Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 7th Jan 2014 19:56 UTC, submitted by M.Onty
Games

Valve officially showed off the 13 official Steam Machines during its brief CES press event this evening, but it was in the aftermath where we got a closer look at the devices. Below, Reviews Editor Lee Hutchinson snapped photos of all the Steam Machine variants in their glorious array of shapes and sizes.

They start at $499, and come in all shapes and sizes.

Order by: Score:
Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Tue 7th Jan 2014 20:19 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

I'm a fan of the iBuyPower box.

It looks the best in my eyes.

Reply Score: 2

Price?
by bowkota on Tue 7th Jan 2014 20:29 UTC
bowkota
Member since:
2011-10-12

The price and specs of these machines is underwhelming to say the least. I firmly support this, competition is great but at those prices it's tough to justify.

Edited 2014-01-07 20:30 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: Price?
by andrewclunn on Tue 7th Jan 2014 20:55 UTC in reply to "Price?"
andrewclunn Member since:
2012-11-05

Nobody starts by underselling. The early adopters go high end. This thing won't be commodity priced until this next holiday season at the earliest.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Price?
by linux-lover on Tue 7th Jan 2014 20:59 UTC in reply to "Price?"
linux-lover Member since:
2011-04-25

What's hard to justify? The $499 machine from ibuypower is a good deal, and cyberpowerpc also has a $499 offering. Both Xbox one competitive. The small Gigabyte machine with integrated graphics (photographed with iris pro sticker) seems to be a lower spec streaming and media box.

Everything else there either does not have the price and specs released or clearly aimed at enthusiasts, not average consumers.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Price?
by WorknMan on Tue 7th Jan 2014 22:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Price?"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

What's hard to justify? The $499 machine from ibuypower is a good deal


However, I think I remember reading that, although this box would play all current games, it wouldn't play all of them at high settings, which is EXACTLY the kind of bullshit that console gamers would like to avoid. These Steam Machines seem little more than non-DYI PCs for the living room, so other than not having to build one yourself, I'm not sure what problem they are trying to solve, other than Valve not liking Windows 8.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Price?
by linux-lover on Wed 8th Jan 2014 01:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Price?"
linux-lover Member since:
2011-04-25

They claimed they could run the current steam for linux catalog at 1080p and 60fps (which would include Metro Last Light, one of the most graphically intensive games today). Far more powerful graphical capabilities then the PS4.

As for not being run at high settings, that's a shoddy comparison. Console's don't have settings. Everyone gets the same, and they are usually equivalent to being low settings due to hardware limitations, especially as time into the console generation goes on. Compare skyrim on PC to last gen consoles. Even at low the PC version as superior graphics. But with PC hardware, if you can not handle the game on higher settings you can run at low, or you can upgrade parts your machine so it can. On consoles if the hardware cannot handle the game at high, everyone is going to get low, and there is no way to get a better experience other then the game being released on a platform that is able to meet it's demands; and they consumer switching to that new platform.
On the xbox one, it couldn't handle the newest Call of Duty at 1080p, so it had to run at 720p and upscaled to 1080p. On the PS4 Battlefield 4 ran at 900p upscaled to 1080. These are launch titles, how will it be 2 years from now? Yes you can talk about optimization and all that, but this generation is mid range PC hardware from 2012. It's not like game developers haven't optimized for x86 and AMD gpus before.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Price?
by WorknMan on Wed 8th Jan 2014 02:07 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Price?"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

But with PC hardware, if you can not handle the game on higher settings you can run at low, or you can upgrade parts your machine so it can.


Which is precisely why I buy consoles, so I don't have to worry about that shit. I buy one a few months after launch, and I'm good for 5-6 years. Sure, there are certain trade-offs for this convenience, but really... I'm good with that.

Steam Machines don't appear to be nothing more than off-the-shelf gaming PCs, running a niche desktop OS, that might actually be harder to upgrade than one I build myself. So again, why exactly would I want one?

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Price?
by looncraz on Wed 8th Jan 2014 03:07 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Price?"
looncraz Member since:
2005-07-24


Which is precisely why I buy consoles, so I don't have to worry about that shit.


So, you're saying you're too lazy to click "Options", then "Graphics" then select a lower graphic mode? You only have to do it once... and you get a much better gaming experience as a result.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Price?
by WorknMan on Wed 8th Jan 2014 04:30 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Price?"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

So, you're saying you're too lazy to click "Options", then "Graphics" then select a lower graphic mode? You only have to do it once... and you get a much better gaming experience as a result.


