Valve Plans Living-Room Gaming PCs for 2013

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Valve Plans Living-Room Gaming PCs for 2013

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Valve boss Gabe Newell confirmed plans for a "turnkey solution" that will bring Steam to the living room with no fuss and no muss.

It sounds like the rumor of a "Steam box" console that erupted earlier this year may have been more on the money than Valve let on. The television-friendly "Big Picture" mode went live last week and at the Spike Video Game Awards on Friday, Newell said a few words about Valve's expectations for more consumer-friendly, plug-and-play gaming PCs.

Valve expects that hardware builders will begin offering such purpose-built systems next year as a way to go head-to-head with traditional gaming consoles, and Newell said that Valve will be getting into that business as well. But as lock-down systems, these living-room boxes won't offer the flexibility of conventional PCs.

"Certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environment. 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," he tolk Kotaku. "The nice thing about a PC is a lot of different people can try out different solutions, and customers can find the ones that work best for them."

Newell also said that Valve is now focused on getting the Linux version of Steam out of beta and bringing Big Picture to that OS. The studio is also hard at work on its next-generation game engine, which it will likely use to not make Half-Life 3.

Source: Kotaku

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Make it less than or around $300, give it all the exclusives consoles get, and let it play new AAA games 8 years from now, and I might be interested.

lol

We know that won't happen.

It'll be interesting how Valve handles breaking in to already established market. It'll also be interesting to see a console from someone who actually knows what the hell they're doing. Sony's bungling along, Microsoft seems to be getting less and less interested in games and more interested in ads, and Nintendo... well we'll see how the Wii U turns out.

Also a bit odd to see Valve releasing a closed system, since they've always been on about how closed systems sucks. Specifically about Microsoft's Windows 8 and Xbox Live, and Apple. But I guess it makes sense Valve would be fine with it when Valve's in control.

A Valve console? All right. I welcome the competition to the market, if nothing else. That'll force Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo to get their shit together with their online services (though PS Plus is pretty awesome these days, I must admit).

Hell, if the cost is right, I'd probably get one. I'd like to have a PC hooked up to my TV that isn't so big and loud.

Andy Chalk:
The studio is also hard at work on its next-generation game engine, which it will likely use to not make Half-Life 3

Hehe :)

As for the rest... When Steam announced Big Picture, the first thing that popped in my mind was "Steambox".

It's hard not to think this may be the future of consoles in all honesty. The closer they get to PCs the less necessary they become.

Oh look a story about Valve...

Better throw in a mention that we have not heard a word about Half-Life 3 in years.

Irridium:
It'll be interesting how Valve handles breaking in to already established market. It'll also be interesting to see a console from someone who actually knows what the hell they're doing. Sony's bungling along, Microsoft seems to be getting less and less interested in games and more interested in ads, and Nintendo... well we'll see how the Wii U turns out.

Also a bit odd to see Valve releasing a closed system, since they've always been on about how closed systems sucks. Specifically about Microsoft's Windows 8 and Xbox Live, and Apple. But I guess it makes sense Valve would be fine with it when Valve's in control.

SOOOOOO full of controdictions it hurts my braaaaan.

OT: wouldn't this lead to even further saturation of an already saturated market? I mean it was considered highly saturated when Microsoft Jumped in, and said "you can play games on a TV"

Well, I'd be interested in this for sure, I mean, all 3 established companies do some bad things now and then, some more than others, and I've found Valve to be the closest to my ideal, so I'd seriously consider it. Don't know if I would get it, since I already play games both on my monitor, and hooked up to my TV, so we'll see. Also, if they got around to not not make Half-Life 3, I'd jump on that as well.

I remember the elder days, when the teller of tales and legends Tolk Kotaku journeyed to see Gaben, Master of Small Numbers.

(In other words: Typo: "tolk Kotaku".)

Irridium:
It'll be interesting how Valve handles breaking in to already established market... and Nintendo... well we'll see how the Wii U turns out.

Nintendo always know exactly what they're doing (even when they get it wrong, they know what they're doing). The trouble is, to the rest of us it can come off as inscrutable meandering.

I think Valve will be fine as far as breaking into the console market goes, all they have to do is list the number of games available on Steam (and that they're cheaper than other systems to buy, usually). The sheer crushing weight of having entire series back catalogs available right now, with free online play and very little in the way of publisher enforced 'support' ought to give them a big run in the advertising stakes.

