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PC Games (Games) Games Linux

Valve's 'Steam Box' Console Is Real, Says Gabe Newell 298

Posted by Soulskill
from the come-out-right-after-half-life-3 dept.
symbolset writes "The Verge is reporting that the Steam Console we discussed in November is a real thing. Gabe Newell said it will be a locked down platform for the living room. The source is a Kotaku interview with Newell at the Video Game Awards. Newell said, 'Well certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environment. If you want more flexibility, you can always buy a more general-purpose PC. For people who want a more turnkey solution, that's what some people are really gonna want for their living room. The nice thing about a PC is a lot of different people can try out different solutions, and customers can find the ones that work best for them.'"
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Valve's 'Steam Box' Console Is Real, Says Gabe Newell

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 08, 2012 @11:16PM (#42230665)

    Microsoft's biggest mistake was putting a tablet interface in their desktop OS.

  • Re:Dammit Valve! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by symbolset (646467) * on Saturday December 08, 2012 @11:42PM (#42230811) Journal

    He's not saying they're doing away with Steam on PCs. Steam will still be available on Windows, Mac and - soon - Linux. If Steam stops working on Windows it won't be Valve's fault. And if it does stop working on Windows you'll be able to get most of your Steam games without buying them again - complete with all the in-game content - on a platform that is less hostile to successful Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). They'll maintain Windows Steam for as long as it is possible and financially feasible to do so but given the history of Lotus, Wordperfect, Borland, Aldus, Sun, Star, Netscape, Novell and many others, that won't be forever. Sooner or later Windows will be updated in a way that Steam won't run on it, and that won't be Valve's fault. They're hanging in there for you as best they can, but they don't write the platform.

    By doing this he's maybe building an intimidating counter-threat to Microsoft: break Steam like you break the OS for other competing ISVs and we'll take our users elsewhere. By doing so he may be incentivizing Microsoft to not break Windows-based steam. By making a platform they DO own, Valve is making a commitment to continue to offer you a platform your Steam games will run on, in as much as their participating developers will support it. They can't make the developers support it, but this is the best they can do. Buy the Steam console, and your Steam games will be able to continue to be supported because they DO own the platform.

  • by tibman (623933) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @12:05AM (#42230943) Homepage

    lol, what percentage of gamers is that?

  • by SeaFox (739806) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @12:14AM (#42230997)

    ...So you can build your own steam console with the hardware you want (and is fully upgradeable when new tech comes out) and ready to rock as soon as the OS is installed.

    That would defeat the strongest argument for the console: it just runs and you know it will runs what's available for it. Build-your-own comes with the all the headaches that come with it: driver compatibility, hardware reliability, and performance requirements for individual games. Console games are for all the Joe Sixpacks who just wants to flip a switch and play. When I used to buy games for my SNES, I didn't have to look at the box and wonder "do I have enough RAM for this?", "will I need to install a better graphics card to get smooth gameplay?"

    If you want a full-screen gaming environment for Ubuntu, when Steam is available for Linux, is there any reason you couldn't just build a dedicated gaming PC for the living room in an HTPC case, and then install Ubuntu and set it to auto-run Steam in Big Picture mode when it boots up. This sounds like a request you can already fulfill on your own.

  • by deweyhewson (1323623) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @01:05AM (#42231233)

    Until this is resolved [imgur.com], I'm wary of locking myself into Valve any more than I already am. The thought of a locked down environment worries me, too; that seems antithetical to what has made PC gaming and enthusiasm what it is.

    Still, it's Valve, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, but being trapped in one more walled garden not only with software but hardware is not the direction I like the industry to move.

  • by MindPrison (864299) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @02:41AM (#42231675) Journal

    And you would have the console everyone missed.

    You could just plug it in, and play straight away few seconds later, nothing beats that feeling.
    Today everything has to boot forever, it takes several minutes just to wait for another game to boot up, I hate that. I live with it, but I don't like it.

    With todays amazing solid state drive developments, this shouldn't be impossible. USB-memory sticks costs almost as little as CD's and Floppy Disks did back in the days, so we're getting there.

    And the first console to do this, will win.

  • by Hadlock (143607) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @02:46AM (#42231709) Homepage Journal

    Can we keep the reddit imgur spam on reddit please? If you can't explain your point in complete paragraphs without an image macro for assistance, you might want to look elsewhere.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 09, 2012 @03:58AM (#42231973)

    Ha-ha. Running Windows on a server. That's funny.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 09, 2012 @04:50AM (#42232155)
    Steam measures logged in users as concurrent users. Many people (myself included) are counted 24/7 as a concurrent user even though I rarely play a steam game (usually civ when I get bored) as the steam client starts up by default when your computer is on, people only load up an xbox when they are going to play a game.
  • Re:"locked down" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by realityimpaired (1668397) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @08:56AM (#42233065)

    Locked down, in this case, I think means something different from what you think it does. When developpers talk about locking down hardware requirements, they mean having a set spec to develop for.

    If, for example, the "Steambox" ends up being a Core i3 dual core @ 2.9GHz, with 4GB of RAM, and a Radeon HD 7750 video card, then hardware developpers know that if they make sure their game runs on this spec then they're safe. It's a fairly cheap spec which could easily hit the sub-$400 PC market and go directly for consoles (could probably get it sub-$300 with that spec), and yet it's still powerful enough to run most modern games at max settings on 1080p.

    Similarly, if you'd prefer to build your own, maybe have a bigger hard drive (which they'd have to skimp on to keep it sub-$300) and a more powerful processor or an optical drive, then you can. Stick Linux of your choice on there, pull down Steam from the repositories, and you have a reasonable assurance that anything built for the Steambox will also run on your own computer. And if you *really* want to continue running Windows, then you can, for now, and will be able to do so until Microsoft finally kicks Steam out. But Steam is going to be pushing developpers to start making stuff that works on Linux (and is making sure their own engine works on Linux for starters).

    I would be surprised if this isn't similar to Gabe's vision, given what he said in the interview itself.

  • by SpeZek (970136) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @10:06AM (#42233495) Journal
    So have the wife and kid play in offline mode?

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