Gabe Newell Clarifies That Piston Is Not the "Steam Box"

Gabe Newell Clarifies That Piston Is Not the "Steam Box"

image

The big beard at Valve says the "Piston" PC unveiled yesterday is just one of several partner projects the company has on the go.

There was much excitement yesterday following the news from CES of "Piston," a tiny gaming PC being developed, with Valve's support, by a company called Xi3. Finally, the storied Steam Box had seen the light of day! Or had it? Was this in fact Valve's living room pseudo-console-type thing, or was it something else entirely?

The latter, as it turns out. Piston is just one of several hardware projects being developed by various companies with Valve's support, while Valve continues to work on its own hardware in-house. "We think that there are pluses and minuses to open systems that could make things a little messier, it's much more like herding cats, so we try to take the pieces where we're going to add the best value and then encourage other people to do it," Newell told The Verge. "So it tends to mean that a lot of people get involved. We're not imposing a lot of restrictions on people on how they're getting involved."

Newell talked about supporting the development of "good/better/best" tiers of hardware, ranging from low-cost streaming solutions to "whatever those guys want to manufacture," even when they don't necessarily jibe with what Valve thinks is best. "It's been surprisingly difficult when we say to people, 'Don't put an optical media drive in there,' and they put an optical media drive in there and you're like, 'That makes it hotter, that makes it more expensive, and it makes the box bigger.' Go ahead," he said.

Valve, for its part, is focused on building a system "that's quiet and focuses on high performance," he continued. "We'll come out with our own [system] and we'll sell it to consumers by ourselves. That'll be a Linux box, [and] if you want to install Windows you can. We're not going to make it hard. This is not some locked box by any stretch of the imagination. We also think that a controller that has higher precision and lower latency is another interesting thing to have."

Speaking of Linux, Newell also used the opportunity to take another shot at Windows 8. "It just hurts everybody in the PC business. Rather than everybody being all excited to go buy a new PC, buying new software to run on it, we've had a 20-plus percent decline in PC sales - it's like, 'Holy cow that's not what the new generation of the operating system is supposed to do'," he said. "There's supposed to be a 40 percent uptake, not a 20 percent decline, so that's what really scares me. When I started using it I was like, 'Oh my god...' I find [Windows 8] unusable."

Source: The Verge

Permalink

Oh.... So that wasn't the Steam Box, eh?

Well then.... *Sets up shop* I shall await until you present it then.

Very interesting. Can't wait to hear more about their projects.

Better controllers? Yes please! The Xbox 360 controllers nearly everyone uses if they want one for some games are good and all, but I think they could really do with some fine-tuning. They form a good and reliable (what good is a controller if half the games don't work with it?) base but the sticks really aren't as responsive and fine as I'd like them to be.

So we could be in the situation where several competing steam ready devices are on the market, in way not too dissimilar to how Android devices are currently sold. All models will meet a certain minimum specification while the consumer has the choice of getting more powerful "steam boxes" if their needs require it. And as an added bonus for Valve, they get Steam into more living rooms and the "steam box" becomes just another standard living room item, like the family dvd player and reaps the benefits.

rofltehcat:
Very interesting. Can't wait to hear more about their projects.

Better controllers? Yes please! The Xbox 360 controllers nearly everyone uses if they want one for some games are good and all, but I think they could really do with some fine-tuning. They form a good and reliable (what good is a controller if half the games don't work with it?) base but the sticks really aren't as responsive and fine as I'd like them to be.

I doubt it. Since it's not changing the games and the PC games that support 360 controllers usually have 360 buttons. I doubt they will be changing them very much if at all.

What he said about biometrics is very interesting and I completely agree about the motion control part.

That is good. The Piston was neat and all, but it doesn't make much sense as a PC gamer. You could buy a laptop that had similar or better performance for less than the price I heard floating around. It's more like a novelty. I thought I would be interested in the NVidia Shield, but that is just a glorified streaming device.

This is basically what Yahtzee talked about in XP the past couple weeks: A base set of specifications ('It needs to be able to launch PC games via Steam') with each manufacturer allowed to accomplish the goal in whichever way their engineers believe best sold for whatever price their marketing department thinks they can get away with.

I for one welcome our new Valve overlords.

Aw, still no steambox? We'll have to wait then.
Still, the xi3 looks pretty interesting, so I might get one anyway.

Why... When did Gabe turned that old? last time I saw him talking he had brown hair, here he looks older than my grandpa.

Heck just give me a disc or USB image I can install from and the hardware compatibility list and let me build my own SteamBox and I will be a happy camper. That is the beauty of using Linux isn't it? You can do what you want with it.

Andy Chalk:

"There's supposed to be a 40 percent uptake, not a 20 percent decline, so that's what really scares me. When I started using it I was like, 'Oh my god...' I find [Windows 8] unusable."

Sounds like the death knell for W8...

Off topic yess, but do yall think the Newell, in his age, is looking more rugged as of late?

 

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