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Gaming Thread, Steam Box prototype console within four months in Fun Stuff; BBC News - Valve readies prototype Steam Box video game console Exciting stuff! The more I hear about this, the ...
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    Steam Box prototype console within four months

    BBC News - Valve readies prototype Steam Box video game console

    Exciting stuff! The more I hear about this, the more I get excited about it!

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    They're gonna need to get a wiggle on getting more 'big ticket' games out for Linux. The 130+ games that are there are great and all, but the vast majority are little puzzle games. They need some big games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    They're gonna need to get a wiggle on getting more 'big ticket' games out for Linux. The 130+ games that are there are great and all, but the vast majority are little puzzle games. They need some big games.
    I'm sure they will be working on porting some of the bigger games across to their console. Consoles are rarely released without some accompanying big name titles to play on them.

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rawns View Post
    I'm sure they will be working on porting some of the bigger games across to their console. Consoles are rarely released without some accompanying big name titles to play on them.
    I hope so but the problem is, it's not really a console, is it?

    The only way I can see them really making this take off is to develop a new game of their own, something BIG, like the next Half Life, and making it a Steam exclusive.

    I'm excited by the idea of the Steam box and I'd love to see it succeed, but I think they're going to have a hard time convincing the big software houses to adopt Linux as a target platform... I really hope they pull it off though!

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    In my opinion the machine looks a little ugly, but the insides make up for it

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    Quote Originally Posted by LosOjos View Post
    I hope so but the problem is, it's not really a console, is it?

    The only way I can see them really making this take off is to develop a new game of their own, something BIG, like the next Half Life, and making it a Steam exclusive.

    I'm excited by the idea of the Steam box and I'd love to see it succeed, but I think they're going to have a hard time convincing the big software houses to adopt Linux as a target platform... I really hope they pull it off though!
    It could be the next generation of living room gaming devices. They say that the PS4 and Xbox 720(?) will be the last incarnation of their kind, maybe an open source device that runs Linux will allow greater scalability for audiences with different companies creating competing models?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SovietRussia View Post
    In my opinion the machine looks a little ugly, but the insides make up for it
    The prototypes are not even made yet so the design will not have been finalised.

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rawns View Post
    It could be the next generation of living room gaming devices. They say that the PS4 and Xbox 720(?) will be the last incarnation of their kind, maybe an open source device that runs Linux will allow greater scalability for audiences with different companies creating competing models?
    I hope so, I really do. What I'd really like to see is a good, better best system in place, with Steam holding a library of GPU's on a simple number rating system. This would remove the obstacle for many non-geeks to PC gaming in terms of understanding the minimum and recommended spec - you'd just have a number, i.e. minimum 1 recommended 3, that corresponded to the rating Steam gave each card.

    I think the key is going to be making it appear like a modular, [relatively] cheaply upgradeable console, as opposed to a living room PC...

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    X-13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rawns View Post
    with different companies creating competing models?
    So, basically, standard PC gaming.


    Quote Originally Posted by LosOjos View Post
    Steam holding a library of GPU's on a simple number rating system. This would remove the obstacle for many non-geeks to PC gaming in terms of understanding the minimum and recommended spec - you'd just have a number, i.e. minimum 1 recommended 3, that corresponded to the rating Steam gave each card.
    I'm not sure that'd work.

    My GPU [Nvidia 630M - 2GB] isn't that good judging by comments people have made about it. But, I can still play a lot of games with high settings and no problems. Saint's Row 3 maxed, WoW almost maxed, Tera maxed...

    There's also the fact that a lot of the GPU intensive settings, like 8x antialising, aren't even needed. You can't really tell the difference between 8x and 4x. [Source]
    Last edited by X-13; 6th March 2013 at 11:06 AM.

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    The thing people enjoy with consoles is knowing that if they buy the game which says xbox 360, they will know they can play it as was intended by the developers. If they create a fragmented environment then it will effectively be PC gaming. Not that I mind that, I prefer PC gaming to consoles as I can't get on with a controller for the majority of games!

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    I'm not sure that'd work.

