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Old 2013-01-07, 20:51   Link #21
Tong
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Not really Max Settings with all eye-candy you can get...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugetsu View Post
For $600 or less I could build a small tower that can play all games at 1080p with medium to high settings and still look way better than any console would.
Now, why would someone preffer a console over a powerful PC?

Well, only now good PCs became affordable. Back then, I spent 400$ on a 8800GTS and still couldn't make games look better than my 360. And then we had 720p/1080p, which made consoles a much more attractive choice. Leave alone new games, exclusives, netplay... Nothing else mattered.

However, as technology progressed everthing became cheaper and better. I spent the same 400$ on a 660Ti. Which absolutely destroys anything a console can offer graphic-wise.

Consoles then, lost that appeal. At least for me.
I'm a PC Gamer now and only use my PS3/360 to play exclusives, because unfortunely, some games will just stay on consoles.

And it's true, some people just dont know how to open a PC and scramble everthing out... These guys, are most likely MAC users
Also by far THE BIG disvantage for consoles, is that if something in there breaks, well... you're done.


So yeah, why would someone still want a console? It's social related. A console is much more easier to setup on larger displays, you can then call your friend to play together on a "42 screen.
They're more fitted to people who just want things done in a simple manner.

And nothing beats hours of gameplay sitting/laying on THAT comfy couch, right?
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Old 2013-01-07, 20:55   Link #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rising Dragon View Post
I dunno... I'd find something like this kinda useful, as far as saving space on my computer goes for gaming. Steam games take up a LOT of room on my computer, so if I could move it all over onto a dedicated platform... I'd see how that'd be a bit tempting.
Ugh! Are you ever right! STEAM is such a space hog. I mean, I love it. It's been hyper-useful for me in terms of getting older games dirt-cheap that I passed on years ago. But... yuck. Before I upgrade my main drive about a year ago to a 256 gb solid-state, probably 50% of my main drive was STEAM (I put only programs on the main drive and only data on my 1.5 TB of storage drives).
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Old 2013-01-07, 22:24   Link #23
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Valve and Xi3 announce in-development Steam-optimized mini PC at CES

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Valve's oft-rumored "Steam Box" is making its first public appearance at CES 2013 thanks to a newly announced partnership with mini-PC maker Xi3.

Xi3 today announced "an investment from Valve Corporation" and a "new development stage computer game system," which is being showcased at both the Xi3 and Valve booths at CES this week.

The still-in-development device is optimized for computer game play on large, high-definition displays. Xi3 says that the modular computer was designed specifically to support both Steam and Big Picture mode.
http://www.polygon.com/2013/1/7/3848...-steam-and-big
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Old 2013-01-07, 22:51   Link #24
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It appears that to use the console people will have to download games from Steam, even if they bought the disc from the store... Unfortunately, not everyone has a 2mbps broadband connection, and in some places like Japan, most will prefer to tote powerful handhelds and game together wirelessly.

For now I'm happy with the PC I have. Don't have to crank up the quality just to play.
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Old 2013-01-08, 00:41   Link #25
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Of course they'd have to use Steam, being a monopoly they wouldn't let use other means of obtaining the games.
And of course this will be praised a lot, despite being horrible news. People really want to lose the ownership on their software and games that much? I'm talking about Steam in general, the "miniPC" is just another piece of bad news.
It's ironic that Valve accuses Microsoft of being closed (which they are, though), when, in fact, are doing the same thing.
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Old 2013-01-08, 01:24   Link #26
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Steam isn't a monopoly.
EA and Ubisoft have similar systems, Origin and Uplay respectively.
Though, they lack lots of features and are nowhere as good as Steam. Specially Origin, for making BF3 matchmaking a hell and charging full prices for digital games.
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Old 2013-01-08, 14:27   Link #27
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Pics of the prototypes they have.








I guess it is called Piston.


I believe it is upgradable. If so, they must have proprietary parts for GPUs, CPUs, and RAM. I'm guessing any external HDD can be used (like the Wii U).
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Old 2013-01-08, 14:37   Link #28
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Steam is the problem, not the hardware, at least in my book. I suppose it'll be a decent-spec PC. Thank goodness they didn't went with the locked ARM route for processor, though they have other locks.
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Old 2013-01-08, 16:55   Link #29
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Another pic.

