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Old 2013-01-05, 18:41   Link #1
Urzu 7
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PC Gaming Console for TVs - "Steam-Box" - Linux Based - 2013 Release

German site Golem.de attended a conference on the 29th of December where Ben Krasnow, Valve electronics engineer, talked ( among other stuff) about the company's plans for a Linux-based console. Here are the main takeaways from the article:

- Valve's console will launch in 2013
- It will use Linux, not Windows
- Valve's hardware labs will reveal other stuff in 2013 (possibly controllers? VR?)
- Krasnow has been working on Valve hardware with Jeri Ellsworth since 2011
- Possible reveal at GDC, Phoronix thinks that E3 is more likely

Quote:
Steam Box without Windows

the Valve developed PC-game-console Steam Box will seemingly be based in Linux, not Windows. And it's not the only exciting hardware project, that Valve will present in 2013.

It doesn't come off as a huge surprise, considering that Valve-boss Gabe Newell views Windows 8 as a catastrophe: Steam Box will not be based on Windows, but on Linux instead. this was confirmed by Ben Krasnow, one of Valves hardware developers, when inquired on this topic. With that, the Linux client for Valves download and community platform Steam, which is currently in its Beta phase, gets an all new background because of this - especially as Linux will also support the big-picture-mode.

(some blurb on what Big Picture is and what Krasnow is doing in his free time and that Valve is also working on Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality projects.)

But according to him, there's more than just the introduction of the Steam Box: "the hardware lab has some secret projects that will be released in 2013. We have a good groop of electronic- and mechanics-engineers and we are glad to build some really cool things", says Krasnow. In summer 2012 Valve's higher ups crticised a frustrating lack of innovation in the area of computer hardware - in a job offer. In that they also wrote: "... we want to change this."

So it's going to be exciting, if there will already be a concrete announcement on the GDC 2013 from March 25th till March 29th 2013 in San Francisco, or if we will have to wait until the US-trade show E3 2013, which is going to take place in Las Vegas from June 11th till June 13th 2013.

Sony Computer Entertainment, Nintendo and Microsoft might well get some serious competition from the PC sector - while Ouya is attacking from the mobile side with the Android console of the same name Ouya.
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=506899
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Old 2013-01-06, 11:50   Link #2
Tong
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Awesome.
Heard it's upgradable also.
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Old 2013-01-06, 12:34   Link #3
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Wait, so Steambox will be a penguin loli in the next instalment of Neptunia?
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Old 2013-01-06, 12:54   Link #4
Solace
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Waste of money, honestly. PC's hook up to televisions anyway, and you're not going to get any PC box cost down to console costs and still be able to offer the performance equivalent. The closed box nature of consoles allows them to get away with PC performance at lower specs and prices. Also, while W8 does indeed suck, but it's not awful, 7 is still fine. Many people skipped Vista too, and life went on. I doubt 8 will stick around long.

If Steam wants to make PC gaming more user friendly, they'd do well to note the new Nvidia tool.
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Old 2013-01-06, 13:04   Link #5
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Good idea i'm thinking he's trying too convert console gamers
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Old 2013-01-06, 14:01   Link #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
Waste of money, honestly. PC's hook up to televisions anyway, and you're not going to get any PC box cost down to console costs and still be able to offer the performance equivalent. The closed box nature of consoles allows them to get away with PC performance at lower specs and prices. Also, while W8 does indeed suck, but it's not awful, 7 is still fine. Many people skipped Vista too, and life went on. I doubt 8 will stick around long.

If Steam wants to make PC gaming more user friendly, they'd do well to note the new Nvidia tool.
I think the point is to sneak PC gaming under the console gamer's radar, which they're pretty much going to have to do in this day and age. Consoles have come so far now that most new gamers, who are young and have little disposable income, are fine shelling out a few hundred bucks for an XBOX or PlayStation but would balk at having to spend $2000+ on a respectable gaming PC ($1500 if they built it themselves).
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Old 2013-01-06, 14:11   Link #7
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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.
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Old 2013-01-06, 16:10   Link #8
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My one remaining complaints about consoles are the lack of upgrade (video, RAM, Hard drive), all of which are easily solved ... and a keyboard+mouse, also easily solved. I have a feeling the mod problem isn't hard to fix either (steam workshop, etc).

