Coffeehouse Thread

87 posts

Steam Box

Back to Forum: Coffeehouse
  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    , BitFlipper wrote

    *snip*

    It can't be skinned to suddenly have a huge library of AAA games like you can find on a Windows-based gaming PC. How do you skin Linux to do that?

    The problem with your above post is that there is a lot of "imagining" required to get to the outcome you desire. Since we are talking in circles here, why don't we revisit this thread in a year or two and see how the SteamBox rocketed to success? My prediction is that just like other similar attempts (at Linux gaming), it would once again be a big fat fail.

    I wonder what OS the Wii is running? It didn't have a lot of games when it first came out but it sold like hot cakes for several years. Nintendo tapped a market that didn't exists before the Wii came along. Maybe the SteamBox can do the same.

  • BitFlipper

    @DeathByVisualStudio:

    Nintendo/Sony/MS spends huge amounts of money upfront (and afterwards) to get high quality games on their consoles. Do you really think Nintendo didn't invest heavily into R&D even during the initial time when they didn't have a lot of games? I don't see Valve doing this.

    What would be more desirable to a gamer:

    1. A living-room ready Windows gaming PC + Steam client.
    2. A living-room ready SteamBox with Linux + Steam client.

    Unless AAA games gets exclusively created for the SteamBox, #1 will always win by a large margin. Not sure how you guys can't get this. Nobody says the Linux fans/ABMers won't buy a SteamBox, but if someone is truly into it just for the games (read: the masses), #1 will always trump #2.

  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    @BitFlipper: Why would someone buy a "living-room ready Windows gaming PC + Steam client" when games that hardcore gamers want come out on the consoles first and in some cases never make it to Windows? I know, I know...someday the Xbox will be running Windows so they'll be able to write an XBox game that can run on Windows too just like you can run any Windows 8 app on a Windows Phone 8 device and vise versa.  Perplexed

    You assume that what Steam is building is just a gaming platform to play games that appear to hardcore gamers. Maybe it's not the games that the platform can play but how they are played. Valve seems to provide a couple of ideas along these lines in this article.

    Like you said Nintendo didn't have a lot of games when the Wii came out. People didn't buy the console because they new Nintendo was investing a lot in R&D and game development. They bought it because it bought a new experience to game play that was accessible to a wider audience.

    I'm not convinced that the Steambox will succeed but I'm certainly not drinking the Microsoft Kool-Aid of "if it doesn't run on Windows it will suck." There are plenty of WinDiv employees that are doing a fine job of chugging that stuff down. I just hope they start mixing it with a splash of vodka for their own good.  Wink

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
    Last modified
  • Bass

    @Ray7:

    "Linux powered sniper rifle"

    So what you are saying is Linux kills people. I'm glad there are less psychopathic OSes out there like Windows that I can keep around my children.

  • BitFlipper

    @DeathByVisualStudio:

    We are not comparing Windows to consoles, we are comparing a SteamBox branded Linux gaming PC to a SteamBox branded Windows gaming PC. Agreed that if someone wants a "living room ready" gaming system then a console is better as there is no computer knowledge required but that is not what the comparison is here. It is whether SteamBox is better off shipping with Windows vs Linux.

    I never said "if it doesn't run on Windows it will suck." Once again a quote where I said or even implied this would be great, thanks. I'm saying for a gaming PC/console, existing content is king when you want to have a success. I'm certainly not a MS Kool-Aid drinking fanboy. I can point to many posts on this forum where I complain bitterly about MS, including hating Windows 8 so don't give me that crap.

    I'm asking why would you go with Linux as a gaming PC/console when with the exact same hardware you can get a gaming PC/console that starts out with an already huge catalog of existing games? It is a simple question, and yet no-one has been able to give me any advantage that it will have over a Windows, while I keep pointing out a gigantic disadvantage. The only advantage I can see is you don't need to pay for the Windows license, which is roughly the cost of one AAA game. But then you get a much much bigger selection of games out the gate. It's a no-brainer.

     

     

     

  • Bass

    I'm still unsure with what your infatuation with Linux here is. As mentioned, Linux is a kernel that is in use for lots of totally random and different things. The userland (stuff outside the kernel) is what is interesting and the different aspect, it's the main piece of software that separates the sniper rifle from the supercomputer.

    I'm not sure why you keep assuming that the userland that runs on SteamBox will be available to people without SteamBox. A unified, optimized and coherent software and hardware experience for video gaming and media is what Valve will probably trying to sell. It is too early to tell, of course. But it is a bit different than building a Windows machine and slapping some blinky lights to it and selling it at a premium as a "gaming PC". Dell and HP can do that just fine.

  • evildictait​or

    , Bass wrote

    I'm still unsure with what your infatuation with Linux here is. As mentioned, Linux is a kernel that is in use for lots of totally random and different things. The userland (stuff outside the kernel) is what is interesting and the different aspect, it's the main piece of software that separates the sniper rifle from the supercomputer.