As long as they take a pragmatic approach to the hardware and don't price it over four hundred dollars it's hard to see where they can go too wrong. Although filling the system with advertori-junk Xbox Live style would be a good start...

gardian06:

Irridium:
It'll be interesting how Valve handles breaking in to already established market. It'll also be interesting to see a console from someone who actually knows what the hell they're doing. Sony's bungling along, Microsoft seems to be getting less and less interested in games and more interested in ads, and Nintendo... well we'll see how the Wii U turns out.

Also a bit odd to see Valve releasing a closed system, since they've always been on about how closed systems sucks. Specifically about Microsoft's Windows 8 and Xbox Live, and Apple. But I guess it makes sense Valve would be fine with it when Valve's in control.

SOOOOOO full of controdictions it hurts my braaaaan.

How is it full of contradictions?

Irridium:

gardian06:

Irridium:
It'll be interesting how Valve handles breaking in to already established market. It'll also be interesting to see a console from someone who actually knows what the hell they're doing. Sony's bungling along, Microsoft seems to be getting less and less interested in games and more interested in ads, and Nintendo... well we'll see how the Wii U turns out.

Also a bit odd to see Valve releasing a closed system, since they've always been on about how closed systems sucks. Specifically about Microsoft's Windows 8 and Xbox Live, and Apple. But I guess it makes sense Valve would be fine with it when Valve's in control.

SOOOOOO full of controdictions it hurts my braaaaan.

How is it full of contradictions?

this is a new market for Valve (they don't know what they are doing until they have done something in the given market)
Microsoft is still the accepted hardcore system they are just choosing to increase market share to casuals instead of alienate them.
and Steam is a closed system because Valve still gets final say. just because they now let players vote doesn't mean that every game on GreenLight will be released on Steam because Steam still has the final say.

Interesting idea. A console that plays PC games. Since it is independent from any specific manufacturer this could be really good for not only the pc gaming but gaming as a whole.

Think about it. This thing is immune to the issues of the "console generation" which means that we don't have to wait a full 5 to 8 years for more advanced hardware and games that can take advantage of that hardware. This would also mean that we will see companies competing to bring faster and more powerful hardware to the market at a much higher rate. In other words, it would be a driving force for improving computing technology (something that has really been stagnating the last 5 years or so - thank you consoles). It also has near perfect backwards compatibility (as good as any pc).

This thing sounds great if multiple manufactures get on board with it (which they will).

gardian06:

Irridium:

gardian06:

SOOOOOO full of controdictions it hurts my braaaaan.

How is it full of contradictions?

this is a new market for Valve (they don't know what they are doing until they have done something in the given market)
Microsoft is still the accepted hardcore system they are just choosing to increase market share to casuals instead of alienate them.
and Steam is a closed system because Valve still gets final say. just because they now let players vote doesn't mean that every game on GreenLight will be released on Steam because Steam still has the final say.

True, it is a new market for Valve. However, they have 7 years of Sony, Microsoft's, and Nintendo's successes and failures to look at. They'll have a pretty good idea of what to do, and what to not do. I never said Microsoft wasn't the accepted hardcore system. I said that they've been less interested in games and more interested in ads lately. And this is true. You pointing out they're choosing to increase market share to casuals is also true, and reinforces the fact that games aren't their primary focus as of late. And I know Steam is a closed system. I was just pointing out how it's interesting that Valve (Newell, specifically) has constantly decried closed systems, yet runs one of their own and will now be releasing another closed system.

so basicly theyre making a consoles *face palm* i love valve but cmon guys your better then this

I just don't see the point of this. I've already got a gaming PC. I've already got steam. Anyone who has one probably has the other which means they can already do the TV thing with Big Picture. Who is their intended audience?

Hm...

Well if theyre really going to go through with it, its best to await the results. The current big 3 have thier own issues, maybe Valve will have different, less irritating problems.

Mcoffey:
I just don't see the point of this. I've already got a gaming PC. I've already got steam. Anyone who has one probably has the other which means they can already do the TV thing with Big Picture. Who is their intended audience?

Its hard to deny that theres alot of money in the console market, moreso than the PC market certainly.

And since thier partnership with Sony ultimately came to nothing more than the PS3 version of Portal 2 being able to use Steamworks, maybe Valve has decided to cut out the middleman.

fix-the-spade:

As long as they take a pragmatic approach to the hardware and don't price it over four hundred dollars it's hard to see where they can go too wrong. Although filling the system with advertori-junk Xbox Live style would be a good start...

would they be able to do this? wasn't the thing often said about current gen consoles was their inability to make costs back on unit sales alone and needed to charge extra on games.

now i dont doubt value could make a good go of this but would they be able to make a console that costs the same as others, so makes a loss, then have the games all at pc costs so no overheads to make up the difference?