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Old 2013-01-08, 22:49   Link #30
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Exclusive interview: Valve's Gabe Newell on Steam Box, biometrics, and the future of gaming
Quote:
So are most of these going to be Linux-based Steam Boxes?
We’ll come out with our own and we’ll sell it to consumers by ourselves. That’ll be a Linux box, [and] if you want to install Windows you can. We’re not going to make it hard. This is not some locked box by any stretch of the imagination. We also think that a controller that has higher precision and lower latency is another interesting thing to have.
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Old 2013-01-08, 23:52   Link #31
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Funny he says it's not locked when Steam IS locked (in the sense you need the client, no matter the OS is running on it). I really don't get his reasoning. I also question his obsession on user-generated content (too tied to Valve's own F2P offerings, IMO). Also makes me think there's no way there'll be another HL.
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Old 2013-01-09, 00:10   Link #32
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I assumed "user generated content" referred to the rather robust mod community.

Steam's authentication system isn't fabulous but given that it rose from the spiraling disaster of Securom, hardware dongles, "must have CD in drive, oops scratch", and other messes ... there are more onerous solutions.

Yeah, I'd love licensing schemes like I had in the 1980s for professional environments. Anyone who can come up with a scheme that gives users freedom while improving the odds software companies get paid for usage ... that bloke will make a lot of money.
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Old 2013-01-09, 00:24   Link #33
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Steamworks may be light compared to other DRM, but it's still DRM. Offline mode requires the client. If you purchase a physical (Physical!) copy of a game that uses it you need it on when you play, it also automatically uses the cloud unless you specify it - not good.
GoG.com is the only example of DD done right, IMO.
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Old 2013-01-09, 01:15   Link #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xizro345 View Post
Steamworks may be light compared to other DRM, but it's still DRM. Offline mode requires the client. If you purchase a physical (Physical!) copy of a game that uses it you need it on when you play, it also automatically uses the cloud unless you specify it - not good.
GoG.com is the only example of DD done right, IMO.
Actually, thanks for that link. Some old favorites and a couple of things I missed playing over the years are there.

And yeah, I have the long-standing "steam goes blooey" scenario that still doesn't have a satisfactory answer.
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Old 2013-01-09, 01:34   Link #35
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To be honest, I think that review leaves a most of what I want to know unanswered.

The OS: Is it running a heavily customized distro or just running Steam on an existing linux?
The "ecosystem": The biggest question, IMO. As it's Linux based the presumably won't run much of the existing stuff on Steam. How will Valve make it competitive with the traditional Windows gaming platform? Will it encourage developers to program for both Steambox and traditional Steam on Windows? Will it provide middleware for that? How will it ensure a sufficient userbase?
Controls: Okay, it's going to be controller based - but as it's coming from a company with a PC background, will you be encouraging keyboard and mouse support in games as well?
Hardware: You seriously don't have a spec in mind and are still looking for partners? I'm guessing we won't see this for a while.

The big questions are those around the ecosystem, Valve could have easily just built a mass production "gaming rig for the masses" to run regular Steam on Windows (I'm thinking a nettop-on-steroids type design where you'd trim the fat to keep the production cost down then pump the savings into the CPU/GPU as that's what gamers need) and probably done a great deal to promote PC gaming among the less technically inclined, but they appear set on creating a different ecosystem even if it means it can't run the legacy catalog.
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Old 2013-01-09, 04:48   Link #36
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The only reason you can go the "cheap 500 dollar gaming box" route is because mainstream gaming is tailored for consoles that are over six years old.

When the PS3 and the 360 first launched, you had to build a $2000 PC to come close to what the consoles could do. Now, PC components have progressed, but the consoles are pretty much the same in 2013 as they were in 2006.

So yeah, you can build a cheap gaming PC that'll equal/slightly exceed a console. But it'll still cost three times as much, minimum, even now. When the new generation of consoles roll out, PC gaming will get really expensive again.
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Old 2013-01-09, 11:58   Link #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
When the new generation of consoles roll out, PC gaming will get really expensive again.
Only if new-gen consoles are capable of extraodinary feats, like running @60FPS on 1080p or even 4K:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dgSa4wmMzk

PC gaming only becomes expensive when consoles can do better, for less than a quarter of the price.
You could argue that PC gaming's still expensive, since a good GPU alone can cost alot more than a console.
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Old 2013-01-09, 12:28   Link #38
0utf0xZer0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
The only reason you can go the "cheap 500 dollar gaming box" route is because mainstream gaming is tailored for consoles that are over six years old.

