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Hardware Games

Valve Announces Hardware Beta Test For 'Steam Machine' 271

Valve's second major living-room-gaming announcement landed today: they have produced a prototype model of their first "Steam Machine." They've made 300 units, and they'll be sending the machines to users in a very limited beta test. Valve hastens to add that this device isn't the only Steam-focused hardware: "Entertainment is not a one-size-fits-all world. We want you to be able to choose the hardware that makes sense for you, so we are working with multiple partners to bring a variety of Steam gaming machines to market during 2014, all of them running SteamOS." They haven't released specs, but they guaranteed the prototypes will ship this year. They explicitly permit using it in any way — swapping parts, changing the OS, installing any software, etc. "The specific machine we're testing is designed for users who want the most control possible over their hardware. Other boxes will optimize for size, price, quietness, or other factors."
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Valve Announces Hardware Beta Test For 'Steam Machine'

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  • by Kelbear ( 870538 ) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @01:59PM (#44950667)

    I do trust Valve, but the parent brings up an important point.

    The difference between a PC and a console isn't hardware, it's about control. The hardware and interfaces will all change over time, but the real distinction is who gets to say what happens on the platform. For PCs, users control the environment. For consoles, a company is controlling the environment. There are benefits to users owning the environment, and benefits to a company controlling the environment.

    The SteamMachine appears to be a weird hybrid between the two ends of the spectrum, and seems to be giving up the most significant advantages of both ends unless this starts to drive some major changes in game development.

  • Re:An open system (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @02:07PM (#44950767)

    And allows them to sell you copies of once AAA games for sub-$10.

  • Re:An open system (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Cwix ( 1671282 ) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @02:30PM (#44951051)

    And if they ship you a damaged install disc, or a cd key that they have released online so it has been marked as pirated. I'll stick to Steam. I realize there are downsides, but from my POV the upsides outweigh them.

Disks travel in packs.