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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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

kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

Well, for the first year they just need to be as fast as the X360, PS3 and Wii U, because most games will be crossplatform in that time frame.
I think the Tegra4 with enough RAM might stack up nicely against those.
If they release a new version of the Steambox each year they get to PS4 power in a few years.

Reply Parent Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

But it doesn't work that way - with yearly upgrades the software will be hardly able to target that additional power because, duh, most of the installed base is on earlier generations.

What kept Amiga mostly stuck at 500, and killed C= ( http://www.osnews.com/permalink?530522 but at least Valve has a matching business model, with devs forced to go through Steam)

Reply Parent Score: 2