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Avoozl
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I don't look fondly at steam myself either because of the high-speed internet requirements I just can't catch up with in my current state of being stuck in my parents home away from decent internet availability, but I have learned to accept that I just can't game anymore at least with most new games so I'm stuck with my older games.

Old Post 01-14-14 01:37 #
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Average
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Though I'm sceptical and I'm a little disheartened by the multi tier pricing and models I'm not about to under estimate Valve. Time and again they've surprised people. There are a lot of detractors of Steam but it seems to be doing fine thank-you-very-much. Somebody's buying software through it and fuelling its growth!

Old Post 01-14-14 01:39 #
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DoomUK
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Not knowing anything about Linux gaming, I'm interested in seeing how these things compete with regular gaming PCs with similar hardware specs, as they presumably have few or none of the performance overheads which come with owning a gaming PC with Windows on it. The controller is also intriguing.

But I have to echo what most people are saying. I just don't see the idea catching on. Too expensive to compete with consoles; redundant for PC gamers. Shitty selection of launch titles to boot. Maybe the cheaper models will interest people who are looking for a gaming PC but are dissuaded by the high cost and/or technical know-how of buying or building one, but that seems like a niche market at best.

Old Post 01-14-14 09:21 #
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Gez
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code:
Manufacturer Price Alternate $1399 CyberpowerPC $499 and up Digital Storm—Bolt II $2584 Gigabyte—Brix Pro TBD Falcon Northwest—Tiki $1799—$6000 iBuyPower $499 and up Materiel.net $1098 Origin PC—Chronos TBD (configurable) Next SPA TBD Scan—NC10 $1090 Webhallen $1499 Zotac $599 Alienware TBD

Are these bozos for real? $1100? $1500? $2600? $6000?

IMO, Zotac is at the very extreme limit of the kinda-sorta-maybe-reasonable-if-you're-rich pricing. All the clowns with offerings in the quadruple digits and up are looking to set up shop in Failsville, USA (Pop: dullards).

Now if they fix the specs, then as new hardware generations are created, the price ranges will probably decrease into saner areas where they might actually find some buyers. The question is, will these things still be sold five years from now or will the early commercial failure kill them off?

Old Post 01-14-14 10:33 #
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Maes
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fraggle said:
[*]Valve is developing a gamepad to go with the consoles. The pads are touch-based. While this is innovative and they still have some traditional buttons, I'm very skeptical of this decision. Think about how limiting tablet devices (which have touch screens) are. Buttonless tablets basically completely suck for gaming, yet this is the route they've gone down with the Steam Machine.


But think of the AVGN ranting potential on that one ;-)


DoomUK said:
Not knowing anything about Linux gaming, I'm interested in seeing how these things compete with regular gaming PCs with similar hardware specs, as they presumably have few or none of the performance overheads which come with owning a gaming PC with Windows on it



Well, it will have all the performance overheads associated with owning a gaming PC with Linux on it. ;-)

Like it all not, all of these modern OSes with goodies such as multitasking, shared libraries, 3D graphics APIs, TCP/IP stacks etc. etc. have a certain overhead which can -at most- be kept within constraints on application-specific systems...but games are just about the most demanding of extant applications, so "application specific" here pretty much means: "GIVE IT ALL!"! Unfortunately, the days of the pure OS-less console are over, and Steam isn't Nintendo or even Sony to attempt building one from scratch.

Also, that licensing other manufacturers to build them...well this has been done in the past (3DO) but the console itself flopped. Also, the temptation to just hack it/build your own, since it will consist of standard PC components (?) pretty much like the original XBOX, will be too strong for tinkerers, making TOTL pricing unrealistic.



geo said:
Yeah I totally forgot about the streaming capabilities. But if your PC is too weak to play Windows games, then streaming them will be imperfect. And well why not just hook a normal PC to a TV? Oh well.


Most "weak" (non-gaming) PCs can display HD video better than they can play 3D games. It's a totally different type of load.

