Tell Us Dammit: Will You Buy A Steam Machine

Actually, before you answer the question in the headline, I have another question: what do you think of the name 'Steam Machine'? I like it! I don't think it would have made any sense to call it the 'Steam Box', mainly because of the existence of the 'Xbox'. Steam Machine sort of rolls off the tongue...

Anyway — what about the devices themselves? Do you see it as something you might buy? For me, personally, it's a bit of a godsend. I recently got rid of my 'gaming' desktop PC. The 'gaming' part has inverted commas because it was a 'gaming' PC when I put it together in 2007. Not so much six months ago when it struggled to run Solitaire. This Steam Machine thing might work out for me. I want to play PC games with an Xbox controller, on my sofa, via a device that does all the hard yards for me. I've pretty much moved all my other PC activity to my Macbook Pro now, and I don't really feel like spending upwards of $1500 on a PC solely for games. I just can't really justify it.

So I feel like I'm right in that Steam Machine place right now, I am the target market. How about you guys and girls? Anyone interested?


    Very interested but we'll just have to wait and see for the benefits of buying one over building a small living room PC.

    Maybe if my PC suddenly dies then yes, I would consider it and replace my desktop with a laptop/tablet for general use. As it is, my PC works fine. I'd need to know the specs first before I make the plunge, but anyone with a half decent gaming PC can plug it into their TV anyway and will download Steam OS.

    And Mark, stop spreading the myth that you need to spend $1500 on a gaming PC. $6-800 for a decent mid-high end machine is all you'll need. Assuming you'll be downloading Steam OS for free, that's $1-200 saved on a version of Windows. I'd love to know what people are putting into their PCs when they're spending $1500 on them. Or maybe just buying them from Dell

    Last edited 26/09/13 11:25 am

      Yeah I'm sick of hearing $1500 for a gaming PC. It's rubbish. Maybe true 10 years ago.

      And I guarantee you that these steam machines will not be going for $1500 (maybe some stupidly powerful Razer or Alienware ones). If that's the price range they are targeting, then they've already failed.
      These new machines will be in the console price range otherwise this whole exercise is completely pointless.

      I predict 3 levels of steam machines:
      I think there will be a super cheap entry level one, which will run small, cheap indie games, and have streaming capability. $150-$250

      Then there will be the console level one. which will run most games and average to high settings and compete directly with the current console market. $400-500

      And finally the powerhouse unit which could be a powerful gaming PC replacement. This one will operate in the same way as current high end PC, not super expensive water cooled, overclocked stuff, but enough to run new games at max settings. $700-900.
      This could still be a cheaper and better solution for a high end gaming PC because you won't have to pay for Windows, and depending on whether you use your lounge room or not, you might not need to buy an peripherals. The new OS should also result in better performance from the same hardware.

      Each machine would still be able to stream to (and from) other PCs, would still be a whole entertainment centre (eg Apple TV or Roku) which makes the cheapest model great value, and each one will be upgradable like any other PC.

      Then on top of all that, you have generally cheaper games (both on steam and retail), bigger range of indie titles, ability to use things like teamspeak, ventrillo etc, support for peripherals like Rift and the possibility of modding.

      It could be the start of a revolution once people realise you don't need a $1500 PC to play battlefield 4.

      Last edited 26/09/13 12:04 pm

        But when people can already play BF4 etc conveniently at high-def on a $500 box, where's the drive to move to Steam? Sure, games on Steam are cheaper (DURING SALES), but I think the general public mood towards Steam Machine will be "meh".

        Without decent market penetration in everyday big box stores like KMart etc it'll stay in its little PC-gamer niche, and be no greater competition for the big consoles than the PC currently is. What will work against them will be the multitude of vendors selling Steam Machines, all with different looks and specs, and all using the same old jiggabyes and gigaflops terminology that don't do the average consumer any favours when trying to make a choice. Not to mention the pricing minefield, and potential for disappointment if a SM doesn't live us to performance expectations ((un)helpfully set by other consoles in the market).

