Valve Denies "Steam Box" Console Rumors

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Valve Denies "Steam Box" Console Rumors

image

Valve says it's building test boxes for the "Big Picture Mode UI" but denies that it's working on a new "Steam Box" console.

The internet got itself pretty tightly wound when rumors of a brand-new Valve-designed game console, widely referred to as the "Steam Box," bubbled to the surface earlier this week. The device would boast a Core i7 chip, Nvidia GPU and eight gig of RAM, and have the ability to run not just Steam but other services too, like EA's Origin. And if that sounds to you an awful lot like a PC, well, you'd get no argument from me, but that's a different story altogether.

What this story is about is Valve's denial that this is actually happening. "We're prepping the Steam Big Picture Mode UI and getting ready to ship that, so we're building boxes to test that on. We're also doing a bunch of different experiments with biometric feedback and stuff like that, which we've talked about a fair amount," Valve's Doug Lombardi told Kotaku. "All of that is stuff that we're working on, but it's a long way from Valve shipping any sort of hardware."

It shouldn't come as any surprise that a game studio would build various hardware configurations for development and testing purposes, and in fact Lombardi said that Valve is "always putting boxes together. Going all the way back to the Half-Life 1 days, we built special boxes to test our software render... it's just part of development."

But for the determined dreamers out there who just can't let go of the idea , Lombardi would not categorically rule out the possibility that Valve might someday jump into the hardware game, much as I might possibly one day win the lottery or become heavyweight champion of the world. Anything's possible, right?

Permalink

Valve denies console rumours, millions assume holiday release.

imma gunna call Valve Solid Sake
Cause they are really into boxes.

That's a shame. I was really hoping there was a good possibility of this happening. We'll see how long this stance lasts. Maybe we'll get them to deny their denial by E3?

Andy Chalk:
become heavyweight champion of the world. Anything's possible, right?

You can't become heavyweight champ of the world Andy. That's my dream. =]

The very idea of Valve building a "console" is silly. Would Valve license its name for some kind of specialty PC with a fixed component set, designed primarily as a living room game box? Sure, absolutely. But that's a long, long way from making a new console.

It really doesn't make sense for Valve to enter the console market. At all.

What I am hoping is that Big Picture Mode has some cool additional features rather than just being an alternative for use of a gamepad. TV integration features could be really interesting for PC games, and possibly even renew some interest in LAN parties.

I was waiting for the denial. Does anyone else think Valve fanboys are the most prolific when it comes to making rumors about their favorite company?

I am thoroughly unsurprised. Valve, a relatively small team of disorganized (though not necessarily to a fault) game design experts, would NOT be an ideal force to enter into console-manufacturing. It'd be like Mojang trying to create a new tablet. They may be filthy stinkin' rich due to huge hits from a small team, but "small team" is enough to tell you that they are and will remain a software company.

Biometric sensors make sense for testing, not for actual gameplay. It lets them know what sort of reactions their games are giving players so they can fine-tune it, that's what Valve does. Valve doesn't release biometric sensors to the public so that each person gets their own gameplay experience that may in fact be off-kilter due to personal differences and junk. It's a data-gathering tool, not a gameplay-altering device.

This is a sign that they are working on Half Life 3. It's a diversion!

OT... Kinda disappointed by this, but not really surprised.

Funnily enough the rumored "Steam Box" sounded quite a bit like the "Phantom" console from years back. Both are basically computers with an online game library, and neither ever truly existed. :)

Well looks like if gamers want a steamy box, they have to go back to looking at porn. Sadly, the porn really is just pictures of supposed hardware specks. (Oh, double zinger!)

As I said before, the idea that Valve would suddenly make a console sounded dumb and apparently Valve thinks so too.

Unless they plan to package Half Life 3 with this new console, I don't care.

Zachary Amaranth:
Valve denies console rumours, millions assume holiday release.

Millions are disappointed by holiday non-release, millions claim that Valve led them around by the nose, calm down, get bored and make rumors.

Kind of spectacular, really.

lacktheknack:

Zachary Amaranth:
Valve denies console rumours, millions assume holiday release.

Millions are disappointed by holiday non-release, millions claim that Valve led them around by the nose, calm down, get bored and make rumors.

Kind of spectacular, really.

And yet, vaguely comforting. You know, in that "the world doesn't make sense, but at least I can predict it...." way.

The Steam Box is a really boring name at best they should call it "Steam Machine" or the "Gabecube".

It would be nice to see Valve bring out a console, but if they did you can bet they would keep it pretty damn quiet. (Plus it would probably release late). And I can't think of any more Valve jokes, they would get stuck on console number 2? Maybe?

Andy Chalk:
much as I might possibly one day win the lottery or become heavyweight champion of the world. Anything's possible, right?

I dunno, you looked pretty mean during Movember. You big bear, you.

Hooray for wishful thinking fanboys being put in their place.

