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  • Valve readying 'Steam Box' console

    In keeping with Valve cofounder Gabe Newell's statement last month that the company doesn't want to get into the hardware market (but will if it has to), the Steam Box is said to operate more like a platform along the lines of Google's Android operating system or the 3DO. In theory, Valve would set hardware specifications and create the system software, but multiple partners (Alienware is one rumored name mentioned in the report) would be able to create their own Steam Box devices.

    The baseline specs reportedly tout a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GPU. And in addition to running PC games through Valve's Steam storefront, the boxes would be able to run services of rival digital distributors, like EA's Origin service.

    The Verge also pointed to a Valve patent from last year as being related to the Steam Box. Specifically, the report says the Steam Box is slated to come with a USB controller that allows users to swap out different components to suit their tastes or different game types.

  • #2
    This sounds like The Phantom (2004) all over again. How did that work out Valve?

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    • #3
      It's cool because you can have your own type of it... its not just one.

      You can get a really good one or an okay one.

      plus the keyboard and mouse thing would be legit... just take it anywhere you want and play counter strike... i'd be in heaven!

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      • #4
        So its an overpriced PC? I don't get it......
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        • #5
          Originally posted by BroncoFanNC View Post
          So its an overpriced PC? I don't get it......
          It's essentially an overpriced PC that looks to be a user friendly console. It only has access to Steam and EA Origin for games. No physical media whatsoever.

          Judging by the i7 core, Nvidia GPU, and 8GB RAM, this thing will EASILY hover around the $600 range. They would have to find a way to trim the price to that of current consoles to even get people interested.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Amari24 View Post
            It's essentially an overpriced PC that looks to be a user friendly console. It only has access to Steam and EA Origin for games. No physical media whatsoever.

            Judging by the i7 core, Nvidia GPU, and 8GB RAM, this thing will EASILY hover around the $600 range. They would have to find a way to trim the price to that of current consoles to even get people interested.
            They would have to sell the hardware at a loss initially (if this thing doesn't roll out for a year or two, that hardware is going to be significantly cheaper anyway), and get people to sign up for an unlimited access plan to play their available games.

            If you bought this console for say $399, and paid something akin to a gamefly subscription or a little more, say $15 a month, to play unlimited games off of Steam, then they might actually have something.

            As far as physical media is concerned, in 5 years physical media will be pretty limited, and by 10 years it will be gone. This type of stuff is going to be the future of entertainment in general. Streaming games, music, movies, TV etc. straight to your home with no physical media. I can't remember the last time I bought a CD or a DVD. I think the only reason games are lagging behind in that regard is because we pay so much for them individually, we want something we can put in our hands. If you paid a set amount each month for unlimited access, you wouldn't really have that same want or need. It's going to happen eventually, even if Valve does this and fails.
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            • #7
              ^ There's no way we'll see a fade in physical media in just 5 years. It's going to be a longer and tougher transition than that. Try 20 years and even that's being generous. Downloading and especially streaming games are so far off as the standardized form of game distribution, it isn't even funny.

              We have enough trouble downloading 1GB DLC off of XBL/PSN. Can you really see people downloading whole games that are 50GBs in size in just 5 years? And unless you expect developers to lower the cost of games and have occasional sales ala Steam, this isn't something that will be welcomed with open arms. The first company who tries to force DD on the consumer will fail straight out of the gate. Sony is still bitter over the PSP GO.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Amari24 View Post
                ^ There's no way we'll see a fade in physical media in just 5 years. It's going to be a longer and tougher transition than that. Try 20 years and even that's being generous. Downloading and especially streaming games are so far off as the standardized form of game distribution, it isn't even funny.

                We have enough trouble downloading 1GB DLC off of XBL/PSN. Can you really see people downloading whole games that are 50GBs in size in just 5 years? And unless you expect developers to lower the cost of games and have occasional sales ala Steam, this isn't something that will be welcomed with open arms. The first company who tries to force DD on the consumer will fail straight out of the gate. Sony is still bitter over the PSP GO.
                Technology growth is exponential. Look at the growth from 2000-2005 and 2006-now. My personal internet connection is about 5 times faster than what it was in 2005. I don't think it's very far fetched that by 2017 physical media will begin to phase out. Hell it's already phasing out.