        Will have to wait and see.

          this is what I think will make it not take off too. With a console, yeah you occasionally have to choose between two different versions of a PS3 or 360 for example, but it's fairly straight forward. With the Steam Machine it sounds like there'll be different variants that will be able to do different things and on top of that different vendors doing their own thing. People will be confused over what's different. Is one vendor better than another? How do they compare to a PS4 or Xbone? The more choice you offer a consumer in this industry, the more likely they're going to go for the simpler & easier option of a console. Steam's idea of catering for everyone, while admirable, could prove to be its downfall

      Sorry, but you're wrong about the price of a game machine.
      If you are looking for high performance (instead of mid range), your likely looking at $1500 without peripherals. (last time I did the math on a high end gaming pc was a couple weeks ago and it came to a tad over $2000. This was for a mini ITX build to use as a media center and Big Screen Mode Steam PC, and didn't include keyboard, mouse, monitor or anything outside the box... but it was a high performance gaming pc, I only did the math for the sake of it.)
      Sure you can do a gaming PC for 600-800 but it probably won't gave the grunt to play current games at max, but it's performance will be comparable to consoles, and is certainly not a mid-high performance machine (more like low - mid), the big price jump between mid and high level is the graphics card, with a mid being 200 and a high being 6-800... yes a high end graphics card costs about as much as your idea of a high end machine (with the highest level being >1200).

      Back on topic:
      Until there are linux ports of the majority of games available on steam, or a new version of wine that is easy to use, fast, and highly compatible the steambox seems pointless.

      I won't be buying a Steambox because I already have a computer connected to my tv whos sole purpose is to stream iview/youtube in chrome and play games in steam with an xbox controller. I built it for about $400 with second hand parts off eBay and it will last me until just cause 3 comes out.

    Price will be a big factor and also whether it carries the 'upgradability' of a PC that's made easy. If it's as simple as buying a unit draw (that contains new graphics card etc) that you pull out and plug in another one with little effort then yes...but of course I know that won't be the case, i'm just living in a fantasy. But if they figured that out - wow.

    If its ultimately just an overpriced home console with better specs than next-gen then no - i'll stick to Xbone/PS4. I'm with you Mark - can't justify $1500 on a dedicated gaming console.

    I just built a new computer for myself earlier in the year. I fully expect to still be using it ten years from now, just like my last one :P So no, I doubt it. Plus I've got my Nintendos to keep me gaming, anyway.

    Last edited 26/09/13 11:29 am

      I built myself a new computer last year and moved my old one under the TV as a HTPC, and have always kind of considered it a Steam machine (that also runs XBMC). I rarely use it though as I prefer gaming at my desk. But I will be interested to see the claimed performance gain that comes along with using Steam OS. If it's worthwhile I might dual boot both of my PC's into Steam OS and will use my actual new gaming PC to stream to my old one on the TV, for the better graphics.

    So long as it plays this on an endless loop when your at the dash of BPM ;)

    No chance in hell. I don't particularly want to sit on Gab Newell's big 4 foot double ender. The idea of the steam box is as insipid as the Ouya and we all know that turned out to be a great success.

    I already have a capable HTPC in my lounge room. Realistically I don't actually use it for steam much (i tend to play on my laptop while watching the TV or while the wife watches TV).

    I am however interested in the SteamOS. That could make controller operation of a living room PC easier.
    One of the biggest problems with a HTPC is trying to read anything on the screen from the couch. There are ways around this, and using programs like XBMC and Steam Big Picture fix this to an extent but it would be nice to get a solution that handled all the requirements. It's a pain to switch between XBMC and Steam, not to mention jumping into Chrome to watch some Netflix etc... It would be awesome to have one program/OS to do all this.

    I can see the benefits of steam machines for families too. Depending on how sharing accounts works and how much the hardware costs, it could be a good solution for picking up a cheap device for kids to play minecraft on in another room or something like that.

    Also for those who only have 1 PC. It could be a nice cheap way to play console ports with a controller on the TV. Or games with multiple players. I've had mates bring over their controllers and we can play drunk Castle Crashers all night...

