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Gaming Thread, Valve to release its own 'tightly controlled' console-like PC for the living room in Fun Stuff; The reason Steam has survived and doing well is because it is updated and it evolves to meet the current ...
  1. #31
    CAM
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    The reason Steam has survived and doing well is because it is updated and it evolves to meet the current climate. Remember when it first started? The system was designed for distributing Half-Life and official mods with a ropey Friends feature and some parlor games to play whilst waiting for rounds between CS. Then someone said "Why not get other companies on board?"

    Now it is the biggest digital distribution service with the Steam Community added to meet the new social networking climate, non-games for sale, graphics drivers, adaptations for F2P plus Steam Wallet to support that new revenue model...it's come a long long way from playing Checkers as you wait for two AWP campers to kill each other assuming Friends was even working.

    Shame the parlor games never came back though.

  2. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    These may be "alternatives" to steam in the Windows PC world, but they are not alternatives/competitors as far as a Steam Console is concerned. The alternatives would be Apple-TV, Rocku, Google/Android TV, Wii-U, Playstation 4, XBox 720, OnLive. A some what crowded market with some big players. As I said above PS4 already as the Playstation Store and PS+ accounts offer cracking value. It's how they compete and differentiate themselves in this market that will be key. And the biggest key is attracting developers to Linux. If developers stick with Windows/Direct-X, Wine isn't going to get them that far...
    But that's the thing isn't it - the hardware platform will need to progress relatively quickly too. Consoles don't update often enough IMO. Just look at that graph earlier about graphic performance differences. If they produce a console using commodity style hardware, I'd be quite keen on them also selling approved upgrades too - eg. every year release a range of graphics cards that can be slotted in easily whilst the underlying system has already been updated to support the devices without any interaction from the end user.

    There are a surprising number of games on Steam that have Linux versions already. Ok, most are indie games, but its still quite a few.

  3. #33

    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    But how will a linux distro deal with DX10 games?

    I'd love this to work, I miss PC games but got bored of often spending more time on hardware issues then on the games. Would be nice also to have a PC "console" rather than having to have a HTC that can be a gaming rig or lugging your PC in to the living room.

    Big issue though is that all the games work and price.

  4. #34

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    If they produce a console using commodity style hardware, I'd be quite keen on them also selling approved upgrades too - eg. every year release a range of graphics cards that can be slotted in easily whilst the underlying system has already been updated to support the devices without any interaction from the end user.
    .
    Personally I'd copy Apple approach with the iPad, small annual hardware increments. I'm surprised Nintendo haven't gone down this route with the Wii as they use mostly stock hardware, the core chips have been the same since the GameCube, and they certainly can't keep up with Sony and Microsoft in the horse power department.

    I can't see Valve wanting to do a modular system. They've already pretty much said "if you don't like our hardware, build your own and put Linux+Steam on it". I think they want to get away from Windows (didn't the CEO say "Windows 8 is a carp gaming platform"?). In order to do that they need to attract developers to Linux. To do that developers need a popular platform to target. Thus, the Steam Console. Makes sense, but it also means going up against Apple, Sony and Microsoft in a big way...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TechMonkey View Post
    But how will a linux distro deal with DX10 games?
    Same way PS3, Wii, OSX do - buy using OpenGL.
    Any game that is ported to run on non-MS platforms has to deal with this anyway.

  6. #36

    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    I think they'll produce 2-3 sealed boxes at various price points and have a pre-configured set of graphics settings for each game at each of those points. Maybe release an updated hardware platform every 3 years (not much point in doing so more often, IMHO - not a significant enough difference between generations atm).

    They're talking about a turn key solution - i.e. something simple and hands off. I doubt they'll lock it down completely, they'll be open to people playing, but at a basic level it will plug in, boot to Steam Big Picture, load with the appropriate performance/quality settings and let you just get on with it - like a console.

  7. #37

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    Maybe release an updated hardware platform every 3 years (not much point in doing so more often, IMHO - not a significant enough difference between generations atm).
    Funny, that's the exact reason why I think they should update the hardware platform annually. Again, look at the iPad. Instead of one big change every 3/4 years, you can enter the ecosystem at the current level at any time and then choose your own replacement/upgrade cycle. I think it would be tough on a small company to develop a hardware platform that can remain current for 3 years and compete with Sony/Microsoft consoles - Nintendo haven't been able to do it and they've been in the business a lot longer!
    Last edited by tmcd35; 11th December 2012 at 10:27 AM.

