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News Alienware Steam Machine not expected to sell well

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Gareth Halfacree, 21 May 2014.

  1. Guinevere

    Guinevere Mega Mom

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    So?. I said a PS3/XBox 360 was ideal for someone wanting a relatively cheap living room gaming machine with a massive selection of great games at cheap prices.

    Sure enough premium games are cheaper on the PC but then a PC makes a lousy living room gaming machine and a PC that can game at 720p/1080p is more expensive, louder, more time consuming and generally much more of a PITA than a console. Steam & Humble Bundles make PC gaming the cheapest way to get lots of great games, but if you don't want a PC in your lounge... you don't put a PC in your lounge.

    Console gaming is generally either a 'family' thing or a 'young(ish) bloke' thing. SteamOS offers nothing to either of these demographics. Both are better served with either current or previous gen consoles or a full fat windows PC.

    Quite a few will end up with both, knowing that there isn't the perfect machine out there to suit all needs.

    I just don't see how a steam machine fits in. If someone gave me one today I'd take it and google how to put windows on it!
     
  2. War-Rasta

    War-Rasta What's a Dremel?

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    Of course there will be driver updates and OS updates and whatnot, but it will be a lot easier to handle (like console updates) since you're not really dealing with the OS yourself. Steam Machines are supposed to work like consoles in that sense where you don't have to bother looking for drivers or any other updates yourself. Linux distros already kinda work like this in tha tyou get all your updates from one piece of software that does all the searching for you in the different repos you might have (kinda like the Android or iOS software updates from their respective stores).

    It will definitely break at some point like you mentioned but even consoles break so I dont think this is going to be more an issue on steam machines than any other platform. The hardware upgrades will be an issue obviously since you can't expect to play whatever games come out in 2038 with the machine you bought on 2014 but at least users will have the option to upgrade themselves or buy a new one. I can even see a market for people to make money upgrading your steam machine for you if these things take off.
     
  3. SexyHyde

    SexyHyde Minimodder

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    My PC makes a fabulous living room gaming PC super long HDMI and XBOX360 pads, push the power button one the PC sit down, long home button push on controller opens up Steam "big picture" mode. I've got over 100 games on steam and a decent amount work on my ubuntu machine. It depends what new games Valve release and how the other distributers/developers take to it. As a new revenue stream it could take off for them, but they do have a history of cutting off their nose to spite their face.
     
  4. Anfield

    Anfield Multimodder

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    Compared to Windows it will still be less of a mess as there will be a far smaller selection of OS / Driver versions being used.
     
  5. Guinevere

    Guinevere Mega Mom

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    But that's how I've been managing my win7 machine for years. Let Windows install whatever damn updates it likes, GPU drivers and all. Windows does it's obligatory 'installing update 7 of 129' or whatever if it hasn't been on for a while but it's easy.... if you're patient. No significant difference to running a net connected console.

    My 'PC' is 100% dedicated to games. Steam + Origin + standalone titles. Nothing else. I turn it on and it plays PC games. All of them.

    So again I say a 'Steam Machine / PC running steam OS' isn't that much easier than a 'PC running Windows'.

    It's a nice idea to ditch windows but having to ditch the bulk of your games catalogue to do it? Nah.
     
  6. XXAOSICXX

    XXAOSICXX Minimodder

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    Exactly.
     
  7. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    And in Steam sales games can be had for as little as 99p, ones that you don't have to either throw away or sell for one fifth the price when new hardware comes out.

    The Alienware SM was probably one of the worst examples, not being user upgradable.
    The Steam Machines unveiled at CES back in January are underspecified and over priced, that they are going to stick to the same price and specs announced 9 months ago does surprise me.

    If you mean updates in the same way that consoles update, then sure it will still need updates. If you mean not having to spend hours trawling through manufactures web sites trying to find drivers for hardware you didn't even know you had, then no. The Steam Machines will be updated in the same way consoles are, with minimum user intervention.

    You are basing that opinion on a yet to be released hardware platform, and an OS that is still in beta. Valve have already said they would like to use good, better, best, as a way to differentiate what each machine is capable of doing.

    They have also said that as the Steam Machines are an open hardware platform, that the user is free to do what ever they like when it comes to hardware, if the user feels comfortable installing a new graphics card fine, if they don't want to faff around with all that send it back to who you bought it from and they will update it for you.

    Sorry my mistake i was in a rush when i posted that last night :duh:

    You have answered your own question, when you correctly pointed out that...

    "PC makes a lousy living room gaming machine and a PC that can game at 720p/1080p is more expensive, louder, more time consuming and generally much more of a PITA than a console."

    This is the reason for the Steam Machines, to bring the consoles ease of use, no fuss gaming to a group of people that probably abandoned PC gaming because it was to much hassle.

    For someone who has a modicum of PC knowledge, or is happy to run Windows, there is no need to own a Steam Machine. But then again it's not intended for that, it's intended for the group of people who abandoned PC gaming years ago because consoles are just easier.
     
  8. blacko

    blacko What's a Dremel?

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    i must admit i think scan have hit the nail on the head with using laptop components. Only issue i have with it is the case design. It wouldn't look right in the living room.
     
