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Thread: Steam-Powered Mini-PC (CES Preview)

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    Steam-Powered Mini-PC (CES Preview)

    It might not be the strongly-rumoured Steambox games console itself, but on the floor of the Consumer Electronics Show 2013 a physical prototype of a Steam-powered mini-PC has been on show. Valve have teamed up with hardware vendor Xi3 to build a modular, miniature PC, which is currently code-named ‘Piston’.



    Rumour has it that the Steambox will run Linux, which isn’t surprising given the investment and time that Valve have put into porting their client and game titles over to platform. A Windows-based console would come with licensing restrictions, overhead and, if it was to use Windows 8, a lock-in to the Windows Store.

    Given how closely Canonical and Valve have worked together over the last 12 months, and that Canonical have a vested commitment to Ubuntu as a platform, the logical choice would be Ubuntu. Ubuntu can be run free of a GUI (handy for Valve since it will likely use Big Picture Mode as its interface) but would also free Valve and Xi3 from the duties of distribution maintenance.
    http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2013/01/s...etailed-at-ces

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    Re: Steam-Powered Mini-PC (CES Preview)

    All I think when I see this is, "Wow, it even makes the Wii look huge." I am a big fan of the small factor.

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    Re: Steam-Powered Mini-PC (CES Preview)

    It runs Linux (likely Ubuntu-based) and is rumoured to ship with Half-Life 3.

    This thing is going to kill all the other consoles. And Steam games don't go "out of date" (except when you switch platforms and need to port once), so unlike the other crappy closed-down consoles, each time you upgrade to a new Steambox (or replace components in this modular design), all your old library still works.

    Gone are the days of console "generations". Upgrading your console is now a thing, and permanent back-wards compatibility is too.

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    Re: Steam-Powered Mini-PC (CES Preview)

    It would be great if this could replace my htpc, which is growing a bit long in tooth, as well.

    What makes this so great is that, with steam, I can play certain games on my computer (civ V for example) and then hop over to the console and play games that are more fun on the television (controller-based games and FPS).

    Also, games are often found at a good price on steam. I picked up KOTOR 1 and 2 for $5 the other day. Oblivion was $7. Civ 4 Complete $7. Even newer games often go on sale right away.

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    Re: Steam-Powered Mini-PC (CES Preview)

    Wouldn't it be ironic if Canonical makes it money from computer games?
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    Re: Steam-Powered Mini-PC (CES Preview)

    Quote Originally Posted by Transhumanist View Post
    Gone are the days of console "generations". Upgrading your console is now a thing, and permanent back-wards compatibility is too.
    Ah, but would it permanently backward compatible on the software level. If it does run something Ubuntu based.. alot changes are made as time goes on- note (as example) how some games that were compatible in the Hardy days, have real issues running now on Precise. This is assuming the "Steambox" would be updating its core system.
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    Re: Steam-Powered Mini-PC (CES Preview)

    Quote Originally Posted by Transhumanist View Post
    It runs Linux (likely Ubuntu-based) and is rumoured to ship with Half-Life 3.

    This thing is going to kill all the other consoles. And Steam games don't go "out of date" (except when you switch platforms and need to port once), so unlike the other crappy closed-down consoles, each time you upgrade to a new Steambox (or replace components in this modular design), all your old library still works.

    Gone are the days of console "generations". Upgrading your console is now a thing, and permanent back-wards compatibility is too.
    Think you are being very bold in saying that it will kill off all consoles. My thoughts are
    • Price - Consoles are cheap. This needs to be marketed either in line with them or just above, if it is i can see the hardware being very similar to that of a low spec gaming machine. Unless steam are selling them at a very big loss.
    • Linux - As much as i like the idea of linux coming to gaming, right now there is a very poor selection of games. This needs to change to attract the masses and as you put it "kill the consoles"
    • Killing the consoles will not happen with this device any time soon with this device. It will attract alot more people to PC gaming which i hope it does.
    • Also i didnt hear anything about half life 3 but if it does YAHOOOO!
    Thoughts?

