I think this looks pretty interesting. I remember from the developer commentary in Left 4 Dead that valve had almost completely automated the conversion between PC and X-Box. making a Linux ports (especially to a locked down version for specific hardware) should be simpler than porting to PS3.
Also I think they should call it the GabeCube.
I do like the fact that its potentially an upgradeable console too, long overdue in the gaming world I think, next thing is to stop these consoles locking us off into their specific DRM platform when it comes to games ! lets see a proper "Uniconsole" arrive now, able to play all the latest releases as and when necessary !
(Ideal and Perfect world I know there)
If it's released at its rumoured price point - $1000+ - for an AMD APU based PC, it will tank. I could build a normal PC of that spec for probably $400 of components. It won't be small and sexy, no, but it'll be more upgradeable and half the soddin' price.
I don't think this is *the* Steam box though - *a* Steam box, perhaps, but not the only one. And when we do get a proper Linux based box, I wouldn't be surprised if Valve start offering people a better deal on the Steam store if they make a Linux version available as well - e.g. we'll only take a 20% cut instead of 30% if you port to Linux.
RE: upgradeable consoles - they're a difficult concept, because then you have a moving development target, and start having to introduce abstraction layers on top of hardware (e.g. DirectX) and then you start getting inefficient. The reason consoles keep up despite being so old and decrepit inside is precisely because they're not upgradeable - everyone's hardware is exactly the same, so you can code on bare metal and take advantage of architectural oddities to squeeze every bit of performance out you can manage. That's why modern PCs don't perform 15 times better than an Xbox despite being that much more powerful - it's impossible to wring 100% from them, and you lose further points to DirectX, Windows etc.
iOS and Android are stomping on Sony and Nintendo’s portable game businesses | BGR
and the AppleTV only needs a hard drive...
Though personally I'd say a Steam Console has more chance of success than an iOS console.
I don't think it will really help Linux though, it will help the appliance - where Linux is strong already - and give the dwindling population of gamers another option. Linux is a base not a destination, cheap routers and phones use it by the tens of thousands but not because it is Linux, because it is a cheap framework to build upon for an actual UI and experience. Linux I still like assembly for usability in comparison to the other options.
You have to expect their console platform to be preferred and have some advantages, they are still a company after all. It may well be hacked, that is probably their plan as they can easily wait for the last 20% of the code to be delivered to them with a bow on.
OSS is not the way companies work in general, PROFIT++ is the language they program in, unless it is a dropkick into the black figures of profit it is unlikely they will bother. Already they have probably harvested several hundred thousand dollars of dev time off the community to make a console easier. It is down to their accountants if they pay that back with support or more barely veiled tasks for the developers to do in order to join the party they helped organise.
They've already stated the platform will be fairly open, in that they'll be pushing their console device, but will also be making it available as a download for people to put on their own custom rigs (like it is now in the beta).
You're assuming they are hoping their console is the only way they will be aiming to make money. Their past performance has come purely from desktop and laptop gamers, so ignoring them would be downright idiotic. They are still yet to support Windows 8, and from their murmurings it looks like they won't be supporting it any time soon.
Valve have had a fair amount of support from the community for their idea, but they've also been giving back too - working with Intel, AMD and Nvidia to improve their drivers for example. The game seems to be that if everyone currently works together, they can all get a profit from it, whilst providing a better environment to the consumer.
So, yes, it is all about profit, but I fear you've been a little bit hit by the 'everything must be closed' attitude of other players. Valve have indicated that they're more keen on a more open ecosystem.
one of many. Valve will be making their own console too.
Newell also tipped Valve's hand on target pricing for Steam Boxes built by partners, saying that the company sees three tiers of hardware specifications: "Good, Better," and "Best." He says the goal for a "Good" platform is a free device, but that one would probably start around $99 and eventually come down. Newell says a midrange device should cost around $300, and that the top-tier is only limited by how much someone is willing to spend. (Source)The Steam Box will also be a server. Any PC can serve multiple monitors, so over time, the next-generation (post-Kepler) you can have one GPU that’s serving up eight simultaeneous game calls. So you could have one PC and eight televisions and eight controllers and everybody getting great performance out of it. We’re used to having one monitor, or two monitors — now we’re saying let's expand that a little bit.We've heard lots of rumors about the Steam Box, including that Valve's own hardware would be "tightly controlled." Can you tell us more about Valve's own hardware effort?
The way we sort of think of it is sort of "Good, Better," or "Best." So, Good are like these very low-cost streaming solutions that you’re going to see that are using Miracast or Grid. I think we’re talking about in-home solutions where you’ve got low latency. "Better" is to have a dedicated CPU and GPU and that’s the one that’s going to be controlled. Not because our goal is to control it; it’s been surprisingly difficult when we say to people "don’t put an optical media drive in there" and they put an optical media drive in there and you’re like "that makes it hotter, that makes it more expensive, and it makes the box bigger." Go ahead. You can always sell the Best box, and those are just whatever those guys want to manufacture. [Valve's position is]: let's build a thing that’s quiet and focuses on high performance and quiet and appropriate form factors.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.
Last edited by Arthur; 9th January 2013 at 06:15 PM.
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