Last edited by Maes on 01-14-14 at 13:03

Old Post 01-14-14 10:43 #
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Shaviro
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Why the big push for living room gaming? I can definitely see myself playing multiplayer FIFA or racing or whatever on the couch with a friend, but I can't come up with a single moment of the past in a great single player adventure that would have been better and not worse in the living room with an audience. It's my journey. My choices. My actions. My consequences. Some of the best "Me time" around is the highly concentrated, intimate journey into another world.

Old Post 01-14-14 12:47 #
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Maes
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Shaviro said:
Why the big push for living room gaming?


Welcome to the 00s, I guess. Oh crap...they are over already? Well, welcome to the 10s then.

Old Post 01-14-14 13:03 #
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Shaviro
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It goes hand in hand with other popular trends all about removing all highs and lows, leaving only grey uniform, but depressing mass behind.

Old Post 01-14-14 13:14 #
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Gez
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PC gaming is dead (they've been saying that for over ten years, so it must be true), the future is consoles, smartphones, tablets, and consoles that use your smartphone as a controller and your tablet as a screen.

Old Post 01-14-14 13:27 #
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Jodwin
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Shaviro said:
Why the big push for living room gaming?

It's not a push to living room gaming per-se, it's a push to your living room altogether: Your TV, your movies, your music, your everything. Hell, XBox One even has Skype in it, as stupid as that may sound. You can be pretty sure that SteamOS would eventually have voice chat as well.


Gez said:
PC gaming is dead (they've been saying that for over ten years, so it must be true), the future is consoles, smartphones, tablets, and consoles that use your smartphone as a controller and your tablet as a screen.

Remember a little while back when "everyone" said that we'll soon be gaming on nothing but smartphones?

Bitches.

Old Post 01-14-14 13:57 #
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Maes
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Jodwin said:
Remember a little while back when "everyone" said that we'll soon be gaming on nothing but smartphones?


Tsk. Everybody knows that the future lies in Interactive Multimedia CD-ROM with Virtual Reality and SGI, which we'll all use to enter the Cyberspace.

Old Post 01-14-14 14:16 #
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The tech industry have been forcing this upon us for decades. Remember the whole 'Digital Convergence' crap that was all over the magazines in the 90's? Well, they're getting there... whether people want it or not...

Old Post 01-14-14 14:38 #
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Maes
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Average said:
Well, they're getting there... whether people want it or not...


They've been "getting there" since the 90s, but it's always been nothing more than a novelty. People sooner or later realize that "do-it-all" devices are NOT optimum and revert to dedicated devices for listening to music, watching TV, surfing the web etc. The only reason not to do it, is if you're pressed for space or relocate often, where the appeal of an all-in-one device is undeniable -it always has been. But as soon as someone climbs up the social -and financial- ladder, "converged" or "all in one" devices stop being so appealing.

I remember the first WebTV set-top boxes from 1999) but the experience was VERY sub-par even for the day. Even modern TVs that let you "surf the web" offer a very limited experience compared to even a netbook can do, and God Forbid if there are even going to be new services....good luck updating THAT. The only way convergence is ever going to work and be accepted is for it to play without competitors, aka in a "Walled Garden" scheme (surprise surprise, that's ALSO what they've been trying to pull).

As for the 90s, rather than convergence, it was all about multimedia, VR and this newfangled thing called "Internet".

Old Post 01-14-14 16:58 #
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Gez
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Or, you know, people do want an all-in-one device, but they want it to be their PC, because it is an all-in-one device: you can work, play, watch movies, listen to music, laze about on the Internet, and so on. Any convergent device that isn't a computer is, in essence, a dumbed-down computer which could serve as a computer if it wasn't bridled by software restrictions and lousy input peripherals.

PCs have been the perfect convergent devices ever since monitor resolution and color depth outgrew that of TVs, and onboard audio chipsets have been able to provide CD-quality sound. There have been tuner cards to catch radio and TV on your computer, but now radio and TVs are on the Internet anyway.

Old Post 01-14-14 17:32 #
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Maes
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Gez said:
PCs have been the perfect convergent devices ever since monitor resolution and color depth outgrew that of TVs, and onboard audio chipsets have been able to provide CD-quality sound.


