What Valve Needs for Steam Machine to Beat Xbox One, PS4

Page 4 - Seeking answers? Join the Tom's Hardware community: where nearly two million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.
Status
Not open for further replies.

xyriin

Distinguished
Feb 25, 2010
137
1
18,685
0
Steambox DOA.

Why? What can a Steambox do that a computer can't do?

Top that off with the simple fact that a computer will be able to do more than the Steambox and you have a niche product that is useless for the majority of consumers who are either into computer gaming or console gaming.
 

therickmu25

Honorable
Aug 7, 2013
44
0
10,540
1
I think Valve's reasoning is fine and I'll try to explain why. I'm an active member on a few PC hardware forums and almost 100% of the time, when someone is asking for a build the first question that gets asked is, "How much are you willing to spend?". You get people that say $500 or some that say $3000. Valve has every one of these people covered. I don't think Valve is going for the 'little kid' console gaming audience here either that goes to a Best Buy with mom and dad doing no research before hand. They are focusing on an older crowd that might be getting sick of the stagnant console gaming, have that first good job out of college with some money to blow and are looking for something new.
 

tarheelfan

Distinguished
Apr 13, 2009
24
0
18,510
0
I think this would be a good start. Another way to secure their place in the living room would be to develop SteamOS Apps for popular media services like Netflix and Hulu Plus. This would help ease the transition into the living room and cancel some of the console benefits. Sure you can add a ROKU or comparable device, but using one less remote and input is nice.
 

doomtomb

Distinguished
May 12, 2009
810
0
18,980
0
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but Steam Machines will NEVER overtake Xbox or Playstation. No way possible. Another thing I'd like to point out is although sheer number of titles may exceed what is released on consoles, 95% or more of these games are indie developed. Even Sony and Microsoft though have noticed this and are pushing a marketplace for indie games but what do you think the majority of people prefer playing?? AAA titles. I like the idea of Steam Machine and Steam OS but I don't think creating a reference standard that all must adhere to would be too popular nor would solve anything. Most people interested in Steam Machines are already DIY PC builders and wouldn't want to fork over money to ANY company for ANY prebuilt system they could do themselves even if it were only 5 bucks cheaper.Of my non-tech savvy friends I've polled that own consoles, none have even heard of Steam OS or Steam Machines. It's dead on arrival.
 

Rafael Alva

Honorable
Feb 9, 2014
2
0
10,510
0


 

syrious1

Distinguished
Aug 16, 2010
164
0
18,680
0
Steam OS is linux based which means only linux games will work on it, many potential buyers don't realize that their steam games won't work on their steam box because they weren't developed to work on linux.
You are an idiot, you use the steambox to stream your games from your desktop through the steambox and onto your TV. No one is going to be forced to play linux games.
 

AllUrBase

Honorable
Feb 10, 2014
2
0
10,510
0
his is a project for Valves current customers to be able to continue enjoying PC gaming regardless of the direction that Microsoft takes its OS. If Steam OS continues to evolve and grow in support from game studios we could consider it successful. The criticism in this article is just a rehash of PC vs. Console arguments. What makes Steam appealing right now is that it benefits from all the good aspects of PC games. If that is taken away, by for example making it into a console, the project is doomed to failure before it ever gets started.The real appeal of this whole project lies in the controller, which I understand is to help gamers enjoy PC gaming on their couch, not necessarily turn their PC into a console. PC gaming is alive and well if you just look at the statistics of Valve's user base and concurrent users logged into Steam. I believe that existing Steam users are the real market for at least the initial stages of Steam OS, and it is sizeable enough to really get things going.
 
It's not really about the Steam Machine beating the Xbox One and PS4, the biggest threat comes from its half-sister, the desktop PC.

The PC gaming community is primarily composed of OEM builders; the kind of people who like to customise every component in their rig and benchmark their hardware. I'm one of them. The Xbox and PS offer a more streamlined approach to gaming, making it more accessible to the masses. Providing that you can live with its limitations, both consoles offer a lot.

The PCs biggest strength lies in its ability to do near-enough everything. Want to play games, watch TV, edit photos and much more besides? Yep, you can do it all on a PC. Valve seem to be targeting a market that already exists, and has done for years. Why would you spend $500 on a Steam Machine when you can upgrade your infinitely-more-useful PC instead?

I can't see the Steam Machine having much of an impact on the gaming community.
 

chrisso

Honorable
Nov 17, 2013
1,333
0
11,660
116
Well, you gotta admit there are few pc owners who would buy a steam machine, but there might be a few outdated console owners who like the idea of a games box with linux on it. I have a pal who has a ps 3 and a dinosaur pc. Both need an update so a steam box might do him.
 

