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Valve Reportedly Working On 'Steam Box' Gaming Console 233

Posted by Soulskill
from the putting-the-fear-of-gabe-into-sony-microsoft-and-nintendo dept.
An anonymous reader writes "This article at the Verge claims that Valve is currently working on a way to bring Steam to the living room with its own gaming console. Quoting: 'According to sources, the company has been working on a hardware spec and associated software which would make up the backbone of a "Steam Box." The actual devices may be made by a variety of partners, and the software would be readily available to any company that wants to get in the game. Adding fuel to that fire is a rumor that the Alienware X51 may have been designed with an early spec of the system in mind, and will be retroactively upgradable to the software. Apparently meetings were held during CES to demo a hand-built version of the device to potential partners. We're told that the basic specs of the Steam Box include a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GPU. The devices will be able to run any standard PC titles, and will also allow for rival gaming services (like EA's Origin) to be loaded up. Part of the goal of establishing a baseline for hardware, we're told, is that it will give developers a clear lifecycle for their products, with changes possibly coming every three to four years. Additionally, there won't be a required devkit, and there will be no licensing fees to create software for the platform.'"
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Valve Reportedly Working On 'Steam Box' Gaming Console

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  • by hjf (703092) on Saturday March 03, 2012 @01:39PM (#39232167) Homepage

    Well, a console doesn't run standard PC titles, but you develop for XBOX 360 with Visual Studio and XNA. Compile, download to console, and play.

  • by SScorpio (595836) on Saturday March 03, 2012 @02:39PM (#39232663)

    You really haven't used a game console in a while. For a PS3 and sometimes a Xbox 360 occasional usage is like this.

    1) Start the console and what through the overly long boot animation
    2) Wait for it to connect to the gaming network
    3) Have it disconnect from the gaming network and tell you, your console needs an update and won't go online without it
    4) Download the udpate, wait for it to install, and reboot your console
    5) After the console starts back up launch the game, to have it tell you there is a required update for the game
    6) Wait for the update to download and install
    7) Finally play the game

    This process is even worse if you are playing a game you haven't played before normally there is an automatic installation process you have to wait 10-15 minutes for. And that's after all of the updates it installs one by one.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday March 04, 2012 @02:12AM (#39236683) Journal

    Well, I was trying to be above all that ad hominem crap; but I forgot this is Slashdot...

    Chill down. It was hard not to rise to the bait like that. ~

    Unless I am drastically wrong, maintaining these Steam variants isn't screwing with Developers of "Steam-Compatible" games (isn't Steam just a cross-platform API, much like Qt or (ewww!) Flash?). It's really only Valve that is feeling the pain of multiple Steam platforms, right? (I admit to knowing nothing about developing for Steam). Otherwise, how could have Valve's catalog been instantly available to OS X users just because "Steam" itself was ported?

    The short answers are: you're wrong; wrong; and it isn't.

    To begin with, the entire Steam catalog is not available on OS X. Only those games which developers have elected to port to OS X are there - though porting Steam was itself a pretty strong push for game publishers to consider such porting, which is why it has a decent selection now - GTA, Civilization etc. Then, of course, Valve also helped by porting its own engine and games that use it.

    Steam is not a cross-platform API for games. It is a platform for game distribution, but it cares nothing about how your game is actually implemented in terms of graphics, sound etc. It does give you some APIs to enable Steam's DRM, and also (optionally) to do stuff like achievements, cloud storage for configs and savegames, Steam friend system etc - but nothing to help you write a cross-platform engine.

    That's precisely why the console runs Windows and not some kind of Linux-based embedded thingy - because most games in Steam catalog are still Windows only, and so are most new titles.

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg

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