Steam Machine Maker Says Other Companies "Just Don't Get It"

Dire Trout

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Mr C said:
Dire Trout said:
The Wykydtron said:
I just don't see the clear market niche where Steam Machine is going to fill.
Well, there's me. I'm the market niche they need to fill. I'm a lifelong console guy who'd like to play more PC games, but I can't justify replacing my perfectly-good current PC because it does everything else I need it to. Besides, I don't have the slightest clue how to build computers, and I don't have the time, money or interest required to learn how. I just want to buy a thing and play games on it. So I would totally get this...
...if it was competitively priced.

Those are the only 5 words I'd add to your post. This product needs to be priced to compete with consoles. Otherwise it's pointless for PC folk and unattractive to console players. Unless they have some uber secret they are waiting to tell us, which seems highly unlikely.
Well, the iBuyPower one is $500. So, the same price as an Xbone, but more powerful (according to my one friend who knows stuff about computers, anyway), with more games I'm actually interested in, no needless TV TV TV SPORTS SPORTS TV nonsense and no Kinect? I can work with that. Really, at this point, the biggest question mark for me is still the controller.
 

Vigormortis

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Akichi Daikashima said:
It's the "I'm not decided on next gen, and I've heard nifty things about PC and Steam, but I do not know enough about PC Gaming to know what I should get, and I don't want to be swindled by store clerks trying to sell me a shitty celeron laptop".

It's not that sizeable, but it's still the first generation of steam machines, so they are most likely here just to test the waters.

The second generation is when we will see if Valve's gambit has/can pay off.

Also, iBuyPower looks like the only company who gets it, because they hit that $500 mark, which is within reaching distance of console prices, and it might end up being powerful(if they believe in Steam Machines and sell at a slight loss).
It could also be powerful simply by the (proposed) nature of SteamOS.

A slimmed down Debian Linux distro with it's core infrastructure retooled for multimedia functionality. As in optimized, and more easily modified, video and audio drivers, libraries, etc.

Given the performance boost seen in the Linux builds of games like Left 4 Dead 2 and Team Fortress 2, and some of the early reports of users experiences with the SteamOS beta, I'm confident in saying even the $500 iBuyPower machine will be drastically more powerful than any of the new-gen consoles.
 

Mr C

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Dire Trout said:
Mr C said:
Dire Trout said:
The Wykydtron said:
I just don't see the clear market niche where Steam Machine is going to fill.
Well, there's me. I'm the market niche they need to fill. I'm a lifelong console guy who'd like to play more PC games, but I can't justify replacing my perfectly-good current PC because it does everything else I need it to. Besides, I don't have the slightest clue how to build computers, and I don't have the time, money or interest required to learn how. I just want to buy a thing and play games on it. So I would totally get this...
...if it was competitively priced.

Those are the only 5 words I'd add to your post. This product needs to be priced to compete with consoles. Otherwise it's pointless for PC folk and unattractive to console players. Unless they have some uber secret they are waiting to tell us, which seems highly unlikely.
Well, the iBuyPower one is $500. So, the same price as an Xbone, but more powerful (according to my one friend who knows stuff about computers, anyway), with more games I'm actually interested in, no needless TV TV TV SPORTS SPORTS TV nonsense and no Kinect? I can work with that. Really, at this point, the biggest question mark for me is still the controller.
That's a good point. I was thinking more of a PS4 price point (the console I'll be buying soon). As a gamer in Asia the XBone is a long way off. A steambox would be a suitable replacement when I think about it, without kinect crap I'm not interested in and TV features I can't access here.
 

Dire Trout

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Mr C said:
Dire Trout said:
Mr C said:
Dire Trout said:
The Wykydtron said:
I just don't see the clear market niche where Steam Machine is going to fill.
Well, there's me. I'm the market niche they need to fill. I'm a lifelong console guy who'd like to play more PC games, but I can't justify replacing my perfectly-good current PC because it does everything else I need it to. Besides, I don't have the slightest clue how to build computers, and I don't have the time, money or interest required to learn how. I just want to buy a thing and play games on it. So I would totally get this...
...if it was competitively priced.

Those are the only 5 words I'd add to your post. This product needs to be priced to compete with consoles. Otherwise it's pointless for PC folk and unattractive to console players. Unless they have some uber secret they are waiting to tell us, which seems highly unlikely.
Well, the iBuyPower one is $500. So, the same price as an Xbone, but more powerful (according to my one friend who knows stuff about computers, anyway), with more games I'm actually interested in, no needless TV TV TV SPORTS SPORTS TV nonsense and no Kinect? I can work with that. Really, at this point, the biggest question mark for me is still the controller.
That's a good point. I was thinking more of a PS4 price point (the console I'll be buying soon). As a gamer in Asia the XBone is a long way off. A steambox would be a suitable replacement when I think about it, without kinect crap I'm not interested in and TV features I can't access here.
I'm not in Asia, but yeah, that's what I was thinking--I could totally go for a PS4 and the iBuyPower box this generation. Even if the controller isn't as great as Valve thinks it is, I'm pretty sure the Steam Box has regular USB ports. So I could hypothetically plug in one of my regular controllers, or maybe even a keyboard and mouse if need be.
 

