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Is Infinity Ward developing for the Steambox?

alexandros

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Jan 30, 2012
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Apologies if this is old, I searched but found nothing. Infinity Ward posted an image on their Facebook and Twitter account:

Facebook

Twitter

Seems familiar, doesn't it? It's the Piston prototype from the company Xi3, a company that Valve invested in. Could this be a Steambox "devkit", so to speak? Or is it a prototype that Valve or Xi3 sent over to Infinity Ward as a proof of concept? Note that the device is branded with Infinity Ward's logo. The photo on Facebook is labeled as "game development", while the caption on Twitter simply states "what's this?"

I saw the news over at Gamespot, full article here: http://www.gamespot.com/news/infinity-ward-developing-for-valve-backed-piston-pc-6404742
 

King_Moc

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No one would be developing specifically for the Steambox. It's just a PC, but with functionality stripped away.
 

JaseC

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It's a bit of a stretch to assume that's anything to do the Steambox concept as Xi3 has been selling that form factor for quite some time now.

I really hope that's not the Steambox...

What can something that tiny do?
Technically, there is no the Steambox. While Valve will be offerings its own variant, which is presumably what alexandros suspects this may be, Gabe has made it abundantly clear that manufacturers are free to provide their own.

No one would be developing specifically for the Steambox. It's just a PC, but with functionality stripped away.
Such as? From everything Gabe's said about Valve's plan for its own Steambox, people are free to configure it as they see fit, even to the extent that you can wipe Linux and install Windows if you so desire.
 

alexandros

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Technically, there is no the Steambox. While Valve will be offerings its own variant, which is presumably what alexandros suspects this may be, Gabe has made it abundantly clear that manufacturers are free to provide their own.
Just to clear this up, this assumption is made by Gamespot's article ,not me.
 

King_Moc

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Such as? From everything Gabe's said about Valve's plan for its own Steambox, people are free to configure it as they see fit, even to the extent that you can wipe Linux and install Windows if you so desire.
Even if you are able to do that, you're unable to upgrade when newer PC games come out. Towards the end of the console gen, that could be a big problem.
 

JaseC

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Even if you are able to do that, you're unable to upgrade when newer PC games come out. Towards the end of the console gen, that could be a big problem.
Oh, sure, but I'd argue that falls under customisability (what the user can alter), not functionality (capabilities inherent to the device).
 

Saty

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Sep 4, 2009
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Wouldn't that be the 'Good' tier which is supposed to stream games from your PC to the living room?
 

Jhriad

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Mar 20, 2011
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From the picture I think we can all take away the fact that IW is developing exclusively for the iPhone.
 

daripad

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Is the steambox still going to exist? We haven't heard anything about it for a long time
 

grimshawish

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Dec 30, 2011
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So that is the steambox??
Honestly the concept behind that machine (stick it to the back of your monitor!) is really very flawed.

So much fucking confusion.
 

FordGTGuy

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No, that's not a Steambox. It's a machine Xi3 created. Valve has not come up with the Steambox specs yet, so no machine is a Steambox yet. See my thread: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=46242549&postcount=1
This is untrue, we already know that Steambox isn't strictly a single device but any device that runs the Big Picture Mode. There will be nothing unique or special about the hardware used and the only thing that matters really is the software.

Anyone running Steam right now is basically using a Steambox in any sense of it.

If Steambox was a single piece of hardware this would be difference but we already know that there will be multiple parties building hardware built to run it. It's not even restricted to a certain operating system as they said you'll be able to install Windows on the dedicated hardware these parties are building.

Technically anyone with money and access to NewEgg could build their own Steambox easily.

This "it's just a PC" talk is kind of depressing. Given that this isn't going to drag more console players over the realm given that no one is being told it will work decently as a console.

