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.

Thread beginning with comment 580211
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: Comment by MOS6510
by sbenitezb on Wed 8th Jan 2014 15:14 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
Member since:

In the end it´s marketing and public perception what makes or breaks a product.

Agree to some point.

For parents there are 3 options: Wii, Playstation and XBox. Kids also only know these 3.

Having all these Steam consoles from different brands and having different looks just complicates things for the less informed buyer.

You must be young then. I come from the 80's and remember a lot of different consoles/personal computers (Spectrum, Amiga, Atari, Commodore, etc) available back then. All sort of non compatible video games where produced and sold. And the market was smaller. Now the market is huge. How are things any different now?

The pie is big enough for everybody to share a bite. Let's rejoice there's competition.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 8th Jan 2014 16:34 in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:

I was very well alive during the 80's and unlike many computer makers from then I am still alive today.

But yes, apparently the pie should be enough for many players, but I think times have changed. We live in a much faster time in which things are more compared all the time. Even if enough SteamOS devices are sold to make a profit, but they are outsold by The Big Three the media will announce failure and game developers will invest in platforms that yield more profit, even if SteamOS does too.

These things need to score big and score fast. If Apple doesn't outsell itself compared to a year ago on opening weekend the entire company is doomed. PS4 outsells Wii-U -> Nintendo is dead. Have to wait 2 more weeks for a game that is available on another console? DEATH.

In the 80's things moved slower. If you sold less devices than someone else nobody really cared, as long as you made a profit. If a hit game came to your computer 6 months later it was deemed worth the wait.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by Morgan on Thu 9th Jan 2014 01:31 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
Morgan Member since:

I think we're actually going full circle back to a situation similar to that in the 80s. Back then, all the best games were on the various home PCs; Commodore 64, Atari 400/800, TRS-80, ZX Spectrum, TI 99/4a, Amiga, etc. Those were all completely different machines that were not only for gaming, but learning and working as well.

Hell, I learned to program on a TI 99/4a, my first computer, and continued to learn on the TRS-80 and Atari computers as I got older. I also played games; I played the cartridge-based Dungeons of Daggorath so much that I wore out the keyboard on my TRS-80.

Then we have the console era, as home PCs made their way from the living room to the office and Nintendo rose from the ashes of the video game crash. Fast forward to today and PC and console gaming both have huge followings. It makes perfect sense for a PC-based console to come in and give us the best of both worlds, and take us back to PC-based gaming on the TV.

Reply Parent Score: 3