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E3 Portables (Games) Games Hardware

SteamBoy Machine Team Promises a Portable Console for Valve's Steam Games 75

Posted by timothy
from the render-judgement dept.
According to an article at The Escapist, a group of hardware developers is working on a portable version of the long-rumored SteamBox console, dubbed the SteamBoy. (Video tease.) This portable version wouldn't be as powerful as some other Steam-centric rigs, but a representative of this group says "it will be possible to play the majority of current games in Steam." While the exact hardware itself is still under wraps, the SteamBoy design should feature a Quad-Core CPU, 4GB RAM, a 32GB built-in memory card, and a 5" 16:9 touchscreen. ... The pictured SteamBoy looks like a combination of the Steam Controller and the PlayStation Vita, with two touchpads, 8 action buttons, 4 triggers, and two additional buttons to the rear. While that should certainly be as functional as a Steam Machine, we still aren't aware what the system specs will be.
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SteamBoy Machine Team Promises a Portable Console for Valve's Steam Games

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    So long as Valve has the ability to take away my entire Steam collection, with no warning or reason given whatsoever, I think I'll pass on anything Steam related. Having seen a friend deal with VALVe's legendary customer service before, I can't understand why people keep giving them money.

    • Re:That's nice. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Molt (116343) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @10:05AM (#47240183)
      Been using Steam since shortly after HL2 was released, and the few minor problems I've had with it have been sorted out quickly. Sorry your friend's had problems but personally it's my preferred way to buy games now.
      • I've been using it about that long with zero problems at all. Besides, I'm a bit suspicious of AC's anecdotal evidence with all the Microsoft shilling that's been going around.

      • "Friend had problems" is code for "friend was hacking and is bitter that he got caught".

        Good riddance to toxic players.

  • by Tinfoil (109794) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @09:51AM (#47240143) Homepage Journal

    Really cool concept but they are intending to make portable a platform that is made with PC levels of cheap and easy to expand storage in mind. Many games will be fine with 32GB, but some (I'm looking at you, Wolf New Order and your 40+GB download) would be no go. Unless they are able to build it in such a way that games could be installed on memory cards that are easily swapped. That would be interesting.

    • No way it will be able to run something like the new Wolf 3D. You will be able to play it, but with the SteamBoy acting like a Wii U Gamepad. A regular PC will play the role of the Wii U console proper (incidentally, Wolfenstein will be able to run if the PC runs Windows, but if the PC runs linux or SteamOS it will run the subset of games available for linux)

      Then, what is this thing and what can it play on its own? I can think of
      - an Intel Atom based PC, maybe AMD Mullins. Can run old and non demanding stuf

      • by Luckyo (1726890)

        I suspect it will be one of the more powerful AMD APUs under the hood. It's about the only way today to have a significant graphical power without having a discrete card.

        • The thermal design gets really tricky...
        • I suspect it will be one of the more powerful AMD APUs under the hood. It's about the only way today to have a significant graphical power without having a discrete card.

          I think that is wishful thinking for someone who really is rooting for the Red team

          At present, the consensus is that AMD GL drivers are severely deficient in performance, capability, and stability (see posting about GL vendors provided by Valve engineering manager). Now this company could work with AMD to greatly improve their GL drivers.

          • by Luckyo (1726890)

            My desktop is 2500k/GTX 560Ti. Not exactly what you'd call "rooting for the red team".

            Fact is however, that when it comes to bang for a buck or just plain bang in one chip, there really are no alternatives for AMD. That's why console manufacturers went with it.

            You could put in a discreen nv card. But that would create a huge amount of problems in a portable environment, ranging from size to thermals.

            • by deppman (2649539)

              Fact is however, that when it comes to bang for a buck or just plain bang in one chip, there really are no alternatives for AMD. That's why console manufacturers went with it.

              Depends on if they require x86. The Tegras are full SoCs, with the K1 beating i3 parts on a number of compute benchmarks. It also performs similar to HD4400 graphics, with OGL4.4 support and a power draw <10W (<3W for most uses, ~0.6W idle) @ 2.3GHz. It looks to compete well against the Mullins chip.

              This of course would requir

              • by Luckyo (1726890)

                The potential answers to your question are "yes" "of course" and "how stupid are you to even have to ask?"

                Because really, gaming on ARM has little to nothing in common with gaming on x86. It's not just the technology - vast majority of the game games are completely different and aimed at completely different audiences with completely different monetization schemes.

                • by deppman (2649539)

                  The potential answers to your question are "yes" "of course" and "how stupid are you to even have to ask?"

                  There was no call for such a nasty response. I provided a nice post that I thought you might find useful, and you belittled my points like some arrogant prick. Does that brighten your day? Unfortunately, the future might just make a fool of you.

                  One would have to be pretty stupid to miss that ARM and x86 markets are converging. Servers are going ARM. x86 is going mobile.

                  One would have to be pretty

                  • by Luckyo (1726890)

                    Desktop quality from 10 years ago. Sure, at low detail levels. Desktop quality from today?

                    Yeah, how about "no".

                    Not going into "ARM on servers" debacle. We've seen enough bankruptcies to show where imagining that ARM is as easy to get on servers as x86 leads to.

