Valve Unveils First Generation of Steam Machines at CES 2014

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jtrpop

They shot a little high when the cheapest system is $499. It would be nice to have a system start at $299.

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Rachine35

I know everyone one is at war with Microsoft, yet I don't really see the point in this at all. I can play all of my steam games on my current rig just fine. Why would I go out and buy a system that doesn't support all of the other software that my current rig dose? I have no problem playing on my hdtv with my current rig ether. I think it is a nice concept, yet it will take more to convincing me that this has to be on "my gotta have it" list.

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jtrpop

Because most people don't have a gaming rig like us Maximum PC readers, and they would be more inclined to buy a 'console' and join the PC master race.

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tetris42

I don't think you're the intended demographic. I see the Steambox doing two things: First, it's a decent entry into PC gaming for people who might normally only consider a console. It's not competing with your rig, it's competing with someone contemplating an Xbox One. Second, like you mentioned, it provides a long term exit strategy from Windows for gaming, which I see as only a good thing. The Steambox isn't going to dethrone anything overnight. But over the long term (years), it could really cut into the console turf and make non-Windows gaming something viable, both of which I think are great goals.

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Obsidian

In full support of computing excess; but a $6000 Steam machine, to output video to a single 1080p screen is just throwing away money and expending electricity for no real-world benefit other than heat and showing off.

Never need a company to justify the products they produce, because the market does that all on its own, but I question the business case of the company producing a $6000 gaming machine that is labeled a "Steam Machine". It's almost as if the head of that company just doesn't really 'get it' yet.

Do we even actually have a single Windows or SteamOS game that can put out textures that are meant to be experienced on a single 4k screen? That's the only way conceivable of justifying 2 or more Titan graphics cards. And then, do the specialized gaming graphics drivers being tweaked for Linux support more than one monitor gaming via SteamOS? Is it more efficient than in Windows? Can users run 3 screens for games in Linux?

Loving the small form factor box concept though. There are a few systems MPC hasn't covered yet. Crack open the SCAN - NC10 and write a story about it.

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Sean D Knight

I'd say that, for Falcon Northwest and its $6,000 machine, it's more about getting people to talk about it and the manufacturer's other Steam Machines rather then any expectations of selling large quantities of such an expensive product.

 

 

 

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Obsidian

Your reasoning makes some sense. Forgive the overused car analogy. The $6000 Falcon Northwest rig is like the over-the-top sports car that the top 0.1% of car buyers can afford. People look at the flagship sports cars and think 'ohhhhh, cool' then buy a model from that brand that's actually within budget. Like I wrote, it's a show off piece.

But where the logic falls apart a bit for Falcon, and others; they essentially discredit the immense performance of their flagship gaming rig by claiming it is a Steam Machine. The product promotion should be how amazing their small(er) computers are per square inch and a small byline is that it can also dual-boot Steam OS should the user want to.

Until we get some solid information on performance and some comparable benchmarks, Steam OS is simply a great idea, but not a gaming need. I'm thrilled that Microsoft could be significantly cut out of the gaming arena by this trendy movement. However, that applies for future Windows 8 saturation and the inevitable proprietary app storefronts that are increasingly prevalent.

Has anyone seen one of these systems at CES running Steam OS? Does it work well? Are there kiosks to play games at on these devices? How well does game streaming work on one of those comparably-hardware-inferior Zotec boxes?

There are abundantly more meaningful questions that this product line needs to address and none of them are answered by flashy hardware pictures, no matter how sexy. Kudos to Valve for getting so many aboard the Steam Machine bandwagon. Now it's time to show off the capabilities of the platform(s).

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Sean D Knight

Nothing to forgive, I find the car analogy an apt one.

I had hoped that the 300 lucky beta testers would provide this kind of information. Sadly, beyond videos showing the hardware and the beta tester playing some games, no real data has come of it. 

Unless something changes we might not see such data until more experienced PC users test out the beta version of SteamOS or get their hands on a Steam Machine. 

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AFDozerman

+1 for 6000 dollar console replacement PC. While we're at it, let's go all out and build a dual-Xenon-quad-Firepro s10000 steam machine! Why? Because obviously, this market demands it.

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Obsidian

It would be comical if someone figured out a way to use the new Mac Pro trash can, in the $9000 configuration to boot into Steam OS to run 2007's title Team Fortress 2.

Like you wrote, the market demands it ;)

How ridiculous can we get?

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AFDozerman

16BG RAM? Is that, like, big ram or something? ;)

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Sean D Knight

Sorry about the Freudian slip...err...I mean...thank you for pointing out the typo!

 

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BrainFlush

System RAM 8 GB 26.48% +0.20% < Considering Steam users are at this number, 16 is a lot and more so for the OS it is on. Sarcasm or not.

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AFDozerman

I was referencing a typo.