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Valve is apparently working with companies for a "Steam box"

This is a discussion on Valve is apparently working with companies for a "Steam box" within the General PS3 Discussion forum, part of the Everything PlayStation; Exclusive: Valve said to be working on 'Steam Box' gaming console with partners, could announce at GDC | The Verge ...

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    Valve is apparently working with companies for a "Steam box"

    Exclusive: Valve said to be working on 'Steam Box' gaming console with partners, could announce at GDC | The Verge


    Recently there's been chatter that Valve — the company behind the massively popular gaming service Steam — has been considering getting into the hardware business. Specifically, there have been rumors that the company has been toying with the idea of creating a proper set-top console which could potentially pose a threat to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Valve co-founder Gabe Newell even recently told Penny Arcade: "Well, if we have to sell hardware we will."


    At a glance that would simply be interesting fodder for a gaming forum debate, but we've uncovered information that suggests that not only has Valve been secretly working on gaming hardware for the living room, but that the company is actively pursuing a strategy which would place Steam at the center of an open gaming universe that mirrors what Google has done with Android. Backing up that concept, in the same interview we quote above, Newell says that Valve doesn't really want to do hardware on its own, stating, "We'd rather hardware people that are good at manufacturing and distributing hardware do [hardware]. We think it's important enough that if that's what we end up having to do, then that's what we end up having to do."


    That jibes pretty well with this rumored arrangement.


    According to sources, the company has been working on a hardware spec and associated software which would make up the backbone of a "Steam Box." The actual devices may be made by a variety of partners, and the software would be readily available to any company that wants to get in the game.


    Adding fuel to that fire is a rumor that the Alienware X51 may have been designed with an early spec of the system in mind, and will be retroactively upgradable to the software.


    Apparently meetings were held during CES to demo a hand-built version of the device to potential partners. We're told that the basic specs of the Steam Box include a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GPU. The devices will be able to run any standard PC titles, and will also allow for rival gaming services (like EA's Origin) to be loaded up.


    Part of the goal of establishing a baseline for hardware, we're told, is that it will give developers a clear lifecycle for their products, with changes possibly coming every three to four years. Additionally, there won't be a required devkit, and there will be no licensing fees to create software for the platform.


    We're hearing that a wide variety of USB peripherals will be compatible with the boxes, though it will likely ship with a proprietary controller. It's possible that the controller will even allow for swappable components, meaning that it can be reconfigured depending on the type of game you're playing. Think that sounds odd? Well Valve filed a patent for such a device last year.


    Additionally, we're told that the kind of biometrics Valve uses in game testing will somehow be incorporated into these devices. Sources of ours say that the realtime biometric feedback in games will be a sea-change for users. To put it more succinctly, the sentiment we've heard is: "You won't ever look back." These biometric devices could come in the form of a bracelet, or be part of the standard controller.


    The consoles will also take advantage of Steam's "Big Picture" mode, a feature Valve touted last year at GDC, but has yet to release to the public. According to the company's press release in 2011 "With big picture mode, gaming opportunities for Steam partners and customers become possible via PCs and Macs on any TV or computer display in the house."


    The most interesting piece of this puzzle may be related to that statement. According to sources, the Steam Box isn't intended to just clash with current gaming consoles. Rather, Valve wants to take Apple and its forthcoming new Apple TV products head-on. Newell has clear questions about Apple's strategy, telling the The Seattle Times "On the platform side, it's sort of ominous that the world seems to be moving away from open platforms," adding that "They build a shiny sparkling thing that attracts users and then they control people's access to those things."

    The Steam Box could be unveiled at GDC, though we're also hearing that the company may wait until E3 this year to show off what it's been working on.


    One thing is for sure, however: if these rumors turn out to be correct, there could be a whole new kind of battle for control of your living room happening in the near future. Of course, much of this is pieced together from a variety of sources, and there could be moving parts which we can't see. Some of this information could change.


    We've reached out to Valve for comment, and will update the post with any new information we receive.


