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Valve Working On Its Own Gaming Hardware, the "Steam Box"

Abe504

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#26
Pretty good idea imo, puts pressure on the big 3 to make a better console and digital marketplace.
 
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#27
Valve. I triple dog dare you to make your own Linux distro and call it SteamOS. Then release a standard for inclusion with other distros.
 
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#28
I just read somewhere last night that the prototype box has an i7, Nvidia GPU and 8gb's or RAM.

I would like too read this "somewhere" you are talking about. Valve/Steam have very well established relationship with ATI / AMD.
 
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#29
I would like too read this "somewhere" you are talking about. Valve/Steam have very well established relationship with ATI / AMD.
TF2 is a TWIMTBP game, lol
 
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#31
the only problem i could see is directX.

linux and mac os currently run a hacked out version.

however this may not be a problem if they pull Nvidia onboard as a partner. As i do believe Nvidia own 3dfx glide. This would be a bit of a programming hash up to get it back up to current specs. However it could have the bonus knock on effect of finally allowing linux and mac os the opportunity to compete in gaming. Open GL could also be used, But i would be under the impression that valve alone could not manage the workload to get the API to function without breaking copyrights, It would be down to a Gfx developer to make a solution.

Furthermore it could see a lock out of games for windows. Since a free program that can cope with directx style information, Either under emulation or with a decode would in effect allow developers a choice they have been denied for a long time.


PC specs for gaming don't need to be super hot, Provided you have adequate specs to run at 30fps, and enough graphical punch to use all the tricks then you can use a pretty basic model. Unlike a pc you won't have people comparing numbers overclocking. So the system can probably cope on a dual core mATX style system, with a sub £100 gfx card. Forget about the high end stuff as they simply will not need it. This means a sub £250 system should be viable. Steam could buff this by reducing your graphics options, and optimising for 30fps.

I would expect it to be running something along the lines of a sandybridge g620, mATX, 2Gb ram, Gtx 560, and a budget green hard disc. You can build this sort of configuration for £250-300 currently at store prices. And it would play most games at 30FPS, at decent settings. That's without having bulk discounts and optimisation in the mix.

I believe the deciding factor will be directX overall, as i can't see M$ giving up it's software to a competitor, especially when it could be damaging to xbox and windows sales in general.
 
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#32
I believe the deciding factor will be directX overall, as i can't see M$ giving up it's software to a competitor, especially when it could be damaging to xbox and windows sales in general.
It will have to run windows with a steam front-end to be compatible with the majority of titles on Steam.

I don't think MS will mind.
 
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#33
It will have to run windows with a steam front-end to be compatible with the majority of titles on Steam.

I don't think MS will mind.
I don't think it would. DirectX is the only thing that stops games migrating to other platforms. The steam front end is just a gui, it can be rewritten for linux (and probably already exists on linux in the value studio). Games themselves don't care what platform there on provided they have access to the correct resources, again directX. PC games have been developed previously on DOS, windows mac and linux. If blizzard can make all there games run on mac and windows with minimal tweaking from the same CD, then getting a tweak to make windows games run on a linux based OS won't be much harder for valve. The problem is all games currently ask for there resources through directX, This makes things impossible for companies wanting to extend away from MS as they have to go back to basics and deal with an API. Simply copying DX's link library would warrant action from MS.

As for not hurting windows.

Free linux with full game support, I'd have it on every machine i own. I would never buy another copy of windows again as too would a huge number of PC gamers. Linux is just a better OS in terms of stability, and resource management since you can do what you want with it. And most programs have a linux variant, just like macs do.
 
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#34
I don't think it would. DirectX is the only thing that stops games migrating to other platforms. The steam front end is just a gui, it can be rewritten for linux (and probably already exists on linux in the value studio). Games themselves don't care what platform there on provided they have access to the correct resources, again directX. PC games have been developed previously on DOS, windows mac and linux. If blizzard can make all there games run on mac and windows with minimal tweaking from the same CD, then getting a tweak to make windows games run on a linux based OS won't be much harder for valve. The problem is all games currently ask for there resources through directX, This makes things impossible for companies wanting to extend away from MS as they have to go back to basics and deal with an API. Simply copying DX's link library would warrant action from MS.

As for not hurting windows.

Free linux with full game support, I'd have it on every machine i own. I would never buy another copy of windows again as too would a huge number of PC gamers. Linux is just a better OS in terms of stability, and resource management since you can do what you want with it. And most programs have a linux variant, just like macs do.
Direct-X, and all the other Windows resources prevent it. The problem is this console isn't in itself a platform like Xbox or PS3, but rather it would use EXISTING software designed to be run on Windows. Valve can't rewrite any program they wish on steam to get it to work with Linux. You would need the original developer to do that. Fat chance any cash strapped developers will port their games w/o it paying for itself. Just because Blizzard does it, doesn't mean its easy.

It makes much more sense to use a Windows back-end for Windows games.

Steam boxes would be a supplement to Steam, not an entire platform of itself. It can leverage the existing library on steam to become popular. To make it an entirely separate platform would be competing with Microsoft and Sony, and would be a bad idea.
 
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wahdangun

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#35
Direct-X, and all the other Windows resources prevent it. The problem is this console isn't in itself a platform like Xbox or PS3, but rather it would use EXISTING software designed to be run on Windows. Valve can't rewrite any program they wish on steam to get it to work with Linux. You would need the original developer to do that. Fat chance any cash strapped developers will port their games w/o it paying for itself. Just because Blizzard does it, doesn't mean its easy.

It makes much more sense to use a Windows back-end for Windows games.

Steam boxes would be a supplement to Steam, not an entire platform of itself. It can leverage the existing library on steam to become popular. To make it an entirely separate platform would be competing with Microsoft and Sony, and would be a bad idea.
maybe they don't need to port current title to steambox, maybe they can make exlusive games for steambox, just like other console.


i just wish valve use linux. i hate using windows
 
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#36
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#37
Is a $300 core i7 really necessary when an i5 2500k is completely sufficient? Final price of $700?

If they launch with that configuration the its going to bomb.
 
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#39
This is cool. If Valve manages somehow to push OpenGL/OpenAL/OpenCL as a competitor for the crappy DirectX, we can witness a revolution in gaming. The OpenGL 4.2 has almost 2x the features of the DX11, but still producers are bribed to use DirectX for some reason....If any company can fight M$ on gaming grounds, I think Valve is the one... - maybe ...

(http://blog.wolfire.com/2010/01/Why-you-should-use-OpenGL-and-not-DirectX)
 
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#40
Is Valve really supporting PC gamers?

Question is, will I be able to build my own PC that will be able to run the SteamBox?
 
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#41
Is a $300 core i7 really necessary when an i5 2500k is completely sufficient? Final price of $700?

If they launch with that configuration the its going to bomb.
Sufficient, but not future proof. If they don't want it to bomb they need the most recent hardware at a decent price. By the time the box launches the price would have dropped.
 

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#42
I'll be surprised if we see a Valve console. I'm expecting something else, more peripheral like...

 

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#43
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#44
They say it probably WON'T be the baseline specs... it makes sense that they are trying to test it with something more powerful first

I wonder if mobile GPU is a smart way to go... IMO a discrete desktop GPU would do better. Perhaps it's too expensive?
 
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#45
valve see a opening where alienware do too, a cheap all in 1 box that is a gaming pc is what the industry needs.

nothing new here but i am interested to see if the steam name helps it sell as others have tried this before and failed.
 
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#46
Crazyeye sees the major problem with "Gaming" PC's that I do. They are always lopsided. Why do they make you get an i7-2600k baseline with a GTS520 quite often? Why not offer an i5-2400 or i3-2100 with say a GTX550 or HD6850?

If Valve steps in and starts offering balanced gaming PC's for a decent price, they will change the entire market.
 
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#47
I could see this changing the gaming industry by quite a bit with the specifications since the planned specifications for the other consoles to come are weaker; assuming that "SteamBox" will run Window games (and not a custom platform) and would be connected to the current Steam service, while maintaining a competitive price against the consoles (doesn't have to be cheaper, but at least close to the console price range), I could see this introducing a large number of people into PC gaming and maybe make PC gaming more popular than console gaming (possibly ahead of Razer's predictions) if Valve gets the console ready within a year (ideally) or two for sale.

Clearly I can see Valve using a custom gaming OS to keep things secure and hopefully a custom gaming Windows OS which is mostly stripped down of all unnecessary applications, but has enhanced services to both existing needed applications as well as added applications that are needed too. The only thing that can be done now is wait and see what comes of this with the news to come.
 
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#48
This seems like a huge mistake to me. They should be competing with Onlive, not making a cut down PC. Streaming is the future.
 
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#49
Very interested! :rolleyes:
 

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#50
If this won't play existing console games and console exclusives (which it won't unless console manufacturers make some kind of deal with Valve) and it's specs are less than a good gaming PC to keep the cost down ... exactly who are they targetting with this?
People that want to play PC exclusives but don't want to shell out massive money for a gaming PC. The idiots that thing you need a $2000 Alienware to play PC games. So basically console gamers...:laugh: