Valve announces Steam Machines to challenge games console market

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Valve announces Steam Machines to challenge games console market Empty Valve announces Steam Machines to challenge games console market

Post by profitius on Sat 28 Sep 2013, 2:15 pm

It's the news gamers have been waiting for, and few will be surprised that their suspicions have been confirmed. Computer game giant Valve has announced that a range of consoles, based around its Steam digital gaming platform, will be launched in 2014.

Described by the company as 'a powerful new category of living-room hardware', the Steam Machines will essentially be high-performance PCs with capabilities designed around gaming and other entertainment applications. Valve will not build the consoles itself, instead it is working with 'multiple partners', and there will be various models to choose from, all with different tech specs and price points (which are set to be revealed in more depth later). All the machines will run the SteamOS, a streamlined operating system announced by Valve on Monday.

Although the finished products will not be released until 2014, Valve has revealed that it is building 300 prototypes this year, and will distribute these free of charge to lucky members of its Steam Universe community group. The company explains who is eligible on its official site.


http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/sep/25/valve-announces-steam-machines

Great news. First they announced the Steam operating system, then steam machines and then the new revolutionary steam controller which is a combination of a normal analog controller and a mouse.


Basically Valve are trying to bring PC gaming to the living room so you have the option of sitting back on the couch and playing with a controller in front of your TV or you can play games the normal way on a PC.


The big advantage this will have over the xbox one and PS4 is flexibility. You can upgrade your PC/Steam machine whenever you want. Also the latest top end PCs are already more powerful than the new consoles. The consoles are supposed to last 10 years so by then PC's could be many times more powerful. The consoles are banking on cloud computing taking off (which might happen) but you'd have to be online to take advantage of that and xbox and PS4 will charge you for that too (probably a lot of money). It should be noted that when Ryse was shown in E3 it was running on a PC. They since had to compromise its looks for the xboxone release.


So overall this could turn out to be a cheaper and more flexible option than the xbox one and PS4. Its something I'll be following with interest.
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Post by profitius on Wed 16 Oct 2013, 3:26 pm

Steam Machines Destroy Xbox One, PS4 In Pricing And Specs


Steam Machines Destroy Xbox One, PS4 In Pricing And Specs

The prototype specifications for Valve's upcoming Steam Machines has gone live. Based on these specs some tech savvy individuals have gone ahead and put together a comparison chart so you can see how the hardware measures up, and it's obvious Valve's Steam Machines whip the crap out of their console competitors.

Sidequesting put together the comparison below, which measures the GPU, CPU, RAM storage and power supply.

Valve announces Steam Machines to challenge games console market _1381083176


Well will you look at that? Hm. Almost looks like a specification massacre by comparison.

Sidequesting further notes that they used prices from Amazon to determine the mid and high-range Steam Machine specs, however, one should note that if these are being planned to sell in mass supply the prices will significantly drop.

In fact, his $520 price range for the 660ti unit is way over the limit. If you look on PriceWatch.com you'll see that there's a 660ti available for only $200, where-as Amazon lists it at close to $220. You can also get a dual 8GB DDR3 1600 kit for $100 even, which would bring the total to $300 for the mid-ranged Steam Machine unit. Now even if you wanted to mix the current build with the high-end i7 4770, you can find one for as cheap as $200. Toss in a 1TB HDD for $50 and the power supply for another $50, and that would bring the total to about $600 for a near high-end unit. Switching the i7 4770 for the top of the line i3 CPU would knock the price down to $500.

If Valve was mass producing these off-the-shelf units they could get a huge discount on supplies and pump them out for at least $100 less than the $500 or $600 total. Nevertheless, even with a little shopping around, Sidequesting's price is definitely higher than what you could get if you put the parts together yourself, which would easily mean that Valve could sell the Steam Machines for far less than the SRP from an OEM.

The only thing that would boost the price up to exorbitant amounts is Nvidia's Titan GTX. Then again, there's no real way around that unless Valve decided to go with AMD's R9 290X, which would probably be the smarter thing to do considering that AMD has Mantle support and it would open the SteamOS up to support newer games that won't require DirectX or a Windows runtime environment.

All-in-all, the lower and mid-tier Steam Machines would run you around $455 for the low-tier and around $500 for the mid-tier. If you used that mixed-combo I listed above for a slightly higher CPU combination, you're looking at $600. Of course, if you're looking at a Titan you may as well add an extra $750 on to that for the high-end version.

By comparison, the CPU (even on the lower end of the scale) still outshines the Xbox One and PS4, and the GPU either lower or higher end completely stomps a mudhole in both the Xbox One and PS4, given that the APU's in the XB1 and PS4 are around the Radeon 7790 when it comes to GPU power. That's not to mention that the 16GB of RAM really does trump the 8GB in the home consoles.

In simple terms, for the same price of an Xbox One you could have a mean Steam Machine, and for a little more than a PS4 you could still have a mean Steam Machine. Regardless, you're getting way more in a Steam Machine than what you're getting from the next-gen devices from Sony and Microsoft.

http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Steam-Machines-Destroy-Xbox-One-PS4-Pricing-Specs-59648.html
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Post by profitius on Wed 16 Oct 2013, 3:30 pm

Steam Machine specs may have KO’ed Xbox One, PS4


Steam Machine specs may have KO’ed Xbox One, PS4

If Sony and Microsoft were previously not concerned with Valve breathing down their necks, they definitely will be now. Valve has released a set of specs that 300 prototype Steam Machines will be built on, and they are the most mouth-watering specs that all gamers alike should be very excited about.

If you thought that 8GB of RAM for the PS4 and Xbox One was impressive, we can tell you that high-end versions of the Steam Machines are going to have support for a monster 16GB of RAM. That will be combined with the top of the range NVIDIA Titan GPU, an Intel i7-4770 processor and wait for it – 1TB of storage space that isn’t just a hard drive, but rather a SSHD or Solid State Hybrid Drive that combines flash memory with hard drive into one storage medium.


It also goes without saying that these kind of monster specs would instantly blow the PS4 and Xbox One out of the water without breaking a sweat. The big issue for us though is obviously price. An NVIDIA Titan graphics setup currently costs in the region of $1000 alone, so we wonder how Valve are going to price the high-end Steam Machines in comparison with the $400-500 PS4 and Xbox One respectively.

http://www.product-reviews.net/2013/10/05/steam-machine-specs-may-have-koed-xbox-one-ps4/
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Post by B91212 on Wed 16 Oct 2013, 9:21 pm

Agree from a hardware standpoint it looks very promising. However for me personally I get a couple of hours at best each week to play games so I'm not sure it would be worth the $$ for the top spec models. Also I've built a couple of PC's in my student/single days and don't particularly want to get into all that again.

I really can see the advantages of this system but wonder if most of the initial customers will be the high end spec PC gamers basically moving from their bedroom to their living rooms (if their parents let them Wink) , with the uneducated masses like me sticking with the simple plug and play consoles of Microsoft & Sony until we see if it really takes off. It's an interesting development for sure.

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Post by profitius on Wed 16 Oct 2013, 10:59 pm

I think games will be the deciding factor. With the lowest spec model said to be 2 or 3 times more powerful than Xbone or PS4 already, the steam machines will start to make consoles look bad. It won't happen straight away but in 2 years and after. Hardware prices always fall over time. Also the cheaper games and free internet connections will be a big help.


Also a massive thing here is internet speeds. Microsoft and sony plan to boost performances in the future by getting their own servers to help out (or boost) the console's performances. For that you'd probably need very high speed connections and need to be online.


Personally I think the new consoles should have been much more powerful than what they are and should have been released a year ago at the latest.
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