[Rumor] Valve working on 'Steam Box' gaming console with hardw

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Recently there's been chatter that Valve — the company behind the massively popular gaming service Steam — has been considering getting into the hardware business. Specifically, there have been rumors that the company has been toying with the idea of creating a proper set-top console which could potentially pose a threat to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Valve co-founder Gabe Newell even recently told Penny Arcade: "Well, if we have to sell hardware we will."
At a glance that would simply be interesting fodder for a gaming forum debate, but we've uncovered information that suggests that not only has Valve been secretly working on gaming hardware for the living room, but that the company is actively pursuing a strategy which would place Steam at the center of an open gaming universe that mirrors what Google has done with Android. Backing up that concept, in the same interview we quote above, Newell says that Valve doesn't really want to do hardware on its own, stating, "We'd rather hardware people that are good at manufacturing and distributing hardware do [hardware]. We think it's important enough that if that's what we end up having to do, then that's what we end up having to do."
That jibes pretty well with this rumored arrangement.
According to sources, the company has been working on a hardware spec and associated software which would make up the backbone of a "Steam Box." The actual devices may be made by a variety of partners, and the software would be readily available to any company that wants to get in the game.

Adding fuel to that fire is a rumor that the Alienware X51 may have been designed with an early spec of the system in mind, and will be retroactively upgradable to the software.

Apparently meetings were held during CES to demo a hand-built version of the device to potential partners. We're told that the basic specs of the Steam Box include a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GPU. The devices will be able to run any standard PC titles, and will also allow for rival gaming services (like EA's Origin) to be loaded up.

Part of the goal of establishing a baseline for hardware, we're told, is that it will give developers a clear lifecycle for their products, with changes possibly coming every three to four years. Additionally, there won't be a required devkit, and there will be no licensing fees to create software for the platform.

We're hearing that a wide variety of USB peripherals will be compatible with the boxes, though it will likely ship with a proprietary controller. It's possible that the controller will even allow for swappable components, meaning that it can be reconfigured depending on the type of game you're playing. Think that sounds odd? Well Valve filed a patent for such a device last year.

valvepatent.png


Additionally, we're told that the kind of biometrics Valve uses in game testing will somehow be incorporated into these devices. Sources of ours say that the realtime biometric feedback in games will be a sea-change for users. To put it more succinctly, the sentiment we've heard is: "You won't ever look back." These biometric devices could come in the form of a bracelet, or be part of the standard controller.

The consoles will also take advantage of Steam's "Big Picture" mode, a feature Valve touted last year at GDC, but has yet to release to the public. According to the company's press release in 2011 "With big picture mode, gaming opportunities for Steam partners and customers become possible via PCs and Macs on any TV or computer display in the house."

The most interesting piece of this puzzle may be related to that statement. According to sources, the Steam Box isn't intended to just clash with current gaming consoles. Rather, Valve wants to take Apple and its forthcoming new Apple TV products head-on. Newell has clear questions about Apple's strategy, telling the The Seattle Times "On the platform side, it's sort of ominous that the world seems to be moving away from open platforms," adding that "They build a shiny sparkling thing that attracts users and then they control people's access to those things."

The Steam Box could be unveiled at GDC, though we're also hearing that the company may wait until E3 this year to show off what it's been working on.

One thing is for sure, however: if these rumors turn out to be correct, there could be a whole new kind of battle for control of your living room happening in the near future. Of course, much of this is pieced together from a variety of sources, and there could be moving parts which we can't see. Some of this information could change.

We've reached out to Valve for comment, and will update the post with any new information we receive.

Source: The Verge
 
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Foxi4

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Apparently meetings were held during CES to demo a hand-built version of the device to potential partners. We're told that the basic specs of the Steam Box include a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GPU. The devices will be able to run any standard PC titles, and will also allow for rival gaming services (like EA's Origin) to be loaded up.
Alright Verge, pull your head out of your ass and realize what you're saying here.

1. Who the hell would build an a'la console setup with an x64 CPU, an i7 at that, and for what purpose? They're bloody expensive and less effective then, say, a Cell processor when it comes to "purely gaming".
2. Who would put *8* Gb RAM in it? Seriously. Have you no knowledge about the market? The standard on consoles was less then 1Gb for last gen, next gen it's probably goint to be 1Gb or a tad more, 8 is *way* over the top.
3. Can you count? This will cost a gajibinormost ammount of money in comparison to its competition.

