Who Will Buy A $500 Steam Machine?

CommanderFrank

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Steam is getting ready to show off its entry into the console gaming market to compete with the Xbox One and PS4 at CES in Las Vegas this coming January, but who will make up the market for the $500 Steam Machine?
 
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sonsonate

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I got a friend who would definitely want this. He's primarily a laptop user, but wants a bit more power in a console-sized box, but he doesn't want a console. He would be able to take this fairly small box with him on his trips.
 

Void

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Already have one. Install steam and connect to T.V. and put Steam client in big picture mode. No need for another machine or OS.
 

Json23

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I know a lot of people who are scared of PC gaming but want to play on higher settings than current consoles allow, the crazy amount of Indie games on Steam, or play PC exclusive games in an environment that takes the scary part of PC gaming out of the equation. (driver updates, firmware/bios updates, game installs/updates..)

If this "console" eliminates all those scary things and makes them automated like the consoles do and add that to a new gamepad designed from the ground up I have every single console only person I know except for 2 that wants a steambox.

Seeing as how people routinely line up and pay $400-$500 for a new Iphone, Samsung, or Windows phone every year I don't think this box is over priced given the hardware that comes under the hood.

I am hoping this catches on and gives the other three consoles a challenge and helps break down the PC/console barrier.
 

temujin987

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the question is actually: who would buy a 400 dollar xbone that is still ancient technology and comes with a kinect that noone needs or wants. compared to that, the steambox seems like a good deal to me, but it might lack the coolness of a cowadooty branded xbone or ps4. and those who are into pc gaming will already have a decent rig. so, unless they put half-life 3 exclusively on it, it will have a hard time to be competitive at that price if marketed to people who are ok with upscaled graphics at 30 fps because, as michael pachter put it, "if it looks like 1080p, but it isn't... who cares? it looks like 1080p".
 

Slade

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I think this is a nice option for a person who wants a high end pc but likes to "console" game it. I mean, a good gaming PC from scratch (monitor + peripherals) is still a $1k investment.
 

Hornet

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I've spend more than $500 on my current system, and it's huge, noisy and dumps a lot of heat.

If the performance is right, and it could help solve these problems I am having, I might consider getting it next year as a replacement for my current system
 

a104375

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Even at $500 it seems too much, this past summer I built a Core 2 Quad system for $180 with probably $300 worth of parts, (I got some stuff from a friend for free). And I'm able to play most games I want on it, granted I'm playing a bunch on low settings because my power supply is a bit undersized for the Radeon HD 4850 x2.

Also I don't play very many new and graphic intensive games.
 

goodcooper

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they also fail to mention in that article that most of these games don't run on linux do they...

they make it sound like the entirety of Steam's library will be playable on the steam box? is that true?
 

MaddBomber83

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the question is actually: who would buy a 400 dollar xbone that is still ancient technology and comes with a kinect that noone needs or wants. compared to that, the steambox seems like a good deal to me, but it might lack the coolness of a cowadooty branded xbone or ps4. and those who are into pc gaming will already have a decent rig. so, unless they put half-life 3 exclusively on it, it will have a hard time to be competitive at that price if marketed to people who are ok with upscaled graphics at 30 fps because, as michael pachter put it, "if it looks like 1080p, but it isn't... who cares? it looks like 1080p".

My kids use the crap out of the Kinect.

If they get the manufacturing and cost of components down right, it may end up being a better option to buy the Steam Box over a new PC. It really comes down to price of hardware combined in the box vs costs of the separate components.

Also, how capable would the SteamOS be? Since its just a flavor of Linux; you'll likely be able to use it as a proper PC.

I would not upgrade our current PCs to this, but it may be an option for our next hardware refresh.
 

Koolthulu

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I know a lot of people who are scared of PC gaming but want to play on higher settings than current consoles allow, the crazy amount of Indie games on Steam, or play PC exclusive games in an environment that takes the scary part of PC gaming out of the equation. (driver updates, firmware/bios updates, game installs/updates..)

Driver updates are pretty much automated now. Firmware really shouldn't be messed with unless you are having hardware problems. And you have to install games on consoles too. So I'm not really sure why anyone would be scared of PC gaming. I actually find it more of a hassle to deal with PS3 updates/installs than PC.

I think this is one of the few Forbes tech articles I've read that actually made some sense. I hope it does good, but I just don't see it being more than a very small niche machine. I'd buy a controller if it is cheap enough, and I'll give SteamOS a try, but I have no use for a Steam box.
 
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sonsonate

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they also fail to mention in that article that most of these games don't run on linux do they...

they make it sound like the entirety of Steam's library will be playable on the steam box? is that true?

Well, you can install whatever you want -- it's a PC.
 

Budzman

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I won't buy one, don't need.

The average Joe will buy xbone/ps4 because they are big brand names.

The only way this could maybe sell is if it was priced $299-$349 and then maybe people would try something new and different.

Just being realistic.
 

jmilcher

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I have morw than that just in one monitor. Passing on the steam box. Hardcore pc users with decent boxes will be just fine.
 
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sonsonate

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Even at $500 it seems too much, this past summer I built a Core 2 Quad system for $180 with probably $300 worth of parts, (I got some stuff from a friend for free). And I'm able to play most games I want on it, granted I'm playing a bunch on low settings because my power supply is a bit undersized for the Radeon HD 4850 x2.

Also I don't play very many new and graphic intensive games.

Okay, I can't seem to edit my post to avoid double posting.

You spent $180 on a variety of parts that likely have no warranty (hand-me-downs) on a system that's possibly unstable and power hungry and you can only play on Low. That's not great at all.

With the Steambox you're getting fairly low markup it seems, off-the-shelf parts, less power hungry, decent video card -- better than a 7870 at $179 and probably a warranty and support from one company.

I will admit that it is niche, but the value is there for those that don't want a console, but don't want to deal with building a PC or having to find all the right parts to fit into a (very small) box. If you need an example of that, look at the M1 thread. "What will fit?", is a constant question in there.

Almost everyone here will claim they can build a better box for less, but is that really true? Also, why wouldn't you all want more folks on PC? It would be better for us gamers since there would be a better reason for more software support.
 

carlbme

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I probably would, it'd be my second console. The 360 isn't used much anymore and my family plays a good amount of PC games. We have 4 PCs, one for each family member, each with our own Steam accounts. So this way we could still get the PC gaming AND console gaming when we don't feel like sitting at our desks (some games on Steam play better with a console controller anyway).

With the fact that it's a regular PC and could easily be used to stream movies and tv shows without having to worry about any transcoding is a big plus as well.
 

w4ffles

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How much will the Steam controller cost? They've gotta sell it separately or else people won't have more than one for multiplayer.
 

CaffeineMan

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How much will the Steam controller cost? They've gotta sell it separately or else people won't have more than one for multiplayer.

And there you have it. You can pull my keyboard from cold dead hands. WASD
 

funkydmunky

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the question is actually: who would buy a 400 dollar xbone that is still ancient technology and comes with a kinect that noone needs or wants. compared to that, the steambox seems like a good deal to me

First, isn't an XBone the same price as this SteamBox?
Secondly, what is it about the XBone, INCLUDING the new kinect, that makes you believe that in any way ancient tech compared to this SteamBox?
 

Ripskin

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I don't really need a Steam box, but I am interested in the controller for some games work well / are fun with one.
 

Ruoh

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I'll likely pay more then that to have a compact, quiet, yet powerful gaming system for Steam.
 

YARDofSTUF

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If it turns out as good as it could be, it would be a great system to recommend to friends with kids looking to have a gaming PC, that won't cost them a lot of money, or a lot of my time.
 

funkydmunky

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Yes I'm sure there will be hacks and mods galore. But its out of box experience is pure console.
 

sir-gold

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Seeing as how people routinely line up and pay $400-$500 for a new Iphone, Samsung, or Windows phone every year I don't think this box is over priced given the hardware that comes under the hood.

The majority of those people aren't actually paying $400-500 upfront for those phones, they pay $0-100 up front and finance the rest through the cell contract.

If steam can work out a similar low-barrier payment plan they might have a better chance of breaking into the market
 

dyzophoria

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First, isn't an XBone the same price as this SteamBox?
Secondly, what is it about the XBone, INCLUDING the new kinect, that makes you believe that in any way ancient tech compared to this SteamBox?

unlike before, games are about graphics now.. gameplay is so yesterday :rolleyes:
 

CaffeineMan

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Ur_Mom

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Depends on the hardware. I can build a $1500 Steam machine that can play everything at full 1080p (for most hi-def TV's), but I can also build a $500 Steam machine that will play a lot of stuff, but either not at full res or with ultra detail.

