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RPGWatch Forums » Games » General RPG » Steam Box Friend or Foe?

Default Steam Box Friend or Foe?

December 9th, 2012, 22:22
When I first heard about this I though, Great it will bring PC gaming to more people…

Now though I wonder if that's the goal or if Valve will pull a Microsoft and push their console and forget about thier PC customers.

So what do you guys think? Will this be good or bad for PC gaming?

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/new…g_steam_box123
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December 9th, 2012, 22:41
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
I wonder if that's the goal or if Valve will pull a Microsoft and push their console and forget about thier PC customers.

I don't understand what you mean here. The steam box will be a PC.
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December 9th, 2012, 22:52
Originally Posted by CountChocula View Post
I don't understand what you mean here. The steam box will be a PC.
So is the XBOX internally but its far from a PC.

It comes with a controller and they say it will be very locked down.

So how much of a PC will it really be is the question?

Will it be upgradable?

Will dev's start making games based on steam hardware like they do consoles now?

Will we start getting steam box exclusives like we do Xbox now? That run on steam box but not PC.
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December 10th, 2012, 04:40
That's a lot of what if's!

It's going to be a PC with locked down hardware specs. It'll still be a PC. You will probably be able to install Linux on it and render it useless out of the box!

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December 10th, 2012, 05:06
Yes, I'm a paranoid pc gamer. Steam has become a major distribution method for pc games I would hate to see them turn their backs on the pc in favor of console profits.

I had similar fears when Microsoft brought out the Xbox and my friends told me I was crazy.

Now we have shoddy direct ports made for 10 year console cycles, Xbox timed exclusives, Microsoft games that never come to pc and a windows 8 interface that push Xbox on me for gaming.

So yes now I'm more paranoid. I'm surprised more people here aren't concerned.
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December 10th, 2012, 05:48
Wonder if it may have anything to do with Valve's recent opening to Linux, or even the rumored new engine. On the offchance it does it may benefit PC gaming more than them being concentrated on Windows.
Nevertheless it's certainly a very ambitious move but they have the resources to proceed to such an opening.

Since MS has moved away from the traditional PC in two major ways it's hard to take sides and ignore the potential benefits.

I'd just like to interject here and point out that I'm not going to say anything to spoil the mood, Chief. I'll just float here and watch. Don't mind me, just sitting here, floating and watching, that's me.
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December 10th, 2012, 08:41
Yeah, it's a lot of details we dont know yet.

Maybe it's the fabled Bridge between consoles and pc that has been waiting to evolve for the last decade, the "missing link" between the two that will allow pc and console experience in one unit to finally come about. Gaming both on your television set w/ your ass on the couch, or sitting at your computer desk. Good hardware that is suitable weaponry on all games, with a controller, keyboard, and mouse.

It's gonna happen, the Gaming Super Unit. One unit to rule them all. The gaming Master Race. It's a just a matter of time.
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December 10th, 2012, 14:22
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
Yes, I'm a paranoid pc gamer.

So yes now I'm more paranoid. I'm surprised more people here aren't concerned.
PC gaming is dead - I think publishers are tryting to sell that story for a decade.
Another sci-fi story is that singleplayer gaming is dead.

To my knowledge both are alive and well.
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December 10th, 2012, 14:37
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
PC gaming is dead - I think publishers are tryting to sell that story for a decade.
Another sci-fi story is that singleplayer gaming is dead.

To my knowledge both are alive and well.
I agree both are alive and well and if steam left pc it wouldn't kill pc gaming.

I do however have over 100 steam games and it has become my distribution method of choice and I would hate to see that change.

It's too early to really gauge valves intent but I wonder if they are just trying to bring pc gaming to the tv or if they are trying to Segue in to the console market.

The former I'm all for but the latter worries me depending on how they handle it.
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December 10th, 2012, 18:50
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
So what do you guys think? Will this be good or bad for PC gaming?
I think that this will be really bad for traditional desktop PC gaming, i.e. the typical AAA crossplatform games that are released on Xbox, PS and the PC.
Indie and crowdfunded gaming will hopefully be fine, depending on whatever Microsoft chooses to do with future iterations of Windows.
Windows 8 and the now optional Windows store is certainly only the beginning. My guess is that upcoming Windows releases will all introduce further steps towards a more closed Windows eco system like Apple's rather closed iWhatever eco system.
So there is quite a bit of a risk what MS is going to allow on their platform in the mid/long term and whatever restrictions they might put in place.

Some more thoughts on the "SteamBox" though…

- No matter what anyone may think of Valve, you've got to give major credit to them in that they have definitely always had an extremely good business sense and very well functioning instincts in the past. The SteamBox is no exception in my opinion.

- Valve's major source of income is obviously Steam. Steam is nearly 100% depending on Microsoft Windows and participating publishers. There is a huge risk if Microsoft does… something… that Valve would be pushed out of business "over night" (of course not literally).

- Valve can probably see the writing on the wall, i.e. how Microsoft is trying to become more like Apple by taking more and more control of the Windows platform.