                    And the fact that people gaming on desktop are simply a completely different crowd with completely different needs than those gaming on desktops or consoles is well understood by the industry. That's why you get crappy shovelware by the thousands on A

                    • by deppman (2649539)

                      Remember how I said the future might make a fool of you? Seems Google thinks that desktop quaility gaming has come to mobile. [firstpost.com] And the demo certainly looks impressive. Probably not on QC chips in the near future, but certainly on the Nvidia K1 and Erista. Remember, both of these are (or will be) >= Intel HD4400 Graphics. That is more power than most people on Steam have.

                    • by Luckyo (1726890)

                      Several problems.

                      1. Most people running hd4000 series run cheapo laptops with 768p resolution. Planned phones (not yet out) have about the same GPU power as that, powering a much bigger screen. Oops, intel won by default, and most people playing actual core games run Nvidia or Ati discreet cards. Oops again.

                      2. Google thought that google glass is going to be enormous success among other things. Microsoft thought that its games for windows live will sink Steam. Apple thought that they had smartphone market co

      • an Android handheld : that would be self-defeating!

        NVIDIA didn't seem to think so when it launched the Shield. Nor did JXD think so when it launched a bunch of pocket-size Android tablets with gaming buttons. Nor did MOGA think so when it released a line of clip-on Bluetooth controllers. I'd like to see why you think an Android-powered device to play Android games with button input and PC games streamed from a PC on the LAN is so "self-defeating", other than perhaps Android's reputation for excessive audio latency.

        • by Gibgezr (2025238)

          NVIDIA didn't seem to think so when it launched the Shield.

          And look where that landed them; a product no one buys.
          I *do* think a Steam handheld device could work, but I am very very leery of the touchpads. I understand that the touchpads are there so that we can play games that need a mouse, but I suspect that the touchpads will be inferior when compared to either a mouse or a twinstick controller. Thumbsticks are damn near perfect for many things.

        • I mean that Android is a game distribution platform too, as such it would compete with Steam on that handheld. Plus it's not known for high quality, "serious" games.

          • by tepples (727027)

            I mean that Android is a game distribution platform too, as such it would compete with Steam on that handheld.

            Steam competes with GOG or other sideloading venues on all platforms where it operates.

            Plus it's not known for high quality, "serious" games.

            I can see two reasons why Android might not be known for "serious" games.

            One is lack of physical keys for application functions, which NV and MOGA have tried to fix. True, a touch screen substitutes well for a mouse, and it's good for anything turn-based, point-and-click, single-button, or shmups using Centipede-style trackball control. But not all game genres work with just a mouse (as opposed to a keyboard and mouse)

  • steamboy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ganjadude (952775) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @09:58AM (#47240159) Homepage
    Something tells me nintendo might have some words for them if they try and sell the device under that name.
    • by tepples (727027)
      For one thing, trademarks must remain in use in order to remain protected. Nintendo hasn't used the "Game Boy" mark since the end of 2008, when it discontinued the Game Boy Advance SP.
  • by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @09:58AM (#47240161)

    I'm guessing these guys never heard about Steamboy [wikipedia.org].

    Say hello to Toho and Sony for me.

    • Yet Nintendo never got in trouble for taking the "Game Boy" name from the songs "Have a Cigar" by Pink Floyd and "The Gambler" by Kenny Rogers. Exclusive rights in a trademark are specific to one field of use in one country unless they're famous enough to qualify for dilution protection, and I don't think Bandai's PlayStation 2 game adaptation of Steamboy was released outside Japan.
  • ...Steam Boy?! :D Really? STEAM BOY?
  • Personally I'd be far more interested in a memory card port so I could have as many saved games and downloads on them as I want. 32GB is a joke nowadays without an expansion option.

    As many have pointed out, it's already not enough to play a large number of modern games. Who the hell would want to buy a game device that's obsolete by design?

  • Valve have failed to deliver on just about every project they have worked on the past decade. Everything from Halflife to SteamOS/Steambox and now they are pushing their next Vapourware product. If it wasn't for their hugely successful marketplace flogging other peoples software this company would have gone bust years ago.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Nyder (754090)

      Valve have failed to deliver on just about every project they have worked on the past decade. Everything from Halflife to SteamOS/Steambox and now they are pushing their next Vapourware product. If it wasn't for their hugely successful marketplace flogging other peoples software this company would have gone bust years ago.

      Spoken like an idiot who knows nothing on the subject they are talking about.

    • While their fortune came from Counterstrike 1.x, a game they did not make (though the underlying game the mod it's based on is undoubtedly theirs!) Valve did go on having major successes, what with Left4Dead, TF2, DOTA 2. (and CS:Source, a worse CS 1.x but with better graphics, highly successful regardless of what my opinion on it is)
      Countless millions of players run those games, made to run on Intel graphics and laptops by the way.

      Now, people have been hyping themselves with Half-Life 3 for a decade and Va

  • Notice how there's no real information, no indication that Valve is involved (or rather indication than Valve is not involved) and the website is a stub and belongs to a random spanish guy.

    If you believe a bunch of nobody is developing an x86 handheld in a Steam controller, fine ; else me thinks it drives traffic and has no other particular function.

  • I think that the device is not meant for the AAA title. There are thousands of indie titles on steam that would run perfectly on such a device without the need for a PC to render stuff.

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