The i7 processor alone is $200, add an *interchangable* GPU, 8Gb RAM, a mainboard that will stand the test of time and you already end up with $500 worth of hardware that nobody will ever buy because you could just as well buy a PC.

No, I will go one step further. *This is a PC setup, actually*.

Either Verge is talking right out of their asses or someone in Valve is criminally insane as this has no chances to work whatsoever.

...if there is in fact a grain of truth in this then I bid Valve good luck at building this Neo Geo 2, they'll need it.
 
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notmeanymore

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Apparently meetings were held during CES to demo a hand-built version of the device to potential partners. We're told that the basic specs of the Steam Box include a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GPU. The devices will be able to run any standard PC titles, and will also allow for rival gaming services (like EA's Origin) to be loaded up.
Alright Verge, pull your head out of your ass and realize what you're saying here.

1. Who the hell would build an a'la console setup with an x64 CPU, an i7 at that, and for what purpose? They're bloody expensive and less effective then, say, a Cell processor when it comes to "purely gaming".
2. Who would put *8* Gb RAM in it? Seriously. Have you no knowledge about the market? The standard on consoles was less then 1Gb for last gen, next gen it's probably goint to be 1Gb or a tad more, 8 *way* over the top.
3. Can you count? This will cost a gajibinormost ammount of money in comparison to its competition.

The i7 processor alone is $200, add an *interchangable* GPU, 8Gb RAM, a mainboard that will stand the test of time and you already end up with $500 worth of hardware that nobody will ever buy because you could just as well buy a PC.

No, I will go one step further. *This is a PC setup, actually*.

Either Verge is talking right out of their asses or someone in Valve is criminally insane as this has no chances to work whatsoever.

...if there is in fact a grain of truth in this then I bid Valve good luck at building this Neo Geo 2, they'll need it.
I recall the PS3 launching about the $500 range.

I agree though, I doubt the hardware specs they're claiming are accurate. I don't think any console worth its salt would have an x64 or x86 processor in it.
 

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I recall the PS3 launching about the $500 range.

I agree though, I doubt the hardware specs they're claiming are accurate. I don't think any console worth its salt would have an x64 or x86 processor in it.
I didn't mean to say that the final price would be $500, I haven't even added the costs of the hard drive and all the other perhaptials, the case etc. - it would be more expensive then that.

That said, the x64 architecture was likely "chosen" by the editor to validate the fact that this rig is supposed to launch PC games, thus has to be essentially a Windows PC... and here you have to add the Windows 7/8 license fee, the system isn't free.
 

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>I recall the PS3 launching about the $500 range.
DSC_2457.JPG

It hasn't been that long has it?

Five hundred and ninty-nine U. S. dollah? No?
 
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Midna

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I went and read the article.

i7, 8GB RAM, Nvidia GPU... Congratulations Gaben. You've created a desktop PC with HDMI out and an included USB controller.

I love Valve, but they were doing fine already. I don't think this is necessary.
 
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>I recall the PS3 launching about the $500 range.
DSC_2457.JPG

It hasn't been that long has it?

Five hundred and ninty-nine U. S. dollah? No?
True, but with much less RAM and, I'm guessing here, much weaker GPU then Valve's baby would need to have to launch modern PC games seemlessly. I see your point, but you know what I'm getting at - if this is true, we're looking at a circa $1000 expense over here, and need I remind you that gamers who enjoy Valve games *likely* already have PC's that are more then enough specs wise to play Valve games... or am I missing something?

The devices will be able to run any standard PC titles

This doesn't seem right at all. "Standard PC titles" require Microsoft Windows. Why would Microsoft even allow that if it poses a threat to them?
They don't have a say - Valve just buys an OS license and that's it. In fact, it's Free Monnies for Microsoft right there.
 

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i find the idea pretty cool actually,
a hybrid between a pc and a console, so if new powerhouses appear in the market like ps4 or xbox720 or something then they can just ,well change their own specs as if a pc
. so basically they never will be left behind and their console would have an almost unlimited life cycle. :yay:
Part of the goal of establishing a baseline for hardware, we're told, is that it will give developers a clear lifecycle for their products, with changes possibly coming every three to four years

dont know about the pricing though
 

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>I recall the PS3 launching about the $500 range.
DSC_2457.JPG

It hasn't been that long has it?

