The Big Question: Will You Buy A Steam Machine?

This year's CES, for people interested in video games, has been all about Steam Machines. There are lots of them. How do you feel about these devices? Anyone planning on buying one?

Personally, I think I will. Mainly because it suits my own personal needs. I don't want a big bulky desktop taking up space in my apartment, I don't want to shell out the moolah for a high spec gaming laptop when I already have a MacBook Pro.

But I want to play PC games. I want to play them on my couch.

So in that sense a Steam Machine makes perfect sense to me. Actually, I feel like I'm the target market here.

What about you? Interested?


    Pretty similar reasons to your own. Honestly can't be arsed trying to build my own, or have one built and then try and find the space for it.

    Already have a PC, no need for another one.

    Last edited 08/01/14 11:30 am

    If every game worked on steam os and I could boot it up with a controller like a console and have everygame I buy for it work for it then yes.

      Exactly this reason. I have a a fairly large Steam catalogue approaching about 350 games and not being able to play the majority of them is a big deal breaker.
      However, when Steam OS is at a point where I can play 100% of my games then I would very seriously consider buying one.

    i just want the controller

      same, but using my xbox 360 controller on pc works awesome, and then mouse will never be beat for fps games

    No, I have one already. HTPC case, i5 3570K, 8GB RAM, 7970 GHz, and quiet to boot. I'll post pics up when I 100% the build later.

      Ohh sounds very similar to my current one, except it's got a GTX670 instead. Runs great, I'm using an Asus P8Z77-V-LK board :). Love the 120-200mm fans on my case too (black Corsair Carbide 500R). My only problem is one of the 4 hard drives rattles a little (could be the Rom instead I guess), but i haven't been bothered to track down which one and secure it.

      Like many others have said, I've already got a set up for max settings steam TV gaming, but I would also be keen to pick up the controller. Bit easier and more consistent hopefully rthan using PS3 controller with MotionInJoy / BetterDS3

      Last edited 08/01/14 12:16 pm

        Xbox 360 is currently the default Windows controller. Works great, I have the wireless USB dongle for it.

    I'm more than happy to keep my gaming PC but I do want to get my hands on that controller.

    I already have a steam machine. Between the HDMI cable running under the house to the receiver, big TV, and the wireless xbox 360 controller. It is a great idea the steam machine but I am happy with what I already have.

    I already have a gaming PC, and a HTPC (which if the streaming works well, it'll see action from that).
    If I were too lazy to build another PC and I was in the market AND the prices of these (if available in australia) were reasonable, then I would.

    If I can dual boot Windows and play my existing Steam library - sure, why not.

    Not real keen on streaming games from my laptop.

      what does streaming have to do with it?

        because otherwise, the windows-based games won't run.

        Which is, I would say, the biggest part of the steam catalogue. Being all of it.

          OpenGL is the future

            From what I've seen with OpenGL, the future must be fairly laggy indeed

            Many of the games in my steam library use OpenGL - point?

            OpenGL is also the past and present.

    I clicked no. I want one - but I have a gaming PC already. I want that controller however.

    I could buy one of the cheaper models - and will be tempted - but I'll probably opt for a PS4 for the lounge room when the time comes.

    Ill get one when my 2 year old PC is well and truly out of date. Until then, Ill take one of those fancy controllers please.

    Nope. Same reason I wouldn't buy a dell or other prefab PC. Self build for me!

    It doesn't appeal to me at all, especially that controller. I'll stick with a Playstation for my couch gaming.

    No, with a qualified "but"

    I've already got a fairly high-spec (at the time it was built. Aren't they all?) gaming PC that suits my needs perfectly, and due to some hobbies in photography a desktop is generally the only option for me so I will continue to keep it around and upgrade it when required. So I'll always have the PC there and that won't change for the foreseeable future.

    I've found, as time goes on, that I very much have 2 gaming mindsets. There's times when I feel like console gaming, and there's times when I feel like desktop gaming. Having now hooked a controller up to my PC I can kind of achieve both in the one room.

    That said: If I end up moving in with my girlfriend in the coming year, I daresay we'll just keep the 1 big desktop. A Steam machine would be a great way for me to continue playing games on the couch while she used the desktop. So, if circumstances change, (here's the but) I'll consider one but it certainly won't make a primary machine. Which is kind of the point, I guess. The more I type this the more I'm thinking about it.

    I won't buy one for one main reason. I already have a HTPC at in my living room connected to my TV.
    If the game streaming thing ends up working well then I might install SteamOS on it, but it also has to run netflix, spotify etc...

    I'll probably pick up the controller as it looks genuinely interesting.

    I feel like the cheap steam machines may find a market - eg $200 mark for a media center, game streaming device and something that can run some indie/party games.