                About this silly Valve gamebox... I'd think about it if it was up-gradable for the next 10 years. Might just be the end of PC gaming if it takes off. Would be fun to play an MMO on it I bet. Not to mention the implications this machine would have against piracy. Why would companies even publish to PC if this is successful?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Amari24 View Post
                  This sounds like The Phantom (2004) all over again. How did that work out Valve?
                  Yea well was Valve involved in that? Seriously who was involved in that because I'm pretty sure it was no one important.

                  Valve is a huge company with the financial backing to pull something like this off and to be honest when Steam came out no one thought it was going to fly and now it's one of the premier digital content distributors.

                  There are only two companies not involved in the current console battle that I could see coming in and having the firepower to compete with Nintendo/Sony/Microsoft those two are Valve and Apple.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Amari24 View Post
                    In keeping with Valve cofounder Gabe Newell's statement last month that the company doesn't want to get into the hardware market (but will if it has to), the Steam Box is said to operate more like a platform along the lines of Google's Android operating system or the 3DO.
                    That is a terrible idea, here's why. However, if they can get themselves on to the loser of the PS3 vs 360 makers next console, it could be a goldmine.

                    Originally posted by Amari24 View Post
                    The baseline specs reportedly tout a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GPU. And in addition to running PC games through Valve's Steam storefront, the boxes would be able to run services of rival digital distributors, like EA's Origin service.
                    ...Why wouldn't it be able to do that? It's a frickin' computer.

                    Originally posted by Amari24 View Post
                    The Verge also pointed to a Valve patent from last year as being related to the Steam Box. Specifically, the report says the Steam Box is slated to come with a USB controller that allows users to swap out different components to suit their tastes or different game types.
                    So...Valve wants to incorporate USB or UNIVERSAL SERIAL BUS into it's next whatever this thing is? Journalism is dead.

                    Originally posted by Amari24 View Post
                    It's essentially an overpriced PC that looks to be a user friendly console. It only has access to Steam and EA Origin for games. No physical media whatsoever.
                    No physical media is a double-edged sword.


                    Originally posted by Amari24 View Post
                    Judging by the i7 core, Nvidia GPU, and 8GB RAM, this thing will EASILY hover around the $600 range. They would have to find a way to trim the price to that of current consoles to even get people interested.
                    I think you are being VERY generous with that price. I7's are top of the line CPU's you're looking at 300ish bucks for that ALONE. Frankly, the inclusion of that makes me EXTREMELY skeptical of this whole business.

                    Originally posted by kishzilla View Post
                    They would have to sell the hardware at a loss initially (if this thing doesn't roll out for a year or two, that hardware is going to be significantly cheaper anyway), and get people to sign up for an unlimited access plan to play their available games.
                    I'm sorry but the whole thing just doesn't seem right...who the heck would want to get into the shark tank with Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo? Of all the options Valve could have explored to get into the living room (which is a great idea) this one involves the most risk and least amount of sense.

                    Originally posted by kishzilla View Post
                    If you bought this console for say $399, and paid something akin to a gamefly subscription or a little more, say $15 a month, to play unlimited games off of Steam, then they might actually have something.
                    While I can appreciate trying to discern a new business model that would make this work, Even at $30 a month I don't think the numbers are there to make it work...let alone the fact that a very small percentage of Steam games are controller compatible.