I really want Valve and the hardware endeavors of it to appeal to console gamers. And if people say it is "just a PC", nobody is going to buy it. This is specifically aimed at not being just a PC, but more like a console as to remove some of the hassle of PC gaming away for console gamers afraid of the platform.
Sadly in reality that's what it is, it's most likely going to be a small, cheap Linux PC that runs Steam.

This is a expensive Steambox:


http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-x51/pd.aspx
 

HolyBaikal

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This "it's just a PC" talk is kind of depressing. Given that this isn't going to drag more console players over the realm given that no one is being told it will work decently as a console.

I really want Valve and the hardware endeavors of it to appeal to console gamers. And if people say it is "just a PC", nobody is going to buy it. This is specifically aimed at not being just a PC, but more like a console as to remove some of the hassle of PC gaming away for console gamers afraid of the platform.
 

JaseC

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This "it's just a PC" talk is kind of depressing. Given that this isn't going to drag more console players over the realm given that no one is being told it will work decently as a console.

I really want Valve and the hardware endeavors of it to appeal to console gamers. And if people say it is "just a PC", nobody is going to buy it. This is specifically aimed at not being just a PC, but more like a console as to remove some of the hassle of PC gaming away for console gamers afraid of the platform.
You're conflating contexts. As a gaming device a user interacts with, a Steambox is more like a console; from a development standpoint, however, it's like a PC, because it is one.
 
May 22, 2011
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This is untrue, we already know that Steambox isn't strictly a single device but any device that runs the Big Picture Mode. There will be nothing unique or special about the hardware used and the only thing that matters really is the software.

Anyone running Steam right now is basically using a Steambox in any sense of it.

If Steambox was a single piece of hardware this would be difference but we already know that there will be multiple parties building hardware built to run it. It's not even restricted to a certain operating system as they said you'll be able to install Windows on the dedicated hardware these parties are building.

Technically anyone with money and access to NewEgg could build their own Steambox easily.
No, that's not true. Only the machines that meet/are within Valve's specifications will be called Steamboxes. Every machine can run Steam's BPM but not every machine is a Steambox.
 

FordGTGuy

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No, that's not true. Only the machines that meet/are within Valve's specifications will be called Steamboxes. Every machine can run Steam's BPM but not every machine is a Steambox.
Oh c'mon now are you really going to say that a Steambox is only something that fits the specifications Valve will use to build their Steambox.

There isn't going to be anything unique about their hardware it's pretty clear it's just a cheap Linux Box.

The only unique thing about it is the software the same software anyone with a PC can access right now.

PC developers are not going to develop and limit themselves to the specs of what Valve chooses for their specific Steambox, even more so considering not every party building a Steambox will have the same specs.

You're conflating contexts. As a device a user interacts with, a Steambox is more like a console; from a development standpoint, however, it's like a PC, because it is one.
How do you not interact with it like a PC? it's going to be running a normal version of Linux with Steam installed.

The only thing special they'll probably do is make it start with Steam Big Picture mode by default which you can already do right now.
 
May 22, 2011
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Oh c'mon now are you really going to say that a Steambox is only something that fits the specifications Valve will use to build their Steambox.

There isn't going to be anything unique about their hardware it's pretty clear it's just a cheap Linux Box.

The only unique thing about it is the software the same software anyone with a PC can access right now.

PC developers are not going to develop and limit themselves to the specs of what Valve chooses for their specific Steambox, even more so considering not every party building a Steambox will have the same specs.
And Macs are nothing but ordinary PCs but I don't call my computer a Mac, while I could (and had at some point) install Mac OS just fine.
 

JaseC

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How do you not interact with it like a PC? it's going to be running a normal version of Linux with Steam installed.

The only thing special they'll probably do is make it start with Steam Big Picture mode by default which you can already do right now.
As a gaming device, I meant. I'll edit that in. (Although I'd wager that Valve's product will ship with a customised Ubuntu UI that offers access to basic settings and such with a controller, with a regular Ubuntu environment accessible with a kb&m.)
 