NarrowTom

Honorable
Feb 10, 2014
3
0
10,510
0
Strange that the author believes that "the biggest problem with the Steam Machine is the fragmentation of the hardware platform" when the whole point of the Steam Machine is to fragment the hardware platform. Straying from the path of traditional consoles is what Valve can and should do. Why fall into the Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft mold when there's a world of possibility out there waiting to be experimented with? Since when was taking a risk for the potential betterment of the gaming community anything but completely awesome? Personally I love, and am in awe of the fact, that Valve cares enough to put its time and time effort and resources into doing this. Valve have been boundary pushers for a while, and I'm hoping that this will be one giant leap for gaming kind.
 

telco2001

Honorable
Feb 10, 2014
1
0
10,510
0
You completely missed the point of price per game. On XBoxOne and PS4, kids are looking at 60+ per game. On Steam, new games are 60+, but drop drastically. Often games that are 3-6 months old can be found on Steam sales at 25-50%, eventually reaching as low as 2-3 a game. My kids are ready to dump the xbox if I"ll just pick up another gaming quality PC.
 

NarrowTom

Honorable
Feb 10, 2014
3
0
10,510
0
Strange that the author believes that "the biggest problem with the Steam Machine is the fragmentation of the hardware platform" when the whole point of the Steam Machine is to fragment the hardware platform. Straying from the path of traditional consoles is what Valve can and should do. Why fall into the Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft mold when there's a world of possibility out there waiting to be experimented with? Since when was taking a risk for the potential betterment of the gaming community anything but completely awesome? Personally I love, and am in awe of the fact, that Valve cares enough to put its time and time effort and resources into doing this. Valve have been boundary pushers for a while, and I'm hoping that this will be one giant leap for gaming kind.
 

stevejnb

Honorable
May 6, 2013
609
0
10,980
0
"Straying from the path of a traditional console is what Valve should do"... By staying on the path of the traditional PC? At this point, I really don't get how a Steam Machine is different than a traditional PC - except that it comes with SteamOS rather than Windows. Oh, and it's marketed differently...

SteamOS is potentially a big deal. Steam Machines? Meh, can anyone explain how they really differ from traditional PCs other than how they are marketed? I may just be missing something.
 

tvieson

Distinguished
Oct 9, 2009
11
0
18,510
0
I agree that fragmentation is the problem, but the console player isn't the person you have to worry about confusing. Its the parent buying it. On average its parents who usually buys the console and I'm not trying to be little parents out their, but how many parents ever buy the write thing.Many parents will buy a knock off or off brand of something because it is cheaper or sold to them as the same thing and it simply isn't. The Xbox and Play Station are easy to buy and identify.I like the idea of a pc game market console being built and sold, but if you are trying to win over console players at the same time. You have to use a more simple less open to complaint system.Because you will often find the biggest whiny gamers are console gamers and once the complaining and whining starts, word of mouth will kill future sales faster than a fat kid eating a box of cookies.
 

NarrowTom

Honorable
Feb 10, 2014
3
0
10,510
0
SteamOS is potentially a big deal. Steam Machines? Meh, can anyone explain how they really differ from traditional PCs other than how they are marketed? I may just be missing something.
Steam Machines not being different from traditional PCs, as far as hardware is concerned, is what gives them the edge since this includes every one of Valve's existing Steam user base. For those of us who have an interest in building and configuring PCs this is great since I'd love to have a stab at building my own HTPC-alike Steam Machine.

To me that's Valve's basic premise with all of this: be as inclusive as possible. From the PC tinkerers like me, to those who prefer boxed, packaged, preconfigured console like builds you just plug in and play; Valve have a hardware platform for SteamOS that suits everyone.
 

kulmnar

Distinguished
Dec 15, 2011
310
0
18,860
29
My prediction, the SteamBox will fail. Why? It is a PC that plays no third party triple A games on the market (can't play COD/Assassin's Creed/GTA V on Linux). I simply don't think enough people will buy a console to play just Linux games. The fact that it is an open architecture box will lead to poor customer satisfaction.

The geek market won't buy SteamBoxes, they build their own PCs. The console market desires simplicity and ease of use, they don't want their console to be obsolete because they bought the "cheap" model. Therefore, they won't buy it either.I also suspect that the price will be another factor that plays against the SteamBox.

I don't see an extremely profit-now-driven company like Valve deciding to sell SteamBoxes at a loss hoping to make money back later. The manufacturers of the SteamBox (FalconNorthWest, Alienware, etc) will charge a steep price for the machines because they have to turn a profit on every SteamBox sold and Valve will not knock the price down by subsidizing the manufacturers. So unlike Sony or Microsoft, Valve will be selling these boxes for a profit on a per-box basis. Consumers will experience sticker shock, much like the 3DO. Also, much like the 3DO, there are no third party triple A titles for the SteamBox. Heck, as of right now, there are no first party triple A titles either!

