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Valve's SteamBox Gets a Name and an Early Demo at CES 328

Posted by timothy
from the you-mean-sgi-isn't-cool? dept.
xynopsis writes "Looks like the final version of the Linux based Steam Gaming Console has been made public at CES. The result of combined efforts of small-form-factor maker Xi3 and Valve, the gaming box named 'Piston' is a potential game changer in transforming the Linux desktop and gaming market. The pretty device looks like a shrunk Tezro from Silicon Graphics when SGI used to be cool." Looks like Gabe Newell wasn't kidding.
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Valve's SteamBox Gets a Name and an Early Demo at CES

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  • by firex726 (1188453) <firex726@@@yahoo...com> on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @09:13AM (#42517707)

    Yea, my last computer lasted some 4 years without needing an upgrade.
    Granted I usually try to max it out, when I buy it initially.

  • by ledow (319597) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @09:42AM (#42518153) Homepage

    Personally, I never have been a "gamer" from that sort of perspective, and yet since the days of DOS I was playing top titles within a year or so of their release. Hell, I played Quake on a min-spec Pentium with a Voodoo card within days of release and that was the first ever game to actually MAKE people into "gamers" to buy an upgrade card that serves no further purpose than to play games faster (back then, it was necessary, though unless you wanted flickbook framerates).

    The problem with PC gaming is not the hardware, but the mentality. "I have to have 120fps on everything, in HD, with all the options turned on and all the latest kit to show off" - there isn't a console in the world that actually does the equivalent, and if there was it would cost a fortune or slow to a crawl and gamers would hardly notice the difference otherwise.

    I have a laptop now - technically nowhere close to a gamer's laptop but it has nVidia Optimus graphics. It cost not much more than just about any of the current consoles has ever cost on release day. I can't find a game on my Steam list that it doesn't play. And from the current AAA-titles? Well, in a year's time when they are sensible prices I will buy them and try them and most of them will work just fine (if 9 years of Steam gaming is anything to go by, and years more of Counterstrike play before that) but I might have to turn down an option or two.

    PC gaming isn't about upgrading every two seconds. Being a "gamer" is. I can name every upgrade I've ever done to every PC I've ever personally owned, and most of the time that was a one-time, never-to-be-repeated upgrade that doubled the performance for much much less than the price of an equivalent replacement (if you upgrade a machine, it's likely that it's to hit some bottleneck which costs more than the machine is worth to upgrade further). I have never upgraded a motherboard, or a CPU, in my own machines in all the time I've owned a PC precisely because the upgrades, and their associated prerequisite upgrades, were never worth it.

    And I've probably personally owned about 3 desktops and 4-5 laptops in all my time playing, so I certainly get some use out of them (and, to be honest, the laptops die by physical breakage on the hinges more than obsolescence and I still have an IBM Thinkpad with a 90MHz processor that's going strong). And I do think of myself as a gamer, in terms of the amount of time I spend playing and the amount of money I spend each year on games, but not a "gamer" in terms of spending money on constant upgrades for my computers.

    I actually have, upstairs, an MSI gaming laptop that was bought as my last work laptop three years ago (my employer buys whatever I specify, and I specified nVidia graphics for various reasons and ended up with a gaming laptop that was vastly overpowered and half-the-cost of an equivalent business model). The screen hinge is shattered and it's being used as separate LCD / keyboard parts (blue-takked to the wall and the worktop appropriately). And it *still* laughs at 99% of the games on my Steam account after all that time. And that's a laptop, which can't really be upgraded at all (about the only thing I could do to it is increase the RAM but it's on a 32-bit OS and already at 4Gb, or change the HDD, but that's really not a bottleneck in anything I do on it).

    Gone are the days where you have to have the latest bus that nobody else has got, with a massively overpowered card that churns through power, whirrs like mad, and sets the motherboard on fire, and some huge CPU and memory that's unheard of in anything else but video-editing, and some stupidly over-powered PSU to run it all, just to play a 3D game. Hell, a half-decent laptop laughs at anything for at least 3-4 years so long as you're not hoping for 120fps in stereo 3D at the highest resolution supported on the HDMI out, on full detail while encoding Blu-Ray's in the background.

    And, to be honest, in all my time, I've never had a laptop that didn't break BEFORE it became obsolete (usu

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