will be big hesitation from console gamers, I think, because the SM is basically a living room PC when you get down to it and a lot of them ( at least the ones I know) will not go for this because they think the parts of a PC have to be updated regularly. Which of course they don't but a lot of console gamers won't look into it because they say its too expensive to even look into. Honestly I'm excited to see where the SM will go once its given the chance to show its potential I think it'll be a really good deal for the living room gamer.
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#9
HisDivineOrder
I think if Steam Machines can last and if Valve can convince enough publishers to keep doing SteamOS/Linux ports, then the concept may gain traction essentially the same way most things regarding Steam have. By sheer gravity.

Most people don't (and probably didn't until this weekend with the SteamOS sale) realize that Valve had been making it so they have a SteamOS/Linux library without even trying. If Valve can make a great majority of the titles you're buying anyway for Windows into games with SteamOS support, then eventually only the older games (that might be streamed or emulated in the future with superior hardware and continued software work) will be lacking.

Basically, Valve plays the long game. Sometimes, this works out and sometimes it does not. But the fact that they give these things away (ie., Steam broadcasting, Steam streaming, cards, Big Picture Mode, SteamOS, etc.) or anything they sell they sell for low prices (ie., a $50 rechargeable controller in an age of $60 controllers, a $50 streamer box with ethernet in an age of $100 streamer boxes without ethernet) should be a clear indication they aren't in this for the short term profits.

That makes them unique and also positioned to really profit because they'll stick to their long range plan regardless of profitability right now. The only question mark is essentially what Microsoft does to try and discourage publishers from supporting Steam. With Windows 10, they could make a renewed push to bring publishers back into the fold, the Windows Store, and give them a window into Xbox platforms across the board.

Unlikely, at least in the short term, but it could happen. This is precisely the doomsday scenario that Steam has been building SteamOS and Steam streaming up to counter, though.
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#10
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
The biggest thing Valve can do is continual advertising in mediums that average console gamer will see. That's the only way to ensure they get the long term slow and steady adoption by them.

They can't just put it out there and hope word trickles out.
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