Sylish Steam Machine configurations are slated for the second half of 2014
Let's kick off the week with some good news, shall we? CyberPowerPC just flipped us a note announcing a pair of Steam Machine configurations that come complete with a Steam Controller and Steam OS, and the cost of entry starts at just $499, the same MSRP as Microsoft's Xbox One console. Pretty snazzy, right? Well, the bad news is that you'll have to wait until the second half of the 2014 before you can buy one - drats!
Valve's Family Sharing Plan has yet to be released to the public, but before it can be shown off properly, it's undergoing a facelift first. On Friday, PCWorld reports, Valve announced a new authorization limit of ten users on ten different machines. This is an interesting twist on the old policy, especially considering the new freedom it affords multiple users.
We (along with several other news outlets) missed this when it first happened, but apparently Valve did something back in September that it has never done before. After shutting down the multiplayer servers for Square Enix's Order of War: Challenge due to low traffic, Valve then went and yanked the game from user libraries on Steam of those who had purchased a copy. To the best of our knowledge, it's the first and only time Valve has done such a thing.
Steam's winter sale is drawing a record number of concurrent users
If you missed out on Grand Theft Auto IV on the PC, you can snag it on Steam for just $4.99, which is 75 percent off its normal selling price. Fallout: New Vegas is also marked down 75 percent to the ridiculously low price of $2.49, and you can find scores of other games at discounted prices as part of Steam's Holiday Sale for 2013. Not by coincidence, while all this is going on, Steam just recorded the largest number of concurrent users.
Everything you need to know before installing Steam OS
Valve recently released its Beta version of SteamOS, based on the Debian distro of Linux. Naturally, we were intrigued by its release and wanted to take the new OS for a test run. We’ve put together a guide on how to install the operating system, and also provide you with our hands-on impressions of Valve's software.
NOTE: Before beginning, we highly recommend that you back up everything on your system before attempting to install SteamOS, as the installer in this guide will erase your entire drive.
Revisiting the top tech headlines of the past year
Another year is in the books and you know what? The PC isn't dead! Not that we ever thought our beloved platform was ever in jeopardy, though you wouldn't know it if you listened to analysts and market research firms predicting all kinds of gloom and doom for the desktop. We're happy to say the sky didn't fall, and as we look ahead to 2014, we're more excited than ever about all the advances in technology -- 3D printing, wearable computing, and advances in storage are just some of the things gaining momentum as we head into the new year.
Before we look too far down the road, however, we wanted to take a moment and reflect on some of the biggest news stories of 2013. We've put together a list of the most popular happenings of the past year based on a variety of factors including traffic, reader engagement, and of course editorial discretion. Some are included here because of their lasting impact on the industry, and others because they piqued the interest of you, our readers, and sparked lively debates.
Ready to get nostalgic with us? Then off we go as we relive the top 13 news stories of 2013!
Don't forget to set aside a few dollars for food and other bills
Word to the wise -- don't go quitting that second job you got to pay for all the games you bought during Steam's Autumn Sale, you're going to need it to fund another round of discounts. The 2013 Steam Holiday Sale is now on and runs through the remainder of the holiday shopping season, all the way up until January 3, 2014. As always, big savings are to be had on popular titles, such as 50 percent off Batman: Arkham Origins ($24.99) and 75 percent off Bioshock Infinite ($9.99).
YouTube user Corey Nelson is one of the lucky few who received a prototype Steam Machine from Valve and one of the first things he did after receiving his system was tear it down on video. What's revealed from the 5 minute video is an impressive arrangement of components packed tightly together in a precise manner, yet not all that difficult to take apart and service or upgrade, should either need arise.
Gordon Mah Ung goes hands on with Valve's new Steam Controller
PC Gamers, gods bless ‘em, are truly the most cynical sons of bitches on the planet. I say this because when I saw Valve’s attempt to build a controller for its upcoming Steam Machines, I, like all other PC gamers, just snickered and ran as quickly as I could to a web-based memegenerator so I could create and post something derisive and snarky under one of the five pseudonyms I use to troll the Internet with. Alas, I was already beaten as those cynical PC gamers had already beaten me to it.
A boutique built Steam Machine with a 'take no prisoners' approach
Let's get one thing straight -- even though Valve is making a push for PC gamers to plop their rumps in the living room where console gaming has traditional ruled the roost, there's no mandate that says a Steam Machine has to be only as powerful as an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 (or Nintendo Wii). Taking that to heart, boutique builder Digital Storm makes no bones about the fact that it's upcoming Steam Machine won't compete with consoles on price, but in return for a higher price tag, gamers will receive a premium set of components that send consoles cowering in the corner.