    Bill

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    Re: Steam-Powered Mini-PC (CES Preview)

    Quote Originally Posted by LinuxBill View Post
    Think you are being very bold in saying that it will kill off all consoles. My thoughts are
    • Price - Consoles are cheap. This needs to be marketed either in line with them or just above, if it is i can see the hardware being very similar to that of a low spec gaming machine. Unless steam are selling them at a very big loss.
    • Linux - As much as i like the idea of linux coming to gaming, right now there is a very poor selection of games. This needs to change to attract the masses and as you put it "kill the consoles"
    • Killing the consoles will not happen with this device any time soon with this device. It will attract alot more people to PC gaming which i hope it does.
    • Also i didnt hear anything about half life 3 but if it does YAHOOOO!

    Thoughts?

    Bill
    The day of the consoles is coming to a close. Consoles are not only under threat by new media PCs, but also smaller devices such as iPods, tablets, and the new wave of cheap android consoles that are on their way. Console sales are already seeing a decline, and the fact that they are making steps in the next generation to limit second hand trading of games, means gamers are going to have to search for cheaper methods of getting games. Steam, while it does have it's flaws, sells games for pennies sometimes... consoles still have base licensing fees that would make competing head on with Steam redundant.

    Check out the new Nvidia shield (its a tablet/controller device that allows for your computer to stream in real time to the device. Set to work with steam, and be cheap):
    http://techland.time.com/2013/01/07/...s-up-ces-2013/

    More articles about consoles under threat:
    http://id10-t.com/gaming/ouya-booyah...d-of-60-games/

    There are plenty of other articles spouting the same thing at the moment. I suppose if the console makers make some changes, then everything could co-exist. Just ask Kodak though, just because you got to the game first doesn't mean you're going to win (especially if you don't latch on to the new trends... such as Kodak didn't do with digital cameras).
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    Re: Steam-Powered Mini-PC (CES Preview)

    I have to disagree that consoles are on their way out. They're just getting more and more like regular computers. Look at all the apps now available for the Xbox 360 from Microsoft. They're making it so you can just about do everything right from the 360 and I would expect the next itteration to be even more capable. So instead of saying the console is dieing, think of it as evolving to meet customer needs. An all in one device in the family room. For gaming, streaming, browsing, etc etc.
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    Re: Steam-Powered Mini-PC (CES Preview)

    Quote Originally Posted by holastickboy View Post
    The day of the consoles is coming to a close. Consoles are not only under threat by new media PCs, but also smaller devices such as iPods, tablets, and the new wave of cheap android consoles that are on their way. Console sales are already seeing a decline, and the fact that they are making steps in the next generation to limit second hand trading of games, means gamers are going to have to search for cheaper methods of getting games. Steam, while it does have it's flaws, sells games for pennies sometimes... consoles still have base licensing fees that would make competing head on with Steam redundant.

    Check out the new Nvidia shield (its a tablet/controller device that allows for your computer to stream in real time to the device. Set to work with steam, and be cheap):
    http://techland.time.com/2013/01/07/...s-up-ces-2013/

    More articles about consoles under threat:
    http://id10-t.com/gaming/ouya-booyah...d-of-60-games/

    There are plenty of other articles spouting the same thing at the moment. I suppose if the console makers make some changes, then everything could co-exist. Just ask Kodak though, just because you got to the game first doesn't mean you're going to win (especially if you don't latch on to the new trends... such as Kodak didn't do with digital cameras).
    What so consoles are dying because of android gaming....? Really are you serious. Angry birds kills the masses playing FIFA 13 or whatever they play now? No way.

    Consoles are no longer just for playing games they are complete media centres. Games are only a small part of it! Skype, Netflix, Skyplayer all these things make it a perfect media device for your living room. Sorry but I think you are far off on this one.

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