Earlier this week Valve announced that they were planning on releasing their very own operating system titled SteamOS. I and practically everyone else who learned of this immediately came to the conclusion that the second of Valve’s announcement’s scheduled for this week would be the so-called SteamBox.
We were right.
Valve have today announced Steam Machines, “A powerful new category of living-room hardware” that’s going to come in a variety of flavours from numerous manufacturers to suit every budget.
Better yet, 300 people will be able to get their hands on Valve’s Steam Machine prototype this year:
As always, we believe the best way to ensure that the right products are getting made is to let people try them out and then make changes as we go. We have designed a high-performance prototype that’s optimized for gaming, for the living room, and for Steam. Of course, it’s also completely upgradable and open.”
You can find out how to apply by visiting here:
However, I’ve got some reservations: Valve are currently saying that the machine will be fully upgradable and will come with the SteamOS.
“We have designed a high-performance prototype that’s optimized for gaming, for the living room, and for Steam. Of course, it’s also completely upgradable and open.”
So, why should I or anybody else bother buying a Steam Machine when a normal PC does exactly the same thing? I can build and upgrade my PC. The main selling point Valve are currently pushing is that their Steam Machine is built for gaming and for use in the living room, but anybody can build a small PC that fits beside their consoles and then hook it up to their TV via HDMI, and then just run Steam’s Big Picture system to access their games.
Nor is the Steam Machine likely to have the ease of a console in order to compete with that market. With a Steam Machine your purchases will still be limited by the hardware in the box, whereas with a console you can just whack the game in and know it will play.
With all of this in mind, what’s the benefits of having a Steam Machine? Unless the Steam Machines will cost less than the cost of building or buying a PC with the same level of performance, Valve aren’t presenting any solid reasons why you should buy their product rather than just hooking up your PC to your TV.
Still, Valve have another announcement planned for this week, and thus far they’ve not revealed much about the Steam Machines, so there’s plenty of time for them to present some solid advantages to owning a Steam Machine.
Steam Machines will be available sometime in 2014 from different manafacturers at a variety of price points.