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I'd be quite keen on them also selling approved upgrades too - eg. every year release a range of graphics cards that can be slotted in easily whilst the underlying system has already been updated to support the devices without any interaction from the end user.
    I said something similar a long time ago.

    Combine the upgradeablity of a computer with the "it just plays" of a console. Throw in the cheap games of Steam, and the console war is over.

  9. #39

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    Based on the first chart above you would think that no new consoles had been released during that time but that is not the case.

    oooops pasted in to wrong forum.
    Last edited by edutech4schools; 11th December 2012 at 10:31 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by edutech4schools View Post
    Based on the first chart above you would think that no new consoles had been released during that time but that is not the case.

    oooops pasted in to wrong forum.
    True, but no new consoles with better graphics than the 360/PS3 have been released, that's what the chart is based on.

  11. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by edutech4schools View Post
    Based on the first chart above you would think that no new consoles had been released during that time but that is not the case.

    oooops pasted in to wrong forum.
    The Wii U barely keeps pace with the PS3/360 though, and the GPUs in those are effectively a 7600 and an X1800 - not quite, but similar; they're both essentially half a dozen generations old. Compare the 8600 in this chart to the 660Ti today - i.e. similar price points in the line up - and performance has improved around 14x in BF3. Consoles can keep up to an extent from bare metal coding, and by avoiding the inefficiencies of an abstraction layer like DirectX, but they've hit that limit. Compare a recent game like BF3 or Sleeping Dogs from console to PC - it's a different game altogether, the level of detail, lighting, ambience, texture...

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    Quote Originally Posted by LosOjos View Post
    True, but no new consoles with better graphics than the 360/PS3 have been released, that's what the chart is based on.
    I think the situation is a little more complex than nVidia would have us believe (but then they're in the business of selling graphics cards not games consoles!). No manufacturer will put a top of the range $600 graphics component in a games console. Games consoles don't have to drive PC screen resolutions. Developers are able to more effectively target the static platform and eek out more performance than on a PC (for the same spec) because on a PC you have to take in to account a number of different variations of spec. So yes, current graphics cards might be 10x more powerful than in consoles but that doesn't necessarily mean 10x fast, 10x better graphics, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    it's a different game altogether, the level of detail, lighting, ambience, texture...
    Assassin's Creed 3 is beautiful on Xbox because of a redesigned engine. [Even moreso on PC]

    There comes a point where more graphics is pointless though... I think we're at that point now [or fast approching it]

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    I think the situation is a little more complex than nVidia would have us believe (but then they're in the business of selling graphics cards not games consoles!). No manufacturer will put a top of the range $600 graphics component in a games console. Games consoles don't have to drive PC screen resolutions. Developers are able to more effectively target the static platform and eek out more performance than on a PC (for the same spec) because on a PC you have to take in to account a number of different variations of spec. So yes, current graphics cards might be 10x more powerful than in consoles but that doesn't necessarily mean 10x fast, 10x better graphics, etc.
    It's always hard to completely trust the findings of any company who has something to gain by skewing them but in this case it's quite easy to see for yourself how graphics have come along since the 360/PS3 were released.

    Don't forget, nVidia make the graphics processor for the PS3 and ATI for the 360, so they still get their cut in the console market

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    Assassin's Creed 3 is beautiful on Xbox because of a redesigned engine. [Even moreso on PC]

    There comes a point where more graphics is pointless though... I think we're at that point now [or fast approching it]
    Uncanny valley ho!

    I do wish developers would spend less on $graphicsTech & MOAR POLYGONS and a bit more on art direction, but still, as someone currently playing through ME3 on PC, god how I hate the consoles for their pitiful lack of RAM and the godawful textures I am having forced upon me.

    EDIT:
    Don't forget, nVidia make the graphics processor for the PS3 and ATI for the 360, so they still get their cut in the console market
    - by all accounts, it's a fairly pitiful cut though :/ certainly not enough to keep AMD afloat at the moment, anyway.

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