I like my PC, and I like consoles, but if I can play the same on my PC, I'll do it there. If there are Steam Box exclusive games, I'll definitely look into it. But, why buy an inferior machine when I can have the exact same thing on my desk? It seems like it's a lower powered PC running Steam. I have a higher powered PC running Steam. I'm good.

Not saying it's a bad product, I just wouldn't be a target consumer for this device.
 

rudy

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If they can do it for $500 I would think that a market exists. Ironically the Xbone and PS4 in their lust for profit may have made one of the biggest mistakes ever, at the worst time. If valve had produced a steam box in previous generations they would be up against subsidized devices and their specs would look low if they wanted to hit those price points. But thanks to the Xbone and PS4 shipping with mediocre graphics and pricing above BOM they will not be so hard to compete with. Will be kinda funny if valve does everything MS was going to do with the Xbone on steam machines. For valve it will end up being a big plus but for MS was caused them to lose to Sony.
 

Kitebasher

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From my view steam machines are going to be like other prebuilt machines. People who enjoy getting into the guts of the machine are most likely going to just build their own, while those who don't want the hassle are going to go with the steam machine. I have to say that I personally take pleasure in telling people to call their vendor because I don't want to void their warranty, and as such encourage them to purchase an OEM machine so that I don't have to support them.

There is a definitive group out there that would willingly purchase these machines, and all Valve is doing is looking at consoles and saying "See, we can do that too".
 

Exavior

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I know a lot of people who are scared of PC gaming but want to play on higher settings than current consoles allow, the crazy amount of Indie games on Steam, or play PC exclusive games in an environment that takes the scary part of PC gaming out of the equation. (driver updates, firmware/bios updates, game installs/updates..)

If this "console" eliminates all those scary things and makes them automated like the consoles do and add that to a new gamepad designed from the ground up I have every single console only person I know except for 2 that wants a steambox.

Seeing as how people routinely line up and pay $400-$500 for a new Iphone, Samsung, or Windows phone every year I don't think this box is over priced given the hardware that comes under the hood.

I am hoping this catches on and gives the other three consoles a challenge and helps break down the PC/console barrier.

at $500 I wouldn't expect anything better graphics wise than you get on the xbox one or PS4 consoles. Not only that but also don't expect to play many games period with this steam box for your friends. First they would either need to install windows and turn it into a normal computer which means all their old fears come back. Or they have to have a second computer to actually run the games and the steam box just acts as a remote session of their other computer for playing games. Which I can only imagine the lag you get for a FPS game. This system runs Linux so would only be able to play natively any games that have been released to run on Linux. anything beyond that requires extra work for the owner.


the question is actually: who would buy a 400 dollar xbone that is still ancient technology and comes with a kinect that noone needs or wants. compared to that, the steambox seems like a good deal to me, but it might lack the coolness of a cowadooty branded xbone or ps4. and those who are into pc gaming will already have a decent rig. so, unless they put half-life 3 exclusively on it, it will have a hard time to be competitive at that price if marketed to people who are ok with upscaled graphics at 30 fps because, as michael pachter put it, "if it looks like 1080p, but it isn't... who cares? it looks like 1080p".

Being a fan of both console and pc gaming, I have to say that originally I was with you about the Kinect. Thought it was something that was pointless and I wouldn't ever make use of. Now owning a Xbox One, I actually find it to be a nice feature. I can walk in the door, just say Xbox on, watch TNT or whatever and have it turn to the station for me and start watching a show without having to go grab remotes and turn it on. I have made use of it more that I thought I would before getting one. That said, consoles can do more with less so even without the greatest specs they can still create decent looking graphics. There are some things that stick out as being horrible on the consoles (fallout New Vegas for example) but even with the Xbox 360 and PS3 you still had many games that looked just fine. Looking at the graphics on the Xbox one for the games I have so far I haven't noticed anything that jumps out as being extremely horrible about them. I pick my platform based on how I want to play the game and what I am ok with. My console is faster to load and can be fully controlled by a controller (or now voice), my pc I have to boot up, log in, use a keyboard and mouse to do some stuff, can use a controller then for other stuff once I get it to a certain point... when gaming from a couch some things are just easier. that said I use both the same as I enjoy playing games, not my epenis of how high I can make my settings while never actually being able to play a game.

Well, you can install whatever you want -- it's a PC.

The steambox is a pc running its own version of Linux. you can install windows or another OS on it and make it do what you want though which is correct.
 
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