    My GPU [Nvidia 630M - 2GB] isn't that good judging by comments people have made about it. But, I can still play a lot of games with high settings and no problems. Saint's Row 3 maxed, WoW almost maxed, Tera maxed...

    There's also the fact that a lot of the GPU intensive settings, like 8x antialising, aren't even needed. You can't really tell the difference between 8x and 4x. [Source]
    It'd work fine - you just list the games on the site for sale - Saints Row 3rd - For best quality '5', minimum '2'. etc... You could go about expanding upon this by encouraging a better graphics capability check in games. So, rather than leaving it up to the end user to have to fiddle, they can submit games for testing on some form of pre-built benchmarking system, that adjusts settings and scores them against cards etc... So when a user has, say, your card, it knows "this card has been tested with XYZ". This wouldn't work overly well in general PC gaming, but in a controlled 'Steam Box' environment it could be achieved pretty easily.

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    I'm not sure that'd work.

    My GPU [Nvidia 630M - 2GB] isn't that good judging by comments people have made about it. But, I can still play a lot of games with high settings and no problems. Saint's Row 3 maxed, WoW almost maxed, Tera maxed...

    There's also the fact that a lot of the GPU intensive settings, like 8x antialising, aren't even needed. You can't really tell the difference between 8x and 4x. [Source]
    I'm not talking about comments people have made in a forum though, I'm talking about Steam holding an "authoritative" library of approved cards. That's not to say you can't use a theoretically lesser card, just that it's not been Steam approved therefore you have no comeback if the game you want to play won't work. I'd also have a "plug and play" mode, whereby the Steam box recognises the card you have and sets the games settings to pre-approved ones based on that card. You could override this but that would be on your own back.

    The reason I'm saying this is I think this will need a simplified approach to entice console gamers. When you buy a game for a console, you know it will work. PC is a little more difficult. By having this standardised list, Steam could tell you whether a game will work with your system or not. If you choose to try the game despite Steam not recommending it, then that's up to you, but I think this simplified approach is needed to get console gamers over to the PC model.

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    X-13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    It'd work fine - you just list the games on the site for sale - Saints Row 3rd - For best quality '5', minimum '2'. etc... You could go about expanding upon this by encouraging a better graphics capability check in games. So, rather than leaving it up to the end user to have to fiddle, they can submit games for testing on some form of pre-built benchmarking system, that adjusts settings and scores them against cards etc... So when a user has, say, your card, it knows "this card has been tested with XYZ". This wouldn't work overly well in general PC gaming, but in a controlled 'Steam Box' environment it could be achieved pretty easily.
    It could be included in a beta/demo release... Which works out brilliantly as there seems to be less and less demos being made available.

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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    It could be included in a beta/demo release... Which works out brilliantly as there seems to be less and less demos being made available.
    The plus side of demos, being able to effectivly benchmark your rig for a game you wanted to see if it can handle it. Steam do still make a lot of demos available though.


    I miss the days of buying PC Gamer and getting a cover DVD with demos, drivers, indie games and mods! No call for it any more.

    Even back in the day when I had a commodore 64, the game mags used to include free games on a cassette on the front. Happy days.
    Last edited by Rawns; 6th March 2013 at 11:20 AM.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rawns View Post
    Even back in the day when I had a commodore 64, the game mags used to include free games on a cassette on the front. Happy days.
    [mists of time descend]
    For me it was Amstrad Action. I got every issue for about 2 years or so and built quiet a library of descent free games. And then 4 or 5 Amiga mags every month with cover disks. Although the Amiga ones where always better for the free apps they gave away.
    [/mists of time ascend]

    It's what I like about the current PS+ service and am hoping Sony continues in some form with Gaikai on the PS4. Currently playing through the epic Red Dead Redemption and have Sleeping Dogs awaiting my attention. Neither of which I would have played other whys. Also tried the 1hr free play of Assassin Creed 1 and went out and bought that (waiting for me after completing Tomb Raider Anniversary). I have a feeling I'll be playing all the AC games over the course of this year.

    If Valve offer the SteamBox at a reasonable price and can offer (a slightly better) OnLive-esque subscription gaming model then I'll be very, very tempted in this over the PS4 or XBox 720.

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