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Thread: News - Steam Machines won't be money-spinners, says Alienware boss

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    News - Steam Machines won't be money-spinners, says Alienware boss

    Tells the WSJ; "This will absolutely be the least profitable system we ever sell."
    Read more.

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    Re: News - Steam Machines won't be money-spinners, says Alienware boss

    I like the idea if Steam OS but I personally would prefer to build my own machine than buy a pre-built piece of kit. It's part of the fun for me!

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    Re: News - Steam Machines won't be money-spinners, says Alienware boss

    It at least gives companies that build or design PC's something to focus on instead of yet another box with standard ATX components in that's vaguely different from the last model. Hopefully it will bring some good to the market.


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    Re: News - Steam Machines won't be money-spinners, says Alienware boss

    If there's a low profit margin that might mean it'll be actually affordable and able to compete against consoles

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    Bah Humbug. Dooms's Avatar
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    Re: News - Steam Machines won't be money-spinners, says Alienware boss

    If these are current console spec/price (we have all seen the spec a PC at same price as console threads) I would be tempted. I would actually prefer an even lower specced one that was basically a streaming box from main gaming machine but I've yet to see the whole streaming thing work in an acceptable manner.

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    Re: News - Steam Machines won't be money-spinners, says Alienware boss

    My friend was telling me last night Steam now has incorporated ability for streaming to a TV via a client from a main workhorse PC elsewhere in the house (a la Shield). Maybe this is where the future lies.

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    Re: News - Steam Machines won't be money-spinners, says Alienware boss

    All a steam machine saves over a regular PC is the cost of Windows, which for OEMs is reduced from retail pricing anyway and partly at least recouped via all the pre-installed crapware.

    A small PC is a small PC whatever OS you run, and Windows in background is a smaller % of installed RAM these days so there really is no saving to be made... surely nobody really expected Steam machines to be priced like consoles but perform like PCs??

    The small steam boxes are just like a NUC, Brix, ZBox Nano etc - essentially low power components on a stripped down miniature board, small has always carried a premium, low power versions of Intel and AMD CPUs are often more £ per MHz because they are the "best" parts off the production line.
    Last edited by kingpotnoodle; 22-05-2014 at 01:21 PM. Reason: Wrote some junk

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    Re: News - Steam Machines won't be money-spinners, says Alienware boss

    Would have been interesting if valve subsidised them, but they couldn't do that as there is no way to be sure they will use steam or the steam OS once they have there cheap hardware.

    As with others I would just build my own machine, or in this case dual boot with there is a performance advantage.

    I have tried the steaming form my PC to my netbook (amd c-50) and the results are rather good!.

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    Re: News - Steam Machines won't be money-spinners, says Alienware boss

    Quote Originally Posted by Dooms View Post
    ... (we have all seen the spec a PC at same price as console threads) ....
    And none of them were actually as powerful as the consoles. They were all passable gaming machines, but not as powerful - and that's before we start considering the low-level optimisations available to console development.

    Add to that the cost of peripherals and it's highly unlikely that we'll see an octo-core Steam Box with Radeon 7800-level graphics and a Steam controller for ~ £350. It's simply not viable because the hardware manufacturers aren't going to be able to subsidise the hardware.

    Plus there'll be a lot of questions over the performance under Steam OS - it'll take additional development time for all the GPU manufacturers to support and optimise for Steam OS; game devs will need to port to Linux/Steam OS; unless SteamOS gets support from both hardware manufacturers and game devs you'll need a Windows PC to play your AAA games anyway, so why have a SteamBox too?

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    Re: News - Steam Machines won't be money-spinners, says Alienware boss

    Quote Originally Posted by cptwhite_uk View Post
    My friend was telling me last night Steam now has incorporated ability for streaming to a TV via a client from a main workhorse PC elsewhere in the house (a la Shield). Maybe this is where the future lies.
    Yeh they've now implemented this - quite cool idea actually. Although i'm having a hard time thinking up a decent use case in my own house!

