1. unstoppablekem's Avatar
    Many steam machines were announced at CES this year, and they do look pretty neat. I do own an Xbox One, so I probably won't get one. However, for the HARDCORE gamer that wants to play games in their living room, the steam machine suits them. What do you guys think?

    Steam Machines
    01-10-2014 07:32 PM
  2. Jack Janik's Avatar
    I think its like the Nvidia Shield and the Ouya: Its a wild card. The ouya had the same fate as the surface rt, bad reviews due to unrealistic expectations. The ouya could've easily been a HUGE hit if they waited until the holidays and got more developers on board. The shield also had so much potential, but its $250, and it only works on nvidia graphics cards, so I can't use it. :/ The shield alienated the PC users, while the ouyabwas judged as if it were a full game console.

    Honestly, I hate to say it, but short of it being a reeking pile ****, I think it will sell well. It really depends though. The market is shifting right now as people who are sorta PC gamers are caught between buying next Gen consoles or upgrades for their PC.

    I can't really say for sure. Hell, I can't tell anything for sure, except that valve and its steam service has a massive following within the PC gaming world. I think it will sell well. How well? I can't say, really.
    01-10-2014 07:53 PM
  3. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    Absolutely disagree here. I can't find the market for these things, to be honest. A "hardcore gamer" (seriously, what does this mean?) wouldn't bother with this thing. Any semi-intelligent PC gamer would just build his own PC for a similar price, and it would be better. Basically, the folks who MIGHT buy these things are those who want to claim to be a member of the "PC Master Race," while being unable to put together a PC. These things will either be mediocre (making getting one over a console pointless) or EXTREMELY expensive (making getting one over a legitimate gaming PC pointless). The only one in that $500-600 price range with ANY specs listed comes with an "AMD A6 CPU." Those are bottom-of-the-barrel CPUs, basically.

    So you either skimp on quality with a $500 Steam Machine, or you get something in the $900+ range for something with some longevity and power. At that point, you have to ask if it's even worth it. These are likely just going to be pre-built PCs in a small case, but without Windows.
    squire777 likes this.
    01-10-2014 11:29 PM
  4. Jack Janik's Avatar
    Absolutely disagree here. I can't find the market for these things, to be honest. A "hardcore gamer" (seriously, what does this mean?) wouldn't bother with this thing. Any semi-intelligent PC gamer would just build his own PC for a similar price, and it would be better. Basically, the folks who MIGHT buy these things are those who want to claim to be a member of the "PC Master Race," while being unable to put together a PC. These things will either be mediocre (making getting one over a console pointless) or EXTREMELY expensive (making getting one over a legitimate gaming PC pointless). The only one in that $500-600 price range with ANY specs listed comes with an "AMD A6 CPU." Those are bottom-of-the-barrel CPUs, basically.

    So you either skimp on quality with a $500 Steam Machine, or you get something in the $900+ range for something with some longevity and power. At that point, you have to ask if it's even worth it. These are likely just going to be pre-built PCs in a small case, but without Windows.
    I haven't followed the steam boxes too much, but I was under the impression that it would use cloud gaming? I haven't really looked into it since it was a rumor.
    01-11-2014 01:39 PM
  5. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    Not that I have seen mentioned. They run SteamOS, a Steam-coated brand of Linux. I've heard nothing about any kind of streaming service for these things, because I'm sure we'd have a lot of press covering a Steam-based streaming service like PlayStation Now is putting out. These are basically small PCs, which will either be low-powered and priced like a console, or more-powerful than a console and $1,000.
    01-11-2014 03:24 PM
  6. Jack Janik's Avatar
    Not that I have seen mentioned. They run SteamOS, a Steam-coated brand of Linux. I've heard nothing about any kind of streaming service for these things, because I'm sure we'd have a lot of press covering a Steam-based streaming service like PlayStation Now is putting out. These are basically small PCs, which will either be low-powered and priced like a console, or more-powerful than a console and $1,000.
    Oh, sorry, my bad then. I think this will be a bit of a flop knowing that..
    01-11-2014 06:32 PM
  7. unstoppablekem's Avatar
    FYI, some steam machines run windows as well...
    01-11-2014 06:40 PM
  8. BIGPADDY's Avatar
    FYI, some steam machines run windows as well...

    And windows machine can run steam OS just be warned that the steam OS erasers all the data off the HDD including the OS installed.

    I think that what I read if anyone wants to correct me not sure I read this information a month ago.

