First Steam Machine Prototype Pictures Published

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First Steam Machine Prototype Pictures Published

A variety of Valve's Steam Machines will be unveiled in January at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Valve initially did not want to overhaul the entertainment PC business, but after some time the company felt it was necessary to enter the living room of gaming. Initially announced in a series of announcements in September, Valve revealed it was working on hardware called the Steam Machine along with a new controller. Pictures of the prototype and Valve employees were published in The Seattle Times this morning.

A variety of Steam Machines and entertainment applications for the platform will be shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in January and go on sale by the middle of next year. In the meantime, 300 beta testers will get to try out the Steam Machine.

In the first photo, Valve employees (from left to right) Eric Hope, Anna Sweet, Greg Coomer, and D.J. Powers stand with the Steam Machine prototype. In the second photo, Hope uses Valve's new controller. The third picture illustrates the many controller prototypes Valve built. One controller had a trackball on the underside of the controller. Controllers were built partly with tools from Valve co-founder Gabe Newell's garage.

With the SteamOS, Valve hopes others will build their own Steam Machines. The company wants to "advance the stagnant PC hardware platform" and allow others to further innovate the platform, according to The Seattle Times.

"It isn't until this coming year when there are going to be enough of those pieces that all work together that we can say in a credible way to all of our customers," Coomer said, " 'Hey, if you're one of the people who likes to play games in the living room, and we know there are a lot of you - now we have enough dots connected that we think you should try this.' "

Source: Seattle Times via CVG

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Valve, Y U SO AWESOME?

Seriously, if the controller works as good as it seems and the box is as silent, while still being comact and powerful, as it seems, this is the shit.

It looks like a Xbone/360 hybrid painted black. Really Valve, what's with the VHS design? This is a legitimate question for the upcoming generation. Trying to fit in with the crowd?

Pardon my ignorance, but what does the steam machine do? Is it a stripped down pc optimized for gaming?

the doom cannon:
Pardon my ignorance, but what does the steam machine do? Is it a stripped down pc optimized for gaming?

It's a gaming PC, you can change parts and do what you want, it comes loaded with a custom OS optimised for gaming and could be an excellent entry level gaming PC for the masses.

Provided they execute it right.

SourMilk:
It looks like a Xbone/360 hybrid painted black. Really Valve, what's with the VHS design? This is a legitimate question for the upcoming generation. Trying to fit in with the crowd?

Um it's a prototype, plus ultimately many different manufactures will exist so I imagine they will all have their own designs.. Also what do you want? Should it levitate in your livingroom and dispense ice cold sodas?

SourMilk:
It looks like a Xbone/360 hybrid painted black. Really Valve, what's with the VHS design? This is a legitimate question for the upcoming generation. Trying to fit in with the crowd?

that was my thought "Huh, looks like an Xbox..."

Also, the dude that is holding the thing in that first picture just looks creepy as hell to me for some reason.

sigh. So twenty years of computer and gaming console technological advancement has led to three cutting edge consoles that look like ... a computer from the late 1990s. Or a cake box.

If the Steam Machine gains popularity it could really change PC gaming. For the first time in the history of PC gaming, PC games will be made for a standardized hardware. Sure you can change it and run your own configuration, but the games will probably be made for the default Steam Machine in mind.

SourMilk:
It looks like a Xbone/360 hybrid painted black. Really Valve, what's with the VHS design? This is a legitimate question for the upcoming generation. Trying to fit in with the crowd?

Well, for one: It is just a prototype and there will be most probably designs made by distributors. Then: Pretty much every space is used to cool that thing, it vents on top, on the side and behind. It seems that the VHS design is the most functional for that.

While I like the idea of my SteamBox dispensing ice-cold sodas - hey, let's reuse that cooling system - I do not, however, understand why so many people seem to care so much about what their entertainment systems' boxes look like. Why are you even looking at it? Tuck it away somewhere. The action's on the screen.

Pyrian:
While I like the idea of my SteamBox dispensing ice-cold sodas - hey, let's reuse that cooling system - I do not, however, understand why so many people seem to care so much about what their entertainment systems' boxes look like. Why are you even looking at it? Tuck it away somewhere. The action's on the screen.

Ya lets admit it, a Steam Icebox Soda dispensing console would be awesome.

But ya I can understand caring about what it looks like. My PC looks like something from the future, and it really impresses the people who don't know anything about computers. They wonder "why doesn't my computer look like it just took a time machine and showed up in my livingroom."

But ya over all I make pretty much no purchasing decisions based upon looks, my case was on sale for cyber monday and all the lights were just incidental.

Please be affordable. Please be affordable. PLEASE BE AFFORDABLE!

They need to show demo's of them using the controller on older games, like UT1999, Jedi Knight Dark Forces 2 or Longest Journey. I don't care if you can get it to work with Portal 2, that game works with my wired 360 controller.

Show us the controllers vaunted compatibility.

the doom cannon:
Pardon my ignorance, but what does the steam machine do? Is it a stripped down pc optimized for gaming?

It is a Gaming PC, just specialized with a Steam OS and meant for living rooms. If you have a Laptop + Gaming PC, you can just install the Steam OS and stream games from your Gaming Pc to your laptop that you can then connect to your TV via HDMI. The Controllers will be sold separately.

It will be a very niche device and I don't see the point of it, to be honest.

I'd rather shave off about 20-30 bucks from production than have my steam box built to look like an apple product.

NinjaDeathSlap:
Please be affordable. Please be affordable. PLEASE BE AFFORDABLE!