    TL;DR


    Valve is working on a Steam Console-esque thing. The controller might have interchangeable parts for every single button/stick (possibly) along with biometrics built into the controller to record reactions to in-game stuff. It Might have a Intel i7, 8 Gb of ram, and A Nvidia card. It can run rival distribution serivces too like EA's Origin on it, also any Pc game that isn't enabled by steam.

    another thing is that The Alienware X51 could of possibly been a dev-build version of the Steam box (note that Alienware and Valve have a Partnership.)

    it might be a way to compete with Apple Tv rumors, Consoles, and such since valve hates closed systems.

    Might be announced at the GDC Next week.





    TL;DR TL;DR


    Valve is possibly fucking with everyone in the console industry to force them to up their R&D Skills for next gen consoles
    Last edited by Ps360; 03-03-2012 at 12:36 AM.

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    I approve of this.

    It'll be interesting to see if there's keyboard, mouse and PC gaming peripheral support. If it's a PC console, I don't see why not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ant1th3s1s View Post
    I approve of this.

    It'll be interesting to see if there's keyboard, mouse and PC gaming peripheral support. If it's a PC console, I don't see why not.
    would be basically suicide from the pc gamer group if it isn't.



    swear to god if sega announces a dreamcast 2 this year 2012 will be a golden age of gaming.




    Anyone wanna bet they were holding EP3 back for this?

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    I want to see how this will turn out in the future. Hell that would be something I would be interested in buying.


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    The one question I got to ask is who is going to sell this? I mean companies like Walmart or Best Buy don't make any money on hardware and rely on software to make a profit. Will this thing have physical media or will it all be downloadable. Also companies like walmart, best buy, gamestop etc. have long ties with ms, sony and nintendo and would be apprehensive to selling a new product especially since most of these companies are already shrinking store space given to gaming.

    I just see this as a bad idea because without a retailer willing to back you then this thing is dead in the water already. We will have to see what happens but I just can't see this thing selling well.

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    did i mention there is zero licensing fees to create software on the steam box.



    Quote Originally Posted by dr_mayus View Post
    The one question I got to ask is who is going to sell this? I mean companies like Walmart or Best Buy don't make any money on hardware and rely on software to make a profit. Will this thing have physical media or will it all be downloadable. Also companies like walmart, best buy, gamestop etc. have long ties with ms, sony and nintendo and would be apprehensive to selling a new product especially since most of these companies are already shrinking store space given to gaming.

    I just see this as a bad idea because without a retailer willing to back you then this thing is dead in the water already. We will have to see what happens but I just can't see this thing selling well.


    well duh, they can use their own service to sell (they sell the razer controller on the steam store) and since they are close buddies with gamestop that too.


    not to mention walmart and best buy would jump at the chance to sell stuff like this because it has the valve label on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ps360 View Post
    did i mention there is zero licensing fees to create software on the steam box.







    well duh, they can use their own service to sell (they sell the razer controller on the steam store) and since they are close buddies with gamestop that too.


    not to mention walmart and best buy would jump at the chance to sell stuff like this because it has the valve label on it.
    Gamestop doesn't like steam because it took the pc market away from them and walmart and best buy don't know what the fuck a valve is. You got to remember a walmart gaming dept. only has 15 cabinets. Do you think they are going to take cabinets away from one of the other proven systems to give to a company that may sell? Not to mention if they can't sell software they won't sell the system.

    Also companies like EA don't really like valve so no sports games for this new system not to mention all the other EA titles (like ME3 etc.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by dr_mayus View Post
    Gamestop doesn't like steam because it took the pc market away from them and walmart and best buy don't know what the fuck a valve is. Also companies like EA don't really like valve so no sports games for this new system not to mention all the other EA titles (like ME3 etc.)
    so thats why gamestop is selling digital copies of portal 2 in stores, have exclusive dlc for pre-ordering there, had a contest to win a life-sized atlas statue, and a bunch of other shit.


    anything valve sells, sells like hotcakes.


    anything.


    anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ps360 View Post
    so thats why gamestop is selling digital copies of portal 2 in stores, have exclusive dlc for pre-ordering there, had a contest to win a life-sized atlas statue, and a bunch of other shit.
    Because valve gives them all that stuff so they will sell their product. Ask any gamestop district manager their opinion on steam and they will tell you how they feel. Steam took a lot of money out of their pockets and that doesn't sit well with them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dr_mayus View Post
    Because valve gives them all that stuff so they will sell their product. Ask any gamestop district manager their opinion on steam and they will tell you how they feel. Steam took a lot of money out of their pockets and that doesn't sit well with them.

    gamestop is just mad they can't think of any innovative ways to 1-up digital distribution and joined late to the party.


    only reason gamestop is living is used copies. soon there won't be any brick and mortar stores.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ps360 View Post
    anything valve sells, sells like hotcakes.


    anything.


    anything.
    But if it is not in stores then it will not sell. Now this is all premature to be saying this, but Valve is entering a very competitive market and will have to fight tooth and nail to get any kind of floor space. They will have to pay a lot to get that space and they will be looking at losing a lot of money. I think they should stick with what they know and avoid this very large mess they are going to get themselves into.

    gamestop is just mad they can't think of any innovative ways to 1-up digital distribution and joined late to the party.


    only reason gamestop is living is used copies. soon there won't be any brick and mortar stores.
    And that is why they constitute 50% of all new game sales. Also without brick and mortar stores many people will be out of jobs and they won't be able to afford their gaming habit and this system will still fail.

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    Fuck yes!

    Quote Originally Posted by dr_mayus View Post
    The one question I got to ask is who is going to sell this? I mean companies like Walmart or Best Buy don't make any money on hardware and rely on software to make a profit. Will this thing have physical media or will it all be downloadable. Also companies like walmart, best buy, gamestop etc. have long ties with ms, sony and nintendo and would be apprehensive to selling a new product especially since most of these companies are already shrinking store space given to gaming.

    I just see this as a bad idea because without a retailer willing to back you then this thing is dead in the water already. We will have to see what happens but I just can't see this thing selling well.
    They don't really need much retail support. Most of those who'll be interested in buying this are Steam users who'll probably buy it through the Steam store or an online dealer (be it Amazon or some John Doe on eBay).

    Quote Originally Posted by dr_mayus View Post
    Gamestop doesn't like steam because it took the pc market away from them and walmart and best buy don't know what the fuck a valve is. You got to remember a walmart gaming dept. only has 15 cabinets. Do you think they are going to take cabinets away from one of the other proven systems to give to a company that may sell? Not to mention if they can't sell software they won't sell the system.

    Also companies like EA don't really like valve so no sports games for this new system not to mention all the other EA titles (like ME3 etc.)
    EA likes Valve (they always have and probably always will), but they withdrew their games from it to get more attention towards Origin and to gain a bigger profit (nothing wrong with that). Also, 2K still makes sport games and releases them on Steam. There's more to the Sports genre than just EA, you know? Let's not forget about all those other devs who still make and release games through Steam. EA will not be missed as much as you think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dr_mayus View Post
    But if it is not in stores then it will not sell. Now this is all premature to be saying this, but Valve is entering a very competitive market and will have to fight tooth and nail to get any kind of floor space. They will have to pay a lot to get that space and they will be looking at losing a lot of money. I think they should stick with what they know and avoid this very large mess they are going to get themselves into.

    Everyone thought the same when Apple mainstreamed the mp3 player (yes im using apple as a example, the iPod is pretty much the only good thing they have done.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagflar View Post
    They don't really need much retail support. Most of those who'll be interested in buying this are Steam users who'll probably buy it through the Steam store or an online dealer (be it Amazon or some John Doe on eBay).



    EA likes Valve (they always have and probably always will), but they withdrew their games from it to get more attention towards Origin and to gain a bigger profit (nothing wrong with that). Also, 2K still makes sport games and releases them on Steam. There's more to the Sports genre than just EA, you know? Let's not forget about all those other devs who still make and release games through Steam. EA will not be missed as much as you think.
    Yes there are the hardcore steam fans who will buy this but most of those people already own a PC to play games on so why would they switch? Also you need retail support because you can't just rely on your fans to buy your stuff. If you are going to do that then just fuck the system and just keep selling software.

    If a new system is to enter the market place then they will need all the support they can muster otherwise they will be a very niche product and all that money spent of R&D will be wasted.