Five hundred and ninty-nine U. S. dollah? No?
True, but with much less RAM and, I'm guessing here, much weaker GPU then Valve's baby would need to have to launch modern PC games seemlessly. I see your point, but you know what I'm getting at - if this is true, we're looking at a circa $1000 expense over here, and need I remind you that gamers who enjoy Valve games *likely* already have PC's that are more then enough specs wise to play Valve games... or am I missing something?

The devices will be able to run any standard PC titles

This doesn't seem right at all. "Standard PC titles" require Microsoft Windows. Why would Microsoft even allow that if it poses a threat to them?
They don't have a say - Valve just buys an OS license and that's it. In fact, it's Free Monnies for Microsoft right there.

Adding even more to the cost of the device.
 
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Foxi4

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i find the idea pretty cool actually,
a hybrid between a pc and a console, so if new powerhouses appear in the market like ps4 or xbox720 or something then they can just ,well change their own specs as if a pc
. so basically they never will be left behind and their console would have an almost unlimited life cycle. :yay:
Part of the goal of establishing a baseline for hardware, we're told, is that it will give developers a clear lifecycle for their products, with changes possibly coming every three to four years

dont know about the pricing though
Buy a mini/micro mainboard, a mini/micro case, beef this baby up with a good CPU and a dual-gpu GFX card, add some RAM, done. I don't need Valve to build my PC.
 

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>I recall the PS3 launching about the $500 range.
DSC_2457.JPG

It hasn't been that long has it?

Five hundred and ninty-nine U. S. dollah? No?
True, but with much less RAM and, I'm guessing here, much weaker GPU then Valve's baby would need to have to launch modern PC games seemlessly. I see your point, but you know what I'm getting at - if this is true, we're looking at a circa $1000 expense over here, and need I remind you that gamers who enjoy Valve games *likely* already have PC's that are more then enough specs wise to play Valve games... or am I missing something?

The devices will be able to run any standard PC titles

This doesn't seem right at all. "Standard PC titles" require Microsoft Windows. Why would Microsoft even allow that if it poses a threat to them?
They don't have a say - Valve just buys an OS license and that's it. In fact, it's Free Monnies for Microsoft right there.
but if they manage to somehow convince their customers that if they pay something like a 1000bucks they wont have to buy any console for the rest of their lives because they could just keep upgrading their steambox?i mean like a parent buys his teen child this thing and it will last him until he has his own children? getting my point?
and we arent even sure about the costs yet
 

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but if they manage to somehow convince their customers that if they pay something like a 1000bucks they wont have to buy any console for the rest of their lives because they could just keep upgrading their steambox?i mean like a parent buys his teen child this thing and it will last him until he has his own children? getting my point?
and we arent even sure about the costs yet
It's physically impossible to build a console that will last a lifetime because eventually the CPU standard will be deprecated and you will be forced to change mainboards, and you can't do that in a console as the NAND/NOR stores your console's identity. Not a chance.

If this is true then it is simply a "mini PC" made by Valve, that's it.
 
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Midna

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but if they manage to somehow convince their customers that if they pay something like a 1000bucks they wont have to buy any console for the rest of their lives because they could just keep upgrading their steambox?i mean like a parent buys his teen child this thing and it will last him until he has his own children? geting my point?
and we arent even sure about the costs yet
Read this very carefully:
As described in this article, the device is no more than a desktop PC. Upgradability is not a selling point for a desktop PC connected to a television because standard desktop PCs can already be upgraded. This idea is pointless.
 
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Foxi4

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You know what would be rich? If:

1. Valve actually did this.
2. They'd create some sort of a revolutionary controller for it and patent the shit out of its tech.
3. Make it only work with their system.

Even better!

4. Valve starts releasing extra content for their machine unavailable on the PC or other platforms to get the sales running.

People would literally freak out - they're not stupid, they can see it's a Frankenstein PC.
 

notmeanymore

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Hell, if they go with Windows 8, maybe they should make it based on the ARM architecture. Though that would lead to major difficulties with current games. I'd find it more believable, to say the least.
 

Midna

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Hell, if they go with Windows 8, maybe they should make it based on the ARM architecture. Though that would lead to major difficulties with current games. I'd find it more believable, to say the least.
>Arm
>On a console
Is there something I'm missing here?
 

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