Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 26th Nov 2013 18:31 UTC

Valve's official Steam Machine prototype isn't cheap, but it won't be the only Steam-powered video-game console available come 2014. This morning, iBuyPower revealed a prototype of its own upcoming Steam Machine, which will go on sale for just $499 next year. For the price of an Xbox One, the computer will offer a multicore AMD CPU and a discrete AMD Radeon R9 270 graphics card - that's a $180 GPU all by itself - and come with Valve's Steam Controller as part of the package deal.

That's an absolute steal. This is exactly what Valve is betting on: for the same price, an x86 SteamBox will be more powerful than the new consoles. with SteamOS, it has all the convenience of a console, too. With the launch titles for the two new consoles being total and utter garbage, the argument "but SteamOS has no games!" is moot.

I can't wait until CES coming January when Valve will unveil its publishing partners. That's the make-or-break moment. If SteamOS will get all the same major titles as the consoles, why on earth would anyone want a limited, locked-down, proprietary, slower console?

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After the XBox One digital only policies backlash, I can't see console users going in masses for a Steam Box, at least not yet. If that happen that will be hypocrisy

This. One thing that has kept me from putting a PC in the living room is wanting something with a form factor that is suitable for the living room, in a package that I wouldn't have to build myself, and at an affordable price. Seems like these Steam Machines are right up my alley, esp if I can side-load emulators on them and watch whatever local videos I want.

But the other thing is being able to actually OWN my games, instead of renting them from Steam. As soon as they offer games that are guaranteed to always work, whether Steam continues to exist or not, I'll be on board. I don't really care if it requires an online check every now and then, as long as there is a contract somewhere that is LEGALLY BINDING (meaning, people go to jail if it's broken), that guarantees consumers that the games will be fullly unlocked once there are no servers to authenticate them anymore.

One day in the future, when (NOT if) Steam goes offline, some of you are going to be out hundreds of dollars, or else scouring the Internet looking for cracked versions of games you bought. Me? I say no thanks.

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