    But yeah I think you can dual boot for Windows or whatever OS you want to use.
    01-11-2014 08:07 PM
  9. DavidinCT's Avatar
    And windows machine can run steam OS just be warned that the steam OS erasers all the data off the HDD including the OS installed.

    I think that what I read if anyone wants to correct me not sure I read this information a month ago.

    But yeah I think you can dual boot for Windows or whatever OS you want to use.
    I have been following this SteamOS box thing for a while now, from the first announcement. I do think of myself as a pretty hardcore gamer, I play consoles, PC, portable and phone games. I can not get enough. It's like my crack...

    I know where Valve is trying to go here and I see their point but, I don't think the market is ready and there are a LOT of flaws with their plans. They are trying to get the PC gaming market in the living room, taking the PC from the office/bedroom to the living room for everyone to enjoy. Here is my list of MAJOR flaws with this.

    1. WAY too much fragmentation before it's even on the market, with the announcements of some SteamOS boxes going for $499.99 to $5999.99 there is WAY to much room for fragmentation here.
    2. Single use PC, Yea, buy a $1200(a step up model) gaming PC and it's only use would be for games, No home theater PC or desktop web browsing.
    3. Linux based OS in the Steambox, Most of Steam's library is for Windows, so your not talking a HUGE library of games for it to start, all games have to be re-written for Linux, so classics might not show up and new games might get delayed because a Dev only wants to work with Windows.
    4. Limited life span over what a X1 or PS4 will offer (PCs need to be upgraded every year or two to be able to play the newest games at MAX level, if you don't in 2-4 years, there will be games you can't even play because of the hardware).

    If you have the money to blow (I would not suggest any of the entry models if your going to do this), it's a nice option but, It's got some major flaws. Also to think, They make a steam front end for Windows, build a home theater PC, put a nice video card in, put steam front end on it and it will cost you almost 1/2 AND you have a LOT larger library to chose from.

    If you have a gaming PC now (like I do), this is one of those things, Wait and see but, I don't think it's really going to go anywhere, too much to confuse people at this point, and the Nitch gamer is not going to keep this project afloat...
    BIGPADDY likes this.
    01-12-2014 07:24 PM
  10. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    Some valid points, others not. The main disagreement I have is that you think that PCs must be upgraded annually. I'd say that if you got an i5 and a R9 280X video card (which is based on year-old stuff), you'd probably be fine for 5 years. I just upgraded my 2009 PC's CPU at the end of December, and that was just because it was a good deal ($200 for a CPU Newegg wants $240 for, and $80 for a motherboard Newegg wants $145 for). I still have my 2009 Radeon HD 5850, and 2012's Dishonored and 2013's Metro: Last Light are the first titles I've seen list it as the RECOMMENDED video card, let alone the MINIMUM one. Ghosts says that its minimum is a 5870 (one step up from my card, and another 2009 release), but it also says that 6 GB of RAM is its minimum, so I don't trust it. Assassin's Creed IV recommends my exact 5850 as well. So, basically, you should be able to get 5 years out of a video card, but they're also $300 investments. I might be upgrading my video card after 4.5 years (this summer), but it's mostly a luxury upgrade, if I have the money.

    The overall thing, though, is spot-on. The SteamOS is too restrictive, both in terms of gaming library and other functions. If these things were coming with Windows, they'd be a decent deal. For an ACTUAL, small PC, $750 wouldn't be a terrible console replacement.
    01-12-2014 10:16 PM
  11. DavidinCT's Avatar
    Some valid points, others not. The main disagreement I have is that you think that PCs must be upgraded annually. I'd say that if you got an i5 and a R9 280X video card (which is based on year-old stuff), you'd probably be fine for 5 years. I just upgraded my 2009 PC's CPU at the end of December, and that was just because it was a good deal ($200 for a CPU Newegg wants $240 for, and $80 for a motherboard Newegg wants $145 for). I still have my 2009 Radeon HD 5850, and 2012's Dishonored and 2013's Metro: Last Light are the first titles I've seen list it as the RECOMMENDED video card, let alone the MINIMUM one. Ghosts says that its minimum is a 5870 (one step up from my card, and another 2009 release), but it also says that 6 GB of RAM is its minimum, so I don't trust it. Assassin's Creed IV recommends my exact 5850 as well. So, basically, you should be able to get 5 years out of a video card, but they're also $300 investments. I might be upgrading my video card after 4.5 years (this summer), but it's mostly a luxury upgrade, if I have the money.