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    Re: News - Steam Machines won't be money-spinners, says Alienware boss

    Umm never mind, I typed that too fast, didn't think... crap pc (virtual steambox without the graphics hardware) in front of TV, stream games from "server"

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    Re: News - Steam Machines won't be money-spinners, says Alienware boss

    Quote Originally Posted by kingpotnoodle View Post
    All a steam machine saves over a regular PC is the cost of Windows
    That is kind of like the old "Free as in free beer" vs "Free as in freedom of expression". If Windows and Linux were equivalent, then by all means focus on the bill of materials cost. The thing is though, they aren't and that isn't where SteamOS came from. It came from Valve watching Microsoft put all the pieces in place to kill off the Steam platform. I can't blame Valve for wanting a Windows exit strategy.

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    Re: News - Steam Machines won't be money-spinners, says Alienware boss

    Quote Originally Posted by cptwhite_uk View Post
    My friend was telling me last night Steam now has incorporated ability for streaming to a TV via a client from a main workhorse PC elsewhere in the house (a la Shield). Maybe this is where the future lies.
    I think you have nailed it in one sentence there. I can't see much future in the steam machines themselves. I think the "next gen" consoles and PC will continue to co-exist for a while.

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    Re: News - Steam Machines won't be money-spinners, says Alienware boss

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    Plus there'll be a lot of questions over the performance under Steam OS - it'll take additional development time for all the GPU manufacturers to support and optimise for Steam OS; game devs will need to port to Linux/Steam OS; unless SteamOS gets support from both hardware manufacturers and game devs you'll need a Windows PC to play your AAA games anyway, so why have a SteamBox too?
    "need a Windows PC to play your AAA games anyway" - erm, don't think Microsoft and Sony would agree with you there.

    Other objection I have to what you're saying is that you're assuming that porting to another OS is a big deal. From what I've seen elsewhere (it's been too long since I did any game dev'ing) the key factor for the big titles is if the game engines like UE, FrostByte, CryEngine make the jump. If they do then - according to that Crytek interview I was reading the other day - the porting effort goes from "mountainous" to "do-able". Plus, if you're talking about AAA titles like the Watch_Dogs etc of this world, then they're already "platform agile" because they're on XBox's, PS's, in addition to PC.

    Nope, bigger objection in my mind to SteamBoxes and SteamOS in general is the limited hardware support. Lost count of the number of times I've seen it discussed online and the comment "Where the eff is the support for AMD GPU's" comes through loud and clear.
    Quote Originally Posted by cptwhite_uk View Post
    My friend was telling me last night Steam now has incorporated ability for streaming to a TV via a client from a main workhorse PC elsewhere in the house (a la Shield). Maybe this is where the future lies.
    Funnily enough I hear a lot of enthusiasm for that - mainly from folks who tend servers at work, so they're used to the idea of "client" and "server" boxes. Not a big deal for me until they can reliably Steam, sorry "stream", content from Windows PC to Linux laptop.

    As to the Alienware comments, not that impressed. Alienware might have been a force once, but these days it just seems that they're an expensive badge. Folks I know with Alienware's invariably have a fancy Porsche or BWM on PCP. As to me, if/when I go for SteamOS, then I'll probably just try dual booting on my current "gaming PC".
    Last edited by crossy; 22-05-2014 at 03:36 PM.

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    Re: News - Steam Machines won't be money-spinners, says Alienware boss

    I am singularly unconcerned with the plight of the multi-billion dollar corporation.

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    Re: News - Steam Machines won't be money-spinners, says Alienware boss

    Quote Originally Posted by crossy View Post
    Nope, bigger objection in my mind to SteamBoxes and SteamOS in general is the limited hardware support. Lost count of the number of times I've seen it discussed online and the comment "Where the eff is the support for AMD GPU's" comes through loud and clear.
    That is just support from AMD though. I really hope an entire platform can't be held ransom by one company's inability to maintain a driver.

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