Steam Machine Prices Range From $499 to $6,000 for First Generation

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Steam Machine Prices Range From $499 to $6,000 for First Generation

Steam Machines

Valve has confirmed more than a dozen manufacturers of Steam Machines, with prices ranging from $499 to a down payment on a house.

The dime was dropped on a number of Steam Machine makers earlier today but now Valve has made it official, confirming that a total of 14 PC manufacturers will be constructing the first generation of it custom gaming systems:

  • Alienware
  • Alternate
  • CyberPowerPC
  • Digital Storm
  • Falcon Northwest
  • GigaByte
  • iBuyPower
  • Maingear
  • Material.net
  • Next Spa
  • Origin PC
  • Scan
  • Webhallen
  • Zotac

The Digital Storm Bolt II that was unveiled this morning is a $2500 powerhouse but Valve Grand Poobah Gabe Newell confirmed that a range of machines, at a variety of prices, will be available. "The first generation Steam Machines offers something for every gamer, which is a critical part of extending Steam into the living room," he said.

CyberPowerPC and iBuyPower will produce systems for as little as $499, while Falcon Northwest rigs will start at $1799 and go as high as $6,000. The systems themselves come in a variety of configurations based on both AMD and Intel CPUs, and Nvidia and AMD GPUs. Storage ranges from 500GB to 6TB, with some SSD options - but bear in mind that these are only promotional examples, and that actual configurations - and prices - will vary.

In fact, while we don't have an overload of detail at this point, it's becoming clear that the "Steam Box" is less a thing than an idea, and a rather murky one at that. Some of these systems, like the iBuyPower or the Zotac, look like consoles, but the Falcon Northwest and the Digital Storm are clearly just high-end gaming PCs. That shouldn't be a surprise - Steam is a PC-based platform, after all - but if Valve wants to compete for the living room then it's unavoidably competing against consoles, and in that light the lack of uniformity is a little unexpected.

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(EDIT: Little niggle with the article, now altered. Go about your business.)

On topic, I'll be interested in seeing how the $499 machines match up to the standards of people actually good at building these kinds of consoles.

I think the major selling point of the Steam Machine is meant to be its Operating System, Steam OS. That will apparently be much more gaming friendly than Windows. Everything else is just window dressing for a gaming PC. It's a computer that does everything your computer already does, but also plays games better.

I think I may be remembering this all wrong - but didn't they say at one point that all Steam boxes will run any game at 1080p and 60fps?

If that's the case, I'm not sure if a $500 machine would be capable of that.

Rutskarn:
Uh, I don't know if this is you carrying forward the "PC Master Race" thing a little too far, but is "grand wizard" really the title you wanted to give Gabe Newell?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Wizard

I dunno, I find it rather fitting with the article you linked because:

Let's face it gabe hates consoles and hates windows

gabe loves Linux and loves PC's, ergo he wants his side to prosper and rule while the other to go to ruin.

Pretty sure that group you linked actively hated one colour over another and saw themselves as the supposed "master Race" and we all know how that turned out for everyone.

SKBPinkie:
I think I may be remembering this all wrong - but didn't they say at one point that all Steam boxes will run any game at 1080p and 60fps?

If that's the case, I'm not sure if a $500 machine would be capable of that.

The R9 270, which I'm fairly sure is the GPU inside the iBuyPower box, runs Battlefield 4 at an average of 62fps and a minimum of 51fps on 1080p high with no AA (this is on Windows, so excluding any benefit SteamOS will bring). Assuming the games have proper options menus (and they damn well better) you could fiddle around with the options menu to squeeze in some AA if you really want.

Really, the only one that interests me so far is the iBuyPower machine that actually seems worth the money as opposed to the others which seem to be overpriced pre-builts branded as consoles. Will be interested to see how things develop.

Out of all of them the best one to probably draw in console people, which is what I see a lot of people saying it's supposed to do, it's the iBuy Pro Power Steam Box. Really I don't think that's a bad price for that one, and I've been happy with my iBuy Pro Power computer and I've had it for about a year now. It's done it's job brilliantly, and allows me to run most of my games on max settings with not framerate issues. Cost me about $651 total, but that's more because my tower is more for show as you can see inside it and it has Blue LED cooling fans in it. It also came with a wireless gaming mouse and a keyboard...I wanted some flashiness. XD

Rutskarn:
Uh, I don't know if this is you carrying forward the "PC Master Race" thing a little too far, but is "grand wizard" really the title you wanted to give Gabe Newell?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Wizard

Honestly wasn't aware that the term was so closely linked to the KKK - I always topk it as more of a D&D-type thing. Anyway, to avoid potential offense and confusion, I've promoted Gabe to a new and even more powerful position. Thanks for the heads-up.

