Steam Machines. Viable living room option.
This years CES opened the floodgates with 14 Steam Machines that could be in your living room as soon as this summer. While many were comparable to current consoles and priced competitively, others were far more powerful then next gen with a price that proved it.
If you’re not sure which one is for you, don’t be fooled by IGN’s video “Which Steam Box is right for you” video. They don’t suggest what box may be good for you, they don’t even really go over many of the boxes, so don’t waste your time watching it. The definitive source for this information can be found from Joystiq and Kotaku, both have a list of 14 Steam Machines complete with great pics, specs, and even some prices.
Valve Unveils 13 Steam Machines, With Specs and Prices [Source: Kotaku]
The First 13 Steam Machines [Source: Joystiq]
Then this week at Steam Dev Days, Valve put a little wrench in the system by announcing small changes to the Steam Machine controller, opting out of the touch screen for traditional buttons. A move made to accomodate traditional ports or emulators, although and intelligent move, I think they should have stuck with their guns and let gamers use whatever controller they wanted for said ports.
I want to believe Steam Machines will be a viable gaming option for my living room, but I remain skeptical. Essentially Steam Machines are underpowered PC’s with less functionality. The Steam OS as of right now runs on Linux, an operating system many games don’t support as of yet, a similar roadblock the OUYA has encountered. I want to believe I can have a powerful gaming PC connected to my large television, a small console hidden with my other entertainment devices, and I’m excited to customize button layouts on the Steam Controller, but seeing some of the prices of these machines and knowing they’ll possibly be less functional than my cheaper console, I have a hard time believing I’ll be putting my faith or money into one.
I’ll tell you right now, I’m also having a hard time seeing myself dropping over a grand on a Steam Machine or even a PC for that matter. If I spend $1k on anything, it better get me from point A to point B. I don’t exactly know who the Steam Machines are geared towards, but I do see them as a viable contender for your living room.