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Valve's Steam Box game system to begin testing in 3-4 months

By Rick
Mar 6, 2013
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  1. Valve CEO Gabe Newell told the BBC its upcoming Steam Box gaming system will be ready for testing within "three to four months". The Steam Box is Valve's answer to game consoles, with which it hopes to offer a "dumbed...

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  2. Upio

    Upio Newcomer, in training

    It isn't hard to measure how aroused I am
  3. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,457   +620

    Why? I honestly don't get it.

    Hardcore Steam users have no need for a Steam Box. It'll just be a certain PC that looks nice and costs more than one you'd build yourself. If people want a console, they'd buy one. Also, IT-savvy people won't be buying this with 90% certainty, because they can build it themselves.

    But, Steam Box is still a good idea to expand the market.
  4. veLa

    veLa TechSpot Booster Posts: 505   +81

    Exactly how I see it as well. I play all of my games on my gaming rig so I would never even be interested in buying or using one of these.
  5. RzmmDX

    RzmmDX TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 179   +25

    Screw the gaming aspect. A box that size would make the perfect HTPC. All I need is to buy a blu-ray reader. Albeit, way more expensive and overpowered...
  6. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,457   +620

    A HTPC that size would also make a perfect HTPC. I don't see your point?

    It's not like a console with proprietary hardware/software.
  7. Ravey

    Ravey Newcomer, in training Posts: 20

    I always feel Hardcore gamers miss the big picture (excuse the pun) here when it comes to creating a console. On the whole bring steam into the living will only improve the gaming experiance for everyone including hardcore gamers.

    Right now the steam platform is limited to PC normally in your bedroom or study with a nice sized monitor and possibly just surround sound headphones.

    Now bring it to the living room. If you are lucky you will have a 42" screen or larger TV with a decent surround sound system and a handy little steam box that can play music, movies and games for the right price. and all you need to do is plug it in just like any other console. With the added bonus of being able to upgrade the hardware which will be unlikely with your next gen consoles.

    Then you just have to consider the game base. when the PS4 is released, how many games do you think will be available? maybe around 20, 1 or 2 per genre - non of them likely to be free-to-play (or free to pay if you like). Steam already has a game base of thousands of games.

    Now that steam is in the living room you will start to see other types of games appear too. Dancing Games for example or even exercise and fitness games that with the help of controller that can track your heart rate, will be a very popular buy.
  8. Critica1Hit

    Critica1Hit Newcomer, in training Posts: 27

    This is not aimed towards hardcore steam players... I imagine this is targeted to people who can't afford $2K for a full blown gaming rig and/or don't have the additional space to put a gaming rig.

    As a side note, if they are still figuring out heat and noise issues, then I feel the public, and especially possible competitors like Apple/Microsoft/Google, shouldn't be hearing about all this yet. But alas it's too late now...
  9. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,457   +620

    While true that the max target resolution is a measly 1920x1080p, this is the most widely used resolution by Steam users today - TS itself has an article on this. Valve has said there will be no subsidy, it's running Linux (bad drivers), and no proprietary hardware. This means cost will be the same as anyone else building a similar PC; e.g. the one you currently run.





    • 42inch screen is paltry, especially considering that at this distance a 24inch is 'larger'. Add to that the bad room setups most people use, and this is a losing point.
    • Surround sound is nice, but SteamBox would require a $100+ sound card to encode games into Dolby Digital Live for surround sound, in games which don't natively support Dolby (ergo, 95% of them). Add to this the Linux factor... good luck with that.
    • It won't be as nicely plug n play as consoles. Certain TV's don't scale HDMI from PC as 1:1, leading to some serious picture issues.
    • Upgradeable? Sure, which just proves that it won't be using proprietary hardware and just standard off-the-shelf items.


    I still think SteamBox will be a very cheap and very poor performing desktop PC for use with controller games, to expand Valve's market. It can only be a win for Valve and Steam users IMO. But I strongly disagree with anyone suggesting it will be a viable gaming box for PC gamers.


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