As much as the Steam Box is exciting and the idea of being able to access my game library on the couch is one that thrills me, the fact of the matter is everyone that I have talked too about having a SteamOS enabled living area, has pretty much indicated that they would most likely consider building their own machine.
There are still X number of companies pre-building models to ultimately sell, we are likely to see more about them at upcoming events like GDC but considering the information we witnessed before and some of the most ludicrously priced hardware, I’m not expecting this year to be any different and if it is indeed more of the same then it’s drives me further away from the idea of purchasing a prefab one.
The part I’m really interested in is the (owl) controller, which has been through many iterations as the design has changed
Valves haptic controller is also rumoured to be making an appearance at GDC this year, of course now the central touch screen is gone, the button configuration have been adjusted, modified and rejigged, the directional buttons have been replaced by some kind of analogue stick it’s believed?
I’m hoping the final product (whatever the design) will be in my grubby little mitts before the year is out, mind you it could be utter pants, guess we have to wait and see.
I am rather excited about the Steam Music announcement. As with many gamers once the in-game soundtrack has lost it’s appeal you lower the music and fire up the media player. For me this strengthens the case for installing SteamOS as an entertainment centre, the more functionality that a Steam machine can provide the better.
The screenshot look as if you can create and manage playlists, which will be a key feature to allow you to plan songs for that fast paced racing game or to compliment the vistas of Skyrim as you explore.
Just waiting on that Netflix integration and I’ll be set.
One the main news items to come out of CES has been the stories of the Steam Boxes, don’t worry I’m not going to bore you with specifications of them in this post.
As with PC’s there are wild variations of specifications as each manufacturer brings their own designs and configurations to the table.
Of course this has a massive impact on the prices, of the ones that gave a price, they ranged from between $500 to $6000.
I thought about the huge price range and how that could negatively impact the machines, but as with anything PC related you get what you are willing to pay for, it makes sense to allow PC gamers to “customise” their machine by offering choice.
Why do I need another high spec machine when what I have is perfectly capable of running the games I want?
The answer is that you shouldn’t (aside from showing off to your console friends ofc).
In the back of my head there was a small voice that screamed “overkill” as I was looking at the specs of the Steam machines. Sure for the games that release with SteamOS compatibility, they will enjoy the best the machine can offer, but it’s not clear how many future titles will run in native SteamOS, initially or long term.
For me the biggest feature that I am keen to get my hands on is the Streaming from my Windows machine.
Since my PC can handle the heavy work of rendering the game, all my Steam Box theoretically needs to do it display that for me to play the game from the living room.
Dual-OS has been pitch on some of them, which would mean you could reduce your PC count if you wanted, but I’m not overly keen on loosing my desktop PC just yet.
Talking of small machines, I originally started looking at hardware back when SteamOS was announced and found this nice video looking at The Cool master Elite 130 case and installing a nice selection of kit. I’d not want that much to begin with but having a case that can handle more in the future isn’t a bad idea.