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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 crafty.munchkin (1220528) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @12:06AM (#42230621)
    is Steam Big Picture as a desktop environment for ubuntu, or something along those lines - a linux OS which boots up into Steam. 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.
  • by GeneralTurgidson (2464452) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @12:08AM (#42230645)
    Arguably, Valve probably wouldn't be pushing full "steam" ahead on this if Microsoft hadn't dreamt up a Windows Store. This is in my opinion a real game changer for the PC ecosystem and the future of Windows.
  • by mpoulton (689851) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @12:17AM (#42230673)
    How long until someone has it cracked and running general-purpose Linux? Bonus: How long until someone makes a cluster of them?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 09, 2012 @01:23AM (#42231043)

    The game it'll be changing is Windows dominance of PC gaming.

    Already big publishers and new games under development are starting to look closer at Linux support because of the Steam beta. They don't like what they see in Win8 any more than Gabe Newell does.

    My prediction is Valve will get behind Linux in a big, big way and this will be looked back upon as a turning point in history.

    Start with a Steam box, then certify higher-end hardware Steam-ready with curated, updated, solid OSS drivers available for the build-your-own crowd, once that's done major vendors start taking some of that hardware, rebranding it, and adding a Steam-ready sticker. For cheaper than Win8 at equivalent specs. Remember, the reason companies that offer Linux consumer hardware usually have it more expensive due to drivers & support; if Valve takes a big chunk of that off of their hands, Linux can compete with Windows on an even playing field.

    Suddenly Linux becomes EASY for Joe sixpack, he can buy it in a store, it's exposing an interface he's more familiar with (more Windows-like than Windows), comes with loads of free software, games, and the sticker price is lower. This is a potential nightmare scenario for Microsoft, and I think this is Valve's endgame.

    I certainly hope it is.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 09, 2012 @02:06AM (#42231237)

    The Xbox 360 has maybe a 30-35 million installed base - not 70 million by most tracking firms I've seen with most Xbox 360 owners having gone through 5-6 repurchases of newer model consoles hoping to finally get a console that works properly. And those 5-6 duplicate consoles don't count the Microsoft supplied replacement units from the RRoD fiasco and other various hardware problems that plague the Xbox 360.

    It is kind funny in a pathetic sort of way that the only real bright spot for the Xbox 360 is the RRoD fiasco that helped inflate their apparent marketshare and kept them out of last place for a extra couple of years.

    How humiliating for Microsoft to have rushed the shoddy and defective Xbox 360 hardware out the door a year early, sell tens of millions of duplicated consoles, and still end up in last place this gen.

    Ouch.

  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @02:27AM (#42231339)

    70 million xbox sold, 5.6 million simulatenous users on steam tonight(presumably more total)

    Yup, microsoft wouldn't even notice.

    A more comparable figures would be Steam is 54 million active user accounts [concurrent peak users did peak at 6 million]. The numbers seem surprisingly close to seriously threaten Microsofts console gaming platform with Steam Cross-Multi-Platform

    As for Microsoft not even noticing, they would be incredibly foolish not to, Microsoft has very little benefit over other platforms right now, even installations will be overtaken by android as soon as next year. Its gaming...and its control of the Graphics API lock-in are essential to if remaining relevant to the consumer market, which is being increasingly challenged.

    Microsoft ALWAYS notice the competition they will be out with their chequebooks and lawyers banking on steams door.

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Sunday December 09, 2012 @03:10AM (#42231533)

    5.6 million concurrent Steam users.

    Google "concurrent xbox live users", and it looks like they set a record of 2 million a few years back. That's all users, not just the paying Gold users. I'm sure they've grown since then, but tripled?

    Now, the obvious caveat is that it's more common to play on an Xbox without an internet connection than it is to play in Steam's offline mode. But Steam's user base is definitely at least comparable to Xbox's.

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Sunday December 09, 2012 @03:47AM (#42231725) Journal

    That probably wouldn't be easy as too many things are evolving too rapidly in Linux ATM, you have the kernel changes, Pulse,Unity, and of course you have the issues with the graphics drivers, its just changing far too rapidly to make a good DIY console using Linux.

    I'll probably get hate for pointing this out but other than Tablets this is the one place where Win 8's metro GUI actually works well, its Metro interface is practically a 10 foot UI right OOTB, hard to miss those big ass fugly tiles with a remote on a 50 inch screen, and it probably wouldn't be hard at all to set steam to launch in BPM automatically at start up. And of course since neither the kernel nor the subsystems will be changed for the life of the OS once you have it set the way you like it just like a console that's it, it'll stay that way for the life of the system. And while I personally prefer Win 7 at $40 a pop Win 8 makes a cheap OS for a STB and of course that gives you access to the entire steam library and not just the few that use OpenGL.

    That said I wish Valve nothing but luck, with both Valve and Sony bringing X86 based consoles to market its gonna be another golden age for us PC gamers, since it'll be trivial to launch both the console and the PC version at the same time. Frankly its a great time to be a PC gamer regardless, you can pick up AMD triple kits for $200, quads for less than $250, slap a cheap copy of Windows on it along with an HD4850 or HD7770 and for less than $360 you have a system that'll play nearly any game out there with great graphics on a monitor or a TV with HDMI.

    I have built several of these for customers and they just love it, a full blown HTPC is just so much more versatile than a console, you can rip all your music and movies to it and use it as a media center, through Steam gaming is cheap, streaming over the web means you can get rid of the cable bill, and most games support controllers now so you can just grab a couple of cheap wireless X360 pads and have fun.

    With LCD TV prices falling like a stone and all of them having HDMI the gamer boxes and the dirt cheap AMD E350 "wife wants her FB" boxes are my two biggest sellers ATM, its soooo much cheaper now than it was when I first started gaming. Remember when we'd have to replace our entire systems every year and a half just to play the latest games? So I'm personally all for this, more gamers on X86 means more games and plenty of selection, sounds good to me. Go Valve!

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