Andy Chalk:

Rutskarn:
Uh, I don't know if this is you carrying forward the "PC Master Race" thing a little too far, but is "grand wizard" really the title you wanted to give Gabe Newell?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Wizard

Honestly wasn't aware that the term was so closely linked to the KKK - I always topk it as more of a D&D-type thing. Anyway, to avoid potential offense and confusion, I've promoted Gabe to a new and even more powerful position. Thanks for the heads-up.

NBD. I'll go ahead and scrub my old post to avoid dragging this thread down.

Really excited to see how this pans out. I've seen plenty of people who've wanted to get into PC gaming, but haven't because of, well, reasons. Hopefully this gets more people into it.

The lack of uniformity is a good thing.
Consoles aren't 'uniform'. They keep trying to 'up' the price by making 'special editions' with 'more GBs'.
Well, Anyone who knows anything.. Knows that a 100GB vs 500GB Console, means absolutely freaking nothing.
They are the same damned console! Now with steam box? You spent $100 more for your console? Well Yours is probably better than some other guys'!

That all said, The whole thing about the SteamMachines, is it does what the PC Gaming Alliance tried doing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PC_Gaming_Alliance)

And that was, have all PC's that were capable of meeting their minimum specifications having their 'PSGA' sticker on it. So newbie computer users could pick up that PC with the PCGA sticker on it, and find a game and play it.

Steam's effectively doing the same thing. But unlike the PCGA, people actually KNOW! what Steam is!

Ideally, Steam will be able to talk to developers/producers/ect, to incorporate a SteamMachine compatible 'sticker' on said game, to go along with any 'certified' steam machine, that basically will tell all PC gamers, regardless of knowledge, that said games are compatible.

And if in the future, games minimum specifications go up to much, steam can always alter said sticker. (Steam2.0) Problem solved.

And unlike consoles, Steam Machines are upgradeable. So it's possible to make it '2.0' compatible, and if they play their cards right. They can keep track of each of these different models, and offer an easy to understand -upgrade- system for newbie pc users. So they can put in their model, it'll tell them what they have, and what they can upgrade it with.

SinisterDeath:
The lack of uniformity is a good thing.

Not in this case (at least, not in my opinion)

PCs already had that lack of uniformity thing going for them. Almost complete customization down to what color LEDs you wanted in the case. I was under the impression one of the driving factors behind Steam Machines was to standardize PC gaming slightly so that you knew what you were getting when you bought certain hardware. I thought I remembered hearing about 3 main classes of Steam machine...but these early prototypes seem scattered all over the board rather than falling into simple-to-understand groups. Aside from SteamOS (which many Steam games still aren't Linux compatible and will need to dual-boot to Windows to play), what exactly is the point?

The only thing I'm really excited to try is that Steam Controller to see if the haptic feedback and touch screens are as fluid and intuitive as they claim. Aside from that, I'll just continue to build my own machines with the exact hardware (and software...I can't wait to see all the bloatware these companies cram into their boxes) that suits my needs.

Avaholic03:

SinisterDeath:
The lack of uniformity is a good thing.

Not in this case (at least, not in my opinion)

PCs already had that lack of uniformity thing going for them. Almost complete customization down to what color LEDs you wanted in the case. I was under the impression one of the driving factors behind Steam Machines was to standardize PC gaming slightly so that you knew what you were getting when you bought certain hardware. I thought I remembered hearing about 3 main classes of Steam machine...but these early prototypes seem scattered all over the board rather than falling into simple-to-understand groups. Aside from SteamOS (which many Steam games still aren't Linux compatible and will need to dual-boot to Windows to play), what exactly is the point?

The only thing I'm really excited to try is that Steam Controller to see if the haptic feedback and touch screens are as fluid and intuitive as they claim. Aside from that, I'll just continue to build my own machines with the exact hardware (and software...I can't wait to see all the bloatware these companies cram into their boxes) that suits my needs.

