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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True, that would be cool. I agree. ;)
However, I'd also like the polygon count to increase exponentially and get some badass realistic graphics and physics going.
Consoles slow that evolution down alot.
The rate the graphics engines evolved before consoles took over as the primary target for developers (before Xbox 1 and PS2), was alot quicker than afterwards. Graphically speaking.
There were more impressive changes between engine versions back then, than now.
It shouldn't neccesarily have to be that way. But since most game companies focus on consoles, they need to make sure their engines will work perfectly well on console hardware, thus making compromises that would not have been needed if they just followed the evolving PC hardware, as they did before consoles (before Xbox1/PS2).

I want a return of that.

Now, to be honest, I'm a little disappointed myself of the current turnout of the Steam Machines. I had hoped they would've been a little stricter with the rules, so that the targets for developers weren't that diverse.
However, none of this is finished, so I'm giving Valve the benefit of doubt and will wait until the machines are actually released before passing judgment on whether they are a win or fail.

Oh, and about the 2 year generation lifetime I mentioned before, I'd actually put my bet on 3 years being the sweet spot.
Enough time to warrant the cost of a hardware upgrade, but not enough time for the current hardware to feel ancient.

The 5-6 years you're talking about is not correct.
The Xbox 360 first came out November 2005, so that makes it 8 years younger than Xbox One.
The PS3 first came out November 2006, so that makes it 7 years younger than PS4.

That's an eternity in computer technology world.
A 7-8 years old gaming PC would be considered ancient.

So half that time would probably be the best compromise in my opinion.
Also, if new consoles uses the same architecture as the old ones, the old games should be playable on the new one, making the cost of upgrade that less painful.

Just my opinion.

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