Something Amyss

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Dec 3, 2008
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It's a valid point. Gamers willing and able to drop the coin on a multi-thousand-dollar Steam Machine are probably going to be more likely to just build their own custom rig and slap Steam on it.
I'd agree, except people already slap down serious coin on Alienware and other boutique PCs.

But it also reveals that even among the people who are making them, there's no consensus on what the actual intent is - if there even is some specific "goal" at all.
And that's the problem. There wasn't a specific goal spelled out. People have been kind of retconning the process.

The Wykydtron said:
So this is like a console that only runs Steam and all games on Steam right?
It's a PC that comes with SteamOS on it and can only run non-Linux supported games if you have another PC to stream from.

Akichi Daikashima said:
It's the "I'm not decided on next gen, and I've heard nifty things about PC and Steam, but I do not know enough about PC Gaming to know what I should get, and I don't want to be swindled by store clerks trying to sell me a shitty celeron laptop".
So now you can get swindled by store clerks trying to sell you a shitty Steam Machine?

It's not like there's unified hardware or anything.

Dire Trout said:
I'm a lifelong console guy who'd like to play more PC games, but I can't justify replacing my perfectly-good current PC because it does everything else I need it to.
So your solution is to buy a prefab PC that won't run most PC games without another PC to stream from? That seems...Problematic. Especially considering you're going to need a PC capable of streaming in the first place.

I mean, okay, I get that you want to play PC games and don't have the know-how. But this seems like a poor alternative unless you're only into Linux games.
 

TomWiley

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The Wykydtron said:
So this is like a console that only runs Steam and all games on Steam right? That doesn't seem the most viable business strat i've heard considering all the multiplatform releases and y'know, Steam has been a PC only thing for ages now. Anyone who already uses Steam has a decent enough PC to run most of its games?

I just don't see the clear market niche where Steam Machine is going to fill. I hate to say it, but just buy a PC if you want Steam.
Try SOME of the games on Steam. Steam Machines run Linux which means have fun with Team Fortress 2.
 

Koios

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Jul 28, 2010
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soandnb said:
Valve shot itself in the foot by allowing multiple Steam Machines to enter the market.
I'm going to go the other way on this and say it's a great strategy. Companies keep announcing new Steambox builds, which is free advertising. There's also the fact that companies sign up to build Steamboxes, so Valve is likely collecting money from them in exchange for permission to do so. In fact, all Valve has to do is make the controllers, which the companies have to buy in order to sell the Steambox to begin with, so regardless of what happens to the companies building them, it looks like Valve comes out on top (as long as the deals negotiated are as in their favor as they appear to be).
 

Andy Chalk

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This conversation, and many others like it, emphasize a widely-held viewpoint: It's unwise to bet against Valve, but really, wtf are they doing? I can see this working as some kind of Valve-controlled cross-platform PC standard similar to the old MPC standard from way back when, but I fail to see how that helps it make a meaningful dent in the living room scene. And without that, how does Valve make money on it? Licensing income from a handful of specialty PC builders will be negligible; Valve needs Steam to become a mass-market gaming platform in order for that to happen, but I don't grasp how this strategy pushes that forward.

So many unanswered questions. And Valve being Valve, they'll stay unanswered for a long time yet.
 

Smooth Operator

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I'd say he is missing the point, most companies have no intention of following the console idea they just want to be included in Valves free marketing so they slap their name tag on existing shit, job done.
 

UsefulPlayer 1

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I'm kinda out of the loop and don't know a single thing about PC gaming, but what can the $500 Steam Machine not play?

I have a Mac, and have gotten a few games from Steam. Very low requirement games / old games and I absolutely love it. I would definitely pick a Steam Machine over Xbox One or PS4.

My only issue is that I feel like $500 would go a long way to a gaming PC once I learn about that trail some more.

So PC rig>Steam machine> consoles.

My only question is that a $500 Steam Machine should be able to run all next gen games....right?

What would I need with the $2,500 monster if I'm just trying to play games regularly like everyone else on PS4s and Xbox Ones. Investment for the even further future I suppose?

Edit: The market are those who want to get into PC gaming, but lack the-know-how. Like me.
 

