Valve and Xi3 announce Steam-based mini-PC

Re: Valve and Xi3 announce Steam-based mini-PC

Unread postby Makena » 9 Jan 13, 4:40 pm

Mekon wrote:And really, those people would be better off with next-gen consoles - arguably easier to use, probably cheaper (at least based on guesstimate Xi3 pricing), more brand recognition, etc.

I'm not sure how they are going to convince console users to buy under-specced Winboxen instead of a console which will do exactly the same thing in a more recognisable way.


This is the same thought I've reached, at this stage I don't see what Steambox can offer, that a dedicated console won't do better for an average "I don't care I just want to play games" user. (That said, some of the ideas Gabe/Valve have had in the few interviews and the like kicking around from CES, I'm still keen to see where it goes)

And just thinking out loud, In general, at least in my experience, console games will normally run pretty well on the hardware, but pc games can give two different people dramatically different experiences in playability, depending on the specs of their computers . If all steamboxes are different, then at what base level will "steambox ready" games be made for? Will it be a low enough level that the cheaper steam boxes can keep up? And if they're only made for that lower end, why bother with a high end pc if games are only made for the lowest common denominator? Does it just become another hardware spec that will become outdated and hold back high end development as you can argue 360/ps3 are doing now? Games for those will often only push a pc really hard because of steps taken/not taken in the porting process.

tl;dr Ha no. Read it if you want to read my rambling :P
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Re: Valve and Xi3 announce Steam-based mini-PC

Unread postby diamondd » 9 Jan 13, 6:38 pm

why can't anyone see how excellent this could be as a console-style gaming platform?

simple set up
support for keyboard and mouse + virtually ANY PC peripheral (like for example people's current xbox controllers...)
enormous catalogue of games on release, with endless titles to come
completely online store, no expensive physical formats
almost guaranteed to increase developer support for PC titles
increased user flexibility, e.g. potential to double as a fully-fledged media device

if they get the price right it could be huge IMO.
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Re: Valve and Xi3 announce Steam-based mini-PC

Unread postby Makena » 9 Jan 13, 6:44 pm

diamondd wrote:why can't anyone see how excellent this could be as a console-style gaming platform?

1. simple set up
2. support for keyboard and mouse + virtually ANY PC peripheral (like for example people's current xbox controllers...)
3. enormous catalogue of games on release, with endless titles to come
4. completely online store, no expensive physical formats
5. almost guaranteed to increase developer support for PC titles
6. increased user flexibility, e.g. potential to double as a fully-fledged media device

if they get the price right it could be huge IMO.


It's not that I can't see it, I just see negatives as well, I numbered your list to make it easier to give my quick thoughts on your points

1. Yes
2. Sure, but as you generally get a control pad with whatever console, you'd expect to get one with a steam box too if it's competing in that market place, and many people can happily use whatever control pad
3. Sure, but are they all going to be tested and run at high quality at 1080p so every game has a smooth experience? Or are some gonna run like arse, turning people off it as they'll think "Every game on my Xbox 360 ran well, why don't all these games?"
4. This is potentially good and bad, makes it much harder to avoid region prices if that's a concern, could also be a monopoly store front? ie if you can only get games off steam, you can't shop for a better price.
5. Maybe, depends on uptake, but I hope so
6. Except without addons it can't be a fully fledged media device for all current media formats, ie bluray

like I said though, I'm keen to see how it turns out.
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Re: Valve and Xi3 announce Steam-based mini-PC

Unread postby diamondd » 9 Jan 13, 7:05 pm

Makena wrote:It's not that I can't see it, I just see negatives as well, I numbered your list to make it easier to give my quick thoughts on your points

1. Yes
2. Sure, but as you generally get a control pad with whatever console, you'd expect to get one with a steam box too if it's competing in that market place, and many people can happily use whatever control pad
3. Sure, but are they all going to be tested and run at high quality at 1080p so every game has a smooth experience? Or are some gonna run like arse, turning people off it as they'll think "Every game on my Xbox 360 ran well, why don't all these games?"
4. This is potentially good and bad, makes it much harder to avoid region prices if that's a concern, could also be a monopoly store front? ie if you can only get games off steam, you can't shop for a better price.
5. Maybe, depends on uptake, but I hope so
6. Except without addons it can't be a fully fledged media device for all current media formats, ie bluray

like I said though, I'm keen to see how it turns out.

