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Gaming Thread, Valve unveal console hardware at CES in Fun Stuff; BBC News - Valve shows off game console hardware at CES _65155703_exithre.jpg...
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    Valve unveal console hardware at CES


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    This device has been coming for a while (was at last CES ) Hands-on with Xi3's 'Piston' modular PC at CES

    Looks very interesting.

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    ZeroHour's Avatar
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    Its really about price and if it can handle DX based games for me. I dont think it will ever really match up to a proper rig which I would always prefer tbh.
    Depending on what MS announce at E3 as well with the rumoured xbox 720 coming soon too they could face still competition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroHour View Post
    if it can handle DX based games for me.
    Well we can pretty much guarantee that's not going to happen. But the majority are written with portability for PSGL/OpenGL anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    Well we can pretty much guarantee that's not going to happen. But the majority are written with portability for PSGL/OpenGL anyway.
    Stats? facts?
    41 games are linux compatible now out of a FAR higher amount and the ones I played recently are all DX9 minimum.
    This is before you get to the actual established Xbox user base which all use some form of DX.
    So built it for the valve console that *might* sell or build for xbox/windows which has already sold in droves.

    Your post should go in blue skies forum tbh
    Last edited by ZeroHour; 8th January 2013 at 07:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroHour View Post
    Stats? facts?
    41 games are linux compatible now out of a FAR higher amount and the ones I played recently are all DX9 minimum.
    This is before you get to the actual established Xbox user base which all use some form of DX.
    So built it for the valve console that *might* sell or build for xbox/windows which has already sold in droves.

    Your post should go in blue skies forum tbh
    WTF? It stands to reason it isn't going to support DX - how the hell do I back that up.
    It also stands to reason that everything that is released for multiplatform PS3/Xbox/wii has been written for portability and doesn't need to rely on DX, it just requires another port.

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    It could be quite expensive too.

    The "Steam Box" modular computer announced by hardware maker Xi3 and Valve at CES is codenamed "Piston" and is modelled after the PC maker's X7A line of pint-sized computers, Xi3 reps tell Polygon.

    Xi3 brought an early version of Piston to CES, but was tight lipped on details about the hardware currently in development with Valve. Xi3 chief marketing officer David Politis told Polygon that Piston will offer up to 1 TB of interal storage and offer modular component updates, including the option to upgrade the PC's CPU and RAM.

    Xi3 wouldn't discuss price for Piston, but commented that the Steam Box is based on its "performance level" X7A offering, which is priced at $999. Xi3 declined to comment on what would differentiate Piston hardware-wise from a standard X7A.

    Xi3 also offers the entry level X5A, which is priced at $499 with a Linux operating system.

    The demo unit of Piston featured an I/O board boasting one Ethernet port, 1/8" audio in/out, SPDIF optical audio, four USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports (with one dedicated to keyboard input), four eSATAp ports, two Mini Display Port ports and one DisplayPort/HDMI port. (Source)
    Aren't AMDs Linux drivers meant to be rubbish (or at least not as good as nVidia's)?

    Of course, Valve wouldn't back this system if it didn't have some serious graphics chops. It's optimized to run Valve's Steam platform -- and specifically Big Picture Mode -- and to that end it packs a quad-core AMD APU -- likely from AMD's Fusion series. Most other specs remain vague, though the Piston apparently offers up to 1TB of storage. The package is tiny yet rugged, with an aluminum chassis that's made to resist heat (and that will certainly come in handy during gaming sessions). Xi3 is also touting the system's low energy consumption; it runs on just 40W. And it's somewhat future-proof, too, with a modular motherboard that lets you swap out components when newer tech becomes available. (Source)


    Last edited by Arthur; 8th January 2013 at 07:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    WTF? It stands to reason it isn't going to support DX - how the hell do I back that up.
    It also stands to reason that everything that is released for multiplatform PS3/Xbox/wii has been written for portability and doesn't need to rely on DX, it just requires another port.
    Sorry to clarify I meant your statement the majority are portable for OpenGL, not that it wont have DX.