Marendithias:
Interesting idea. A console that plays PC games. Since it is independent from any specific manufacturer this could be really good for not only the pc gaming but gaming as a whole.

Think about it. This thing is immune to the issues of the "console generation" which means that we don't have to wait a full 5 to 8 years for more advanced hardware and games that can take advantage of that hardware. This would also mean that we will see companies competing to bring faster and more powerful hardware to the market at a much higher rate. In other words, it would be a driving force for improving computing technology (something that has really been stagnating the last 5 years or so - thank you consoles). It also has near perfect backwards compatibility (as good as any pc).

This thing sounds great if multiple manufactures get on board with it (which they will).

yeah we won't have to wait 5-8 years to completely replace it (because it can't be modified) we only have to wait 1 year (maybe). I wonder who else has that line of release schedule?

MF APPLE

do we really want the word Valve used in the same sentence/comparative to Apple well with "hardware propelled" release rates that's what we get.

rodneyy:

fix-the-spade:

As long as they take a pragmatic approach to the hardware and don't price it over four hundred dollars it's hard to see where they can go too wrong. Although filling the system with advertori-junk Xbox Live style would be a good start...

would they be able to do this? wasn't the thing often said about current gen consoles was their inability to make costs back on unit sales alone and needed to charge extra on games.

now i dont doubt value could make a good go of this but would they be able to make a console that costs the same as others, so makes a loss, then have the games all at pc costs so no overheads to make up the difference?

Assuming the console runs Steam games exclusively, and its likely to, then Valve will earn a comission for every game sold through Steam.

So they can sell the consoles at a lower price, and if the buyers also buy enough games through Steam then Valve will ultimately break even and profit.

"Certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environment. If you want more flexibility, you can always buy a more general purpose PC."
Note that he said the hardware will be a very controlled environment. I'm guessing this is just so there can be more standardized specs that are easier to target, as opposed to the millions of possible PC configurations. He didn't say anything about controlled software. Maybe I'm taking this too literally, but I suspect people are reading too far into this.

P.S. Thanks

OK, am I missing something? A plug and play gaming PC with controlled hardware that you use in your living room isn't going to compete against consoles, it is a console. Way to try spin re-inventing the wheel into a PR success. Valve, you seem to be losing your grip.

So I'd be able to get PC quality graphics in my living room? That's kind of what I'm getting from this. Well that's cool, as long as what Valve offers is at a reasonable price. I mean if it's going to be the same price as a halfway decent PC I might as well just buy a PC that can be upgraded.

Edit: And PC exclusive games of course.

As my utter disinterest grows with each passing day with the thinking of a "next generation" of consoles, this actually sounds interesting.

This is pretty big, but I don't like having to run the hardware rat race all the time. I'll still probably plug for a console so I can get the guarantee to play any game without fuss for the next 6 years

If it offers the keyboard and mouse option then I'm interested. many PC games benefit from it greatly or require it all togethor.

gardian06:

yeah we won't have to wait 5-8 years to completely replace it (because it can't be modified) we only have to wait 1 year (maybe). I wonder who else has that line of release schedule?

MF APPLE

do we really want the word Valve used in the same sentence/comparative to Apple well with "hardware propelled" release rates that's what we get.

Valve's version can't be modified but the systems released by other manufactures might be, just like any regular PC. The problem with apple is that it is a completely closed system with only one hardware platform, just like consoles are today. The only difference (besides what we use the device for) is the lifecycle for apple products is shorter.

I see this being more like android based devices where you have some reference design and numerous variations at different price and performance points. Since these are still regular PCs at heart, I can actually see them being upgradable. Really, I'm thinking more along the lines of the way PCs and PC games used to be, where the games got progressively more demanding technically and you would start running the games at lower setting until eventually you didn't meet the recommended system specs and had to upgrade or buy a new PC.

rodneyy:
would they be able to do this? wasn't the thing often said about current gen consoles was their inability to make costs back on unit sales alone and needed to charge extra on games.

now i dont doubt value could make a good go of this but would they be able to make a console that costs the same as others, so makes a loss, then have the games all at pc costs so no overheads to make up the difference?

That is very true, but Valve in a markedly different situation to both Microsoft and Sony.

