Valve and Xi3 show off "Piston" Steam Box prototype at CES

By Jos ยท 51 replies
Jan 8, 2013
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  1. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,352   +293

    I feel the same on this one. It's why I think the smartest move for Valve would be to spec out the Steam Box and leave it to 3rd party manufacturers to build them - just like Google and Android phones or Google TV. They can partner up and make a Valve branded system, but they would honestly be better off letting the hardware manufacturers do what they do best, and concentrating on the Steam platform and enhancements or exclusives that will draw people to the concept.

    I think the real problem will be perception and adoption for something like a Steam Box. There is a major conceptual difference between true consoles (which have hardware locked in and then maintain those specs for very long life cycles) and a PC-centric system (which is in a constant state of upgrade & flux). Xbox 360 games today will run on a 360 console purchased in 2005, but the same can't be said for all new PC games running on 2005 era PCs. And, while there is a huge number of existing Steam users to draw from, convincing those users to lock into a standardized hardware set could be a steep uphill climb for Valve. PC gamers are used to staying on the front edge of tech, and lording the performance superiority over the consoles. Not sure how the dynamic will work out if a Steam Box becomes just another console...
  2. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    This seems pretty cool, but I'll reserve my judgment, at least towards gaming since the price/performance ratio especially on the higher end models could be a problem. But for non-gaming uses, this could be great.

    Microsoft and Sony usually sell their consoles at a loss in the beginning, they then recoup the cost down the road by charging more for games (e.g. console tax) and refining the production process as parts get cheaper. Nintendo seems to be the only one that sells hardware at a profit from the get go, but they make sacrifices elsewhere. Seeing as how Valve is quite successful with their service, it wouldn't surprise me if they did sell whatever hardware they finally settle on for a loss, similar to how Amazon is treating the Kindle to get consumers hooked on the service they provide. My biggest concern for Valve or any 3rd party manufacturer would be overcoming the perception of a closed standardized system. As Vrmithrax points out, that's what makes desktops so special, it'll be interesting to see how they tackle this issue.
    Vrmithrax likes this.

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