FordGTGuy

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And Macs are nothing but ordinary PCs but I don't call my computer a Mac, while I could (and had at some point) installed Mac OS just fine.
Dude they already said you'll be able to install Windows on the Steamboxes and that they aren't going to restrict it from working like a normal computer.

Someone please tell me what about these Steamboxes is actually unique to them that I can't already do myself right now?

I want a reason to own one or a reason to properly think of these as a competitor to consoles but I just don't see any.
 
May 22, 2011
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Dude they already said you'll be able to install Windows on the Steamboxes and that they aren't going to restrict it from working like a normal computer.

Someone please tell me what about these Steamboxes is actually unique to them that I can't already do myself right now?

I want a reason to own one or a reason to properly think of these as a competitor to consoles but I just don't see any.
Yeah, so? What's so hard to understand? If a machine is within Valve's specs it is a Steambox, otherwise it's not.

For example:

If a quad-core is required then a tri-core PC is not a Steambox.
If a PC must be < 0.4m then a big ass 1m PC is not a Steambox.

Can both of those PCs run Steam's BPM? Yes, perhaps even better than a Steambox PC.
Can they run games? Yes, perhaps even better than a Steambox PC.
Are they Steamboxes? No.
 

Atomski

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Dude they already said you'll be able to install Windows on the Steamboxes and that they aren't going to restrict it from working like a normal computer.

Someone please tell me what about these Steamboxes is actually unique to them that I can't already do myself right now?

I want a reason to own one or a reason to properly think of these as a competitor to consoles but I just don't see any.
The simple answer is there isnt a reason. This is aimed at a more casual crowd that is not so comfortable with PC stuff.

If you already are a PC gamer there is no point. Just throw a Steambox logo on your rig and you are done. Software stuff will become available like the linux stuff.

I dont see what the problem with this is for some people..
 

alexandros

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Jan 30, 2012
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I want a reason to own one or a reason to properly think of these as a competitor to consoles but I just don't see any.
Do you though? Do you really? Because from the posts you made, it doesn't seem like you have a firm grasp on what the Steambox is supposed to be.
 

HolyBaikal

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Feb 16, 2012
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development standpoint, however, it's like a PC, because it is one.
Somehow I get the feeling that is not what the console gaming community is hearing from the gaming community. But instead "it's basically a crappy PC!" or something like that.

And then will just go back to buying consoles.
 
May 22, 2011
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Thankfully, the new consoles are crappy* PCs too! Let's share the fun!

*"crappy" replaced with "supercharged" by Sony :lol
 

JaseC

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Somehow I get the feeling that is not what the console gaming community is hearing from the gaming community. But instead "it's basically a crappy PC!" or something like that.

And then will just go back to buying consoles.
It's still early days yet. The catalyst for Valve acknowledging the Steambox concept was Xi3's misguidedly premature announcement early into the year that it'd partnered with Valve, which quickly generated copious confusion; it wasn't something Valve itself was ready to discuss just yet, which is why we've received little in the way of specifics.
 
Aug 10, 2008
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Oh c'mon now are you really going to say that a Steambox is only something that fits the specifications Valve will use to build their Steambox.

There isn't going to be anything unique about their hardware it's pretty clear it's just a cheap Linux Box.

The only unique thing about it is the software the same software anyone with a PC can access right now.

PC developers are not going to develop and limit themselves to the specs of what Valve chooses for their specific Steambox, even more so considering not every party building a Steambox will have the same specs.



How do you not interact with it like a PC? it's going to be running a normal version of Linux with Steam installed.

The only thing special they'll probably do is make it start with Steam Big Picture mode by default which you can already do right now.
This is false. Gabe said there would be different models of hardware that VALVE puts out. There would be a cheap $100 version that specifically streams your games from your PC to your TV. There would be a moderate version the price a console ($300?) and there would be a very expensive one with top of the line PC specs. These are the ones that Valve will be building.