Posts Tagged ‘Steam Machines’

Huh: Alienware Steam Machines Can Be Upgraded After All

By Nathan Grayson on January 24th, 2014.

Remember when Alienware said you won’t be able to upgrade or customize its Steam Machine just a few days ago? Yeah, well it didn’t really mean that. Not entirely, anyway. Dell’s mighty squad of moon men have explained that you’ll technically be able to worm around in its pristine innards – for instance, by cracking its shell with a large mallet – but don’t expect to have an easy time of it.

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Why Early Steam Machines Need To Be Upgradable

By Nathan Grayson on January 22nd, 2014.

Steam Machines might be Valve’s answer to consoles, but that doesn’t mean they play by the same rules as Sony and Microsoft’s increasingly indistinguishable boxes. Linux is an open platform and Steam is constantly evolving. I do not think it’s unreasonable, then, to expect elements of PC gaming to creep into Steam Machine hardware as well. Just, uh, maybe don’t get your hopes up for Alienware to kick off that trend. The intergalactic planetary PC supplier has decided that upgrading its Steam Machines won’t be a modular process. If you want shiny new CPUs, graphics cards, or even memory, you’ll have to pick up a whole new box. While SteamOS can change conveniently and for free, hardware, as ever, comes at a price. And that’s a problem – one that hardware manufacturers should consider remedying if they want us to be at all interested in their first round of Steam Machines.

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About Face (Buttons): Steam Controller Overhauled

By Nathan Grayson on January 16th, 2014.

I will never stop watching yo-- OW FUCK YOUR THUMBS ARE IN MY EYES

Steam, monopolizing all the news? What are you talking about? STEAM IS THE NEWS. The two have become one, a pulsating mutant announcement machine – or announcemutant for short. The latest and greatest? Word from Steam Dev Days is that Valve’s revealed the first big overhaul of its (somewhat finicky) beta controller. Say goodbye to that touch screen that never actually saw the light of day. Its variable button approach was interesting, but perhaps not in the best interest of backward compatibility. So it’s out. Don’t expect any biometrics either. At least, not initially.

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Valve Talks SteamOS And Diretide, Defends Communication

By Nathan Grayson on January 10th, 2014.

Valve is a strange company. The mega-dev has always paddled against the inundating current of conventional wisdom, but it gets especially odd when it defies its own internal logic. Oh yeah, also infuriating. As we’ve observed on multiple occasions, the house that Newell built is often extremely open, responsive, and communicative… except when it’s really, really not. Half-Life 3, a recent bout of (still-unexplained) layoffs, Diretide, etc. These lapses don’t make Valve a Bad Guy or anything, but they do strain the developer’s relationship with its 65-million-strong audience. It’s an odd dichotomy that’s more relevant than ever with the evolution of Steam Machines and SteamOS apparently in the community’s hands. So I decided to ask Valve a simple question: What gives?

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So Then, Why Should You Buy A Steam Machine?

By Nathan Grayson on January 9th, 2014.

Yes, that’s right: You. That is who this article is for. Absolutely, positively nobody else. And by that, I of course mean Yousef Johnson, the world’s most average PC gaming enthusiast. He spends much of his leisure time playing on his own custom-built PC, largely by way of Steam. According to Valve, You (and perhaps by extension, also you) are who the initial line of Steam Machines is aimed at. And yet, so far it’s difficult to find many reasons to care. There’s the living room appeal, sure, but what’s to stop You from simply installing SteamOS on his own machine, buying a Steam controller, and doing a bit of quick (not to mention free) legwork? I asked Valve to justify its massive yet arguably over-cautious endeavor both now and in the long run. Here’s how the PC juggernaut replied.

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Why Valve Isn’t Releasing Its Own Steam Machine… For Now

By Nathan Grayson on January 8th, 2014.

And poof, just like that, there were a hundred-billion Steam Machines. Or, well, maybe not quite that many, but a lot – ranging in price from reasonable to WHAT HOW YOU HAVE TO BE JOKING. But while Valve’s CES catwalk was littered with sparkling boxes from every manufacturer under the sun, one was missing: Valve’s own. It was powering demos off in the background, but it received no spotlight during our brief peek inside Gabe Newell’s magical toy factory. Why, you ask? Well, because Valve has no plans to ever release it. At least, for the time being. Many figured a standard Valve system spec would give PC gaming a lower barrier to entry, but that’s not how the digital juggernaut sees its role in all of this. 

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Watch Us Critique Valve’s Steam Controller

By Nathan Grayson on January 8th, 2014.

Why yes, I do groom that thin film of arm hair meticulously every day. Thank you for noticing

Valve’s robot owl Steam controller has been the talk of the town since the town learned to talk, but talk is cheap. While attending Valve’s recent CES Steam Machine event, I realized I had light and a camera, so it was time for action. Go below to watch me comment on (and gripe about) a beta Steam controller’s many, er, eccentric ins and outs while playing games like Metro: Last Light and Starbound. Valve’s onto something, I think, but there’s still a worrisome amount of work to be done before primetime. 

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Valve Announce Steam Machines With Specs And Prices

By Graham Smith on January 7th, 2014.

I bet this one is expensive.

The Consumer Electronics Show is happening in Las Vegas right now, which is a lot like E3 but full of televisions and Michael Bay instead of videogames. There is at least one thing there of interest to us, though: Valve have been revealing the first concrete details of their Steam Machine partners, including the 14 manufacturers currently making them and the specs and prices of some of those boxes.

Nathan is at the event and we’ll have interviews and impressions to share with you soon, but let’s round-up the news so far.
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SteamOS Is Out! Don’t Download It Yet

By Graham Smith on December 16th, 2013.

But can I rub Tux's eyes to control games?

Last week, Valve sent out the first 300 prototypes of their Steam Machines. That’s exciting, but unless you were one of the few randomly chosen, you can’t get involved. They also released the first version of their SteamOS for everyone to download, which is exciting but you should not get involved. Even Valve don’t think so.
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Ships Ahoy: Beta Steam Machines, SteamOS Out Friday

By Nathan Grayson on December 12th, 2013.

Naked, incomplete hardware just begging you to take a peek. Scandalous!

You there! Yes, you, with the hair, the shirt, and the microscopically minuscule pimple behind your left nostril that nobody – not even you – knows about. You could well be mere days away from receiving your very own Steam Machine. If you live in the US and signed up for Valve’s first round of testing, I would advise that you check your inbox now, lest you miss the opportunity to excitedly huddle around your fireplace, waiting for ol’ Saint Newell to slide down the chimney and pull your precious bounty from the safety of his beard of impossible wonders.

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Valve Shows Off Steam Hardware, Promises No Exclusives

By Nathan Grayson on November 5th, 2013.

Lookit! A box! Isn’t that just the most exciting thing? The Internet is, of course, in a tizzy over Valve’s big reveal of a Steam Machine prototype, and – yep – it sure looks like one of them newfangled VCRs that can play those dang dern gametapes we never stop talking about. The bigger news, however, is that you need not worry about being required to own one – or even running SteamOS, for that matter. Nope, not even for Half-Life 3. Valve, happily, is philosophically opposed to the idea of platform exclusives.

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