Do that for me and I can completely disconnect my computer as a tool from my computer as a gaming device.
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Old 2013-01-06, 20:10   Link #9
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Would people please stop spreading misinformation about PC being too expensive for gaming? 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. On top of that I could watch movies at 60 FPS, surf the web and connect to a TV or make it my home theater center. As for games goes, with steam and GOG alone I pay way less for games than console games. Sometimes I don't have to pay a penny and I am not talking about piracy.

Console gaming is more expensive by a long shot; there are no options for modding or upgrading components and have less freedoms than PCs do. Also most new games cost 60 dollars each. A PC gamer saves more money than a console gamer and have more powerful hardware at his disposal.

As far as games being harder to run on the PC than in consoles this is also not true. Most games, with a very few exceptions, have an auto-detect function that allows the user to just click and play without a hitch.

I believe Valve is trying disprove the long held beliefs that PC gaming is more expensive and cumbersome. I wish them luck in their endeavor. God knows I hate how console gaming have degenerated the state of the gaming industry both technically and creatively. Except Nintendo of course! Those guys can do no harm in my eyes, they are the most respectable and innovative gaming company in my eyes.
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Old 2013-01-06, 23:43   Link #10
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PC gaming is not for everyone, so I think that Steam is trying to change that fact.

A Console-PC would make setups much more affordable and easier on tournaments too.
However, consoles exclusives will always stay there. I can't really imagine Disgaea, Final Fantasy, Blazblue and many others on PC.

Console industry will do everthing to destroy this project.
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Old 2013-01-07, 05:38   Link #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugetsu View Post
Would people please stop spreading misinformation about PC being too expensive for gaming? 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.
No, no you can't. Not unless you steal half the components or you only play games from 2009 and before.

Just a crappy monitor alone is $150-200. A good monitor is even more. A half-decent mid-range video card will run you $200. A Core i3 CPU will cost over $100. Windows 7 is another $100.

You're still without RAM, hard drive, case, PSU, mainboard, input devices, speakers or headphones...

Granted you can build a halfway decent gaming rig for $600 if you build just the box and don't buy or already have a monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers/headphones and such, but you'll have limited storage space and your GPU will be mid-range at best. It will not play "all games at 1080p with everything on high." It'll struggle on games like Metro 2033, Far Cry 3, Black Ops 2--basically any non-RPG that doesn't use old UE3.

My PC cost me $1600 for everything in January of last year. It did not play all games at 1920x1200 with all the settings maxed out. Granted, I did spend money on things for non-gaming related tasks, such as an SSD (not needed for gaming), an IPS monitor and a mechanical switch keyboard--but if gaming was my primary purpose for building my PC, it would have cost much, much more, even without the productivity extras. I can't even run Skyrim with everything maxed out. I have to disable antialiasing (and limit anisotropic filtering) on almost every new title or I get massive slowdown.

A current generation, high-end single-GPU video card is $400-500 easily, and only the high-end cards can run everything out now at 1080p with all the bells and whistles. A decent Core i5, Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge, is going to run you $180-200 just for the CPU.

You cannot build a gaming rig that can beat a console for $600. You just can't. It's not possible. You can barely build a basic productivity workstation for that price with a monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc, especially when you're shelling out $100 alone just for the operating system.
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Old 2013-01-07, 05:55   Link #12
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probably the closest thing you can get for "console-PC"

http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-x51/pd

even then it still more expensive than console and missing component like keyboard and mouse (I ignore monitor since is like saying you need TV to play PS3)

anyway about steambox. probably just like PC in the link. it over simplicity of plug in and play. thought i am bit worried that it use linux since majority of steam will not work
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Old 2013-01-07, 05:58   Link #13
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The base GPU option in the x51 is not nearly powerful enough to run games at 1080p with all settings maxed. You have to pay extra to bump it up to the GTX 660, which still won't run all games at 1080p with all settings maxed.
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Old 2013-01-07, 06:07   Link #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
The base GPU option in the x51 is not nearly powerful enough to run games at 1080p with all settings maxed. You have to pay extra to bump it up to the GTX 660, which still won't run all games at 1080p with all settings maxed.
is not like many console game run on 1080p...
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Old 2013-01-07, 08:35   Link #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
No, no you can't. Not unless you steal half the components or you only play games from 2009 and before.

Just a crappy monitor alone is $150-200. A good monitor is even more. A half-decent mid-range video card will run you $200. A Core i3 CPU will cost over $100. Windows 7 is another $100.