Microsoft built XB Live from scratch for the Xbox/360, they've also lost a few billion dollars through the Red Ring of Death and court mandated free replacements.

Sony spent even more billions developing Blu Ray and the Cell Processor, neither of which have dominated the market the way they were expected to. They've also built PSN from scratch as well.

Steam already exists, so that enormous cost is largely negated as Valve have the infrastructure ready, they would just be adding more users. If they avoid developing proprietary hardware that's another massive cost avoided.
You can already build system based on a Pentium (or let's be wild and say a Core) or AMD A-series chip, with a low level gpu (AMD77xx or GTX650) for under $500, at retail as an individual consumer.

A similar system, built system on chip and with preset graphics (avoiding anti-aliasing) doesn't seem too outlandish. The software and drivers for that already exists, even more important would be that if they use PC hardware and drivers, they don't need to come up with a new Devkit, which is another huge cost they can dodge.

I think they stand a pretty good chance, but it does all hinge on the release price of the box itself. Even the mighty Playstation couldn't defeat five hundred and ninety nine dollars.

DustyDrB:
A Valve console? All right. I welcome the competition to the market, if nothing else. That'll force Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo to get their shit together with their online services (though PS Plus is pretty awesome these days, I must admit).

Hell, if the cost is right, I'd probably get one. I'd like to have a PC hooked up to my TV that isn't so big and loud.

but you already can hook up your pc to your tv...

rhizhim:

DustyDrB:
A Valve console? All right. I welcome the competition to the market, if nothing else. That'll force Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo to get their shit together with their online services (though PS Plus is pretty awesome these days, I must admit).

Hell, if the cost is right, I'd probably get one. I'd like to have a PC hooked up to my TV that isn't so big and loud.

but you already can hook up your pc to your tv...

"that isn't so big and loud"
I'd like to not hear the fans and have a big tower there.

I already have my gaming setup in my living room. PC hooked up to the TV, keyboard on my lap and mouse on a hard mousepad on the armrest. Comfortable when I"m playing, but annoying to move everything aside when I get up. Steam itself is really small on my screen because only certain resolutions work with my TV (which I hate), but I use Steam's website to buy and search for games because a quick Ctrl + makes everything nice and readable.

I can also upgrade my computer whenever I want, peice by peice.

I'm not sure who this is geared towards... many people already hook up computers to their TVs and have Steam, and many people use their PS3's or 360's for other games (many of which are available on Steam). Honestly, I don't find this interesting at all.

DustyDrB:

rhizhim:

DustyDrB:
A Valve console? All right. I welcome the competition to the market, if nothing else. That'll force Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo to get their shit together with their online services (though PS Plus is pretty awesome these days, I must admit).

Hell, if the cost is right, I'd probably get one. I'd like to have a PC hooked up to my TV that isn't so big and loud.

but you already can hook up your pc to your tv...

"that isn't so big and loud"
I'd like to not hear the fans and have a big tower there.

get a better cooling system and ....well.. decorate/hide your tower
image
image

yeah.
i get what you mean but i think that will be the beginning of acepting that pcs will get more and more restricted
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/120829-Intel-Strategy-Shuts-Out-PC-Enthusiasts

rhizhim:

DustyDrB:

rhizhim:

but you already can hook up your pc to your tv...

"that isn't so big and loud"
I'd like to not hear the fans and have a big tower there.

get a better cooling system and ....well.. decorate/hide your tower
image
image

yeah.
i get what you mean but i think that will be the beginning of acepting that pcs will get more and more restricted
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/120829-Intel-Strategy-Shuts-Out-PC-Enthusiasts

Are those yours? That actually does sound like a fun project. Maybe when I have the money.

DustyDrB:

rhizhim:

DustyDrB:

"that isn't so big and loud"
I'd like to not hear the fans and have a big tower there.

get a better cooling system and ....well.. decorate/hide your tower

yeah.
i get what you mean but i think that will be the beginning of acepting that pcs will get more and more restricted
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/120829-Intel-Strategy-Shuts-Out-PC-Enthusiasts

Are those yours? That actually does sound like a fun project. Maybe when I have the money.

no. but i am working on a similar project only that my pc is hidden in a work desk.

building a pc is easier than you would think. thats why you can do stuff like this:

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with a bit of know how and creativity.

Y'know what I can see valve doing? Releasing a certain game as a timed exclusive for people who buy the "steam box." Isn't that kinda what they did when steam was first released?

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