    The overall thing, though, is spot-on. The SteamOS is too restrictive, both in terms of gaming library and other functions. If these things were coming with Windows, they'd be a decent deal. For an ACTUAL, small PC, $750 wouldn't be a terrible console replacement.
    As for the PC upgrade every year thing. If you go out and buy the $499 model (base model to compete with Xbox one/Ps4), You will run into issue in 2-3 years with SOME games (think Crysis for one), maybe in a year. If you go out and buy a midline model ($1500-2500), you should be able to play all stuff in 3-4 years and most stuff in a possable 5 year frames.

    I always lived by the fact that if your a gamer on a PC, undertstanding that if I am playing a game on the PC, I am EXPECTING everything on MAX/Ultra mode, not lower end or cutting graphic levels to just be able to play a game. I need to do a upgrade of some type every year, normally $200-400 per year, sometimes it's a new hard drive (or 2) or a new video card. Every 4-5 years a major overhaul (CPU, Motherboard, Ram, etc) this is normally about $500-1200 (depending on what is in the market at the time). Getting a good video card now COULD last you 5 years but, there will be a lot of games at the time you wont be able to run fully.

    Most Steam boxes should be fine for the 2-4 year range but, beyond that is all how much your spend to start with buying a higher end PC will last you longer and this is for sure on steamboxes as well. Otherwise you could be in a case needing to upgrade video card at least and lower end systems will have onboard graphics and that could be a problem for a upgrade.

    For about 2-3 years, I owned my own business builing Home theater PCs and custom gaming machines, Trust me, I have seen clients turn in times on machines or requesting upgrades because they can't play XXX game at max...

    Anyway about it, SteamOS boxes are too fragmented at this point, it will be very interesting on how it plays out. I wont get one but, might build one but, I will be sitting on the sideline watching, playing my PC based games on my Windows based gaming machine.
    01-16-2014 11:39 AM
  12. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    If you go for the high-end, a video card shouldn't have any trouble lasting you up to 5 years. The video card I have (Radeon 5850) is the recommended (not minimum) card for ACIV, Metro: Last Light, and Dishonored. BF4 recommends something higher, but that's the only one I recall suggesting something higher. That's a card from late-2009, and it wasn't the highest-end card they sold at the time. If you went and got a R9 290X or GTX 780 Ti, I have a hard time believing you couldn't make it to 2017, maybe even 2020.

    Also, that "major" overhaul you mentioned...I think you are overestimating the costs. It was $280 for me to get an i5-4670K and ASRock Extreme4 motherboard to go with it. The EXTREMELY-overkill RAM I have (32 GB DDR3-1866) was $190 (though it's gone up to $320 since). Realistically, you can get a capable CPU, motherboard, and RAM for about $400, no problem. $1200 would be if you want to do a new build entirely, with the majority of that being the video card.

    The whole issue of fragmentation isn't "SteamOS" or "right now," it's the very nature of modular hardware. There are options galore for PC parts, and that goes for everything (Macs included, though they're monopolized on the availability front). There's not going to be a time where Steam Machines AREN'T fragmented, and the same goes for Windows-based machines.
    01-16-2014 03:51 PM
  13. DavidinCT's Avatar
    Maybe, but, in the 4-5 range there will be titles with that card that you wont be able to play at MAX level, think Crysis 3 for one... You wont be able to play that at Ultra on a card from 2009 unless you expect low frame rate or a slideshow on some stages.

    Most games right now, sure, a 4-5 year old card should do but, we are in the Next Gen age now, PC games are going to have to scale it up quite a bit to blow away current new consoles. Over the next year or 2, you will see titles come out that your old card MIGHT be able to play in 800 X 600 at in ultra mode but, if you want anything more than that, you need to dump some money into the problem. This trend is going to continue, so be ready to dump some cash into it...

    I'm really meaning the lower end Steam OS models under $1000. These boxes are already over priced for the hardware you get and in 2-5 years, there will be titles that it cant play and they are smaller boxes with onboard video, it could become a paperweight in a lot shorter time...

    Also, that "major" overhaul you mentioned...I think you are overestimating the costs. It was $280 for me to get an i5-4670K and ASRock Extreme4 motherboard to go with it. The EXTREMELY-overkill RAM I have (32 GB DDR3-1866) was $190 (though it's gone up to $320 since). Realistically, you can get a capable CPU, motherboard, and RAM for about $400, no problem. $1200 would be if you want to do a new build entirely, with the majority of that being the video card.
    Not sure where your counting goes but, According to your upgrade you did, it cost about $470 (CPU/MB+RAM) before taxes or shipping and I said between $500 and 1200 depending on the market. This all depends on how high end I want to go at the time, a top end CPU (I normally go 1-2 steps below top) could cost you $700+ (intel based) but, about $200-400 for the step up, then a good MB around $100-200, then ram, 16gb or more, $90-250. Even around the basic step up, I'm still in the $600-700 range but, if I wanted to go top end, I coudl go $1000-1200 easy....

