Gabe Newell: Valve will release its own console-like PC

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by fellix, Dec 9, 2012.

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  1. fellix

    fellix Hey, You!
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    Valve will create its own carefully managed PC ecosystem
     
  2. BRiT

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    Knowing Valve, if this ever happens it'll never make it past the second iteration. (eg: Half Life, Portal, Team Fortress) :lol:
     
  3. Shifty Geezer

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    If it can function as a PC too, installing an OS, all the better. Otherwise, I guess it'll be offering the same VFM as Steam with a box, and providing PC developers a strong target hardware for optimisation. A lot depends on what the hardware is; would Valve dare sell at a loss? Without the same licensing fees and the consoles, Valve don't stand to make as much money per title sold, so i doubt their hardware could be as cost effective. On the upside, they could release iterations every couple of years.
     
  4. TheAlSpark

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    Companion Cube Edition for $999. :p

    Would be fun if their design had a real valve knob that you also stick into the machine to turn it on. :cool:
     
  5. NRP

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    How will PC gamers feel about a "console-ified" PC?
     
  6. Shifty Geezer

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    What will they care? PC gamers already have their PCs.
     
  7. NRP

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    Then who is the target customer? Console people won't care either.
     
  8. MfA

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    They should throw some money at AMD or NVIDIA to allow the GPU to be shared between virtualized client systems, so they can run games under *nix (and so they can have a dedicated windows Steam install separate from a windows user install with fast switching).

    PS. I still say it would be disastrous for them to declare one of the GPU manufacturers the standard ...
     
  9. MfA

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    People who want to have a fool proof games PC which always boots into a known state and thus guaranteed to work 100% the same as the ones used by Valve for QA?
     
  10. Shifty Geezer

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    Why not? Console gamers want a box that plays their favourite games quickly and seamlessly, providing good value. If Valve can pull that off, they'll be competitive with MS and Sony. There will be different services, but the possibility of buying Steam games to play on the console, and later playing them on your new PC at no extra cost and improved, is one such advantage the Steam box could offer.
     
  11. tuna

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    And the point of that would be?
     
  12. snarfbot

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    im guessing to avoid paying for a windows license? that would at least keep costs down.

    very interesting news though.
     
  13. BRiT

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    The console gamers already have that, their current XB/PS3 console. Also, how will this Steam Box do that? They clearly wont have the exclusive titles that MS/Sony/Nintendo have.

    I also fail to see how Valve will be able to provide a stable gaming platform without them being bogged down by providing the mass of runtime and development tools that MS/Sony currently do. This is assuming it's not just a rebranded WinOS system. That is no small task. It seems extremely risky to me.
     
  14. Shifty Geezer

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    These consoles are long in tooth and ripe for replacement. Valve would be competing with XB3+PS4.
    Value. They'll have all the best selling multiplatform games for £10 less per title minimum.

    http://steamforlinux.com/
    It'll be a Linux PC I presume. The dev tools will be exactly what developers already use to target Steam games. It'll be a new console, launching with thousands of games already.* It's not a sure-fire thing, and it's not a market-winning move outright, but it gives Valve a chance to tackle the console space head-on, and they could definitely make a dent without risking too much. If the hardware sells at cost, they lose very little for the attempt and might gain 20, 30 , 40 million new Valve customers as a result from the 100+ million core console gamers out there.

    *Edit: Of course, on Linux they won't have a large library at all. For that they'd need a Windows basis, and I'm sure MS would have issues with that. Once upon a time MS wanted console companies to use Windows without themselves having to get into the HW game, but now wanting to control the media portals, I'm sure MS would be against an alternative console using their OS to feed funds to Valve and bypass Games for Windows/Xbox Entertainment.
     
  15. MfA

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    If the GPU is can be shared between client OS's they can switch quicker between OS's.

    On the Windows side this would be mean they could quickly bring up a user install of windows out of hibernation without rebooting (or if the user has his own license they could even run them as separate clients, making the switch even faster). This is important, because one thing they should absolutely do is have a Steam dedicated windows install which is completely locked down and verified by the boot loader ... so they can have a stable foolproof environment for games.

    For Linux it could drive Linux adoption by developers if Linux does indeed get improved framerates. Microsoft obviously wouldn't like them doing it ... but Microsoft already hates them any way, so who cares.
     
  16. dagamer

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    I don't see any way of a Steambox competing with consoles if you have to do any kind of maintenance on them. If they are using Windows as a base, then I'll chuckle and wish them well. If they are using Linux as a base, does Gabe actually think a significant number of non-Steam games will actually be ported to Linux? Take a look at the Steam for Mac store and you'll see why I find such a statement so funny.

