Valve 'Steam Box' - PC future in console world? (a big miracle in a small box)

Hi Habr! As many people know, now Las Vegas hosts the annual exhibition of new products and goodies from the world of IT and Engineering - CES 2013 (Consumer Electronics Show) and everyone was looking forward to seeing Valve give a new round in the world of consoles with its Steam product this year Box ".

The hype surrounding the “Steam Box” began a couple of days before January 8th (the beginning of CES), although this name was mentioned as early as March 2nd, 2012 and there were more articles throughout the year. Valve set itself a “small stand” on CES, the Xi3 partner is also there and will show its new Piston device on Linux and beta Steam has recently been released on Linux (we are reading Habr’s article Steam for Linux is now in open beta.) and for many months now there is the “Big Picture” option, where Steam is deployed on the entire monitor screen.

So, the effect is made: interest is heated. And yet we will not see the “Steam Box” itself from the words of CEO Valve, Gabe Newell, at least until the end of 2013 / beginning of 2014. But what can you expect from the Steam Box, why it will be a "console killer." To whom it is interesting I ask under kat.

Big Picture on Steam (Mac)

Or maybe without a disk?

The main idea behind the entire Steam system is downloading the game via the Internet directly to your computer. No need to wait in lines in the store to buy the ill-fated copy of the game if you forgot to pre-order. Due to Steam, small and large companies can easily “deliver” goods to all corners of the world. The Humble Bundle is another great thing that works with companies and Steam to sell games. Well, I’m silent about Steam Sale - and you know that it’s not necessary and you will never play it, but you still take it. While the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 still use an optical drive to deliver large-sized games on consoles. Who ever used the PS3 knows that loading on the first start easily comes to a minute. Who knows, maybe the Playstation 4 and Xbox will be without a drive.

I'll play here, play there

Steam already has a cloud infrastructure for saving your data (your games, save game files, achievements, card data) under PC - but what is it worth transferring to the console? You can start the game in the hall and then go to your room and continue on the computer from the same place - is it really tempting?

Indie games

As I mentioned above, Steam was the first global platform that allowed small companies and games to flourish. The process of adding a game has become quite simple with the help of Steam Greenlight - now anyone with the knowledge of how to draw and write code has a chance to realize their idea and make money on it. Xbox Live and Playstation Network also excelled in this respect, which can be seen in the example of two games that won several awards that year - Fez for Xbox and Journey for PS3.

Open Source - Good or Bad

Valve CEO Gabe Newell has confirmed that the Steam Box will take Linux OS as the basis, but the ability to install Windows will not be prohibited (and will not be difficult). Linux being an open system allows everyone to work for the benefit of improving the product - you can do it for yourself, but you help a lot. It worked perfectly on Android - it turned out once, it will turn out two. But this also has its own problem that often it takes more time and resources to support program code, debugging it, and work without problems than its original writing. Together, you can build a house and break it down.

Own console, own controller

In May 2011, Valve patented its type of controller with common connectors for different elements - a joystick, ball, touch pad, which can be used depending on the game. The idea is great, and neither the PlayStation 3 nor the Xbox have it. A similar idea is behind the Nintendo Wii Nunchuk , which can be connected to the Wii Remote, but not everything is so complicated. Perhaps there will be a small monitor like in Project Shield from Nvidia- This is a guess. The question remains - how quickly will I lose these rather small details from the controller. One thing can be said for sure - the controller will be with biometric elements that Gabe Newell has repeatedly repeated. For example, if your hands begin to sweat, your player on the screen also shows signs of fatigue and sweats, changes in background and sound, depending on your voltage level.

And what's inside the drawer

As mentioned earlier, Xi3Corporation is one of the many companies (the number 20 was mentioned) that cooperate with Valve and Piston, one of the prototypes - maybe the final one, maybe not. Energy consumption will be very low. They are the top model of the X7A, on the basis of which, most likely, the Steam Box will be created, it requires 40 watts. The system has a quad-core processor, up to 8 GB of RAM, and up to 1 TB of memory on an SSD connected via mSATAmax with a speed of up to 12 GB / s (twice as fast as SATA III). The main advantage that is on the face compared to all the rest of the consoles is that the Steam Box emblems can be replaced as in desktop computers.only stops production and delivery of Play Station 2 on January 7, 2013 - the first console was released in 2000).
Looking back in 2012, there were quite a few new games; mostly we saw sequels ( Diablo 3 , Prototype 2 , Borderlands 2 , Assassin Creed 3 , Halo 4 , Mass Effect 3 , Max Payne 3 , Far Cry 3 , Black Ops 2 ) but also a couple of new ideas ( Dishonored) Most of these games are available on 3 main devices - Windows / Mac OS, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 with the exception of Diablo 3 (PC / Mac), Halo 4 (Xbox 360). All of them have excellent graphics, but this is where the problem is - the PS3 and Xbox consoles have not undergone a major update for 6 years now - this is not a little for hardware. And so all the efforts that the authors invested in drawing go to naught on the consoles - 720p is not so much when you consider that on PC your limit is your budget - you can upgrade monitors and graphics card at least every month.
The idea of ​​supporting “Steam Box” Miracast will appeal to everyone - everything goes wirelessly.

And what at the end

And ultimately, Gabe Newell sees the idea of ​​using one Steam Box to support eight monitors and eight controllers in different corners of an apartment or house at once. Is it real? We will see.

Also popular now: