Valve 'Steam Box' Gaming Console

There are other companies doing digital distribution now along with Valve, so I don't think they will be 1st to the market. It will be then and others launching roughly in the same time frame.

But they'll be the first to market with a gaming platform that utilizes "three screens and a cloud" companies like Microsoft (Windows, Xbox, Windows Mobile/Phone, plus Live services), Google (Google.com, Google TV, Android, plus GApps), and Apple(OSX, Apple TV, iOS, pus iCloud) have been trying to achieve for the past 5 years.

At the very least they'll be able to leverage their dominance in PC gaming when they launch alongside others and out muscle others. There's also the fact they focus on a single aspect that may help them in their goals.

Granted, Microsoft has a much bigger ecosystem to incorporate, but the point remains they have yet to succeed with this goal.
 
I'm still hoping for an OnLive type local service - ie. stream games from you powerful desktop to a lower powered (cheaper) machine hooked up to your tv in the living room.
 
I'm still hoping for an OnLive type local service - ie. stream games from you powerful desktop to a lower powered (cheaper) machine hooked up to your tv in the living room.

Ive been thinking a lot about that. Like not a totally online service. Some content could be cached locally so you don't have to be online all the time. Maybe only higher quality content would be online. so 720p resolution files are cached locally but lets say you want 1080p and AA AF. The game would unlock that stream as apposed to accessing local content. The truth is though if they just switch to standard x86 platform I see no reason why they couldn't run some beefier hardware inexpensively.

I don't see Valve actually doing it. I think they just made a threat to the gaming industry about a unifed platform. Instead of wii online and PS online and xbox live they need to unite under one umbrella preferably steam(in Gabes thinking.). I think Gabe is basically saying "get it together or we'll do it for you"
 
I honestly can't believe some people can't see the potential of something like this. I mean, I suppose that's why they're where they are and Valve is where it is. It won't be a "valve certified PC", I mean seriously, you think valve is going to waste they're time to put what is really a gaming version of the windows sticker on PCs? No. It won't be any type of onlive streaming, period.

Here is what I see it being.

It will run windows 7 embedded.

It will be a standardized set of hardware that will get replaced every ~3-4 years. Not upgradeable. Any OEM can build a box using the hardware, but it must conform to the standard and use the official steam software/windows embedded

It will have media capabilities, and I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't partner with amazon for TV shows and movies, and of course it will have netflix and hulu, HBOGO apps, etc.

It will have a store that goes way beyond the current steam platform. Games, movies, TV shows, music, and finally apps.

Drivers, updates, etc. will be rolled out automatically without user intervention, basically making it idiot proof. 3rd part app updates might be different however.

It will support KB/M, but the controller will be the primary focus imo. One will come in the box and any current steam game that does not support it will not get "steam box certified". So it will be playable but sort of like a "you're on your own" type of thing as far as controls go.

If it becomes really successful, I could see them transitioning to a full on console and ditching windows. At this point they'd have to provide a way to play the games that require windows. Include windows up to a certain point and just have the game, when selected, boot into a windows environment and return to the non-windows environment when it closes. After that grace period of maybe one 3 year generation, stop including windows altogether, but sell it as an optional "legacy" upgrade that will allow you to play older games.


Valve has built the largest DD platform in the world, they basically single handedly brought DD into a viable existence. They aren't stupid. People said steam would fail, and look where we are now. Some people just can't see the big picture (pun intended), those people said steam would fail, and those same people think Valve is going to put out a box running windows 7 premium with a sticker that says certified. Like I said, that's why you're where you are and Valve is where it is at. When you start and cultivate a billion dollar company and bring a new paradigm to gaming, maybe, MAYBE I'll give even the slightest bit of shit what you have to say.

-edit-

one more thing I thought of that could be good. Have the box ask you what your preferences are, for example 1080p30fps, 1080p60fps, etc. etc. Then let the box, which has been tested to see which graphical settings allow for the aforementioned standards, set the graphic options. No guessing, and you get your preference. If you enjoy all the graphical bells and whistles, you can do 720p, if you prefer image quality, you can go 1080p. If you like 60fps over more graphics, no problem.
 
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Would there be as much love for this if say EA, UBisoft, iD or another company decided to do this?
 
Would there be as much love for this if say EA, UBisoft, iD or another company decided to do this?

Probably not.


Speaking just for myself:

Love isn't the operative word here. I'm a physical media guy. That's my bias. I use Steam and to much lesser extent Origin only when the price is right and a few other variables.

I am the last person on the planet that wants to suck off the Internet's tit for everything whether they call it The Cloud or something else.

I'm also realistic, though, and another 5-10 years...who knows? That being said, if Valve is going to try to turn Steam into "gaming's Android" I still that's potentially a smart move regardless of anything else.

That's all I've been saying here in this thread.
 
The hardware specs sound like it's not going to be cheap.
 
Kudos to Valve. I've been wondering for a while if Valve would make a play in the console space. It just seems like a natural progression given what they've built in the way of Steam over the last 8 or so years.

I hope we hear more on this soon!
 
I kinda like the idea but I'm not sure that there's a large enough market for it. As far as I understand it, its pretty much a way for people to get into PC gaming without all the complexity. They could probably have recommended settings on all steam games for their steam box so that it would be almost exactly as convenient as a console, except with a wider range of inputs and probably significantly higher visual quality, even over the new consoles.

Sounds great, but who would buy it? Current PC gamers can typically deal with the extra complexity and there's a large amount of the console population that doesn't care much about better visuals and the option between controllers and mouse/kb. I'm sure if this thing could be used as a computer, plus it will have the ability to conveniently play steam games, the higher price over other consoles could be justified, but it would need a damned good marketing campaign to convert a lot of the current xbox/ps3 people.

With its very high specs compared to consoles, I don't see this thing being completely locked down as a console. If you can't replace a PC with this then that higher price tag is going to kill it.
 
Guess we can say goodbye to Valve being a PC-first developer...even though Valve hasn't been one for a while now.
 
I think it's getting closer to being able to say we won't see Mr. Freeman again in the way we want to.
 
If this is true, I don't see it as a console. I see it as a PC that you connect to your TV. Steam has a huge catalog and to release a 'console' that would not be compatible with that catalog would be foolish.

What I don't understand is why it would have 8GB of ram, because why would it need that much memory?
 
If this is true, I don't see it as a console. I see it as a PC that you connect to your TV. Steam has a huge catalog and to release a 'console' that would not be compatible with that catalog would be foolish.

What I don't understand is why it would have 8GB of ram, because why would it need that much memory?

That's exactly the genius behind it. Lure in the console centric people with a PC disguised as a console. Expectations of gamers across the board will be higher, which will put demand on higher quality games from developers and hardware manufacturers. Think of a multi-platform released game, if console players aren't messing with the PC, surely they will get it for the Steam box because games will run with the processing power of PC, but packaged as console. In the long run, this should lead gamers back to PC
 
Im guessing this is basically going to be a very cheap gaming pc that prefers you only use steam for your gaming needs.
 
Im guessing this is basically going to be a very cheap gaming pc that prefers you only use steam for your gaming needs.

no, not even close. That makes no sense, and it's not something any company would waste ANY time on.
 
no, not even close. That makes no sense, and it's not something any company would waste ANY time on.

So basically you're saying they'll make a PC that is less useful than a PC but will probably cost just as much as a PC? yay? :p
 
So basically you're saying they'll make a PC that is less useful than a PC but will probably cost just as much as a PC? yay? :p

They're not saying anything, it's nothing more than an unsourced rumor.
 
So basically you're saying they'll make a PC that is less useful than a PC but will probably cost just as much as a PC? yay? :p

logically they will eat some of the hardware cost, somehow. that's how consoles work, they sell the hardware at a loss but make up for it in licenses... which this doesn't have, which is the odd part.

Guess we can say goodbye to Valve being a PC-first developer...even though Valve hasn't been one for a while now.

what does this even mean

it literally is a PC.
 
logically they will eat some of the hardware cost, somehow. that's how consoles work, they sell the hardware at a loss but make up for it in licenses... which this doesn't have, which is the odd part.



what does this even mean

it literally is a PC.

If it's just their brand name slapped on hardware sold by other brands they would just take a royalty from each sale.
 