It will be as affordable as you want. They will have different versions (much like how Doghouse Systems have different versions) that can allow you to change things the insides. Want a version with a Titan GPU? Expect to pay more. Want one with a GTX 580? Won't be nearly as expensive.

Again, don't see the point of it except for those who have an excess of money and no gaming PC already.

Guys, it should be emphasised that this is a PROTOTYPE. Aesthetics probably aren't a priority to whats actually in the box.

Plus, Valve has said that there will be multiple different versions of the Steam Machine; just because this looks like a VHS box doesn't mean they all will look like that.

NinjaDeathSlap:
Please be affordable. Please be affordable. PLEASE BE AFFORDABLE!

There should be a number of different options above, below, or on par with Sony and MS's new consoles.

Everyone was wondering about Valve getting into the hardware business, but really their 'console' here is all in the software, with Steam and the Steam OS. Quite an interesting idea actually, maybe you don't make as much money but you also assume less risk, a safe and effective way to get into the 'living room'.

SourMilk:
It looks like a Xbone/360 hybrid painted black. Really Valve, what's with the VHS design? This is a legitimate question for the upcoming generation. Trying to fit in with the crowd?

Because it is the most compact design in which you can fit in full fledged desktop PC hardware, while still possible to switch part, which can include top end video card like a Nvidia Titan ?

It was interesting to see some of the other prototype controller designs they came up with.[1]

However, my quote of the day came from the IGN interview with the design team when talking about the controller:

"You can play Dota with it. You just can't win." - Eric Hope

[1] Trackballs underneath the controller? Thin touchbars used as scrollers? An all touch-surface controller? Valve, you crazy.

Vigormortis:
Trackballs underneath the controller? Thin touchbars used as scrollers? An all touch-surface controller? Valve, you crazy.

I know... I spent 5 goddamn minutes of my life starting at those controllers and thinking "Why are there trackballs where I'm supposed to have enough fingers to both use the surface buttons, grip the handles and now use a trackball on the underside?"

Actually this gives me an idea. Valve are going to market free "upgrades' for peoples hands that have extra fingers just to use all of the buttons! They will also be the first hands that are fully compatible with the N64 controller!

synobal:
Should it levitate in your livingroom and dispense ice cold sodas?

That would get my money, despite the fact i just started ordering £1700 worth of gaming PC.

It's a Phillips CD-I.

So for this year's line-up we have a Palm tablet:


a betamax player:

and this:

Now we have a CD-I.

This console generation sucks.

-PC Master Race

It's been a long time since a new company entered the console market, so this should be interesting I guess. It's always good to see more competition on the market, it means more choices for consumers which is always a good thing, I'm curious to see how they're going to compete with the three current gen consoles currently on the market. I'm interested to see how this develops.

If they don't release HL3 as THE launch title for this experiment, they're friggin' crazy.

Talk about a revolutionary killer app. HL2 launched steam from a mad experiment that pissed off customers into what it is today. Halo made the xbox viable. HL3 would be a transformative title. While I'll be a steam customer as a card carrying master race member, and i just don't see much major paradigm shift without that sort of killer app: a new HL + bundled CS.

Why do people always bang on about the looks of the new consoles? My HTPCs have always been in understated Silverstone cases, they look better in the livingroom and they are efficient and cheap to manufacture. Plus thay are easy to crack open when you need to fiddle with components.

Valve still ain't getting my money, having ruined PC gaming for me

NinjaDeathSlap:
Please be affordable. Please be affordable. PLEASE BE AFFORDABLE!

They are building different versions for different people. Some will be designed with a small budget in mind, some will be designed to be as quiet as possible and some will be designed to run the latest games.

SourMilk:
It looks like a Xbone/360 hybrid painted black. Really Valve, what's with the VHS design? This is a legitimate question for the upcoming generation. Trying to fit in with the crowd?

don't think prototype cases necessarily reflect the final design

Psychobabble:
sigh. So twenty years of computer and gaming console technological advancement has led to three cutting edge consoles that look like ... a computer from the late 1990s. Or a cake box.

What cutting edge and innovative way would you design a horizontal rectangular box?

The reason they're this shape is because it's the best shape for their function. A pyramid make look more interesting, but it wouldn't fit into an entertainment unit underneath a TV and you'd have a hard time getting all the components to fit whilst maintaining proper air flow.

The Ouya can get away with being a cube because it has few moving parts and internally there's not a lot to it.

For mass produced consoles that are essentially PCs which are designed to fit underneath a TV, the horizontal rectangular box is the most practical and efficient shape.

Complained about the uninspired shape is a bit like complain that bicycle design is stagnant because they all feature circular wheels.

Interesting, but not very relevant picture, given that it's just a prototype thus far.

But they're definitely missing a trick not calling it the Steam Engine :)

Alfador_VII:
Interesting, but not very relevant picture, given that it's just a prototype thus far.

But they're definitely missing a trick not calling it the Steam Engine :)

Valve doesn't want to confuse steam punk enthusiasts.

Who cares what it looks like?

SILENTrampancy:
They need to show demo's of them using the controller on older games, like UT1999, Jedi Knight Dark Forces 2 or Longest Journey. I don't care if you can get it to work with Portal 2, that game works with my wired 360 controller.

Show us the controllers vaunted compatibility.

Exactly, Im really curious about this too as there are some older games that I wouldnt mind playing with a controller.

SourMilk:
It looks like a Xbone/360 hybrid painted black. Really Valve, what's with the VHS design? This is a legitimate question for the upcoming generation. Trying to fit in with the crowd?

It's a prototype. Wasting money making a prototype of the hardware look like anything other than a box would be a waste.

EDIT: My god the number of people complaining about a PROTOTYPE looking bland is hilarious.

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