With a 3rd console now entering the Next Gen console war, i.e. the Steam Machine, what difference do you think it will make?
First of all, I think we should all first talk about what Valve is actually trying to do here and who the Steam Machine is actually meant for.
From what I seem to understand after going through all of valve’s recent announcements, Steam Machine is more about bringing the glory of the PC to the living room space rather than just making their own version of a console with it’s own exclusives; without actually bringing the PC over.
Why do I say this? Well, it’s because Valve has already stated that you can build your Own Steam Machine and upgrade or mod the ones you buy according to how you wish…. just like a PC. Now Valve is obviously not stupid enough to price those consoles extremely high, because consoles are known for their cheap investment where you can play most of the games that come out in the next 5 years or so, but people are speculating that to build a good Steam Machine, it’ll take a bit too much, specially when you compare the PS4’s extremely appealing 400$ price range. Now what I am speculating is that the SteamOS will be extremely helpful in this case as it has been shown to give a boost in graphical capabilities of a given game in the same hardware when compared with another OS, presumably Windows 7 or 8. This is actually a huge deal and something most people are underestimating, if you can run games on higher settings in SteamOS with the same hardware that runs games on medium settings on your windows, it’s obvious that if you’re a gamer, you will want to switch to the SteamOS or Steam Machine when you are gaming.
Since a Steam Machine won’t carry the extra luggage a PC does, it’s same to presume that it’ll be cheaper when compared to a PC, otherwise the Steam Machine really doesn’t have a use cause if we wanted to just hook up our PC to a TV and play with a controller, we can still do that. Streaming isn’t enough to lure gamers into buying the Steam Box, so I expect quite a few surprises up Valve’s sleeves for the coming Next Gen console war!
Also, if I’m to guess, I’ll say the Steam Machine might just carry some unique hardware of it’s own. Something that’s only compatible with the steam machine and nothing else. Makes sense when you think about the fact that it’s upgradable and/or customizable. Hopefully this doesn’t turn out to be a bad thing unlike the PlayStation 3’s Cell Processor which lead to the PS3’s shaky start of it’s console life.
Now something I’m really excited about, is the fact that we might finally be getting console only games on PC as well!!!!
Why do I say that? Probably because Steam is entering the console market with it’s Steam Machines which will as far as I can imagine, use the Steam client we PC gamers are used to at this day and age. And also, Valve mentions that we don’t have to buy a Steam Machine. That to me basically means, “We won’t have any exclusives for the Box”. This doesn’t mean they won’t have exclusives, but rather it means that they won’t have any exclusives related to the hardware. Their exclusives will rather be related to the SteamOS if I had to guess, meaning that you’ll need SteamOS installed if you want to play let’s say… Half Life 3?! ;D Something like this is predictable and bound to happen but hey, they need exclusives if they want to survive a console war, let alone try and win it, so we can’t really blame them.
The Steam Machine will obviously also get the “console only” games, because at the end of the day, the Steam Machine is a console, and I doubt valve is dumb enough to not have any console only games on their own consoles, and this is basically the reason why I think PC gamers will be getting “console only” games as well, which makes them not so “console only”.
From what I can understand, Valve is trying to unite both console gamers and PC gamers together and they might just accomplish in doing so with their Steam Machines and SteamOS. Let’s just hope they don’t plan on conquering the world anytime soon, because knowing this company, they’re capable of doing almost anything! On other news, I myself definitely can’t wait to get my hands on a Steam Machine and see what it’s all about, mostly the hardware aspects and figure out how things work.