Maybe. But I'm not sure uniformity would have been such a big advantage right now anyways. The big perk of uniformity is that developers can target a single platform, rather than allowing for a range of specs. But until Steam Machines have enough marketshare, no one is going to cater to them anyways. For the moment, they're basically piggybacking off of PC gaming, and until that changes there's no real benefit to uniformity.

My biggest issue is the price. I know that gaming hardware isn't cheap, but the lowest end system is just barely matching the price of the most expensive console. Which is already pushing things, given that the PS4 launched at $399. Though the controller sounds neat, it's not clear to me what benefit a Steam Machine brings over a similar gaming PC, and until they answer that question this is going to be a hard sell for Valve.

Shadow-Phoenix:

Gabe... wants his side to prosper and rule while the other to go to ruin.

Yes, because that's not what every single console manufacturers want as well.

So, the boiled-down version of this is "It's a very impressive machine, essentially a Steam console for the games on Steam you own, but whoa-baby it will cost ya.", then?

*shrugs* God luck to them but I'll stick with my own PC thanks. Just don't really see the point honestly.

With this news I look forward to the future with PC users mocking those who bought Steamboxes.

SKBPinkie:
I think I may be remembering this all wrong - but didn't they say at one point that all Steam boxes will run any game at 1080p and 60fps?

If that's the case, I'm not sure if a $500 machine would be capable of that.

What games couldn't be run at 60FPS-1080p with a $500 computer, as long as there are settings to fiddle around with? Budget/entry level computer parts have the highest price to performance ratio, so I imagine a $500-$600 computer, if built wisely, could run most games at least on medium at 1080p at 60fps.

I don't understand what the point is of branding a pc with the term "steam box" if you're going to brand dozens of the things with that term.

At some point PC is just going to become synonymous with steam box. They really should have chosen like 6 models tops and gone from there. Giving the consumer this much choice is the exact opposite of what a console is supposed to do. Consumers who do a lot of research before shopping and are willing to put a ton of time into tweaking games are not the demographic that primarily uses videogame consoles.

Rutskarn:
On topic, I'll be interested in seeing how the $499 machines match up to the standards of people actually good at building these kinds of consoles.

Doesn't matter because they're not the target audience. Those of us interested in building gaming rigs have already built a gaming rig and will continue to build our own gaming rigs. Steam Box is an idea to try and convince mum to buy their little one a PC for gaming instead of a conventional console.

Wow some of these things are mighty ugly. Still don't know why would anyone pick this over a gaming PC, if you want to play PC games on your sofa just a buy a small affordable rig and stream games to your TV. Also Valve is yet to announce the full list of games supported by steam OS, seriously if this continues somebody is going to lose money.

Looks like some of those manufacturers completely missed the point of Steam machines and just decided to make overpriced PCs with SteamOS on them. No one would want that $6000 tower in their living room, and the price doesn't help.

SKBPinkie:
I think I may be remembering this all wrong - but didn't they say at one point that all Steam boxes will run any game at 1080p and 60fps?

If that's the case, I'm not sure if a $500 machine would be capable of that.

I doubt they ever promised such a thing, because it is impossible.

NoAccountNeeded:

My biggest issue is the price. I know that gaming hardware isn't cheap, but the lowest end system is just barely matching the price of the most expensive console. Which is already pushing things, given that the PS4 launched at $399. Though the controller sounds neat, it's not clear to me what benefit a Steam Machine brings over a similar gaming PC, and until they answer that question this is going to be a hard sell for Valve.

I really don't see 500 bucks as a reason to hold people back, 60Mill+ people already have steam accounts with games on them. So right there even if you only have say 5-10 titles you aren't needed to buy anything else to start off. Also tons of AAA titles are 20-30 bucks where you are paying $60 for just one game on a new console. With the weekly sales and such it won't take a person long to build up a library. Lets assume you buy 3 games for your new console on top of buying the console your easy $600. if you buy a steambox for the $500 that leaves you with $100 to spend on games which at the very less will get you 3-4 good games and if you take your time possibly a dozen or two good games. That is the steam box advantage. Gaming systems always boil down to the games the more you can play on a system the more value it has.

I still don't understand who is this for..console gamers? Really doubt it because they are glued to their respective consoles (X1,PS4 or WiiU) due to exclusives. PC gamers? They can just hook up their PC to the TV and use Big Picture Mode.