- Ergo: Valve now commences the process of emancipation. They work on becoming independent from Microsoft Windows and DirectX. They begin to explore an own platform before it's all too late. They have decided to explore the realm of living room content delivery without the massive financial burden that a real console launch would entail. They want to be the delivery service, not the creators.

- Valve probably knows from the dev kits of the next Xbox and PS that Microsoft and Sony (in spite of contrary early rumors a while ago) will be holding on to physical drives for the time being. -> The Steambox is Valve's big chance to enter the market with the USP of a streaming entertainment solution. Bring the convenience of Steam to the living room (and to console gamers?).

-> Because that would seem to be the kicker… if Valve actually manages to make this work reasonably well (i.e. better than OnLive & co) then there's a good chance in my opinion that the big publishers and MS/Sony -instead of spending billions on R&D of their own content delivery solutions- will turn to Valve as the delivery service just as most of them did with Steam.
The conspiracy theorist inside me even suspects that the Steambox may simply be Steam for consoles and possibly not a real box even but just a content delivery streaming SoC that can be built into a Xbox just like it can be put into a PS or a Mac or a HTPC (with different firmware to work with the corresponding platform).

Or the TLDR version = Valve's Vision: Become the no. 1 overarching crossplatform digital content delivery service. Rule the [living room] world (hopefully not with an iron fist ).
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December 10th, 2012, 21:25
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
Windows 8 and the now optional Windows store is certainly only the beginning. My guess is that upcoming Windows releases will all introduce further steps towards a more closed Windows eco system like Apple's rather closed iWhatever eco system.
I agree. Read my prediction here : http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16079

Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
-> Because that would seem to be the kicker… if Valve actually manages to make this work reasonably well (i.e. better than OnLive & co) then there's a good chance in my opinion that the big publishers and MS/Sony -instead of spending billions on R&D of their own content delivery solutions- will turn to Valve as the delivery service just as most of them did with Steam.
Spontaneous thought by me :

Steam - the new PC Marketplace ?

Anyway, with all these Marketplaces reigning plus Steam growing, this will surely be the death knell for retail selling of games.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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December 11th, 2012, 00:58
"I'm only using my windows boot cos it runs most my games" is being directly addressed by Valve?

If the "steam-box" doesn't have access to the very closed DirectX drivers then the machine won't run the majority of steams catalogue.

DirectX has been limiting developers ability to do some really low level optimisations in their code because there's no direct access to the hardware. People might remember this was a big deal when win95 came out and the performance hit in games was massive compared to msdos or in more recent times with John Carmack speaking about developing Rage.

I really can't see Microsoft dedicating a support team to help Valve's steam-box customers with the drivers they have to implement without any source. It would have to kinda be stuck in there like an applet or something. MS would want a LOT of money to even consider this.

So does the steam-box run windows 8, "the catastrophe", while also doing "greenlight" and games workshop where people will be making uncertified games all the time? Also getting Microsoft in on the deal who might become difficult and expensive and negatively influence the "evolution" of the steam-box?

Or does DirectX get the can?! Will everyone be doing an openGL renderer for all their games unless they get bought out/bribed/death threats from MS. (yes, that's the order they do them, I believe.)
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December 11th, 2012, 01:12
Originally Posted by xSamhainx View Post
Gaming both on your television set w/ your ass on the couch, or sitting at your computer desk. Good hardware that is suitable weaponry on all games, with a controller, keyboard, and mouse.

It's called a laptop
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December 11th, 2012, 02:30
Not a computer, tho. A dedicated gaming platform that plays both pc and console games (there will be no need for those designations anymore), and that's all it does. Your games are kept in "the clouds" , the game is RUN in the cloud so you are basically playing in a virtual environment. Like the Kindle Fire, it's a reader and that's pretty much all it does. You CAN do your email on it I guess, but it kinda sucks for that. You get the Kindle to read things. You get the box to play games.

Only games, without the limitations or costs of console/pc, because like I said someone else is running everything over there and all youre doing is getting signals. Without the need to pay for the rest of what a computer and os would cost you. Without the need to ever upgrade to a better computer, or the next system to come out.

199.99 gamebox w/ 20 games (your choice) included, all you need is a stable internet connection to make it work. No need to install anything, patch anything, tweak anything, wait for anything. You cannot tell me that wouldnt be revolutionary. And evolutionary ='.'=
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December 11th, 2012, 03:20
Gaikai had a great service for streaming games rendered on remote servers with high end hardware. I thought they were going to launch something like Netflix for games, but they were bought out by Sony.

I'm guessing the PS4 will include Gaikai's service.
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December 11th, 2012, 14:13
Originally Posted by SirJames View Post
DirectX has been limiting developers ability to do some really low level optimisations in their code because there's no direct access to the hardware.
These days direct access to hardware is considered a "no-go".

If that was possible, I'm sure tht thousands of criminals would blackmail people into sending them money, or else they'll kill the hardware …

A similar thing is going on even today : Ransomware.

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