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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"pc gamers probably already have a sizable catalog - those old Win32/64 games won't run on there new geneation xbox either.. again, no difference.

And how many PC gamers do you think are in line for a new Xbox? Based on the number of them I see commenting on Xbone/PS4-related articles about how much console gaming sucks, I'd guess not very many.
And, do tell, how many of the old xbox/ps games will run on the new xbox/ps?
None, yea.. So, your point?
If the current console gamers accept that their current games will not be playable on their new consoles, then why the hell wouldn't they, or any other gamer, accept the exact same thing with current Windows based Steam versus future Steam Machines?

There is absolutely no difference whatsoever there.

And claiming that the hardware not being completely locked in Steam Machines would somehow be an issue, oh please.

Steam Machines have three different classes: Good, Better, Best, where "Best" is unlimited and "Good" meant for streaming from your other gaming PC.
"Better" would be comparable to most regular consoles and run pretty much everything at acceptable levels of detail and performance, just like on consoles.

Games will very very likely have very visible compatibility classifications right there in the Steam store, with ratings for the three different Steam Machine classes, just like they already have for gamepad support in the Steam Library (icon that is either not filled, half filled, or fully filled, depending on level of support).

Even better, the Steam Machine will very likely auto-configure the games settings to give the best performance on said machine.

That's not so different from how the game developers nerf games detail level for other consoles versus the PC, in order to make them perform as good as possible on said console, only they make it impossible to crank up the level of detail if you manage to find a better machine for the job.
The Steam Machines are actually a solution to that.

They are not desktop PC's, they are upgradeable consoles.

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