If it's just their brand name slapped on hardware sold by other brands they would just take a royalty from each sale.

The world is ending! Its a console ..no wait ..its a PC !!! No wait ..its a console!!! WAIT NO ITS A PC!!!.


Chill the fuck out people. :rolleyes:
 
This is completely pointless. Not only is it going to more than likely be overpriced for the hardware going into it, the hardware itself is still probably going to be sub-par compared to most gaming PC's. An integrated, streamlined Steam interface...why? Its not like Steam is hard to navigate on a normal PC. If you want a "Steam Box," then just go build yourself a HTPC for a fraction of the price and install Steam on there. It'll be cheaper, better performing and able to perform more tasks than just play games off of Steam.
 
This prototype doesn't look very upgradeable, which is unsurprising.
184_11549_AdSg3pbCEAAYHtu.jpg

Questions that come to mind:

- How much will it cost compared to a comparably-specced mini-ITX rig you can build yourself? I've tried speccing out a HTPC box from NewEgg parts, and the mobo especially is annoyingly expensive for the features offered.

- How much will they lock it down in the name of user-friendliness (read: noob-friendliness)? How much jailbreaking required to make it useful? Can you just blow away whatever pre-installed stuff they'll put on it and install W7 yourself.

---
This is the case used by the prototype btw.
0000189_480.jpeg


Dimensions (H x D x W): 56 x 225 x 200mm
Form Factor: mini-ITX M/B (170 x 170mm)
Drive Slots: 1x 3.5-inch HDD or 2x 2.5-inch HDD
Power Supply: 12V/5A Adapter and 120W DC board
Colours: Available in Silver and Black

$79.98

Silver is probably the last color that I would expect a Steam box to be...piano black, yes. Silver, hell no.
 
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This prototype doesn't look very upgradeable, which is unsurprising.
184_11549_AdSg3pbCEAAYHtu.jpg

Questions that come to mind:

- How much will it cost compared to a comparably-specced mini-ITX rig you can build yourself? I've tried speccing out a HTPC box from NewEgg parts, and the mobo especially is annoyingly expensive for the features offered.

- How much will they lock it down in the name of user-friendliness (read: noob-friendliness)? How much jailbreaking required to make it useful? Can you just blow away whatever pre-installed stuff they'll put on it and install W7 yourself.

so theyre going to fit an i7 and a gpu worth having an i7, along with adequate cooling for both, inside that tiny box? does not compute!
 
I updated my post with the specs of the case they used for the prototype. There are some additional ventilation holes in the side which are hard to see in the first pic. But still, I don't see much room for a higher end video card.
 
This is completely pointless. Not only is it going to more than likely be overpriced for the hardware going into it, the hardware itself is still probably going to be sub-par compared to most gaming PC's. An integrated, streamlined Steam interface...why? Its not like Steam is hard to navigate on a normal PC. If you want a "Steam Box," then just go build yourself a HTPC for a fraction of the price and install Steam on there. It'll be cheaper, better performing and able to perform more tasks than just play games off of Steam.

It's not for people like you or me. You simply don't get it.

so theyre going to fit an i7 and a gpu worth having an i7, along with adequate cooling for both, inside that tiny box? does not compute!

You mean like a laptop does? There are some pretty beefy laptops out there. Then again, not sure if they'd want to go the mobile graphics route.

If it's not upgradeable, I can't see how well it would work.


That's the only way it's going to work.
 
There are some pretty beefy laptops out there. Then again, not sure if they'd want to go the mobile graphics route.
Yes there are, and I have one for work with a NV Quadro in it that's perfectly capable of playing whatever modern games I have. But it's also stupidly expensive compared to a similarly appointed desktop computer. You need specially binned chips that are better able to run for extended periods at higher temps, and even then, I absolutely can not use this laptop as a laptop during any sort of gaming without literally roasting my thighs.

Something's got to give here:
- cost (binned LV chips?)
- size (mini-ITX is going to support what exactly in terms of cooling and/or components?)
- specs (cut down the specs to reduce power/heat?)
- noise (Delta screamers to move enough air to keep things cool)

The supposed specs seem...too ambitious?...for an affordable mini-ITX platform.
 