When the PS3 and the 360 first launched, you had to build a $2000 PC to come close to what the consoles could do. Now, PC components have progressed, but the consoles are pretty much the same in 2013 as they were in 2006.

So yeah, you can build a cheap gaming PC that'll equal/slightly exceed a console. But it'll still cost three times as much, minimum, even now. When the new generation of consoles roll out, PC gaming will get really expensive again.
So the question is, given that Valve seems to be indicating that the Steambox is going to be and large be a PC - that you'll be able to put Windows or presumably other OSes you want on it if you feel so inclined - how will they keep the cost down?

(Also, I'm not sure how much I'd consider a cheap PC to "slightly exceed" current consoles when many console games are rendered at sub 720P res and upscaled, and from what I read not always at good frame rates either.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tong View Post
You could argue that PC gaming's still expensive, since a good GPU alone can cost alot more than a console.
The legandary "gaming GPU for the masses" boards like the Ti4200 or 8800GT have tended to be around the $200 price points. Totally reasonable if you already had or were building a decent rig for other purposes.

The big issue these days is just that the average person probably finds their "behind the times" PC sufficient for anything except gaming, therefore the games have to justify a lot more costs than just a GPU upgrade.
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Last edited by 0utf0xZer0; 2013-01-09 at 12:39.
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Old 2013-01-09, 14:53   Link #39
Tong
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
The legandary "gaming GPU for the masses" boards like the Ti4200 or 8800GT have tended to be around the $200 price points. Totally reasonable if you already had or were building a decent rig for other purposes.

The big issue these days is just that the average person probably finds their "behind the times" PC sufficient for anything except gaming, therefore the games have to justify a lot more costs than just a GPU upgrade.
Sometimes upgrading is just inevitable if you're going to play newer games.
You can't run BF3 good enough on minimum at the lowest res with these GPUs.

Even when you don't want all the eye-candy, you're going to need a new GPU.
But this newer GPU/Game may not run well in a old system, say Pentium/Dual core. More money will be spent on a new motherboard, CPU, RAMs... PCs evolve much more faster than Consoles.
The fact that no one wants to buy old components won't help you much either, unlike a console that anytime, anywhere and anyone is willing to buy.

I really want to see how Steam-box will deal with that. Smaller components are more expensive after all.
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Old 2013-01-09, 17:48   Link #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
(Also, I'm not sure how much I'd consider a cheap PC to "slightly exceed" current consoles when many console games are rendered at sub 720P res and upscaled, and from what I read not always at good frame rates either.)
I guess it really depends on your standards. As you say most consoles render at 720p (possibly upsampling it to 1920x1080 if the HDTV supports it) and only get around 30-45 frames per second.

This is pretty easy for a cheap computer to replicate--I could easily build a $600 PC, complete with monitor, that'd slightly exceed console performance-- at least 45 frames per second on 1600x900 resolution with moderate to high graphics detail settings.

But you have to consider, you're only just barely exceeding the capabilities of a console for over twice as much. Used 360s and PS3s are cheap, $200 or less. Add a cheap little LCD TV to that and you've got a "fire and forget it" gaming setup that you don't have to think about for around $300-350 altogether.

Granted, it's not great. The budget PC is better by every metric. But it's cheaper, and there are no "PC problems" to deal with, which a lot of console gamers would never put up with.

That's why I get the impression that the Steam Box will be an actual console, rather than a cheap HTPC with some gaming chops. I suspect it'll run a cut-down, totally customized and mostly locked-down version of Linux (similar to Android I suspect). I'm sure Valve will leave unlocking/rooting options open, but not by default.

If the Steam Box isn't an actual console (an appliance) and is a PC (a general-purpose computer) it will fail at its stated goal, which is to try to take a piece of the console market. People who use consoles exclusively aren't going to put up with upgrading GPUs, fixing driver and compatibility issues, dealing with glitchy PC ports, etc.
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