The Razer Edge sounds fantastic: a Windows 8 tablet, notebook, and portable gaming system in one. But in actual use, the Edge is a letdown.
The Edge starts at $1,000, with the Pro (reviewed here) climbing up to $1,450. That may be pricey for a "tablet," but it comes with a Core i7-3517U, Nvidia GT 640M LE, 8GB of DDR3/1600, and a 256GB SSD. While it’s supposed to be the happy love-child of a portable tablet and a powerful PC, the end result is a compromised monstrosity.
One is an outlier. Two a coincidence. But three, as we know from News Media Statistics 101, is a crystal-clear trend.
And that’s just what we have with the Digital Storm Bolt, which follows on the heels of Alienware’s X51 and Falcon Northwest’s Tiki: proof that the PC is making an assault on the living room. Of course, the “assault on the living room” is our own private fantasy about the PC pushing the traditional game console overboard—Digital Storm just presents the box as a small PC (although we will note that the machine came with a wireless keyboard and game controller).
Note: This review first appeared in the January 2013 issue of the magazine.
A rift may be forming between Piston Console maker Xi3 and Valve.
A partially transparent veil of secrecy hangs over Xi3's pint-sized Piston Console. When first unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this year, some surmised it was the official Steam Box, though Xi3 never came out and said it. And now that Xi3 is taking pre-orders, there's still no mention of it being a Steam Box, though it's clearly intended for living room gaming using Steam's Big Picture mode. Xi3 released a statement today that adds a little insight into its relationship with Valve, and also hints that things aren't as rosy between the two as previously thought.
It’s not cheap, but it's certainly living room friendly.
The Steam Box initiative at Valve is little more than a humble attempt to bring a less offensive looking PC into consumer’s living rooms, but in reality that’s actually much harder than it sounds. I’m guessing most of our readers would rather roll their own Steam Box, but for the mass market gamer (and their spouses), a more discrete and compact solution is probably the way to go. Xi3’s PISTON console has been the most promising OEM Steam Box on our radar, and as of today, it’s finally available for pre-order.
Further proof that the Xi3's Piston PC is the Steam Box, or at least a version of it.
There was quite a bit of mystery surrounding Xi3's Piston PC at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this year. Early reports pegged the PC as being Valve's hotly anticipated Steam Box, and when asked straight up by Maximum PC Online Editor Jimmy Thang, Xi3's chief marketing manager, David Politis, played it coy. Now two months later, a branded version of Xi3's Piston PC has broken cover on Facebook and Twitter.
Build your own small Steam Box PC using Valve's Big Picture Mode
As PC gamers, we’re big fans of Valve Software’s Steam service and can’t imagine life without it. We’ve got a huge library of installed games, all of our friends are on it, and almost every AAA title is released on Steam, making it indispensable. The only “problem” with Steam has been that its interface was designed for sitting 24 inches away, at a monitor, making it incompatible with couch-bound gaming. Valve has rectified this dilemma with its recently launched Big Picture Mode, which slaps a 10-foot interface on top of Steam and makes it easy to control with a gamepad. Since distance and connection issues can get in the way of running your desktop PC on your HDTV screen, we’re going to walk you through a more workable solution. First, we will advise you on selecting a small-but-powerful PC that’s suitable for a living room, then we’ll walk you through selecting appropriate peripherals, and finally we’ll show you how to get it all up and running, ready for Big Picture Mode deployment.
Note: This article appeared in the Holiday 2012 issue of the magazine.
Valve's Newell believes Apple could roll over the console guys, if it really wanted to.
In this week's edition of "Gabe Newell Said What?," the co-founder and managing director of Valve waxed insightful on the hurdles set before the much anticipated Steam Box, the biggest of which might be trying to overcome Apple's presence in the living room. As you're likely aware, Newell once famously called the release of Windows 8 a "catastrophe for everyone in the PC space," and that it would cause top-tier OEMs to exit the market. That's part of the reason why Valve is forging ahead with a so-called Steam Box in the first place, but it's not Microsoft (or Sony) that poses the biggest threat.
Didn't have the chance to attend CES 2013? No problem! Allow our 50 images to show you the highlights from the show floor. Everything from booth babes, wacky gadgets, and the products of the show are featured in the gallery below.
If you could have seen one thing from this year's CES, what would it be? Let us know in the comments!
Gabe Newell is a hard guy to nail down for an interview, so when the Nerdist Podcast managed to snag an hour of his time, they had our complete attention. Sadly Half Life 3 wasn’t on the agenda, but several questions with regards to the company’s upcoming steam box were answered, including what they have in mind as an input device.
Xi3 generated a lot of buzz at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) over its Piston PC, a pint size computer that's based on the company's X7A system (both pictured in the thumbnail image), an honest-to-goodness modular computer. The form factor made a splash at last year's CES, and this time around, the question on everyone's mind is whether or not the Piston is Valve's Steam Box.