    Doing this is not going to very possable on lower end steam boxes....that is part of the problem..
    01-20-2014 01:31 PM
  14. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    Yeah, you're using numbers I didn't get to pick to defend your argument. The RAM was $190 of the $470. That was for 32 GB that my dad bought me as a gift. I wanted 25% of that, meaning my pick for RAM would have been $50 max. That would have put my "major overhaul" at $330. and heck, that was going to the gaming high-end with the i5, as the HyperThreading of an i7 isn't needed for games, and those $400+ Ivy Bridge-E CPUs aren't needed, either.

    The CPU really isn't where you need to upgrade, in most cases. People are running their top-end machines on Nehalem chips from 2008 without issue. My i5 investment should last me 5 years without too much issue, if I want it to. For gaming, the GPU will drag before the CPU. That, and the GPU is the BIG investment when you need to replace things. that can be $00+, if you want it to be, but my $300 GPU is going to be 4.5 years old before I even CONSIDER replacing it.

    But the other side of that is that consoles are limited in their improvements. Yeah, you don't have to replace hardware, but there are limits. For example, the 360 couldn't go to Blu-Ray discs, meaning you had RAGE and L.A. Noire come out on three DVDs. The consoles lasted 8 years, but games also weren't always HD (Ghosts is 800x720 on the 360, I think). Consoles get away with inferior hardware MUCH better than consoles do, but at the same time, they don't aim for the same heights that PCs do from the start (people build PCs today gfor 4K gaming tomorrow, but console players are fine with 720p on the new consoles).

    But like I said, the Steam Machine really has no market. It's limited to Linux lovers and Valve fanboys, really. If you REALLY like SteamOS that much, you can easily put it on your PC, rather than paying for a mediocre and/or overpriced PC, which these are likely to be.
    01-20-2014 05:46 PM
  15. Ridemyscooter86's Avatar
    Steam Machine is neat, but In my opinion, the big thing that valve is going to have to do is convince the major developers, like EA, Ubisoft, Activision, Square-Enix, etc., that they should also port their games over to linux. Apple already has a hard enough time with this and they are apple, you see more games every day being ported to them but there is still a very large chunk of PC games that don't make it to OSX. Not only that, but in general, the Devs also develop for ps3/4 and xbox 360/one, first since they make them more money, so its a neat experiment and I know why valve is trying to distance themselves from MS is they can, but it ultimately might not work for them, it all depends on the software.

    I think another major problem is the use of linux, and I don't mean that to say that there is anything wrong with linux but, for many people, linux will not do what they need it to do, or rather it won't give them an advantage over windows since most average users have been using windows forever, and most people are tied into running programs like office, many people use internet explorer, and a lot of professional grade productivity software such as adobe products, autodesk, etc. Now the linux users are going to be screaming WINE! WINE! WINE! it solves all of your problems...yeah, good luck getting an average pc user to figure that one out...

    In terms of the hardware, It won't be a problem, but for me, at least, there is no advantage for me to run linux over windows and in my personal case, many disadvantages because so much software is not available for linux that I need.
    01-22-2014 09:09 AM
  16. DavidinCT's Avatar
    Yeah, you're using numbers I didn't get to pick to defend your argument. The RAM was $190 of the $470. That was for 32 GB that my dad bought me as a gift. I wanted 25% of that, meaning my pick for RAM would have been $50 max. That would have put my "major overhaul" at $330. and heck, that was going to the gaming high-end with the i5, as the HyperThreading of an i7 isn't needed for games, and those $400+ Ivy Bridge-E CPUs aren't needed, either.

    The CPU really isn't where you need to upgrade, in most cases. People are running their top-end machines on Nehalem chips from 2008 without issue. My i5 investment should last me 5 years without too much issue, if I want it to. For gaming, the GPU will drag before the CPU. That, and the GPU is the BIG investment when you need to replace things. that can be $00+, if you want it to be, but my $300 GPU is going to be 4.5 years old before I even CONSIDER replacing it.
    I pretty much said everything you said there accept for the GPU, as new games come up and need to play them at the highest level, I do feel if you buy a Mid line (Top is about $700-800, Mid is about $200-350), it's only going to be able to handle TOP end games at HIGHEST OR ULTRA level for only 3-4 years, and 4 years is TOPS.

