Pixel Count: Is the Steam Machine for You?

steam machine

Hot off the presses at CES in Las Vegas, it sounds like Valve has finally dropped some details about their upcoming foray into home entertainment—the Steam Machine. While the idea of a Valve system that acts as a vehicle for all of your impulse buying—er, I mean, PC gaming—right from your couch might be appealing, the company has had quite a few questions to answer about price, specs and the like.

It seems we’ve finally got those answers. This week, Valve unveiled specs and designs for 14 of its initial run of Steam Machines. The machines cover a range of hardware capabilities, but in my mind, the most interesting thing about them (aside from many of the hideous designs) would be the price points.

Obviously, given that this is PC gaming, we expected high price points (the loftiest machine will cost you around $6000), but even on the low end the Steam Machine is going to run about $500. But wasn’t the point of this whole exercise to make the gaming PC more accessible, more friendly to the people that didn’t want to break the bank on a new PC or didn’t have the inclination to build their own? I’m not seeing the appeal to do this instead of building your own box or going the way of the Xbox One or PS4.

It makes me wonder who this machine is for, exactly? In my mind, someone like me is the perfect and most ideal buyer for this hardware. I love PC gaming but don’t feel like spending a ton of money on upgrades, and I really want something that can live in my entertainment center and look nice. None of these initial 14 Steam Machines achieve that goal in the slightest.

So in light of all of those thoughts, I wanted to ask you guys: is the Steam Machine for you? Vote in our poll and give us your thoughts in the comments. I’m really curious what you guys have to say on this.

Is the Steam Machine for you?

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Source – CVG

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

3 thoughts on “Pixel Count: Is the Steam Machine for You?”

  1. I’ve had so many people message me on steam and ask “Why is steam making a console?” or “Will I have to get SteamOS to play my games?” It’s almost as if they’ve pulled a WiiU so far for people who don’t really follow the industry. A few of these builds are also offering a dual-boot option, which effectively just makes them an expensive computer for people who are serious about playing PC games in their living room, but don’t want a friend or computer shop putting together the parts for them..

    I’m still really hoping for a cheap option to stream games from my ~5 year i7 rig upstairs in my bedroom to the big screen downstairs in the living room. If that doesn’t happen, I’ll likely just build my own small boxed PC and install the SteamOS. I would never give the always-overpriced Alienware any of my dollars just to put some parts in a plastic box.

    I wish they had just announced the controller and OS and not confused the ‘average steam user’ with “STEAM MACHINES”. I’m easily most excited about fiddling with those and I will certainly get a controller no matter what.

  2. I think the way the Steam Box makes PC gaming more accessible and friendly for the average consumer.is the combination of the Steam Box and Steam OS. Using Steam OS instead of Windows will fix a lot of issues such as drivers and firmware updates for things which some people. You’ll basically be able to turn on your Steam Box and access the games right there. Its pretty much open up packaging, plug it in, and you’re ready to go (plus downloading games I guess), just like on consoles.

    Personally, I don’t need a Steam Box cause my PC is pretty great, but I am considering getting a new hard drive for a Steam OS boot option.

  3. SteamOS is not meant to replace your windows main gaming computer. But at the same time its starting to allow developers to bring their PC games to the living room setting. I have SteamOS on a second computer and I rather enjoy it it. The main problem I have currently is the in home streaming is not out yet. Even further because that is not out the computer currently has to be somewhat strong. When the beta for that comes out I will be able to stream my desktop to it for my living room. That then allows me to make a really small form factor steam machine with just integrated graphics for cheap. I just really like the concept so I don’t have to have my hulk of a desktop in my living room I could just have a small console sized box in there and just stream my games.

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