Andy Chalk:
Would Valve license its name for some kind of specialty PC with a fixed component set, designed primarily as a living room game box? Sure, absolutely. But that's a long, long way from making a new console.

OR IS IT?

Wait... it is. Nevermind.

From what I've seen Valve aren't looking at jumping into consoles, they're looking at taking advantage of/encouraging a move to more PC gaming in the living room and providing for it. If some hardware/system manufacturer also has similar ideas, why the hell not approach Valve and cut a deal?

Having access to the exact same games in your living room as you do at your desktop via the magic of the Steam library is quite compelling, just ask anyone who already has such a set up...

Andy Chalk:
The very idea of Valve building a "console" is silly. Would Valve license its name for some kind of specialty PC with a fixed component set, designed primarily as a living room game box? Sure, absolutely. But that's a long, long way from making a new console.

Isn't that basically what the Xbox vanilla/360 and Wii are? Not that there's something wrong with that, though i admired it the whole cell endeavour costed Sony dearly.

Lancer873:
It's a data-gathering tool, not a gameplay-altering device.

Ah ha! They'll release it to the public and then gather data on us to sell to ZIONIST REPTILOID FREEMASONS!!!

*pulls on beanie with faraday mesh lining*

YOU WON'T STEAL MY THOUGHTS WITH YOUR SATELLITE MICROWAVES!

Tanakh:
Isn't that basically what the Xbox vanilla/360 and Wii are?

The 360 and the Wii CPUs use a PowerPC architecture not the x86 or x86-64 architecture that the CPU in a Windows machine does (or indeed the xbox did with it's custom PIII CPU).

RhombusHatesYou:
The 360 and the Wii CPUs use a PowerPC architecture not the x86 or x86-64 architecture that the CPU in a Windows machine does (or indeed the xbox did with it's custom PIII CPU).

Yeah, quite standard RISC architecture, with UNIX, Linux, Mac OS and even a Windows running on it. Very common in "specialty PC" isn't it?

Tanakh:

RhombusHatesYou:
The 360 and the Wii CPUs use a PowerPC architecture not the x86 or x86-64 architecture that the CPU in a Windows machine does (or indeed the xbox did with it's custom PIII CPU).

Yeah, quite standard RISC architecture, with UNIX, Linux, Mac OS and even a Windows running on it. Very common in "specialty PC" isn't it?

My bad, didn't realise you were using the proper definition of PC instead of the usual shorthand for 'windows x86 machine'.

Really depends on how you define 'Personal Computer' and then how 'specialty PC' works within that...

As for commonness of PowerPC CPUs in 'specialty PCs'... maybe... again depending on what devices get counted under the term because in terms of raw production numbers ARM architecture has it beat hands down.

image

You know it would fucking work too.
But anyway this is Valve. Even if they were working on it right now it would not come out till some time after the sun has cooled and reptile people have conquered humanity.

RhombusHatesYou:
As for commonness of PowerPC CPUs in 'specialty PCs'... maybe... again depending on what devices get counted under the term because in terms of raw production numbers ARM architecture has it beat hands down.

Yep, i am quite curious to see what a 64 bit register file coming with the next ARM will change in cellphones.

Anyway, my point was that most of the current consoles are just a specialty PC with standard components, and after what happened in the PS3 dev process i will assume that in the next gen ALL of them will be that, points extra to Nintendo's Wii for figuring out how to make a very succsesful box with such dated cheap components. I guess what the consoles developers focus is the OS and devlopment tools (that if i understand correctly are like low level game engines), but Valve would also need to do that, facing the challenge to make it compatible with the current steam without virtualization (not that hard for a company as big as Valve) and without risking lawsuits from MS(freaking hard for anyone but God, fucking copyright...).

Honestly i can't see a reason to say that making a "specialty PC with a fixed component set, designed primarily as a living room game box" is not making a console.

Tanakh:
Anyway, my point was that most of the current consoles are just a specialty PC with standard components,

Except that half the important components are custom versions of standard components. Not sure why they don't go to off-the-shelf components... but they're certain to have some reason for doing it beyond pissing on the chips of hardware tinkerers.

I'm pretty certain the use of non-x86 CPUs is to make emulation (or even straight out OS ripping) a massive pain in the arse.

and after what happened in the PS3 dev process i will assume that in the next gen ALL of them will be that, points extra to Nintendo's Wii for figuring out how to make a very succsesful box with such dated cheap components.

Didn't help Sony that there was also a bottleneck with blue laser diodes for the first 6 months of production.

As for Nintendo... they certainly made the right choice for themselves with the Wii's hardware. Not too sure about the WiiU, though. Seems as if they've decided to make up for the good sense of staying with cheap hardware by saddling it with a monstronsity of a controller... but hey, if people end up will to throw cash at them for it, good for Nintendo.

I guess what the consoles developers focus is the OS and devlopment tools (that if i understand correctly are like low level game engines), but Valve would also need to do that, facing the challenge to make it compatible with the current steam without virtualization (not that hard for a company as big as Valve) and without risking lawsuits from MS(freaking hard for anyone but God, fucking copyright...).