Yeah, if it were only that easy. I spend enough time having to fight with shitty display driver and fan issues on my current card (GeForce 460), and I don't even play games on it. It seems that AMD nor nVidia know how to make a stable driver anymore.
From now on, I think I'm just going to go with integrated graphics, as I've never had any issues with those, and they usually don't require 200MB drivers just to operate.

Reply Score: 3

v RE[7]: Price?
by plague on Wed 8th Jan 2014 23:55 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Price?"
RE[3]: Price?
by aliquis on Thu 9th Jan 2014 10:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Price?"
aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

I don't see the problem with different quality settings for different people.

Anyway, from Valves perspective I guess the problem they try to solve is remaining relevant in a world where each OS store have its own application store.

Valve is partly their own games and partly (arguable a bigger part by now?) Steam. Benefit of Steam is downloads locked to your account (and a communication platform together with that), however Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, .. have the same and could easily become the standard sellers of software on their own platforms.

Valve want to keep selling games.


Now from a user perspective the advantage I can see is for the people who don't want a beefy PC sitting around in their apartment and they may not care much for regular PC tasks either now when they have their tablet and smartphone. The Steam machines offer them a way to get a PC in a less common form-factor and hide it away beside or behind their TV.

I don't get why one would say get the Webhallen option though then you can just build that yourself or change it in any way you want. There's totally nothing special about that configuration. On the other hand some other fellow Swede told me they had been part of some GTX 680 launch and over at Dreamhack (also in Sweden, worlds biggest computer gamer LAN) if I remember correctly G-sync was shown at the Komplett both and Komplett and Webhallen have the same owner. Some marketing for them at least.

Why the user would be interested in Linux I have no freaking clue about but from Valves perspective I think it's very easy to see why they want to do it.

Also more gamepads in the hands of PC gamers can likely strengthen the PC gaming market a little / make it more compatible with more titles. And I suppose the Steam machines will strengthen it somewhat too.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Price?
by ilovebeer on Thu 9th Jan 2014 17:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Price?"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Now from a user perspective the advantage I can see is for the people who don't want a beefy PC sitting around in their apartment and they may not care much for regular PC tasks either now when they have their tablet and smartphone.

A "Steam Machine" is a regular pc. People really need to understand the term "Steam Machine" doesn't describe a new product, it's basically just marketing fluff.

The Steam machines offer them a way to get a PC in a less common form-factor and hide it away beside or behind their TV.

Small and/or less common form-factor pc cases have been available for years. Most of my htpcs are hardly bigger than a Nintendo Wii, if at all. The most recent is probably 3 years old.

There is absolutely nothing new to see here. Everything about a "Steam Machine" is old news with the exception of the OS. It's funny when Valve says "A powerful new category of living-room hardware is on the horizon", but then turns around and explains how you can build a Steam Machine yourself completely out of off-the-shelf parts.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Price?
by plague on Sat 11th Jan 2014 16:39 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Price?"
plague Member since:
2006-05-08

I know perfectly well that the term "Steam Machine" does not automatically equal something new.
However, I get the impression that Alienware are _not_ going to just use off the shelf parts, and are actually gonna make a custom case and some custom components, in order to get the size down enough to be smaller than current consoles and also look good.

I'm not sure how it will turn out, as I haven't seen a finished product. So I'm holding judgment for now.

I was hoping, however, that Valve would have built and massproduced one themselves aswell, as they originally stated they would do. But that doesn't seem to be happening.

However, implying that a Steam Machine would never be anything new, is wrong.
They _can_ be built with off the shelf parts, and that's a good thing (keep it standardized), but they don't have to be.

That's what I mean when I say consoles are the same as PC's. Technologically, there is very little separating them. But since they cannot be built using off the shelf parts, which I have never ever said or implied, that makes them worse in my opinion. You're stuck with what is offered on the table and cannot do anything about it until they decide to sell the next generation.

It has it's advantages ofcourse, but technologically it's a standstill for 7-8 years. That's not something I consider a good thing.

IF Valve plays their cards right, and that's a big if (I'm still holding judgment), they can change that. But they need to tighten the requirements a bit, so that there is a clearer path for developers to follow.

Maybe they will, maybe they already have clear paths for developers, I don't know. But I'm not gonna bash them before we see how it all turns out.

They have managed to get several big developers on board and they claim many more big developers are on board aswell, so they must be doing something right.