So can someone explain me why these exist? I just don't get it. If you are planning to pay more than 500$ then just buy the parts individually and you can get more bang for your buck and just use Big Picture Mode. If you really want to get the SteamOS just install it instead of Windows? And buy a Steam controller and you are golden.

After looking at various versions, it seems the Steam Machine is nothing more than putting the steam brand on any custom PC build and charging way more than its worth for it. The stupid thing is that anyone who would be interested in a steam product would be smart enough to know that all the steam boxes are way overpriced for the specs.
I guess these are just for the rich version of COD and Fifa console gamers to be tricked into buying.

misg:

NoAccountNeeded:

My biggest issue is the price. I know that gaming hardware isn't cheap, but the lowest end system is just barely matching the price of the most expensive console. Which is already pushing things, given that the PS4 launched at $399. Though the controller sounds neat, it's not clear to me what benefit a Steam Machine brings over a similar gaming PC, and until they answer that question this is going to be a hard sell for Valve.

I really don't see 500 bucks as a reason to hold people back, 60Mill+ people already have steam accounts with games on them. So right there even if you only have say 5-10 titles you aren't needed to buy anything else to start off. Also tons of AAA titles are 20-30 bucks where you are paying $60 for just one game on a new console. With the weekly sales and such it won't take a person long to build up a library. Lets assume you buy 3 games for your new console on top of buying the console your easy $600. if you buy a steambox for the $500 that leaves you with $100 to spend on games which at the very less will get you 3-4 good games and if you take your time possibly a dozen or two good games. That is the steam box advantage. Gaming systems always boil down to the games the more you can play on a system the more value it has.

I bought pikmin 3 for $45. Sold it for $40. That was a month after release.

Steam games have no refunds, no trade-in value, require online-only (all of them have to be downloaded), encourage geopricing ($90 for Dishonored in Australia? GTFO), and have a habit of breaking when used in conjunction with steam (whereas regular copies are fine).

I really don't see why valve even deserve any modicum of the market with what they've shown. Hate to say "I told you so" to the public but really, I was telling everyone who would listen that these would be expensive because there was no logical way they'd be cheaper than the sum of custom parts.

Anyone that honestly thought the steambox would do well with what they were shown was delusional. You can't compete with a $500-570 console with your $600+ LINUX (GL trying to sell that to anyone that doesn't already build their own PC) box that can only play linux games or play windows games poorly through wine (and if you dual boot then congratulations they ended up buying a windows-installed PC anyway) with less longevity than a console. The x360 came out in 2004 yet still could play AAA games 9 years later. My 2008 PC? Couldn't even run Guild Wars 2 or Crysis 3, even on the lowest settings.

rapidoud:
The x360 came out in 2004 yet still could play AAA games 9 years later. My 2008 PC? Couldn't even run Guild Wars 2 or Crysis 3, even on the lowest settings.

My 2006 machine can still almost run every game ever made, all Crysis games included. And it was never even a high-end machine to begin with. If your 2008 PC can't run GW2 or Crysis on the lowest setting, was it geared towards accounting? Because by '08 standards, you'd have to have scraped the bottom of the barrel to achieve that performance.

Muchly disappointed here, I had thought with the Steam OS being supposedly better for games that the manufacturers would get away with smaller specs so therefore smaller price tags! I might as well buy a decent PC and run it off the Steam OS myself.

Also just thought, the variety of manufacturers will cause higher price tags, instead of one box needing X million of each part which drops the cost per part, there are loads of boxes needing just thousands of each part.

DarkhoIlow:
I still don't understand who is this for..console gamers? Really doubt it because they are glued to their respective consoles (X1,PS4 or WiiU) due to exclusives. PC gamers? They can just hook up their PC to the TV and use Big Picture Mode.

So can someone explain me why these exist? I just don't get it. If you are planning to pay more than 500$ then just buy the parts individually and you can get more bang for your buck and just use Big Picture Mode. If you really want to get the SteamOS just install it instead of Windows? And buy a Steam controller and you are golden.

I agree. I'd imagine that most Xbox gamers would look upon this with absolute disgust. And my gaming PC already runs all the best games on ultra settings. I'm also not understanding what niche this is filling.
BUT...a STEAM OS seems pretty damn good right now. I used to actually like Microsoft when they brought out Win7. For me, Win7 did everything I wanted it to in a fast and easy manner. Then they brought out Win8 and shit all over my face. I don't like people shitting on my face. I don't like Microsoft for making an OS which is actually degenerate to their previous release. So I hope that the Steam OS is the bleach which will clean up Microsoft's shit.