    As for the GPU, it all depends on how much of a hardcore gamer you are. If your mid line, sure a Mid-line (Not entry $100 video card) could last you 4-5 years, where towards the 4 to 5 year window, you will have to TWEAK some games graphics to get them to run at a acceptable frame but, they will run with some possible minor issues.

    You should of read all my posts before replying..


    But the other side of that is that consoles are limited in their improvements. Yeah, you don't have to replace hardware, but there are limits. For example, the 360 couldn't go to Blu-Ray discs, meaning you had RAGE and L.A. Noire come out on three DVDs. The consoles lasted 8 years, but games also weren't always HD (Ghosts is 800x720 on the 360, I think). Consoles get away with inferior hardware MUCH better than consoles do, but at the same time, they don't aim for the same heights that PCs do from the start (people build PCs today gfor 4K gaming tomorrow, but console players are fine with 720p on the new consoles).

    But like I said, the Steam Machine really has no market. It's limited to Linux lovers and Valve fanboys, really. If you REALLY like SteamOS that much, you can easily put it on your PC, rather than paying for a mediocre and/or overpriced PC, which these are likely to be.
    The 360 was built with a DVD based drive, They could not change it due to compatibility. The Xbox 360 could of handled Blu-ray fine, maybe not games(might of) but, movies, no question. The could of done games from Blu-ray but, it would of cost people a lot of money over the top of the system and it would of upset a lot of gamers (remember the Sega 32X ?)

    Do you remember the HD-DVD player for it ? Yep full 1080p video from HD-DVD (rumors stated that it had less compression than Blu-ray). No question the system could of played Blu-ray discs with no problem.

    And as for the same Steam machines having no market I almost totally agree there.

    .....

    Can I ask, why are you always trying to be 100% right when people do things different than you do ? Really, most of your posts are like that. People must totally be with how you do something or they are totally wrong.

    This was a discussion about Steam boxes, not Who was right or wrong. I upgrade my PC more than most people but, I am pretty hardcore at gaming and my clients are too. There is a major difference between a hardcore gamer and a every once and a while gamer for hardware requirements.

    You should really think about that before you post...
    01-22-2014 12:01 PM
  17. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    I don't even know where to begin with this mess. I guess I'll start with "always being right." It's not a matter of always being right. It's about explanation of my point. There's a fantastic "Ignore" feature if you have a problem with my explanations.

    For example, I'll explain my point here: The "top-line" you're calling for CPUs isn't for gaming CPUs. The i5-4670K sits firmly in the high-end of gaming-class CPUs. The hexa-core CPUS Intel sells do not help with gaming. The i7's HyperThreading don't really, either. So when you're talking about modern gaming, and even near-future (3-5 years) gaming, the i5 line is in the top-line for performance, because the vast majority of games are more GPU-dependent than CPU-dependent. So when you say "$200-400" for a top-end CPU, that's only when you're too stupid to recognize that games don't use 6 Intel cores effectively, and an i5 (which will be in the $200-250 range) will perform just perfectly for everything but big, high-quality raiding in WoW (which a six-core CPU or i7 won't fix, because WoW isn't optimized to use that many cores or HT). So, for the sake of being right (since that's apparently ALL I want to do, not just have a discussion and explain things for the sake of having a conversation), no--you weren't saying the exact same thing that I was. You call that high-end $700 for gaming CPUs, but it's really $250.

    I read the entirety of 99% of posts before I reply to them, including yours. I read every word, and I didn't agree with the words you typed. I stated that point, and I explained why.

    The rest of the first half of your post, I really can't even comment on. It is missing explanations of your point too much, I don't really know what you're trying to say.

    As for the console stuff, I don't think that Blu-Ray was an option for the 360. As we saw with the PS3, it was too expensive to add it to the console at the start, and it would have led to garbage sales. There really wasn't an option for an add-on drive, because no one wants to go spend $200 on a disc accessory, I don't think. MAYBE an add-on Blu-Ray drive (instead of HD-DVD) would have been a viable accessory for people (over the nearly-$100 players that were on the market initially), but I don't think that it would have been a reasonable solution to use Blu-Ray on the console, from a games standpoint. Using two forms of media would have confused customers (I have very little faith in the intelligence of the gaming masses, which is often driven by the wants of teens and kids), because it would have meant producing DVD- and Blu-Ray-based discs for several years. Well, unless Microsoft offered free disc drive replacements for every user, to make Blu-Ray a universal thing for gamers.
    01-22-2014 09:55 PM

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