                    Originally posted by kishzilla View Post
                    As far as physical media is concerned, in 5 years physical media will be pretty limited, and by 10 years it will be gone. This type of stuff is going to be the future of entertainment in general. Streaming games, music, movies, TV etc. straight to your home with no physical media. I can't remember the last time I bought a CD or a DVD. I think the only reason games are lagging behind in that regard is because we pay so much for them individually, we want something we can put in our hands. If you paid a set amount each month for unlimited access, you wouldn't really have that same want or need. It's going to happen eventually, even if Valve does this and fails.
                    I found your comment very interesting here, as it turns out I'm completely opposite from you. Music and Games are what I buy digitally. Steam was a Godsend because I got tired of keeping the physical media everywhere, and I could pick up a new game or demo in a snap (the sales helped...A LOT I'm a cheap bastard, no denying it). Whereas I DEMAND to have physical copies of movies, I think it's because you need to watch them multiple times to get your money out of them. Regardless I agree with you that physical media will disappear to an extent.

                    Originally posted by Amari24 View Post
                    ^ There's no way we'll see a fade in physical media in just 5 years. It's going to be a longer and tougher transition than that. Try 20 years and even that's being generous. Downloading and especially streaming games are so far off as the standardized form of game distribution, it isn't even funny.
                    On the PC, downloads became the main form of distribution back in 2010. I think it will be a very safe assumption that the same will happen to consoles.

                    Originally posted by Amari24 View Post
                    We have enough trouble downloading 1GB DLC off of XBL/PSN. Can you really see people downloading whole games that are 50GBs in size in just 5 years? And unless you expect developers to lower the cost of games and have occasional sales ala Steam, this isn't something that will be welcomed with open arms. The first company who tries to force DD on the consumer will fail straight out of the gate. Sony is still bitter over the PSP GO.
                    This is where Steam getting onto consoles would be a good thing. All Steam does is digital sales, they'd bring their resources and know-how to consoles. I'd say it would be a win for everyone involved.

                    Originally posted by theMileHighGuy View Post
                    About this silly Valve gamebox... I'd think about it if it was up-gradable for the next 10 years. Might just be the end of PC gaming if it takes off. Would be fun to play an MMO on it I bet. Not to mention the implications this machine would have against piracy. Why would companies even publish to PC if this is successful?
                    I think you called it right, silly. It is essentially a home theater PC set for gaming. I think everyone is thinking of this more as a console, and I think that would be a mistake. Why would a want to limit a bristling PC (this assumes it will force you to run a valve OS) hooked up to my big screen to just playing games. I'd want Youtube, Itunes, you name it. It would be running Windows to accomplish all this.

                    Valve is a very secretive company, and this is a complete 180 from their mantra's of the past couple years. I don't believe this article, getting into the hardware business is the exact opposite of what has made valve so successful. However, if they can get PC's and consoles onto the same page so that ports are not necessary (truly necessary, some work will have to be done). I can see everyone involved being financially happy and satisfied (producers and consumers).

                    PS. I don't believe Valve is doing this...Looking for a foothold on consoles? Yes...Getting into the console business? No.
                    Last edited by Puddleglum; 03-04-2012, 10:02 AM.
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                    • #11
                      Especially if one of their partners is Alienware, thing will not be cheap.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BroncoFanNC View Post
                        Especially if one of their partners is Alienware, thing will not be cheap.
                        No kidding.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Freyaka View Post
                          Yea well was Valve involved in that? Seriously who was involved in that because I'm pretty sure it was no one important.

                          Valve is a huge company with the financial backing to pull something like this off and to be honest when Steam came out no one thought it was going to fly and now it's one of the premier digital content distributors.

                          There are only two companies not involved in the current console battle that I could see coming in and having the firepower to compete with Nintendo/Sony/Microsoft those two are Valve and Apple.
                          There's a reason why no company has succeeded in marketing a DD only device to a large demographic of gamers. Sony has the right idea with Vita. Having physical and DD coincide. They forced it with the GO which is why it failed. Why would Valve stamping their name on something magically change the way people think? It obviously didn't work with Sony and they've been in here since 1994.

                          And lol... Apple would fail miserably in the console market.
                          Last edited by Amari24; 03-04-2012, 12:12 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Will it be run by a steam engine?

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                            • #15
                              This just seems silly.... It just sounds like an expensive but limited PC. If I could upgrade it and it was a massive steal price wise I might get it, but otherwise I'd just build myself a gaming PC for a little more money.

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