Valve makes the first official Steam Machines during CES 2014, its commitment of a hybrid between PC and video game consoles. Those who are regulars and fans of video games are aware that there is a peculiar division between PC and console; not only as a platform, but the same gamers who enjoyed them we usually consider them as two completely separate worlds. For a couple of decades there has been a division between PC and Console Games because, although both are based on the same philosophy, people offer video games, there are too many differences between them.
For example, one of the biggest advantages that users of consoles are on their platform, is the ability to simply “plug and play” (which in English is known as plug & play ) without bothering to install drivers or drivers, putting together a PC acquiring all its components or spending huge sums of money. On the other hand, fans of PC games on your machine are endless benefits ranging from the most spectacular and superior to consoles graphics to catalogs of huge games and the obvious advantage that a PC can be used for much more than play.
But what happens when both platforms are unified into one? seems utopian, but Valve devised a way to make it happen, or at least something very close to what would be the perfect hybrid between a PC and a game console. Although the issue has sounded a lot over the last few months, actually rumors that Valve would “create its own console” we hear from more than two years ago. Finally it was not so, but the result is infinitely superior.
The Steam Machines are the way in which Valve in theory offers us fans of video games, all the possibilities of a console on a computer video game. We say in theory because during the exhibition CES 2014 we have witnessed a somewhat disappointing releases, accompanied by surprises in very good way, in the way that Valve wanted for your platform.
Valve actually does not make the Steam Machines. What the company founded by Gabe Newell, who revolutionized the market for PC video games, actually offers is an operating system based on Linux, called SteamOS, which allows running the Steam games platform from the comfort of their living room couch our homes, provided it is accompanied by a control button, and even better if it comes to Steam Controller, designed by Valve to control work perfectly (in theory) with any PC game. But at CES 2014, Gabe Newell has chaired a press conference in which they were born no less than 13 models of official Steam Machines, Hand of different manufacturers, highlighting some and disappointing others.
Talk of a hybrid between PC and console “disappointed” may sound peculiar, but is that of the 13 models presented by Valve, few met the company desired by Newell parameters, but not set as such. Valve wants indirectly compete with home consoles “next generation” PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, however, some of the prices of these early Steam Machines brushed ridiculous.
In general, the first Steam Machines have a price range from $ 499 to $ 6,000, and the latter figure is simply laughable for those seeking an alternative to the new consoles. Originally, when Valve announced SteamOS and plans to bring its enormous catalog and community by living our homes, models promised Steam Machines from $ 99 and up. The promise has not been fulfilled by the manufacturers of the dependent, and it is therefore not surprising that Valve now discard not launch its own Steam Machine, although in late 2013 said it would not.
Meanwhile we have very attractive offers, such as the company CyberPowerPC and the iBuyPower, whose Steam Machine model starts at $ 499, very competitive price with consoles and even when compared with an average PC to play high-performance graphics ( which is not to say that this Machine is equated in this area, but given the size), along with models such as the Zotac for $ 599 or the Alienware for a “competitive” price compared to PS4 and Xbox One, we also have Steam Machines like Digital Storm “Bolt II” with a cost of $ 2,500, or the Falcon Northwest reaching $ 6,000 a perhaps disproportionate price.
In summary, the brands that have partnership with Valve to launch this first batch of official Steam Machines are: Alternate, Material.net, CyberPowerPC, Next, iBuyPower, Digital Storm, Alienware, Origin PC, Webhallen, Gigabyte, Scan Computers, Falcon Northwest and Zotac. Among its features include processors ranging from Intel Core i3 to Intel Core i7 and AMD Radeon graphics from a R9 270, even the high-end NVIDIA GeForce.
But beyond the technical specifications of the models of the 13 members, which in some cases it does not mean they are more of the higher range, we find that the trend seems to be clear. We have few Steam Machines that can compete head to head with the next generation consoles in terms of cost, but what are the high prices abound that could simply be ignored by the general public. Does anyone prefer spending $ 6,000 in a Steam Machine before arming their own PC, with more potential and less money?
We see the marks a bit confused as to what Valve wants with these machines. The company responsible for such hit franchises such as Half-Life wants to start a trend where play on PC is not synonymous with spending lots of money and major complications. And although we see that in the CES 2014 Steam Machines have had a bittersweet start, becoming the trend and begin the presence of Steam as a separate Windows platform and as real alternative to consoles.
Because it goes beyond the 13 models that have been presented, this can make a big difference in the game industry, an industry which as we have seen in architectures PS4 and Xbox One, increasingly closer to PC, so as to unify both worlds Valve is doing may be the right bet. Meanwhile, we can expect that E3 2014 will see many more Steam Machines debut to try to conquer.