    Last edited 26/09/13 11:35 am

    Definitely interested, I used to play PC games exclusively, then got into 360 because I couldn't have a desktop computer while I was in serving in the military. Have actually really grown to enjoy consoles but I really miss awesome things like modding that are PC-exclusive (and every Bethesda game I have ever played on console had be longing for access to the developer console so I could get around the endless bugs), and have often wished there was some way that it could be integrated into the console experience. So, IF this thing works well, and the library is good enough, and it represents a good power/money ratio then I could definitely see myself buying one, and using a surface pro/netbook/ultrabook of whatever variety I like best with windows for work and travel. But frankly, this announcement is so vague that its pointless getting excited right now.

    Last edited 26/09/13 11:39 am

    Well, I've recently been looking at Ouya and the Vita TV, but they don't really tick all the boxes. A mini HTPC running Steam OS might be an interesting proposition.

    I like the steam machine name, but if I were in charge I would have called it the steam punk.

    As for buying one, probably not at this stage, but I can understand the appeal. I am concerned about how hardware upgrades will be handled, because that's the biggest difference between desktop PCs and the rest of the market and with all games on steam, will the machine be able to handle the latest two years down the track?

    Love the name, much better than "steam box", except now I'll be extremely disappointed if it doesn't have a coal boiler and brass chimney sticking out the top. As I've got my PC, I'm planning on a PS4, and I only live in a one-room apartment (so hooking up PC to TV is simply a matter of moving the HDMI cable from my RPi to my graphics card), I don't really see the advantage of getting one, even though I really want to support the "linux gaming" cause, as gaming has been the only thing tying me to Windows since I discovered Linux in '06.

      I preferred Steam Box! Mostly because it's a syllable shorter. :)

    If they release a $99 Steam Machine meant for just streaming (or playing indies locally), then I'd be all over that, provided that streaming actually works well over WiFi.
    As for more expensive Steam Machines, well it's hard to make a choice when you've got nothing to go on. All they've said is that they'll come out sometime next year. No information about price or anything like that. (A lot of hoopla of such a small 'reveal'). It wouldn't surprise me if they're more expensive than either building my own gaming pc or just buying a custom gaming pc from a local pc shop. Plus why would I need two expensive computers anyway? A Steam Machine that's always connected to my tv would be useless for anything other than playing games and watching videos, so I'd need another expensive computer to do everything else I do.
    For me, the ideal setup would be having an expensive pc at a desk and then streaming it to my tv when I want to play games. So yeah, I'll be all for a $99 streaming Steam Machine.

    I built a media center/steam box from my last gaming PC. I wil install Steam OS on that day one.
    Then I can stream from my super high end watercooled PC in my gaming den.
    GabeN, you rocko!!

    Probably not.
    Id imagine i would be able to build a custom PC for a fraction of the cost.

    Its only appealing to people who cant make their own custom PC or want something with a steam branding on it.

    I wouldn't buy one since my Pc is already connected to my TV so I don't see the point.

    Also Steam Machine is a Daft Punk song so that's all I think of when I hear the name.

    No thank you, I already have a PC.

    Edit: Also, I think "Engine" is a better name than "Steam Machine", and fits with the Valve/Steam theme without recycling words. Next Valve can start a gaming-oriented low-latency ISP and call it "Pipe".

    Imagine being able to hook Pipe to your Engine to power Steam and enjoy the latest releases from Valve.

    Last edited 26/09/13 11:55 am

      Steam Pipe is already taken - it's their new content delivery system.

        Welp. I didn't think it that likely they'd get into the telecommunications business anyway.

    i won't be buying a steam machine per se, but i'm really looking forward to steam os. i have a 2 year old mac mini and i was planning on bootcamping it to install windows 7 because dota 2 is a bit choppy on os x.

    but now it looks like i won't have to get windows 7, i hope it performs even better on steam os.

    Double post?!

    Last edited 26/09/13 12:12 pm

    Probably not. My Alienware x51 has been perfectly capable as a glorified Steam Box err Machine for the last 6 months in my Home Theatre.

    For me a large part of being a PC gaming is building my own system. I almost enjoy building them more than playing them. So no I wouldn't buy a Steam Machine.
    I will try their OS.

    I'm pretty happy with my gaming PC hooked up to the TV booting directly into Steam BPM.

    I'm going to wait and see on the Steam Machine, maybe even wait for a 2nd/3rd generation for them to iron all the kinks out and decide if they are a console or just a customised PC.

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