    The $2000+ steam machines are just completely stupid. There is no reason to pay that much for a PC with less functionality than a normal PC. It's why PC gamers hate consoles, you get a lot more out of a PC. But with these, you get a console, for a stupidly high price. Granted it's a more powerful, upgradable consoles with a larger game catalogue, but it's still a console. You still won't be playing Starcraft on your TV....

    So while I've done little to no research on the Steam Box, I'm going to be a jerk and throw and unqualified question out there anyway.

    One thing that confuses me is how is Valve going to handle the hardware requirements for current and future games? Will the current Steam Library be optimized to work well enough on the less powerfull units in the future? Will the games be separated into tiers to communicate which games just won't look any good on your 2 year old machine? Or is it just left entirely open for you to figure out while giving you full control over the video specs and resolution of each game you are playing?

      See, that's why I don't think Steam Machines will catch on... They're either going to have to be fully upgradeable, or users are gonna be stung with the cost of a brand new unit every few years once existing units become redundant for playing the latest games...

      Add in the fact that if you've got a lower tier system you won't be able to play the games on high or ultra quality on release anyway and what's the point of going a Steam Machine over a less expensive BYO gaming PC with SteamOS installed (or a traditional console)?

      Probably pointing out the obvious here, but the whole point of consoles is that the experience is uniform regardless on which particular console unit you play it on. Lounge room gamers are looking for consistency, not a transplanted PC gaming experience that brings all the associated hardware vs. performance issues.

    Hooked up my gaming lappy under the TV, easy as to remove for travel.

    In windows:
    - enabled wake on lan (bios)
    - enabled wired adapter to WOL (device manager)
    - configured it to run with lid closed (power settings)
    - configured it to sleep when needed via external keyboard shortcut or after no use. (power settings/schemes)
    - removed the need to enter a password on resume from sleep.
    - configured keyboard and mouse to be unable to wake it. (no accidental power ons due to kids, animals (keyboards/mice)
    - stuck a free wake on lan app on my phone to fire her up. (search store for wake on lan)
    - configured steam to load automatically on boot in big picture mode.

    Works beautifully :) Looks kinda cool too, hope it stays cool.. The only real pain in the ass is the inability to have steam logged on in the puter room and in front of the TV, regardless of the family settings.

    Ill sort it out to dual boot linux when there's a viable build for that. I believe at the moment it wipes the HDD unless you have a dual HDD setup and temporarily remove your windows partition + mess around with boot stuff, too much effort, I'd be testing the install process elsewhere first..

    I wont go out of my way to buy new hardware, however when the next rig update happens in a year or two of course I can see some bits being re-purposed into a custom build.

    I don’t want to shell out the moolah for a high spec gaming laptop

    From what I've seen so far the Steam Machines aren't exactly a cost effective option.

      yeah, that's what I was thinking. How are these cost effective?

        The 499 options aren't too shabby given the card you get and the controller. But it's not the most powerful machine out there, it's truly entry level. My son is bugging me (he's 10) for his own little machine and I'll likely just get him one of these as he loves playing most of the indy titles. Me? I'll buy myself the controller and keep using my PC as it is.

    If i'm gonna fork over a good bit of cash for a gaming machine then I'm not gonna limit it to just my lounge room and for playing games. Obviously you want to use it as a PC as well... from what ive seen its not that easy with a steam box. Its designed for games. Which is fine, but you can get something for the same price which comes with a desktop too. If its priced accordingly then fine but at the moment its a "no" from me.

    Personally I am now in the mentality that If I ever want a PC I will never buy one, I will always build it myself... I guess I like to know everything in it was handpicked by myself and I enjoy the experience of putting it all together.

    I do actually use my PC as a console (have it hooked up to the same TV as my consoles and use the controller as often as I can), so in that way it would be good to have a Steam machine since mine is not exactly portable; but I have an Xbox and Playstation as well, so I guess I don't really need my PC to be portable?

    Definitely a good thing these are coming though, gives people more options for the living room than just a straight up console.

    Already have a HTPC, but if I want a new one I'd probably build it myself again.

    I DO want the controller though.

    If I could buy a bare bones model for a few hundred I probably would. I've seen prices like $1500+ with all the bells and whistles thrown around which is miles too expensive imo.

    The reason I have a gaming PC is for 1) massive amounts of power, and 2) keyboard and mouse input. I have my ps4 and ps3 for occasions where I prefer to use a controller.

    I would like to buy one, I really would like to. I'm dubious though.

    i may buy a controller but i essentially already have "steam machines"... small mITX boxes that i have hooked up to TV's and play PC games with a controller via steam's big picture mode... only difference is i'm not running SteamOS... which just means i can play everything... lol

    pointless for me unfortunately... will keep an eye on SteamOS however...

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