- How much will it cost compared to a comparably-specced mini-ITX rig you can build yourself? I've tried speccing out a HTPC box from NewEgg parts, and the mobo especially is annoyingly expensive for the features offered.

- How much will they lock it down in the name of user-friendliness (read: noob-friendliness)? How much jailbreaking required to make it useful? Can you just blow away whatever pre-installed stuff they'll put on it and install W7 yourself.

you took the time to dig up a worse source but failed to follow the links in op, why?

this alleged alienware X51 build is offering in a $700 240 watt base package:

- win7
- m-atx board
- i3
- geforce gt545
- 4gb ram
- 1tb hdd
- bdrom
- ethernet + 802.11 a/b/g/n

there is no "jailbreaking" involved if they go the htpc route, just oem vendor + valve endorsement, why is it people can only compare this to all the other fucked up device paradigms imaginable?
 
I find it hard to imagine this being a serious thing tbh, I don't see a clear purpose for it, or where it fits in the market that Valve sees a gap that's worth their time and effort (and ongoing support costs) to fill.

I really can't see it being much different to the Alienware X-51, or some other existing boutique box with a valve sticker on it, if it even exists.

It's certainly not going to be a "console" though, it can't be, because it'll have to run windows to be able to run *anything* that's on steam, and I don't see valve having done a deal with all the developers and publishers in the world to recode everything for a bespoke platform.

Maybe it's The Phantom! back from the dead!

I guess it could also be a cross-branded onlive terminal, but that would not be exciting.
 
This prototype doesn't look very upgradeable, which is unsurprising.
184_11549_AdSg3pbCEAAYHtu.jpg

Questions that come to mind:

- How much will it cost compared to a comparably-specced mini-ITX rig you can build yourself? I've tried speccing out a HTPC box from NewEgg parts, and the mobo especially is annoyingly expensive for the features offered.

- How much will they lock it down in the name of user-friendliness (read: noob-friendliness)? How much jailbreaking required to make it useful? Can you just blow away whatever pre-installed stuff they'll put on it and install W7 yourself.

---
This is the case used by the prototype btw.
0000189_480.jpeg


Dimensions (H x D x W): 56 x 225 x 200mm
Form Factor: mini-ITX M/B (170 x 170mm)
Drive Slots: 1x 3.5-inch HDD or 2x 2.5-inch HDD
Power Supply: 12V/5A Adapter and 120W DC board
Colours: Available in Silver and Black

$79.98

Silver is probably the last color that I would expect a Steam box to be...piano black, yes. Silver, hell no.

Damn... could they have made it any more UNATTRACTIVE?? I mean... wow. What an ugly box! I think I will save my 80 bucks and spend it on something more useful... like a cheap SSD or to go to an upgrade purchase on my CPU.

LOL @ Steam!!!


Ian
 
Damn... could they have made it any more UNATTRACTIVE?? I mean... wow. What an ugly box! I think I will save my 80 bucks and spend it on something more useful... like a cheap SSD or to go to an upgrade purchase on my CPU.

LOL @ Steam!!!


Ian

Why would you bother "signing" your name at the bottom of you post?
 
Damn... could they have made it any more UNATTRACTIVE?? I mean... wow. What an ugly box! I think I will save my 80 bucks and spend it on something more useful... like a cheap SSD or to go to an upgrade purchase on my CPU.

LOL @ Steam!!!


Ian
Calm down chief. A 'prototype' is not designed for aesthetics. The main concern is getting a working model. After the proof of concept is delivered and functional, then they worry about things like packaging it, so people like you buy it just because of how it looks.
 
I think the general idea could work if they stick with a set of well defined hardware and don't allow for a lot of customization. For example, "Steam Box 1" would all have a certain hardware minimum and maximum. Game companies would have a known hardware target, and could easily verify their game plays perfectly on on Steam Box 1 setups. Over time, new Steam Box hardware specs would come out, and we could end up with something like "Compatible with Steam Box 1, recommended Steam Box 2 or newer". This would greatly simplify game development if it became a popular thing. Also with a smaller range of target hardware for each box version, prices could go down.

For all the people wanting to customize everything and replace hardware on a Steam Box... We already have that, its called a computer.
 
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