Yopaz

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Jun 3, 2009
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CrossLOPER said:
Andy Chalk said:
It's a valid point. Gamers willing and able to drop the coin on a multi-thousand-dollar Steam Machine are probably going to be more likely to just build their own custom rig and slap Steam on it.
Clearly, they should make Steam a Steam Machine exclusive platform.
Not sure if you're being sarcastic or not here, but the reason (except for making money of course) is to push an open platform to compete against Windows (possibly) moving towards a more closed environment and the extremely closed consoles.

Making them exclusive would make them what they're trying to fight.

OT: While he does have a point here I disagree. Looking at the big picture those powerful beasts containing titan cards are as important in Valve's vision as those who can actually compete with consoles. Windows is the superior gaming platform because most PC games are developed with Windows in mind, but that's not all. Windows is also superior because it got a wider range of driver support for various kinds of hardware than its competitors. Linux lacks the driver support of Windows because there hasn't been a driving force behind making them. However by building computers meant to run Linux might lead the way towards a change. While I would rather build a PC and install SteamOS on it or maybe simply use dual boot on a PC I already have I would still need drivers to support my hardware. Because we all have different preferences in card manufacturers and which series of cards we want to use it's terribly inefficient to find out what each individual is using. These Steam machines change that since they make units that we can reproduce and we won't have the hassle of doing the research to what hardware the OS supports.

So they are missing the point when it comes to competing with consoles, but they are on the mark when it comes to pushing Linux ahead as a viable gaming platform.
 

grimallq

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Aug 25, 2009
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There seems to be one thing some people seem to be missing on this thread.

A Steam Machine is still a PC. You can take your 500$ Steam Machine and install Windows on it.

Yes it comes pre-loaded with SteamOS with all its limitations and optimized nifty features. But nothing stops you from slapping on Windows (or even some regular Linux build) and turning it into a cheap regular PC in a nifty small factor case ,that fits nicely in the living room.
 

alj

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Nov 20, 2009
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Its a good idea all this steam box stuff but most of them are just desktop ITX cases with overpriced hardware in, this one is not so bad.

All i want is for this to encourage more people to make decent ITX cases that look good under a TV and support one full sized GPU and real PSU. Most of them are small thin client style cases that don't support a GPU or decent PSU or a small tower or cube type case. Aso more people putting there game son linux is not exactly a bad thing.
 

AzrealMaximillion

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Dire Trout said:
The Wykydtron said:
I just don't see the clear market niche where Steam Machine is going to fill.
Well, there's me. I'm the market niche they need to fill. I'm a lifelong console guy who'd like to play more PC games, but I can't justify replacing my perfectly-good current PC because it does everything else I need it to. Besides, I don't have the slightest clue how to build computers, and I don't have the time, money or interest required to learn how. I just want to buy a thing and play games on it. So I would totally get this.
A wireless HDMI set up is $120-$200 and completely displaces the need for even a $500 Steam Machine. Add a wireless controller and you're pretty much set to do exactly what the Steam Machines do but for cheaper, and you don't have to spend as much money as Valve wants you to on a PC to living room experience.

What really shot Valve in the foot here was setting up the features to have PC to living room present (Big Picture mode) and then announcing the Steam boxes. Seems like their competing with themselves rather than attacking MS as Gabe Newell makes it seem.
 

AzrealMaximillion

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Vivi22 said:
The Wykydtron said:
So this is like a console that only runs Steam and all games on Steam right? That doesn't seem the most viable business strat i've heard considering all the multiplatform releases and y'know, Steam has been a PC only thing for ages now. Anyone who already uses Steam has a decent enough PC to run most of its games?

I just don't see the clear market niche where Steam Machine is going to fill. I hate to say it, but just buy a PC if you want Steam.
You don't see the clear market niche because pretty much everything you said about the Steam Machines in your post is wrong.

They're not console's, they're PC's. They're meant to be a potential replacement for consoles in the living room, but they absolutely can still function as PC's. They'll run on the Steam OS which is a Valve developed Linux variant, and use of Steam won't even be required. If you want to install games outside of Steam, you can still do that. These are a cheap (in most cases) ready built, upgradeable living room PC. They're meant to make the process of getting into PC games easier for those who've never bothered, and more attractive by focusing on the living room.

There is also going to be the option to stream games from your main desktop PC instead of on the steambox, opening the door to some really cheap alternatives for those with a good PC who'd like to still play some games on the big screen.

And multiplatform releases probably won't be a problem since Valve is pushing heavily for Linux support, and they may be the only company out there that could actually grow that segment in gaming once they release these boxes and the Steam OS.
I have a really hard time calling the Steam Machines a PC considering its only purpose is to game. Can it surf the web? Can it be a music medi- scratch that, multimedia player? As it stands the contemporary consoles are closer to being PCs than the Steam Machines considering they have web browsers, access you music players and stuff like Netflix.