Dev Kits are mostly a bunch of tools for taking your code and assets and compiling/exporting them into forms the console OS can use.

Honestly i can't see a reason to say that making a "specialty PC with a fixed component set, designed primarily as a living room game box" is not making a console.

Well, from my POV, while it can be making a console it isn't the only possible outcome. It's also possible that Andy was using 'PC' as shorthand for 'x86 machine'.

For example, say I put together some fixed component mITX kit together for the purpose of being a 'living room game box'... Let's assume this monument to my poor judgement runs Win 7 and has Steam installed and only has/uses a wireless controller (via bluetooth), no kb or mouse. What have I made? (except for some poor decisions about the capabilities of fixed component mITX kit)

Is it a console or just a limited Windows box? A HTPC with delusions of granduer?

RhombusHatesYou:
Except that half the important components are custom versions of standard components. Not sure why they don't go to off-the-shelf components... but they're certain to have some reason for doing it beyond pissing on the chips of hardware tinkerers.

I'm pretty certain the use of non-x86 CPUs is to make emulation (or even straight out OS ripping) a massive pain in the arse.

For example, say I put together some fixed component mITX kit together for the purpose of being a 'living room game box'... Let's assume this monument to my poor judgement runs Win 7 and has Steam installed and only has/uses a wireless controller (via bluetooth), no kb or mouse. What have I made? (except for some poor decisions about the capabilities of fixed component mITX kit)

Is it a console or just a limited Windows box? A HTPC with delusions of granduer?

For the components i think its mostly to keep better control of the system, and maybe also to fit some small avoidable specific needs. As for the CPU, not quite sure, I have heard back in the day the pipeline in RISC allowed better parallelization, and that seems custom made for almost all the data processing a game requires; nowdays they probably could get away with CISC and maybe more RAM though, but that doesn't make sense, go to less efficciency and easier emulation? No way.

If your box can run games and has a video output, I would say a console. But i do think that this:

http://hacknmod.com/?s=portable+console

or this

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Portable-Game-System/

are also consoles. Heck, the original xbox is basically what you described.

Andy Chalk:
snippituy

This is strange, I distinctively rea on pcg that they didnt deny it, Esacapist "top quality jornalism" I suppose...

http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/03/09/steam-box-the-truth-direct-from-valve/

OFF TOPIC: the new captha is shit i have a oicture ofn a fucking octopus

viranimus:
Hooray for wishful thinking fanboys being put in their place.

more like afraid fans can breathe easier now.

Well guess that means our wallets are safe from that. At least for the moment.

I'm not really sure I'd be interested in a steam box anyway. It does seem kind of redundant.
Ah, who am I kidding? Valve could take my money even if I hid it in the scrotum of a bull elephant.

Zachary Amaranth:
Valve denies console rumours, millions assume holiday release.

This comment seems pretty accurate I'd say. All Valve had to do was make an off the cuff comment that if they ever felt their was anything they wanted to do that required proprietary hardware they'd consider making it, and one discovered patent filing later (possibly discovered because someone was hoping to find they were already working on hardware) you've got rumours of a Steam console. But they had already all but said they weren't making one right now in the original interviews where they mentioned the future possibility.

I'm really not sure why anyone was buying this to begin with, or perhaps more importantly, why the original interview (which I saw on, I believe, Gamasutra weeks ago) was never more widely reported in response to said rumours.

Oh yeah, now I remember, exciting rumours get more traffic than dashed hopes.

Vivi22:

I'm really not sure why anyone was buying this to begin with, or perhaps more importantly, why the original interview (which I saw on, I believe, Gamasutra weeks ago) was never more widely reported in response to said rumours.

People will believe such unsubstantiated rumours because THEY ARE STUPID. When not bitching that Commander Sheppard has the wrong coloured hat and that Bioware should die a thousand deaths most Escapist posters are believing any rumour involving Valve, no matter how stupid it is.

HEY GUYS, GABE NEWELL IS RUMOURED TO BE BUILDING A NEW SUN. THIS IS SURELY PROOF THAT HALF LIFE 3 WILL BE OUT NEXT YESTERDAY.

SilverUchiha:
That's a shame. I was really hoping there was a good possibility of this happening. We'll see how long this stance lasts. Maybe we'll get them to deny their denial by E3?

Probably not. If they were to do this, it would basically be a Netflix box, and their servers commonly get over-burdened. So doing this would fuck up the PC users with all the new Console users with the lag.

I mean, just be realistic people. Valve does not have infinite bandwith and download speeds of Hermes, so using the service would be horrendous because of download lag. It would also destroy the main sword of PC gaming, which is Valve's Steam service.

I would like a Steam Box, provided future PC games would be optimized for it. I'm tired of basically rolling a dice to see if my computers parts all work with a game in the way they're supposed to.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here