Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 8th Aug 2012 18:45 UTC
Games Valve has just announced it will start selling applications through Steam. "The Software titles coming to Steam range from creativity to productivity. Many of the launch titles will take advantage of popular Steamworks features, such as easy installation, automatic updating, and the ability to save your work to your personal Steam Cloud space so your files may travel with you. More Software titles will be added in an ongoing fashion following the September 5th launch, and developers will be welcome to submit Software titles via Steam Greenlight." I feel like a broken record at this point, but guys and girls, Valve is going to release specifications for a 'Steambox'. A set of minimum specifications a Linux or Windows machine has to adhere to, either self-built or by an OEM. Steam pre-installed, can be used as regular PC and as a console. With Windows 8 locking itself down, this is their only option - and I applaud it.
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ARM?
by transami on Wed 8th Aug 2012 19:48 UTC
transami
Member since:
2006-02-28

Will "steambox" be Intel only? Or will ARM be supported?

Reply Score: 1

RE: ARM?
by Moredhas on Wed 8th Aug 2012 21:56 in reply to "ARM?"
Moredhas Member since:
2008-04-10

I don't think anyone, at this stage, even inside Valve, could answer that. I would assume their first release would be an x86 unit, so it would be compatible with all previous software offerings. I wouldn't rule out an ARM tablet or something running Steam in a couple of years though.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: ARM? Good things come to those who wait
by kragil on Thu 9th Aug 2012 04:06 in reply to "ARM?"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

I don't think the Steambox will be X86/AMD64 based. I also don't think it will run Windows.

It makes sense for Valve to wait until more games run on Linux and wait until PS4 and Xbox 720 have been released.

With the evolution of ARM SOCs accelerating (Tegra4 with A15 and Kepler looks very promising and Ouya should have picked it) they just need to wait a year and they might offer a machine with similar specs than what Sony and MS offer for a much lower price.

If they go the $99 route they could release an updated version every year. That is against conventional wisdom that consoles shouldn't change for a long time, but Steam games live in the PC ecosystem where every year hardware gets more powerfull and games take advantage of that. The steambox also should.

Hardcore gamers won't mind paying 99 bucks a year for the latest kit and casual gamers will be fine with a few frames per second less.

Reply Parent Score: 1

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

They are certainly doing something HW wise themselves. If you follow Jeri Elisworth on tw you'll see she's doing custom IC work for them.

Reply Parent Score: 2

rbenchley Member since:
2005-11-03

I don't think the Steambox will be X86/AMD64 based. I also don't think it will run Windows. It makes sense for Valve to wait until more games run on Linux and wait until PS4 and Xbox 720 have been released. With the evolution of ARM SOCs accelerating (Tegra4 with A15 and Kepler looks very promising and Ouya should have picked it) they just need to wait a year and they might offer a machine with similar specs than what Sony and MS offer for a much lower price. If they go the $99 route they could release an updated version every year. That is against conventional wisdom that consoles shouldn't change for a long time, but Steam games live in the PC ecosystem where every year hardware gets more powerfull and games take advantage of that. The steambox also should. Hardcore gamers won't mind paying 99 bucks a year for the latest kit and casual gamers will be fine with a few frames per second less.

The ARM platform has advanced nicely and is capable of some pretty decent visuals, but it's nowhere near close to being on par with today's x86/x64 PCs or the next gen consoles. The PS4 is rumored to be based on a quad core x64 CPU from AMD running at 3.3 ghz with a GPU based on the Radeon 7970. It will be quite a while before an ARM SOC is capable of matching that. ARM chips work damn well in phones and tablets and something like the Ouya could wind up being a big hit for casual gamers in the living room, but ARM chips have a way to go before they can support something like Crysis 3, Watchdogs or Star Wars 1313.

Reply Parent Score: 3

bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

I'm sorry but even the lowest end AMD quad can drink ARM's milkshake while it cries in the corner so no way its gonna be ARM based. It may have an ARM CPU for low power mode, so you can watch a video or do light web surfing without firing up the whole system, similar to what Splashtop had there for awhile, but to give up X86 would frankly give up the major advantage Valve has which is the huge amount of games and publishers all lined up. Not every company wants to only make popcap style games and ARM simply can't run something like Saints Row The Third or Just Cause II.

My guess is they'll have a little bidding war before they settle on a system. the question for me is whether they'll go Intel or AMD, AMD can give them cheaper prices and hybrid crossfire but Intel has the IPC lead by a pretty large margin. While I'd love to see a Liano with hybrid crossfire for insane graphics most likely we'll be seeing a low end i5 with Nvidia graphics, reason being an i5 quad with a decent midrange Nvidia GPU would give them a pretty big leap on the competition and give the box some legs.

In the end I think old Gabe is doing this to get back at Ballmer who is trying to screw Valve with the Windows appstore so by coming out with a Steambox old Gabe can take a big chunk of MSFT's customers by offering lower prices and compatibility with the Windows and Linux PC Steam client.

Reply Parent Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

If they go the $99 route they could release an updated version every year. That is against conventional wisdom that consoles shouldn't change for a long time, but Steam games live in the PC ecosystem where every year hardware gets more powerfull and games take advantage of that. The steambox also should.

Many of the best-selling games on Steam aren't like that at all - certainly most "casual" or indy titles, and Valve itself is actually fairly atypical: more console-like for a long time, more about gameplay than bling. The requirements of Valve games move very slowly, lag behind typical "premier" PC house games - even the latest Source titles can be played quite decently on a nearly decade-old hardware.

Overall, on the PC sid, games don't so much take advantage of constant upgrade cycle, but can also simply get away with more lousy coding & not being able to optimise so much (for what? Nv/ATI low/middle/high or maybe latest Intel GFX? ...but that will likely be much less of a problem with Steambox)

Reply Parent Score: 2