    But you know what I am not going to argue this because frankly I don't really care. The gaming market is shrinking not growing and a new system will just get lost in the shuffle. If Valve wants to do this great but I do not see this ending well for them.

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    I. Want. This.

    Make it happen Valve, please, make it happen.


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    Quote Originally Posted by dr_mayus View Post
    Yes there are the hardcore steam fans who will buy this but most of those people already own a PC to play games on so why would they switch? Also you need retail support because you can't just rely on your fans to buy your stuff. If you are going to do that then just fuck the system and just keep selling software.

    If a new system is to enter the market place then they will need all the support they can muster otherwise they will be a very niche product and all that money spent of R&D will be wasted.

    But you know what I am not going to argue this because frankly I don't really care. The gaming market is shrinking not growing and a new system will just get lost in the shuffle. If Valve wants to do this great but I do not see this ending well for them.
    They will have retail support, regardless of what you think. Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target, etc., will surely sell it. They won't only live off from Steam users because some of their fans and users are also console gamers (me, ant1, Gauss and others being an example). They'll get said retail support in order to satisfy those of us who buy retail.

    Most of their users want this, though. The idea of a 'consolized' PC that can be upgraded is every PC gamer's wet dream. They would still use their PCs to game, but this would become their main gaming device.

    Nanai. This isn't a new company coming out of nowhere and producing something that'll die in a few years. Valve is very big in the gaming world and even in the technological one. It'll be a force to be reckoned with, not only because of how powerful this could be, but because it'll offer better deals than Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo ever have. This won't get lost in the shuffle. This isn't the PSP Go or the Virtual Boy.

    Yeah, we already noticed you don't care. Everytime someone posts somethign about Valve you seem to hate on it, like Ps360 on Sony products. I'm starting to think stupidity is, in fact, a disease, and it gets spread on the internet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dr_mayus View Post
    The one question I got to ask is who is going to sell this?
    Steam has a user base of 40 million accounts and is the leading PC digital distribution channel. If they can't find a way to sell ice to Eskimoes, I don't know who can. There's no reason they can't act as their own distributors and sell it online, at least initially.

    The other factor to consider is the millions of Steam users who aren't playing more recent titles because their systems aren't up to the job. Enter Steam Box at a cheap price for a mid/high-spec PC dedicated gaming rig and they've killed two birds with one stone.

    I have a high-spec PC and I'll buy one without a doubt. I'm sick of the PC upgrade circle-jerk every few years and would prefer a more console-like approach to PC gaming. Developers will likely embrace it given the fixed specs of the Steam Box, which means faster dev cycles and less after-sales support. Not to mention a captive audience and a potential solution to PC piracy.

    It also sounds like Steam may be gearing up to tackle other media markets, like music, TV and movies. A PC console / all-in-one media box with built-in DD could take the fight to Apple.
    Last edited by ant1th3s1s; 03-03-2012 at 03:04 AM.

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    I thought you already posted this a while ago o.O

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ac3dUd3- View Post
    I thought you already posted this a while ago o.O
    that was them saying if they have to they will


    this is them following up on that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagflar View Post
    Yeah, we already noticed you don't care. Everytime someone posts somethign about Valve you seem to hate on it, like Ps360 on Sony products. I'm starting to think stupidity is, in fact, a disease, and it gets spread on the internet.
    Actually I put Portal 2 as my game of the year and valve as developer of the year. I also posted that Portal 2 not only deserved every award it got but should have won a lot more. Where I have a problem with Valve is them thinking they are the greatest thing in the world and everyone should be like them or else stop making games. Basically I hate the arrogance that company has.

    Listen I might be proven wrong on this, but I work in the retail world and if you walk into any of the major retailers (at least in Canada) PC gaming either shares the bottom half of the last xbox cabinet or it is buried so far in the store that you have to search for it. Valve will have to put out a lot of money to make sure they not only get floor space (because that space will have to come from somewhere) and to make sure they get good floor space (which will be tough since the buyers are familiar with sony/ms/nintendo and aren't going to want to hurt their relationships with those companies for a company they don't know that much about).

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