Li Mu:

DarkhoIlow:
I still don't understand who is this for..console gamers? Really doubt it because they are glued to their respective consoles (X1,PS4 or WiiU) due to exclusives. PC gamers? They can just hook up their PC to the TV and use Big Picture Mode.

So can someone explain me why these exist? I just don't get it. If you are planning to pay more than 500$ then just buy the parts individually and you can get more bang for your buck and just use Big Picture Mode. If you really want to get the SteamOS just install it instead of Windows? And buy a Steam controller and you are golden.

I agree. I'd imagine that most Xbox gamers would look upon this with absolute disgust. And my gaming PC already runs all the best games on ultra settings. I'm also not understanding what niche this is filling.
BUT...a STEAM OS seems pretty damn good right now. I used to actually like Microsoft when they brought out Win7. For me, Win7 did everything I wanted it to in a fast and easy manner. Then they brought out Win8 and shit all over my face. I don't like people shitting on my face. I don't like Microsoft for making an OS which is actually degenerate to their previous release. So I hope that the Steam OS is the bleach which will clean up Microsoft's shit.

i do not think Steam OS is a alternativ to Win7/8 but linux is, most off all because Steam OS is made to play games and i think it will only have thiere own web browser with no easy option to get google chrome or firefox plus you can't get all the 3rd party software you all ready have on your Win7/8 and linux.

Yay, another batch of info that doesn't help me at all in pinning down what exactly makes a steambox a steambox :| To me it just seems like a bunch of pre-built pc's. Is it just the fact they come with steamOS and a steam controller?

And of course their price, size, components, shape and color are all still possibly subject to change. As they have been ever since steamboxes were first announced. So basically we still don't know jack.

So can we now stop pretending there's actually such a thing as a "Steam Machine"? Valve have produced their own Linux distro and they have several manufacturers who will ship it with some of their PCs. If the OS is any good it will stand on its own merits; if not, giving regular PCs a silly name won't make any difference.

Crazy Zaul:
After looking at various versions, it seems the Steam Machine is nothing more than putting the steam brand on any custom PC build and charging way more than its worth for it. The stupid thing is that anyone who would be interested in a steam product would be smart enough to know that all the steam boxes are way overpriced for the specs.
I guess these are just for the rich version of COD and Fifa console gamers to be tricked into buying.

A lot of those $500 models, aren't actually that over-priced. When your talking an i5, GTX660, and 8GB memory at the $500 level, $500 is actually fairly spot on. Don't believe it? Look it up on newegg.com.

The biggest advantage a steam machine has, right off the bat?
$100-180 cheaper than any windows PC.
Thus the 'mummy' who gets asked to buy a 'pc' for their kid, will see a steam machine for $500, and a windows for $600 and go "hmmmm"

Anyone that honestly thought the steambox would do well with what they were shown was delusional. You can't compete with a $500-570 console with your $600+ LINUX (GL trying to sell that to anyone that doesn't already build their own PC) box that can only play linux games or play windows games poorly through wine (and if you dual boot then congratulations they ended up buying a windows-installed PC anyway) with less longevity than a console. The x360 came out in 2004 yet still could play AAA games 9 years later. My 2008 PC? Couldn't even run Guild Wars 2 or Crysis 3, even on the lowest settings.

You aren't limited to using just Linux. You can install windows 7 on it for all they care. it's not Ps4 where your locked into their OS.

The demographic they are aiming at, which has been said before is those who don't build PC's. Those who don't know jack about building pc's and have no interest in doing so!

Believe it or not. They out populate people who build PCs. 10 to 1.

rapidoud:
I bought pikmin 3 for $45. Sold it for $40. That was a month after release.

Steam games have no refunds

My steam library is just above 200 games, most purchased through Steam Sales or Humble Bundles. According to Steamcalculator i haven't played 60 % of them. Might sound like a waste, but i can play them whenever i want, and pick whatever i like to play. And i can always replay them. Occasionally i look through the library, pick a game and play it (when i have time).

Not everyone cares about refunds. Some of us actually want to be able to replay our games whenever we want to, or simply wants a lot of choice at our hands.

Does it still come with your shitty distribution service, Valve? If so, I'm not interested.

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