No disagreement here. The only sector where the PC loses to traditional A/V systems is perceived comfort and incompatibility with OTA services. Even the best monitor and computer speakers cannot compete with e.g. watching a game on the big screen or listening to music through a dedicated component system with proper speakers, that's why there's still a market for these devices. Obviously, if somebody doesn't care about screen size, sound quality, or simply being able to relax on a couch while watching TV and not sit on the same chair he's been working all day even when watching movies...well, that's his prerogative (assuming taste/space/finances are not an issue, of course)


Gez said:
There have been tuner cards to catch radio and TV on your computer, but now radio and TVs are on the Internet anyway.


TBQH, analog TV just didn't look quite right through computer tuners and even on TFT screens, but that's beyond the point.

The "they are on the Internet anyway" argument is debatable, too (when they make a stream able to match my favourite radio's local FM Stereo quality, I'll be all ears. 128 kbps doesn't quite cut it, sorry), and introduces another dependency in the chain (The Internet), which in some situations, e.g. when you have no landline and/or limited bandwidth, you simply cannot use as a constant A/V streaming source, unless you like to send your bills sky high.

Old Post 01-14-14 18:16 #
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geo
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Shaviro said:
Why the big push for living room gaming?


Steam is dwarfed by PS4 and XBone. If Steam was selling millions of games they wouldn't drive to be on a console. Plus there are other incentives that PS4 and XBone get, like video rentals, signup bonuses.

Old Post 01-14-14 20:22 #
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Dragonsbrethren
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I'm actually really happy with this "living room" push. Having a PC hooked up to a TV isn't exactly unheard of anymore, and anything that improves the experience is a good thing. Steam's Big Picture mode is a great interface, for instance. I just wish it wasn't so resource intensive. A "light mode" for media center-type PCs would be a lot better than the current flashy, GPU heavy state it's in. Maybe SteamOS is better about this, but it looks the same to me.

One positive side effect of the last console generation was that, thanks to devs developing console and PC versions side-by-side, we finally started getting decent controller controls in PC games. That's a huge boon to making playing those games in a living room setting enjoyable. Now they need to convince devs not to yank out splitscreen modes, which is still an issue for some reason. Social gaming is one of the few things consoles are still doing better.

Old Post 01-14-14 23:21 #
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MajorRawne
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Having done absolutely zero research on this Steam Machine due to lack of interest, I speak from the usual point of ignorance:

Who the fuck is going to buy a Steam Machine when they can have an XBox One, PS4 or powerful PC for similar price, but have access to more than just Steam games?

While I use Steam on my PC due to there being no other choice to play certain games - and due to occasionally generous bundle deals on Steam - I've got zero reason to give those grasping buggers any more of my money than they've already had.

Oh, and as for Doom on Steam - fuck Steam for making it a pain in the arse to play the Master Levels in a source port. Oh well, the PSX Lost Levels renders it moot; you haven't played Doom until you've had coloured lighting and the Toxin Refinery music.

So yeah, I don't really support the Steam Machine, especially since its name makes it sound like something from the dark ages.

Old Post 01-14-14 23:51 #
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Holering
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Think the Steam machine might only attract a niche group of people. I personally hope it does succeed as I think PC's are the best gaming system besides a Nintendo console.

I want the Wii U (don't know how to get one being broke) but I'm still using a PC as a gaming platform after more than 15 years. You can't customize an Xbox One or Playstation 4 so why bother; these systems are generic at best, have the worst controls, and have terrible development standards while trying to be an underpowered freaky PC (they only exist because of money; no offense to great third party developers).


fraggle said:

Here's the thing: the basic idea for the Steam Machine is incredibly clever, because Valve already have the entire library of Steam games available to them to sell. That theoretically gives them a massive head start over any other console manufacturer that might want to enter the market:



Yup.

Last edited by Holering on 01-15-14 at 19:19

Old Post 01-15-14 19:10 #
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durian
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/off topic


Maes said:

No disagreement here. The only sector where the PC loses to traditional A/V systems is perceived comfort and incompatibility with OTA services. Even the best monitor and computer speakers cannot compete with e.g. watching a game on the big screen or listening to music through a dedicated component system with proper speakers, that's why there's still a market for these devices. Obviously, if somebody doesn't care about screen size, sound quality, or simply being able to relax on a couch while watching TV and not sit on the same chair he's been working all day even when watching movies...well, that's his prerogative (assuming taste/space/finances are not an issue, of course)


In hi-fi circles, it's increasingly the case that a PC (coupled with an external DAC) is an integral part of a dedicated component system.