    What would be far more interesting is a to create a Steambox that basically creates an OnLive link with a gaming PC you already have so that you can stick the Steambox in your living room, keep your gaming PC in your bedroom, and play games on a larger HDTV with kickass speakers with a keyboard/mouse or controller. That idea would actually open up some new avenues.
     
  17. Silent_Buddha

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    Aye, as I see it there's 2 ways they could do it.

    1. Steam branded/certified PC's. Perhaps with some kind of "walled garden" hardware/OS lockdown. Similar to how Windows on Arm is only allowed to run Metro apps for the most part (although MS makes some exceptions for a few of their own products). That would reduce the likelyhood of contracting a virus (all programs/apps have to be approved by Valve) as well as a user borking their system by making changes to the hardware. Hardware support for OEMs would also potentially be easier as they'll only have to support the hardware configuration they shipped the system in. I envisage a system with non-upgradedable components. Most things soldered to the MB for example as with current consoles.

    2. A Linux machine. This would allow Valve a bit more control. Perhaps they'll work to make Wine more performant and compatible with Windows games in order to support games without Linux ports. I'd imagine just as with a WinOS system, they'd approach it from a "walled garden" perspective. So the same software and hardware lockdowns as with the above Windows system.

    There's a bit of a cost and perhaps performance advantage in ditching Windows for Linux. But then there's also the added cost of trying to turn Linux into a rival gaming platform. How much are they willing to invest into Linux? How much are they willing to invest into trying to lure the major players into making Linux ports of their games? How many major players will make a port even if Valve were to throw lots of money at them? And will the major players continue to invest in ports for the years it'll take before they likely see a profit on any game sold through a Linux box?

    For smaller developers and start-ups it'll be much easier. But will those be enough to make a Linux box successful? One company or another has tried to make a Linux gaming box for the living room since the late 1990's, and so far all have failed. Would this be any different with a big name like Steam behind it?

    ---

    Personally, I can see where they might go for a Linux box. After all, they do have the Linux initiative going. But I think it's still way too early for them to take a gamble on that. As such I'd put more money on them making some sort of "walled garden" Windows box with locked down hardware. Then again, the problem there is, would Microsoft be at all friendly towards them if they disabled Metro by default (easy enough to do with Win8 on x86) or would they tolerate the presence of Metro?

    Anyway, once the brand/console is established then I can see them gradually transitioning to Linux IF more and more games start being released with Linux support/ports.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  18. dagamer

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    You've just described the headaches of a PC with a console-like overlord. Where is the benefit to the developer?

    To actually get developers to add support, it can't just be a little bit better. It has to be an order of magnitude better. And there's no way you can tell me a Linux box is going to have the same reach as a $300 console you can buy from any big box retailer. And any decent PC with a decent CPU and GPU completely blows past the budget of any expected price of next-gen consoles.

    "Let's build a Steambox and we can install Linux games on it and sell it for cheap!" sounds a poorly thought out Kickstarter pitch (like the Ouya but with Android). You don't go from being a software company to building hardware without making a lot of mistakes (just ask Microsoft and the problems with the Xbox and Xbox 360).

    I wish them luck though, but I am not getting my hopes up for their first iteration.
     
  19. Shifty Geezer

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    So if one guy tries something and struggles, that means everyone is going to struggle too? Like it's not possible to learn from other people's mistakes and go in with more consideration? MS went into the Xbox without due care out of a sense of desperation. No-one was willing to include MS's OS on their console so they reacted by building their own double-quick. Valve aren't in any rush to enter the console space, so they can take their time, build plans, evaluate them, etc. I don't expect any stupid mistakes by Valve here. I also expect them to be able to be competitive regards hardware. Certainly Google have pulled that off with their Nexus range, especially the Nexus 7 - excellent VFM hardware there. But ultimately I see this as a low risk move by Valve. They don't need an explosive 'console' launch. They can just sell a simple all-in-one box, with low-key marketing chiefly by word of mouth to Valve users. "Already got Steam on your PC? Want to be able to pop downstairs in an evening and play those same games on your big TV? Buy our simple Steambox plug-and-play device." Gamers will learn about it from gaming websites, look at their ageing PS360s, wish they could play their favourite multiplat titles in 1080p and.or 60 fps or whatever, and gradually buy into the platform.
     
  20. zed

    zed
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    I just did, Im guessing you didnt ;)
    roughly 1800(*) windows game vs 485 mac games. In the top 10 selling windows games, 5 were also available for mac.
    True theres not as many on mac as windows, but certainly theres a fair amount.

    One thing if it runs linux, they could run a very streamlined version. i.e. less memory & faster startup booting & slightly better performance than the windows client..

    Perhaps as well as linux it will run android?

    (*)max number, i.e. thats the total number of games on the site (some might be linux/mac only)
     
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