  9. rollo

    rollo Modder

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    Well this article is about Alienware corky not another one. The scan one was just as expensive using worse parts for the record.

    Think most people here want it to succeed to they can migrate to Linux using steam OS. Need the big multiplayer titles to follow to attract most. World of Warcraft, league of legends, the battlefield games been the 3 biggest player base wise.

    Will DOTA 2 even work ?
     
  10. loftie

    loftie Modder

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    Get LoL on a steam machine in the living room and I reckon we'll see so many controllers/remotes thrown at the TV that it'll dwarf the amount when the Wii was introduced.
     
  11. Guinevere

    Guinevere Mega Mom

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    But I don't think a steam machine fits that demographic. It's an amazing idea. I love the idea of it. But you'd be bonkers to buy a steam machine over a PC or ANY console.

    Q: So it plays games from steam?
    A: Oh yes. There's lots and lots of titles you can play.

    Q: So it'll play PC quality games but without the hassle of a windows PC?
    A: Oh yes, that's what it's good at.

    Q: Will it play all of the games on team?
    A: Erm... some of them.

    Q: What about the big new titles? It'll play those right?
    A: Erm...

    Q: Okay. How many of the top ten steam games will it actually play?
    A: One.. but technically that's early access only so in pre-beta.

    Q: But it'll play every Valve game right?
    A: Well not every Valve game...

    Q: WTF?
     
  12. hyperion

    hyperion Minimodder

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    It would be pretty cool imo if someone managed to hack the ps4 to install steamOS, kinda like the the otherOS feature the ps3 launched with.
     
  13. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    Seeing as we are talking about an OS that is still in beta, i think it's safe to say more 'big games' will be coming down the line, CryEngine have said it is going to support Linux.
    I'm not going to assume what you, or anyone would class as a 'big game' but the SteamDB has a full list of Linux games, so maybe there is something to tickle your fancy.
     
  14. rollo

    rollo Modder

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    All mac games are basically all Linux games. Of the biggest titles out there's some but not all. Cryengine supporting Linux is a lot different from games supporting it.

    EA who basically own Cryengine have little reason to help valve get games working under steam OS or linux for that matter.

    Biggest titles id imagine would be crysis series, call of duty series, Watchdogs when it launches. Civilisation series was ported to mac so it has some Linux code there.

    The steam db list is heavy on indie dev games but little outside of your big publishers.

    2 things young people play call of duty, FIFA these 2 will be the biggest wins if valve can get them as they would have a system that people would be intrested in.

    Does anyone intend to buy a steam box who's commenting here. Of the 2 I've seen alienwares is very expensive for what you get and scans is no better. Both are double the cost of the ps4 for example. Parents who buy for the young will take the cheaper popular option which is the ps4 or Xbox.

    Leaves it with a very small target market at current prices for the 2 most branded ones. Razor has one as well but that's 3-4 times the cost of a ps4.
     
  15. Byron C

    Byron C Over-reacting and over-analysing since 1982

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    Frankly I think Valve bungled this whole Steam Machine thing. They should have stuck to the "good better best" spec brackets (perhaps one more for streaming client only), rated as many titles as possible in their catalogue according to those brackets, and then put out their own hardware for each of those categories. That way at least ODMs/OEMs would have had a target spec to shoot for and some sort of loosely defined guidelines to work within. Leaving them up to their own machinations has led to the mess we have now: how the hell is the average consumer supposed to know why a Steam Machine from Alienware might be better or worse than the one from Scan?

    Perhaps Valve are still planning to release their own hardware (pretty sure GabeN mentioned that to press in the past) and they might wrangle some sense out of this whole thing.

    Also: just because you're buying a "Steam Machine" with SteamOS pre-loaded there's nothing to stop you from wiping the hard drive and installing Windows to get maximum game compatibility. Let's be honest, DirectX isn't going anywhere for a while so long as Microsoft keep using it for their consoles; it'll take a lot of convincing to get the really big publishers to support OpenGL for PC versions just to satisfy Valve's desire to move away from Windows.

    I already have one. Technically... My previous gaming PC is sat in the lounge on gaming duty, and it can just about handle most games I play in 1080P (albeit with some of the pretty turned down a bit).
     
  16. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    As i said before we are not the target market, if you can build your own PC, check for malware/virus, know what driver to install from a manufactures website, then the Steam Machines are not for you.

    I would guess most Bit-Tech forum members would only need the controller, maybe the box to receive the stream from their main rig, Steam Machines are (imo) for people that gave up on PC gaming because it's to much hassle.

    I agree. I think Valve, or the OEM's shouldn't have shown of their Steam Machines until SteamOS was out of beta, when ever that is going to be. A lot can happen between now and then, like Valve including a way for OEM's or end users to check their system in a similar fashion to the Windows Experience Index.
     
  17. Anfield

    Anfield Multimodder

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    Not me, I do plan to use the streaming option though so I can move the big and noisy gaming pc to another room.
     
  18. Star*Dagger

    Star*Dagger What's a Dremel?

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    This is an investment to achieve the goal of destroying the Microsoft hegemony.

    I look forward to that Day of Liberation for gamers, and humanity as a whole.

    Yours in Falcon-sight Plasma,
    Star*Dagger
     

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