Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 7th Jan 2014 23:05 UTC


A Steam Machine is a PC that can do fewer things, and run fewer games, than the system you have in your home right now.

That's the marketing challenge that’s in front of Valve and its partners, and the fact that Valve had a rare CES press conference was interesting, but there were precious few details about what the platform adds to the world of gaming.

The cold and harsh reality is that six of the top ten games on Steam run on Linux/SteamOS - and with Steam having such a huge base of active subscribers, that's a lot of users covered with just those six games. On top of that, there's almost 300 more Linux games on Steam. In the meantime, the PS4 and Xbox One combined have like 10 games, most of which are available on the Xbox 360/PS3 as well, and the remainder are rushed titles nobody gives two rat's asses about.

The Xbox One and PS4 are sold not on what they offer now, but on what they will offer in the future. I see absolutely no reason why Steam Machines ought to be treated any differently.

Reality check: right now, spending $499 on a Steam Machine gets you access to a lot more games and a lot more functionality than the Xbox One and PS4 offer combined. Of course, a Windows PC will offer even more games (not functionality, Linux has that covered just fine) - but that applies just as well to any console.

I've been baffled these past few days about the attitude of the gaming press towards Steam Machines. The gaming press' reviews of the new consoles was full of "just you wait until the actually good games arrive!/new functionality is added, but here's a 9/10 anyway on that promise!", but for some reason, the same sloppy reviewing is not applied to Steam Machines.

There's a word for that.

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RE: It's not hypocrisy
by sbenitezb on Wed 8th Jan 2014 15:03 UTC in reply to "It's not hypocrisy "
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It isn't hypocrisy - it's a lack of knowledge and experience with Steam as a hardware platform.

Reviewers know what to expect from the new consoles - they know who's making games for them, they know who's selling them, and more importantly, they know who's buying them.

Clearly they don't. But they know where the money comes from, as is usual in the gaming industry. Reviewers for both consoles and games will praise their daddy's products and services.

The new XBox and Playstation are known quantities - We can look at 3 previous Playstations and two previous XBoxes to get great approximations of what is coming for them.

And to think the Xbox comes from Microsoft. I wonder if you would have said the same thing before the first Xbox launched.

We can't do that with the SteamMachine - it's a piece of hardware that has it's roots in an online store. It's not known who the market is - console gamers or PC gamers? Maybe an as-yet undefined market?

It's new, it's different, there's no market yet. Even more power to Valve for trying to create one. That it has roots in online store doesn't mean shit. Now all consoles have an online store.

But, since it's using PC software, it comes from a PC game maker, being built by PC hardware vendors, it's being treated like a PC component.

Maybe because PC doesn't mean anything really. All computers are PC, even phones and tablets. When computers where all standard components you could assemble by yourself, you could have called that a PC. Now manufacturers provide notebooks and AIO that are no different than a Mac or any console. So in some way, even PS4 and Xbox are PCs. Maybe that's why Apple calls a PC a computer with Windows.

Look at any PC hardware review, and the review talks about how good it is with the existing software, and rarely talks about how it affects what's coming. That's why SteamMachine articles look backwards rather than forwards - that's how PC gear is looked at.

Maybe it's time to stop talking so much about PC gear as in "has an x86 processor, hard drive, expandable RAM and PCI cards, video card". I would happily call PC any computer running Windows and Linux box any computer running Linux, a Mac is a Mac and a Steam Machine is any computer running Steam OS, be it DIY or OEM.

Edited 2014-01-08 15:05 UTC

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