Valve's prototype Steam Machine revealed; more announcements at CES 2014

Valve announced their plans to help launch a line of gaming-themed Steam Machines, made for the living room and using Valve's SteamOS, in September. Today, the first images of Valve's own prototype for a Steam Machine have been released as well as some new information on the game console-like hardware and software.

According to Engadget, the prototype Steam Machines, which will be sent to 300 beta testers later this year, have an Intel Core i7 CPU and a NVIDIA GTX 780 GPU inside. There's no word on the amount of RAM or storage space and the prototype also does not have an optical drive. However, it does run on SteamOS, which Valve says is a version of Linux that has been developed exclusively by the developer and not based on another Linux OS such as Ubuntu.

The article makes it clear that the Steam Machine prototype is not to be a replacement for a typical gaming PC. Aside from a web browser, SteamOS does not have anything like a typical Windows OS has such as a file browsing system. In other words, it's a closed system in terms of its OS, more like an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 than a Windows 8 PC.

Valve says that more information on their Steam Machine launch plans will be announced at CES 2014 in January, including which third party companies will be making the hardware boxes and their configurations, that will vary between a low end product designed mostly for streaming content from a PC to a TV to a high end hardware box.

Source: Engadget | Image via Engadget

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deadonthefloor said,

I'm fairly certain that's a proprietary MS technology.

It is, but WINE does a reasonable job of providing open-source drop-in alternatives, meaning that some DirectX games can be played on Linux, certainly most older games can. Unfortunately the WINE community has little of the resources that a giant like Microsoft has, so they're not able to keep up with the current version (D3D 9.0 is mostly implemented, but D3D10 is a way off yet). Still, it's a noble effort.

The problem with WINE is the game and graphics card people don't test or support it. It seems like most of the updates I get for my graphics card are specific to some game. I don't know if NVidia does those or the game developers push code to them.

Shadowzz said,
Now we'll find out how well optimized Linux can be.

This is already known. When Valve themselves said their games run better on OpenGL than DirectX.

SharpGreen said,

This is already known. When Valve themselves said their games run better on OpenGL than DirectX.

That was OpenGL4 vs DirectX 9.

Way to Valve/Linux!! You've outperformed a 10 year old technology, kudos!

This says nothing to me. I'll wait for the final product with a price tag and some benchmarks to judge.

I don't see the point of a steam console.
I have a solid desktop running windows that can run pretty much any game and I've got a console for other needs.
What's the point of this??

Especially when you are limited to the games that support Linux anyway, unless you have another equally as beefy computer running Windows. Its totally pointless.

This is what I don't understand. So this only plays Steam games that support Linux, that's not a lot.

Does it also stream games from my windows PC? So I'll need a decent Windows machine still to play the rest of my library?

Why not save the money and just hook up the Windows PC directly to my entertainment center and use an Xbox controller?

I have to agree it seems pointless but Valve is very concerned that Steam will be made obsolete by Windows 8. It links all your games to your Microsoft account the same as Steam links to your Steam account. Potentially they could also dual license to PC and Xbox.

thedaini said,
This is what I don't understand. So this only plays Steam games that support Linux, that's not a lot.

Does it also stream games from my windows PC? So I'll need a decent Windows machine still to play the rest of my library?

Why not save the money and just hook up the Windows PC directly to my entertainment center and use an Xbox controller?

That selection is growing so it is only a matter of time.

Just standard PC parts I know what most of it is right of the bat.
ASRock Z87E-ITX
Zotac Geforce GTX Titan
Seagate Harddrive 2.5"
Zalman CNPS2X
Case is a custom one
Power supply is most like lee a 500/600watt

Edited by SHS, Nov 5 2013, 1:08am :

Lord Method Man said,
Woah a PC in a modified form factor. My mind is blown.

Well, so is the XBOX One, right? After all it is based on the x64 architecture. I reckon what the selling point here is the platform as a whole.

pmdci said,

Well, so is the XBOX One, right? After all it is based on the x64 architecture. I reckon what the selling point here is the platform as a whole.

The Xbox one architecture is nothing like any PC you can buy or even custom make. The CPU is x86 based.

pmdci said,

Well, so is the XBOX One, right? After all it is based on the x64 architecture. I reckon what the selling point here is the platform as a whole.

No, Xbox One and other consoles have custom hardware, PCB, ICs, SoCs, etc. This is just a bunch of off-the-shelf PC components put in a custom enclosure.

Hello,

Still waiting, now that SteamOS is made from the ground up, for the Half-Life 3 exclusive announcement.

riahc3 said,
Hello,

Still waiting, now that SteamOS is made from the ground up, for the Half-Life 3 exclusive announcement.

You mean a Left 4 Dead 3 announcement!

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