And as far as we know, no the Steam Machines can't play non Steam Games. Don't know where you got that from.

Another very solid point against the Steam Machine is the fact that it only plays Linux games. That's 206 of Steam's catalog. For a lot of people, that's a hue tipping point against the thing. If I can't access the majority of my Steam Library on this machine, why would I spend $500 on it when I can spend $120 on a wireless HDMI set up and use Steam's own Big Picture mode?

All in all these Steam Machines seem to do less than a PC and consoles in terms of functionality as well as it not being able to play the majority of Steam games.
 

grimallq

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AzrealMaximillion said:
Vivi22 said:
The Wykydtron said:
So this is like a console that only runs Steam and all games on Steam right? That doesn't seem the most viable business strat i've heard considering all the multiplatform releases and y'know, Steam has been a PC only thing for ages now. Anyone who already uses Steam has a decent enough PC to run most of its games?

I just don't see the clear market niche where Steam Machine is going to fill. I hate to say it, but just buy a PC if you want Steam.
You don't see the clear market niche because pretty much everything you said about the Steam Machines in your post is wrong.

They're not console's, they're PC's. They're meant to be a potential replacement for consoles in the living room, but they absolutely can still function as PC's. They'll run on the Steam OS which is a Valve developed Linux variant, and use of Steam won't even be required. If you want to install games outside of Steam, you can still do that. These are a cheap (in most cases) ready built, upgradeable living room PC. They're meant to make the process of getting into PC games easier for those who've never bothered, and more attractive by focusing on the living room.

There is also going to be the option to stream games from your main desktop PC instead of on the steambox, opening the door to some really cheap alternatives for those with a good PC who'd like to still play some games on the big screen.

And multiplatform releases probably won't be a problem since Valve is pushing heavily for Linux support, and they may be the only company out there that could actually grow that segment in gaming once they release these boxes and the Steam OS.
I have a really hard time calling the Steam Machines a PC considering its only purpose is to game. Can it surf the web? Can it be a music medi- scratch that, multimedia player? As it stands the contemporary consoles are closer to being PCs than the Steam Machines considering they have web browsers, access you music players and stuff like Netflix.

And as far as we know, no the Steam Machines can't play non Steam Games. Don't know where you got that from.

Another very solid point against the Steam Machine is the fact that it only plays Linux games. That's 206 of Steam's catalog. For a lot of people, that's a hue tipping point against the thing. If I can't access the majority of my Steam Library on this machine, why would I spend $500 on it when I can spend $120 on a wireless HDMI set up and use Steam's own Big Picture mode?

All in all these Steam Machines seem to do less than a PC and consoles in terms of functionality as well as it not being able to play the majority of Steam games.
Have you been even paying any attention at all?

The Steam Machine is just a PC with a nifty case and pre-loaded with a specialized OS. Other then that it's still just a PC and can do anything a regular PC with the same hardware can do.

You might need to add some extra peripherals like a mouse and keyboard, and maybe install a different OS, but there is absolutely nothing stopping you from doing that.

You already have a Windows PC with a sizable Steam library? You can easily hook it up tho you TV? Then why the hell are you considering a Steam Machine, it's obviously not meant for people like you. (Well it can stream games but who'd use that).
 

soandnb

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Koios said:
soandnb said:
Valve shot itself in the foot by allowing multiple Steam Machines to enter the market.
I'm going to go the other way on this and say it's a great strategy. Companies keep announcing new Steambox builds, which is free advertising. There's also the fact that companies sign up to build Steamboxes, so Valve is likely collecting money from them in exchange for permission to do so. In fact, all Valve has to do is make the controllers, which the companies have to buy in order to sell the Steambox to begin with, so regardless of what happens to the companies building them, it looks like Valve comes out on top (as long as the deals negotiated are as in their favor as they appear to be).
This might be a great, if morally corrupt strategy, at making a quick buck. But no one here is talking about their financial strategies. We're discussing their vision and the actions that affect that vision.

I think that Valve's decision to permit multiple companies to build Steam Machines defeats the purpose of the Steam Machine. Gabe said that he would like to blur the line between console and PC gaming, and that the Steam Machine would be his answer to the lack of a bridge between the two. In order to make this idea even a remotely viable option, that would mean that the Steam Machine would need to have the conveniences of a console, for both consumers and developers.

A single, standardized Steam Machine would give consumers the confidence they need to invest in this box. Standardized hardware basically says "This is a thing that lets you play fun games" instead of saying "This is a thing that MAY let you play fun games". It would also give developers a benchmark upon which to optimize their games, ensuring a quality experience for potential Steam Machine users.