And this _is_ something new.
This is the _first_ time big developers actually give a damn about other PC platforms than Windows (and Mac to a degree).
They have also gotten Intel, AMD and nVidia to dramatically (atleast in Intels and AMD's case) improve lacking graphics drivers on said platform.

Without this push from Valve, none of that would have happened. So it _is_ something new and to some degree has already been a success, whether the Steam Machines win or fail.

Edited 2014-01-11 16:43 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Price?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 7th Jan 2014 21:53 UTC in reply to "Price?"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Well, it depends.

The steam box will most likely always be able to play old games you've purchased, as long as Valve is in business.

That's less likely for any of the traditional consoles. Some you'd need to repurchase them.

Also, at its core its a PC and these are the standard prices for desktop class machines of these specs. So, if you were going to buy a pc to play steam on, these are perfect for the job and right on the price.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Price?
by iarann on Wed 8th Jan 2014 15:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Price?"
iarann Member since:
2006-05-14

The steam box will most likely always be able to play old games you've purchased, as long as Valve is in business.


I highly doubt this. These are still closed source proprietary apps for the most part, and eventually you will see games relying on libraries that are no longer available or compatible. I think people are a bit spoiled by Windows backwards compatibility with games, because Linux does not have the same track record. If you don't believe me, feel free to track down one of the old Loki Software ports to Linux like Heroes of Might and Magic 3 and let me know how much work it takes to get it working, because it will not be easy.

Also, at its core its a PC and these are the standard prices for desktop class machines of these specs. So, if you were going to buy a pc to play steam on, these are perfect for the job and right on the price.


The problem is they aren't trying to compete in the PC market, they are competing in the console market. Sony and Microsoft build their consoles to do very specific tasks, and they take a loss on every console sold because they make it up in the licensing fees for the games. Unless Valve heavily supplements these manufacturers I just don't see how they can compete.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Price?
by shiny on Wed 8th Jan 2014 15:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Price?"
shiny Member since:
2005-08-09

While not all games that you purchased runs on Linux (out of my 400 games in my Steam collection, only 100 of them run on Linux), you're still entitled to them. At the beginning of Steam for Linux Beta only handful of my games run, so it's a reasonable assumption that the compatibility will rise.

Secondly, you're still free to install Windows, and the same UI (Steam) will run on top of it as it is on SteamOS, and you get all your games.

So, all in all, I think it's a fair deal. Some titles probably won't run out of the box, but compared to the situation when buying a new console (like PS4) and having no previously purchased games run at all (even PSN games(!)) I think it's a solid improvement.

Reply Score: 3

ronaldst
Member since:
2005-06-29

I'll get one.

The PS4/XBO are a better value for the living room.

As prime target for Steam Machines, I got rid of my TV long ago. And I don't need a second PC.

Battlestations > consoles

Reply Score: 1

Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

I don't know I was looking at making a similar system for the living room anyway to run XBMC, and that has better living room features than the PS4.

The prices are a bit high, but I was expecting $400 and worse hardware, so it is not that off. $500 for internet TV, all my Linux games and cool indie games, and perhaps streaming from a bigger Windows game PC if I ever bother to upgrade the one I have and it works nicely.

(and at $500 it will still outperform my current old gaming PC).

Edited 2014-01-08 19:02 UTC

Reply Score: 2

aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

I think the Gigabyte one and some other one for $499 which had a slower A10 and a R9 270(X?) was the most interesting ones.

The R9 270X still got higher floating point performance than the PS4. The PS4 and Xbox One may still come with the movement detection kits though?

The new Kaveri I suppose will deliver about current-gen performance at least as far as within their hardware goes. If that's true for the same game titles on both platforms I don't know.

I don't know whatever Valve is interested in getting Steam on Android but I would be if I was them. The new Nvidia Tegra K1 could run Serious Sam 3 with all the PC features on whereas the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions can't. So that's pretty powerful too. And tiny!

Way slower than a GTX 780 Ti, even more so 2-4 of them .. but powerful enough for many games for people who are happy to just get a whole bunch of games.

In the case of Windows games since one get lots of old games available even on a limited chip rather than close to nothing it's not too bad.

Edited 2014-01-09 10:59 UTC

Reply Score: 2

LOL! Gigabyte
by RawMustard on Wed 8th Jan 2014 11:40 UTC
RawMustard
Member since:
2005-10-10

Wait until you have bios issues and they tell you because of certain chipset, blah, blah, linux users can GAGF!

Reply Score: 2