well I'll do numbers too :P

2. can't see the negative here? some games are much better with a control pad, e.g. super meat boy. It still gives you great flexibility because you don't need the overpriced "Microsoft Official headset" or the dodgy third party version that you can't use for anything else.
3. I think its safe to assume that they won't release a console that can't play games. Given the whole idea, there's no porting or anything to worry about, a steambox game is a PC game. Devs just need to make sure they scale their games properly, like Valve do very well (inb4 the source engine is old and gross).
4. its still a computer running steam, greenmangaming, dodgy russian serial keys, etc should still always be around.
5. even if it doesn't, I don't think it could "hurt" PC development so its a neutral point or better :P
6. true, but that's only a real concern here in australia IMO. bluray is nice in the home theatre, but with services like netflix and hulu overseas its not that big a deal (not to mention peoples *cough* "acquired" collections). Ultimately though, media requirements aren't really what its meant to be good at and would just be a bonus.
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Re: Valve and Xi3 announce Steam-based mini-PC

Unread postby Makena » 9 Jan 13, 7:27 pm

diamondd wrote:well I'll do numbers too :P

2. can't see the negative here? some games are much better with a control pad, e.g. super meat boy. It still gives you great flexibility because you don't need the overpriced "Microsoft Official headset" or the dodgy third party version that you can't use for anything else.
3. I think its safe to assume that they won't release a console that can't play games. Given the whole idea, there's no porting or anything to worry about, a steambox game is a PC game. Devs just need to make sure they scale their games properly, like Valve do very well (inb4 the source engine is old and gross).
4. its still a computer running steam, greenmangaming, dodgy russian serial keys, etc should still always be around.
5. even if it doesn't, I don't think it could "hurt" PC development so its a neutral point or better :P
6. true, but that's only a real concern here in australia IMO. bluray is nice in the home theatre, but with services like netflix and hulu overseas its not that big a deal (not to mention peoples *cough* "acquired" collections). Ultimately though, media requirements aren't really what its meant to be good at and would just be a bonus.


2. Not a negative, just an observation
3. yeah can play games, but will it be able to play all games? Or just a small list of "Steam box certified games"? If only a small list, doesn't have a back catalogue.
4. Will it be though? I mean it may be, but at the moment we don't know I guess (I hope you're right on this front though)
5. Yeah not all my points are negatives, just observations :)
6. yeah overseas with those services, woo, here, not so much.

I'll freely admit I'm having trouble viewing it from the point of view of someone without a gaming pc they're used to doing 95% of their gaming on, so I'm not the best judge lol
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Re: Valve and Xi3 announce Steam-based mini-PC

Unread postby diamondd » 9 Jan 13, 7:47 pm

Makena wrote:I'll freely admit I'm having trouble viewing it from the point of view of someone without a gaming pc they're used to doing 95% of their gaming on, so I'm not the best judge lol

yeah, I'm trying to free myself of that lol

you raise a good point with #3 though actually, I'd kind of forgotten that it will ship with Linux because obviously most of the steam library hasn't been brought to Linux yet. I've actually been using the open beta on my Laptop and about 20-30 of my games are available which is nice, and its obviously where they're looking to expand.

oh well, we'll have to wait and see anyway. At the moment its not something I can see myself rushing out to buy, but as far as what I think it can do for the PC gaming "landscape" its hard to see it having anything but a positive effect.
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Re: Valve and Xi3 announce Steam-based mini-PC

Unread postby Captplatypus » 10 Jan 13, 1:49 am

Makena wrote:3. yeah can play games, but will it be able to play all games? Or just a small list of "Steam box certified games"? If only a small list, doesn't have a back catalogue.


this is my biggest worry about it, consoles are great because developers know exactly what every consumer is using, they can get extra performance with out having to worry about a min spec requirment. Pc games dont have that luxury , its part of the reason consoles can kind of get away with older hardware.

i am still interested to see what they bring out though, and how it will sell outside the geek-type market who currentley know about it.
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Re: Valve and Xi3 announce Steam-based mini-PC

Unread postby Thrice » 10 Jan 13, 3:53 am

Even if it doesn't play the entire steam library it will still play more games than any other console at launch. You have to remember that.

They already have a bunch of games running on Linex right now, and are in the process of creating tools to make it easier for developers to make Linex versions. Other companies have already stated they are working on linex versions of their games (Blizzard and THQ for 2).

I think it has immense potential.
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Re: Valve and Xi3 announce Steam-based mini-PC

Unread postby Mekon » 10 Jan 13, 6:28 am

Thrice wrote:Even if it doesn't play the entire steam library it will still play more games than any other console at launch. You have to remember that.

More than any other console released with backwards compatibility? I'm not convinced.

Awesome. A "new" console with a whole catalog of old games and no launch titles - win! :P
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Re: Valve and Xi3 announce Steam-based mini-PC

Unread postby Thrice » 10 Jan 13, 7:51 am

Mekon wrote:
Thrice wrote:Even if it doesn't play the entire steam library it will still play more games than any other console at launch. You have to remember that.

More every other console released with backwards compatibility? I'm not convinced.

Awesome. A "new" console with a whole catalog of old games and no launch titles - win! :P


Who said it won't have launch titles? There are no details regarding that yet so it is just an assumption.

I'll happily migrate to a steambox over Sony or Microsoft. No more paying $80+ for games, mods on consoles, unrestricted updates without the red tape (hello unpatched TF2 on Ps3).

I welcome the steamy future of goodness.
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Re: Valve and Xi3 announce Steam-based mini-PC

Unread postby steve_rogers42 » 10 Jan 13, 12:19 pm

That back panel tells an interesting story of massive connected external storage and multi screen gaming. I'm surprised at a few things like esata and port location I hope the production model is a bit different.

For the price but... hmmm I wonder what it comes with, knowing valve a swag of support but still, a bit sceptical atm, will have to read more. Inbuilt wireless would be sick but.
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Re: Valve and Xi3 announce Steam-based mini-PC

Unread postby no-gun » 10 Jan 13, 12:48 pm

My main concern with such a "PC" is the GPU... unless you are playing indie games how powerful would it be? I mean the best laptop GPUs are still no match for our boxes...

At the end of the day i only see this as a sellable item to casual and non-"hardcore/competative" gamers; I mean playing Far Cry 3 with 30 fps on a screen bigger than me will just be painful.
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SteamBox: Thoughts and everything else

Unread postby steve_rogers42 » 14 Jan 13, 5:28 pm

So whilst i have managed to regain some phone quota and thus internets for the short time i have been pleasantly surprised to see Valve through Xi3 corp. has released the prototype 'steam box'.

The idea of a modular PC, and a pint sized one at that is pretty interesting but the limitations of such a device come to play when thinking over steam's game listings and the amount of pc power required to play modern games.

What makes things more interesting include the options for the mini dp, hdmi/dp port and the stack of e-sata and usb3.

What makes me think this is going to be an interesting endevour comes from a couple of different area's.

Xi3's previous systems stem from AMD builds, early December AMD released info on its up coming 8000 mobile gpu, which looks to have been unveiled at CES alongside the steambox See Deets.
So looking at the ports on the rear from the get-go made me think its an AMD based system, which fits with the low-profile wattage/performance and also, linux driver support for APU's from AMD. Granted nvidia has been supplying drivers to linux for a little while now and also has 384 core gpu's in its arsenal...


Anyone else been watching this development? Valve's statement runs along "let's build a thing that’s quiet and focuses on high performance and quiet and appropriate form factors." with this in mind and pricing, a wonder if it will beat out the traditional buy'n'build. I also like the fact they are going with linux base and windows as a user preferred option, and they are also looking at game pads... personally, it would be interesting to see peripheral manufacturers like logitec, asus and razer bring out prototypes...


thoughts?
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Re: SteamBox: Thoughts and everything else

Unread postby diamondd » 14 Jan 13, 5:41 pm

do we need a new thread? anyway, I documented a lot of my thoughts in the old thread :P

I for one am very excited about it, while I can't say for sure if it would meet my needs or fill a useful niche that would make me want to buy one, I can't see it having anything but a positive impact on PC gaming in general.

its the sort of thing that will make me hesitate upgrading or building a new PC until I see exactly what its all about. Its going to be very interesting to see what comes of it.
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Re: SteamBox: Thoughts and everything else

Unread postby steve_rogers42 » 14 Jan 13, 5:58 pm

joined in on this thread, for the common good Ta Chucky <3

Yea i think as a distributed gaming system for a house its a wonderful idea, but its going to be interesting to see how they manage to put it together... But i dont think it will totally remove the need for a desktop pc in the next 2-3 years. I can however see it going into competition in the console section, considering people who already have a massive backlog of steam games having it work straight from the get go, as opposed to the next ps/xbox gen and the always possibility of non-backward compatibility....

biometric controllers make me wet. Its been an idea of mine for the last few years that i think is absolutely awesome, and considering some of the developments in computability/shared gpu/cpu processing its gonna lead to some wicked times/ideas.

For those looking for a very VERY good read, have a click throughHERE for a CES insight with sir Gaben possibly one of the most interesting things i have read from the great and glorious Gaben. <3

Also for the doubters on the GPU/CPU/APU, if its running a AMD APU based on the 8000 series, things will be very impressive.
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