Ever since Valve announced last year that it was delaying the launch of its Steam Machines, in order to perfect the Steam Controller, we have been wondering when that would be. Last week, the company announced that it would showcase new living room devices, a SteamVR hardware system, and a finalized version of the Steam Controller. Now we're the first glimpses of the new hardware as Syber has announced its line of Steam Machines at GDC.
The Game Developers Conference is in full swing and we are starting to get a glimpse of what's being shown there. One of the more interesting parts of GDC revolves around what Valve has up its sleeve. Last week, the company said that it would be presenting some new living room devices in addition to its Steam Machines and finalized Steam Controller. Now, the wait is over, as Valve has announced the Steam Link, Source 2, and two new technologies for its VR headset.
Valve just made good on its promise of unveiling a SteamVR hardware system at the ongoing Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Meet Vive, a virtual reality headset powered by Valve’s SteamVR platform and manufactured by Taiwanese company HTC.
The Game Developers Conference is taking place just around the corner between March 2-6 and we’ll be in San Francisco covering it. There will, of course, be a bunch of game discussions and demos as usual, but we wanted to approach it from a hardware/PC perspective. Having said that, this year is going to be an interesting show for hardware with Valve finally pushing the Steam Machines again along with its VR system. On that notion, expect Valve and VR to be the talks of the show. Seriously, guys, this is going to be the year of VR.
Unlike most developers and publishers that tend to inundate consumers with trailers, screenshots, developer diaries, and press releases to keep their games in the public’s eye, Valve tends to stay quiet. So while we know that the company has been working on its Steam Machines and perfecting its Steam Controller, it appears that these devices weren’t the only things the company has been working on. In fact, Valve will be unveiling a selection of new living room devices and a SteamVR hardware system at GDC while demonstrating its Steam Machines and finalized Steam Controller.
Much like what Alienware did with its Alpha console, CyberPower PC is transforming its Steam Machine into a Windows box (you can thank Valve’s delay of its hardware initiative for that). CyberPower PC is branding its new line of PCs under its Syber Vapor line, which is an obvious nod to Valve’s “Steam” nomenclature. Unlike the Alienware Alpha, however, there is no proprietary 10-foot UI here. Rather, the Vapor boots directly into Steam’s Big Picture Mode. CyberPower PC is billing the Vapor as “the ultimate PC gaming console,” and with some minor quibbles aside, we think the company makes a pretty compelling argument.
Gabe Newell's a busy man. It comes with the territory of managing Valve, a massive company with billions of dollars in equity. He's also personable and surprisingly accessible for someone in his position, as a Steam user in need of support recently found out. After submitting a support request to Steam and not receiving a response in a week's time, the user figured he had nothing to lose and everything to gain by contacting Newell himself. He was right.
As great as PC gaming is, let’s face it, when it comes to gaming in the living room, consoles have the PC beat. Alienware and the Steam Machines were supposed to change that, but considering Valve delayed its hardware initiative, Alienware decided to releases its box early as a small Windows 8.1 PC, dubbed the Alienware Alpha. While the PC does an admirable job of attacking the PC’s problem areas in the living room, as the name implies, it’s still (unfortunately) in a bit of an alpha stage.
In case you need any added incentive to hop on Steam and play games, there's a Steam client update available that adds a few new features and a bunch of bug fixes. One of the big additions is that of Steam Broadcasting, support for which was first introduced to beta client users last month -- now it's available to the general public, allowing you to broadcast your gameplay for others to watch.
Even files on external storage devices are not safe
Barely a fortnight into the year and we have already got ourselves a strong contender (if not a shoo-in) for the year’s scariest Steam bug. The good news is that the vast majority of Steam users don’t have anything to worry about as the bug in question, which was reported by a user named “keyvin” on Valve’s GitHub repository, only affects the Steam for Linux client.