Maes said:
The "they are on the Internet anyway" argument is debatable, too (when they make a stream able to match my favourite radio's local FM Stereo quality, I'll be all ears. 128 kbps doesn't quite cut it, sorry), and introduces another dependency in the chain (The Internet), which in some situations, e.g. when you have no landline and/or limited bandwidth, you simply cannot use as a constant A/V streaming source, unless you like to send your bills sky high.

Alas, (from what I have heard) the BBC in the UK has taken to recording its radio output digitally, downsampling it to 128kbps, and then broadcasting it in FM - in this situation there's no good SQ reason not to use the internet, rather than an FM tuner, or even a DAB :(

Old Post 01-15-14 22:04 #
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Dragonsbrethren
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So Valve redesigned the controller, there are actual buttons in a sane layout now:

http://www.pcgamer.com/2014/01/15/v...ps-touchscreen/

No more touchscreen, though. Can't say I'm too sad to see it go, and I'm actually interested in this controller again. Though it does look like a bit of a stretch to hit those buttons. I hope they're not ditching the equivalent of start and select buttons, though, they're not in that picture and there's a huge amount of unused space they could be put in.

(In unrelated news, they're phasing out Greenlight.)

Old Post 01-15-14 23:40 #
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doomgargoyle
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Whats replacing it?

Old Post 01-16-14 14:00 #
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geo
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Dragonsbrethren said:
So Valve redesigned the controller, there are actual buttons in a sane layout now:

(In unrelated news, they're phasing out Greenlight.)



Its cheaper to have the buttons. Its also cheaper not to have analog sticks. Cheap!!!! Valve is competing with whatever Logitech and Madkatz knockoff controllers that will inevitably come out.

I was shocked they had Greenlight at all. Why ask people if you'd buy games when they can just sell the game incomplete and keep having sales until its fully complete? Look at how well Towns did before Greenlight and Early Access.

Old Post 01-16-14 14:03 #
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doomgargoyle
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Does that mean they're allowing all games now and put them in Early Access? Are they going to be more like the App Stores?

Old Post 01-16-14 14:09 #
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geo
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They'll sell shit in a Box.

Old Post 01-16-14 14:41 #
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Jodwin
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Dragonsbrethren said:
So Valve redesigned the controller, there are actual buttons in a sane layout now

Meh. The positioning of the buttons looks painful to use.


doomgargoyle said:
Does that mean they're allowing all games now and put them in Early Access? Are they going to be more like the App Stores?

...or they'll be doing what they did before Greenlight, which is curating all games that they'll be adding themselves.

Old Post 01-16-14 19:58 #
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Carnevil
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Jodwin said:

...or they'll be doing what they did before Greenlight, which is curating all games that they'll be adding themselves.


Hm, I'm not so sure about that. Supposedly, they want to switch to a more open Amazon.com-like platform which better lends itself to having a much larger library. I think that's why you've seen a flood of accepted games recently on Greenlight (which we've been one of the lucky recipients of), rather than the reverse. Curating is much more difficult and expensive when you have tons and tons of games to sift through to pick "winners".

Old Post 01-16-14 21:40 #
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Dragonsbrethren
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Jodwin said:

Meh. The positioning of the buttons looks painful to use.


I agree. I'd have to actually hold one to know for sure, though. It's certainly better than the previous layout, at least.

Old Post 01-16-14 22:51 #
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geo
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I'm not sure those 4 center buttons are meant to be used all the time. I've seen Portal 2 demos that use the controller and the movement and look haven't seemed that smooth. Seems jerky like you can't just hold it and move, you need to swipe and swipe and swipe. Perhaps that could be from inexperienced hands using the controllers or some sort of calibration settings.

Old Post 01-17-14 14:09 #
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doomgargoyle
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I'd like to get one of those Steam machines just to install Origin on it. :)

Old Post 01-17-14 19:55 #
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