    Actually I have heard from a few devs that ports are not ports so much as different versions which only share minimal assets. PS3 development being one of the worst out their, its not a trivial thing to do.
    Xbox/PC though is both running DX (xbox runs DX9 + some enhancements) in some form and moving a game across is a lot more straight forward.
    Quite a few xbox and PS3 games have been developed by separate departments as other then script and artwork the bulk of coding is nothing a like or shared although Sony has been improving the PS3 dev kit quite a lot though in recent years.
    The one thing valve has at least is more open dev environment but they are just like w8 as gatekeepers of the store.
    Last edited by ZeroHour; 8th January 2013 at 07:46 PM.

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    Re: Valve unveal console hardware at CES

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroHour View Post
    Sorry to clarify I meant your statement the majority are portable for OpenGL, not that it wont have DX.

    Actually I have heard from a few devs that ports are not ports so much as different versions which only share minimal assets. PS3 development being one of the worst out their, its not a trivial thing to do.
    Xbox/PC though is both running DX (xbox runs DX9 + some enhancements) in some form and moving a game across is a lot more straight forward.
    Quite a few xbox and PS3 games have been developed by separate departments as other then script and artwork the bulk of coding is nothing a like or shared although Sony has been improving the PS3 dev kit quite a lot though in recent years.
    The one thing valve has at least is more open dev environment but they are just like w8 as gatekeepers of the store.
    Yea, pretty sure most of their objection is based on their loosing total control and the new limits on how pervasive their DRM can be. Generally steam is alright bit I've had DRM cripple computers. Supreme Commander two being a good example.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroHour View Post
    Sorry to clarify I meant your statement the majority are portable for OpenGL, not that it wont have DX.

    Actually I have heard from a few devs that ports are not ports so much as different versions which only share minimal assets. PS3 development being one of the worst out their, its not a trivial thing to do.
    Xbox/PC though is both running DX (xbox runs DX9 + some enhancements) in some form and moving a game across is a lot more straight forward.
    That's half the story. The PS3 has one main CPU core and 6 sub-cores whilst the XBox 360 has a triple-core CPU - both are PowerPC based and Windows is of course X86 based. friend (At Sony) tells me that porting from PS3 to XBox 360is done by 2-4 coders depending on size of project (out of a total of 25 coders) and big game port could take a 2-3 months to port to XBOX -mostly due to the architecture change.
    With Piston the architecture is the same as windows/Mac/Linux so they only have to worry about the operating systems and DX to OpenGL and not an entire architecture change when porting windows games. There are a lot of Mac games on Steam these days, so it's likely they will be very quickly available on that Piston.

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    Most version porting is done by small teams. I saw an interview with a guy who does Linux game ports as his career and he pointed out that the team that maintains the Mac port of WoW consists of a couple of people.

    Porting games to Linux should be relatively simple, especially if the games have a mac port already, as they're almost done in that state anyway!

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    looks a very nice device there, I am a big fan of these sleek modular micro units, that were seeing a lot of

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    Quote Originally Posted by rich_tech View Post
    I am a big fan of these sleek modular micro units, that were seeing a lot of
    Slightly off-topic, but Xi3 also had some really cool looking micro servers at CES.

    I like the fact that the Piston console is easily upgradable, although the only place you'll be able to buy the upgrades from is Valve or Xi3.

    "The Xi3 splits the core computer functions into three separate, replaceable components -- one for the processor, one for external communications and one for video and power management."




    Last edited by Arthur; 9th January 2013 at 02:22 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    WTF? It stands to reason it isn't going to support DX - how the hell do I back that up.
    I thought Valve was using Wine to provide compatibility for some games (I know it's limited and there's still a lot of development to do on a constantly moving target):

    DirectXStatus - The Official Wine Wiki

    I suspect porting between Windows and Mac/Linux is easier than porting between PS3 and XBox if developers see value in it. And that's will be the Steam Consoles number 1 problem, getting developers on board.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    I thought Valve was using Wine to provide compatibility for some games (I know it's limited and there's still a lot of development to do on a constantly moving target):
    Not that I've heard. All Valve's own titles have native ports that don't rely on DirectX (use OpenGL instead). The other games, you'd have to ask the developers as Valve aren't the ones to look at for that. However, I've got 24 linux games out of the 41 on there and so far I've not seen any evidence of wine in any of them.

    I suspect porting between Windows and Mac/Linux is easier than porting between PS3 and XBox if developers see value in it. And that's will be the Steam Consoles number 1 problem, getting developers on board.
    Steam is massively popular, and there is a lot of support for them having their own 'platform'. So, I'd say that Linux may well get that injection of support that it needs.



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