The only way Valve makes people buy a SteamBox is if they make SteamBox exclusives. So if HalfLife 3 is released on the SteamBox as a timed exclusive, people may buy it just to play HalfLife 3. So maybe that will drive 10 million steamboxes to be sold. But 10 million is not enough, you need 30million units of a console to be sold to turn enough of a profit to make the entire business worthwhile.
 

stevejnb

Honorable
May 6, 2013
609
0
10,980
0
It gives them the edge... Over who? Certainly not the more common Windows PCs since those do everything a Steam Machine does with loads of other things and they even play *FAR* more of the Steam library that a Steam Machine will. Heck, I haven't heard of a single game on my Steam library that is actually being switched to work on the SteamOS - are you sure that statements like it "includes every one of Valve's existing Steam user base" are more than marketing doublespeak at this point?

You say:

"From the PC tinkerers like me, to those who prefer boxed, packaged, preconfigured console like builds you just plug in and play; Valve have a hardware platform for SteamOS that suits everyone."

You just described a pre-made PC vs a home made PC. There are also FAR more flavours of home made PCs than there will be of Steam Machines for, well, perhaps ever. Outside of generalities and stuff that sounds like a few marketing talking points, how is this substantively different than an existing gaming PC - which you can just load with SteamOS yourself, anyways?
 

PyspherE

Honorable
Feb 10, 2014
5
0
10,510
0
All that would be required to attact the non-PC crowd is a base design that is powerfull enough to play modern games at medium-low settings that is easy to set-up at home. Personally I don't really see the fragmentation as an issue simply because the steam machines already have that "plug-n-play" capability that the author is so concerned about. When a console gamer purchases a steam machine it should be as simple as pluging it all in and then its ready to play, just as a console is. The only config that may need to be done is network settings and gamer profile, which console gamers are already somewhat used to from the Xbox and PlayStation. In terms of paying too much for a given platform, this is also not a big concern as I'm sure there will be endless reveiws of each steam box that a console user can look to as a buying guide. There will be alot of PC gamers posting reveiws and benchmarks from various steam machines with varying levels of detail, based on these results it should be pretty easy for a newcomer to the PC/Steam community to decide weather a particular platform is right for them. Honestly its just common sense to do a little research before making a few hundred dollar purchase.Another thing to consider if steam required a sigle "standard" steam machine is the PC community losing interest. As far as I'm concerned, the BIGGEST selling point of the Steam machines for most PC gamers is the idea of a modular/customizable living room "Console-like" Gaming PC. Something to bridge the gap between a homebrewed custom PC and a prebuilt static console. I fear limiting that ability would lead to a large movement away from the steam machines on behalf of the PC gaming community.The last thing to remeber is that Steam-OS is available to install on almost any x86 based system. If steam limited the steam machines to a Core i3 with a GTX760 and 8GB RAM as suggested, where would a custom built Steam-OS system lie? From what i understand the Steam-OS is the foundation while the steam boxes are simply "prebuilt" Steam-OS systems in a living room oriented form factor. In my opinion Steam has an almost perfect approch to this. Steam machines, in theory, should function as a pre-configured, easy to use, PC gaming platform. If the advice of the author were to be taken the Steam machines would be no different than the curent consoles, a static hardware architecture with almost no performance based customization, and i don't think that is what the gaming community needs nor wants at the moment. what they want is a Customizable PC gaming rig in a living room freindly form factor, not another "console" that has mediocre performance today and struggles to stay up to par in the future.Regards,PyspherE
 

Beave Village

Honorable
Feb 10, 2014
4
0
10,510
0
Valve Sucks for ignoring Half-Life 3 / Half-Life 2 Episode 3 while they work on the useless steambox. Windows is here to stay, get that through your thick skulls, Valve.
 

xtec

Distinguished
Dec 31, 2007
4
0
18,510
0
I wonder why these articles never touch on the real reason this will fail? Its not because of hardware, ease of connection, or anything else said in the article. It is because people who buy consoles don't want to sit hunched over 20 inches from their 50"+ tv. I tried steams big picture and couldn't stand it. I sit 8 feet from my tv and couldn't read anything!Until they fix that, I wont even consider buying a steam machine.
 

doomtomb

Distinguished
May 12, 2009
810
0
18,980
0
Actually Steam Box needs something killer like the Mantle API and then you can make lower power smaller Steam boxes and actually give people a reason to choose it over a Windows box.
 

lpedraja2002

Distinguished
Dec 8, 2007
620
0
18,990
4
Niels Broekhuijsen, you're a reporter and an enthusiast with common sense, please forward your recommendation to Gabe Newell, it is the most logical thing I've read about what Steam Machines should be.
 

aule10

Honorable
Jan 30, 2014
34
0
10,530
0


I hope you are able to back up your claim, because it is bulshit. microsoft have a marketshare at 90% linux have an marketshare at 1.6%.

The game devs often dont make their game for OpenGL, because they will only get about 10% of the audience, and on top of that, many of them is work related, and therefor even less using them in private.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY