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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 Xian97 (714198) on Saturday March 03, 2012 @11:48AM (#39231305)
    What if I want to play a game on my Steam account on the PC and the kids want to play a different game at the same time on the Steam Console? Since the majority of my gaming is done on Steam on the PC these days, we would never be able to play different games on two devices at the same time since Steam only allows a single active login.

    What about multiple players on the same console? They are going to have to come up with a family setting, because if it is just a single login allowed then my kids will be complaining about who gets the achievements and such, and I am not going to buy multiple versions of the same game for each account on the console.
  • by miknix (1047580) on Saturday March 03, 2012 @12:24PM (#39231621) Homepage

    As someone who never bought any dedicated gaming device (in exception to a GameBoy long long time ago), I would look forward to this if Steam provide their own dedicated operating system for the SteamBox. I'm a day-to-day GNU/Linux user which dual-boots into Windows 7 for gaming. One of the things I hate is having to care about antivirus and windows updates when *I just want to game*. Having Windows rebooting my computer automatically for a update when I'm in the middle of Portal is really annoying. I love Steam though, I like their game offers and associated publishers, I think its a great idea which simplifies the whole process of buying and installing a game and would certainly love to see that in a dedicated device.

  • by nickmalthus (972450) on Saturday March 03, 2012 @02:47PM (#39232733)

    I tried to make my own Steam gaming box as a part of the HTPC I built over the Christmas break. First, Valve has not delivered the Steam Big Picture mode which it promised a year ago (!). This means you need to use the native Windows application navigation with small fonts that even on a big HDTV it is difficult to read and navigate. Next Steam just acts as wrapper to native Windows games so there are still installer/update issues. As my first effort I tried to get Mass Effect 1 to run on my HDTV through steam and spent a couple of hours trying to determine why the launcher would silently die. It turns out I needed to manually download a patch from EA that Steam did not automatically include and apply it along with setting the game launcher to run as administrator. Not very user friendly at all. Then, I find out that on the PC Bioware/EA crippled game controller support for Mass Effect since they want you to buy the XBox 360 version for that so it only supports native mouse/keyboard. I had to buy a third party utility, xpadder, and manually create an control schema myself that works OK with a wireless 360 controller.

    With all that said, I will continue to use Steam as a lower end cloud based backup service for buying bargain games future proofed against console obsolescence. Beyond that, Steam still requires all the PC gaming overhead of troubleshooting/patching/driver updates and probably will never provide the plug and play experience the polished consoles can.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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