Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 10th Dec 2012 23:24 UTC
Games Confirming the industry's worst-kept secret, Valve CEO Gabe Newell has confirmed Valve is working on its 'Steam Box', a Steam-powered HTPC geared towards console-like gaming. It'll most likely run Linux. "Well certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environment," he told Kotaku. "If you want more flexibility, you can always buy a more general purpose PC. For people who want a more turnkey solution, that's what some people are really gonna want for their living room." Steam has 50 million subscribers, so there's a market here. As a comparison: Xbox Live has 40 million subscribers.
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Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Tue 11th Dec 2012 04:17 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

I don't see any benefits in consoles in general. On the contrary, they degrade the quality of games by limiting their interfaces (which is caused by the lack of keyboard and mouse) and by limiting many other features as well because of consoles' limited memory and processing power. It backfires back to PC gaming, since some developers produce cross platform games (i.e. targeted for PC and consoles), bringing console limitations right to the PC versions as well, since they don't want to spend much time on producing different versions, which results in crippled games.

However Valve's push to improve the situation with Linux gaming in general is a good development.

Edited 2012-12-11 04:20 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by shmerl
by Nelson on Tue 11th Dec 2012 06:19 in reply to "Comment by shmerl"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Consoles make gaming simple. PC gaming is "My PC can run this game, if I have Graphics card Y, Motherboard Y, that supports Processor and Chipset Z with 20GB of RAM and a custom cooling rig"

Even then its a mess of Catalyst drivers, 200 different DRM schemes, a comparatively weak online experience, etc.

Consoles are streamlined. You go to the store, you buy a box. You turn the box on and pop a disk in. Bam, you're gaming.

It's an implicit guarantee. If I buy this Console, I will run this selection of games relatively well.

I think Steam's push into the living room is stupid, but I think that a standardized "SteamBox" for Linux is a good idea. An on-the-shelf Linux PC you can sell to users and say "This is Linux".

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by shmerl
by Neolander on Tue 11th Dec 2012 06:56 in reply to "RE: Comment by shmerl"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I think Steam's push into the living room is stupid, but I think that a standardized "SteamBox" for Linux is a good idea. An on-the-shelf Linux PC you can sell to users and say "This is Linux".

Most likely, this will be more of an Android scenario. They will base their work on Linux, but brand it as "SteamBox" everywhere, so it's not as if normal people will be able to tell.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Tue 11th Dec 2012 07:37 in reply to "RE: Comment by shmerl"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Unfortunately the negative effect outweighs the streamlined ease of use. Some genres (like real time strategies) were even damaged by developers paying less attention to PC gaming. Complexity of setting up a good gaming machine up is paid off with complex and deeper games with rich interfaces, instead of dumbed down consolized stuff.

That's even besides the bad idea of turning general purpose computer into an appliance which usually comes with all kind of nasty DRM.

Edited 2012-12-11 07:55 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by shmerl
by kurkosdr on Tue 11th Dec 2012 11:13 in reply to "Comment by shmerl"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

I don't see any benefits in consoles in general. On the contrary, they degrade the quality of games by limiting their interfaces (which is caused by the lack of keyboard and mouse) and by limiting many other features as well because of consoles' limited memory and processing power. It backfires back to PC gaming, since some developers produce cross platform games (i.e. targeted for PC and consoles), bringing console limitations right to the PC versions as well, since they don't want to spend much time on producing different versions, which results in crippled games


Yes but on the other hand, they allow people to buy the console, and not to have to buy new hardware for years. My PS3 from 2007 is still going strong. Instead on the PC, you either have to buy new hardware every once in a while, or try to find graphics settings which balance graphics quality with speed. Which can be tricky because you don't know how much detail the next levels will have. On consoles, the graphics quality vs speed problem is taken care by the developer, who knows. I personally quit this expensive hobby, and never looked back.

IMO the gaming industry is ruining the PC by constantly bumping up the requirements. Imagine if Hollywood constantly changed resolutions and codecs in the discs they sell, requiring more and more powerful players every now and then.

Essentially, consoles make gaming accessible to the public.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by shmerl
by lucas_maximus on Tue 11th Dec 2012 12:39 in reply to "RE: Comment by shmerl"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

IMO the gaming industry is ruining the PC by constantly bumping up the requirements. Imagine if Hollywood constantly changed resolutions and codecs in the discs they sell, requiring more and more powerful players every now and then.


Utter garbage, I bought a 512mb 8800GT (2007, mid level card) and it can (just about) play Skyrim. I will be upgrading the Graphics card and possibly the PSU which is the same price as the console, other than that everything in that PC is the same.

The GPU I used previous to that was a 9800pro, that lasted 4 years, and the machine that it was in saw 2 other GPUs (An Ati X-pert at work and a ATi 9000pro).

While some people decide to upgrade the machines every year for maximum performance, it isn't really necessary.

Edited 2012-12-11 12:48 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Tue 11th Dec 2012 17:41 in reply to "RE: Comment by shmerl"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Those who build high end computers also don't upgrade them for years, since they are sufficient to run most of the stuff for a long time. But on the other hand upgrading some part can be done without upgrading the whole thing (like changing the GPU for example without bumping the CPU) which is impossible with consoles. So your comparison above is not to the point.

Edited 2012-12-11 17:41 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by shmerl
by Kivada on Wed 12th Dec 2012 07:11 in reply to "Comment by shmerl"
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

Wrong, as someone who is an avid gamer on all platforms, a keyboard and mouse are only good on exactly 2 types of game that are pretty much crap these days, RTS and FPS. For every other type ff game out ther give me controller with analog input like the PS3 controller. Comfortable enough for an 8 hour gaming session, faster then a KB/M in most game types since the button are pressure sensitive they can act as 2-3 buttons depending on how you hit the button.

When you just want to play the damn game, nothing beats the console, it's one hardware set that just always works. On the comp I have to ensure I tweak my box for max performance and may have to play with the graphics settings for an hour to find a playable compromise between graphics and responsiveness if I don't want to sped a small fortune every 2-3 years to make sure I can play the games I want to play when the console will last 5-7 years between upgrades.

Reply Parent Score: 3