You're still without RAM, hard drive, case, PSU, mainboard, input devices, speakers or headphones...

Granted you can build a halfway decent gaming rig for $600 if you build just the box and don't buy or already have a monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers/headphones and such, but you'll have limited storage space and your GPU will be mid-range at best. It will not play "all games at 1080p with everything on high." It'll struggle on games like Metro 2033, Far Cry 3, Black Ops 2--basically any non-RPG that doesn't use old UE3.

My PC cost me $1600 for everything in January of last year. It did not play all games at 1920x1200 with all the settings maxed out. Granted, I did spend money on things for non-gaming related tasks, such as an SSD (not needed for gaming), an IPS monitor and a mechanical switch keyboard--but if gaming was my primary purpose for building my PC, it would have cost much, much more, even without the productivity extras. I can't even run Skyrim with everything maxed out. I have to disable antialiasing (and limit anisotropic filtering) on almost every new title or I get massive slowdown.

A current generation, high-end single-GPU video card is $400-500 easily, and only the high-end cards can run everything out now at 1080p with all the bells and whistles. A decent Core i5, Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge, is going to run you $180-200 just for the CPU.

You cannot build a gaming rig that can beat a console for $600. You just can't. It's not possible. You can barely build a basic productivity workstation for that price with a monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc, especially when you're shelling out $100 alone just for the operating system.
While I agree that a great PC costs more then a console, don't include the monitor in the price. A cheap LCD can be under $100, and if not that, just use any HDTV. Also, don't forget that current consoles (~$200) only run games at less then 720p on Mediumish settings.
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Old 2013-01-07, 08:54   Link #16
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Valve didn't just start to develop the steambox after they learned about what Win8 could mean for pc gaming, right? Because given this ridiculously close release date it seems like a dangerous and costly kneejerk reaction. I'm no expert on console development though...
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Old 2013-01-07, 09:58   Link #17
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Sorry, hasn't this already been done?

The Ouya is already out -- Android powered minibox console for the TV -- Kickstarter campaign is already over and they have finally started producing.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...o-game-console
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Old 2013-01-07, 12:06   Link #18
Urzu 7
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The Ouya and SteamBox are not the same. They both stand apart from each other, and stand apart from the XBox 360 and PS3. The only consoles that are really like each other are the PS3 and XBox 360. The Wii U is quite a bit like XBox 360 and PS3, but stands out a bit from them, and also, the fact that it is the only console where you can get new Nintendo games makes it stand out.
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Old 2013-01-07, 12:22   Link #19
Tong
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
No, no you can't. Not unless you steal half the components or you only play games from 2009 and before.

You cannot build a gaming rig that can beat a console for $600. You just can't. It's not possible. You can barely build a basic productivity workstation for that price with a monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc, especially when you're shelling out $100 alone just for the operating system.
Monitor shouldn't be included, since we don't usually include cable and TV costs when setting up console costs.

Used parts:
i5 2500K - 120$
5870 - 120$
Z77 - 80$
4GB - 40$

New parts:
650W PSU - 100$
1TB HD - 80$
Case - 80$

And that's only if we're talking about a brand-new PC. A upgrade should be much more cheaper, and it's extremely likely that the 80$ Case, mouses and keyboards wouldn't be even needed.
That card is able to run everthing on medium at decent frames (above 50fps, console run at 25/30fps).
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Old 2013-01-07, 19:25   Link #20
synaesthetic
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lol you think a 5870 can run everything at 1080p with maxed AA, AS, and all other bells and whistles? I want some of what you're smoking.

Ya'll have really low standards.

Anyway I was arguing Sugetsu's point that a $600 PC can run all games that exist at 1080p with maximum graphics settings, which is totally false--there are lots of games (Metro 2033, Black Ops 2, Crysis, FC3, FEAR 2, for examples) that'll just choke and die if you attempted such a thing.

Yeah, you can build a $600 PC that'd be equivalent or slightly better than a console, but why, when a console is equivalent for less than half the price? And you don't have to worry about building it, or dealing with driver conflicts or OS issues. You don't have viruses to worry about. It's an easy, simple, brain-dead appliance that all you have to do is turn it on and play.

Maybe if every gamer knew enough about computers, PC gaming would be stronger than it is now, but most don't and don't care. Hell, even half the PC gamers I know don't have a clue how to build a PC from parts--three of them hired me to build their machines, and the other two know just enough to be dangerous.
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