    The problem with Linux as a gaming platform has nothing to do with the design of the kernel. It has everything to do with the fact that games for desktops are binary compatible with Windows, but by-and-large are not binary compatible with Linux.

    Steam isn't in a position to take DirectX/Windows binary products like CoD and make them run binary-compatibly and fast on Linux, whereas they probably could make games designed to run on normal Linux work straight out of the box. The problem is that DX/Win is where the money is, and so that's what developers write games for.

    If Steambox doesn't run AAA games out-of-the-box and within days of Launch on other platforms, it'll never be more than an also-ran.

  • Bass

    Ironically, Xbox 360 seems to be doing just fine being largely incompatible with Windows games. Valve has committed to porting all their games to GNU/Linux x86/x86-64, and they have already ported a big chunk of them and other game development houses are following suit, so there is definitely going to be a lot of titles available at launch, probably more than any consoles had.

    But yeah, if Valve does nothing but slap Ubuntu on a PC and put some blinky lights Valve logo on it, I agree probably won't be successful.

    Obviously they have to sweeten the deal a bit. The success of this thing revolves around how much they can leverage themselves as a premier game developer. I think Valve should make some exclusive DLC for SteamBox owners at least, if not an exclusive game or two. Definitely have some exclusive SteamBox content at launch. I'm sure they have a few tricks up their sleeves like this.

  • evildictait​or

    , Bass wrote

    Ironically, Xbox 360 seems to be doing just fine being largely incompatible with Windows games. Valve has committed to porting all their games to GNU/Linux x86/x86-64, and they have already ported a big chunk of them and other game development houses are following suit, so there is definitely going to be a lot of titles available at launch, probably more than any consoles had.

    I'm sure Steambox will be as successful as the Xbox. Just as soon as they get all of the major studios to support their platform, make sure that the hardware is comparatively cheap to the Xbox and the PS3 (i.e. by selling it at a loss), and by aggressively standardizing and branding the device hardware.

    They'd also need to get some exclusive AAA titles (like how Xbox has all of Fable and Halo for instance) in order to enter the market, and let's not forget that getting exclusivity on an AAA game for an entirely new console means writing the game yourself, or buying the company that makes it (Fable and Halo are both MS).

    So yeah, if Steam was willing to have games that runs on Steambox but not Steam (since that would dilute the exclusivity of the titles on their console), was willing to buy other games companies and put billions of dollars into entering this market as a level-player in the console business, then yes, maybe Steambox and Xbox 360 might be a viable comparison.

    But until then, not so much.

  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    , BitFlipper wrote

    @DeathByVisualStudio:

    We are not comparing Windows to consoles, we are comparing a SteamBox branded Linux gaming PC to a SteamBox branded Windows gaming PC. Agreed that if someone wants a "living room ready" gaming system then a console is better as there is no computer knowledge required but that is not what the comparison is here. It is whether SteamBox is better off shipping with Windows vs Linux.

    I'm just saying the argument is too narrowly scoped. Sure a gamer who wants to play Windows games would be better served on a Windows platform. I'm suggesting that the market for the SteamBox might be different.

    I never said "if it doesn't run on Windows it will suck." Once again a quote where I said or even implied this would be great, thanks. I'm saying for a gaming PC/console, existing content is king when you want to have a success. I'm certainly not a MS Kool-Aid drinking fanboy. I can point to many posts on this forum where I complain bitterly about MS, including hating Windows 8 so don't give me that crap.

    I never said you did. I said I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid. Sorry you took it personal.

    I'm asking why would you go with Linux as a gaming PC/console when with the exact same hardware you can get a gaming PC/console that starts out with an already huge catalog of existing games? It is a simple question, and yet no-one has been able to give me any advantage that it will have over a Windows, while I keep pointing out a gigantic disadvantage. The only advantage I can see is you don't need to pay for the Windows license, which is roughly the cost of one AAA game. But then you get a much much bigger selection of games out the gate. It's a no-brainer.

    Because maybe they are going a different direction with the SteamBox; not just a gaming console but a different experience altogether. I do think it will be an utter fail if they follow Microsoft's pattern of releasing just a PC/gaming console that doesn't bring something unique to the market and/or exceeds what the market currently has to offer. If they just puke out an unfinished turd like Windows 8 and say "it will get better later" they're not going to get many takers. They certainly don't have the lock-in that Windows does in shipping on all new PCs that would afford them the same illusion that Microsoft has in thinking that W8 and WP8 are well accepted by the market or is in some form a "success".

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
    Last modified
  • Bass

    , evildictait​or wrote

    *snip*

    I'm sure Steambox will be as successful as the Xbox. Just as soon as they get all of the major studios to support their platform, make sure that the hardware is comparatively cheap to the Xbox and the PS3 (i.e. by selling it at a loss), and by aggressively standardizing and branding the device hardware.

    They'd also need to get some exclusive AAA titles (like how Xbox has all of Fable and Halo for instance) in order to enter the market, and let's not forget that getting exclusivity on an AAA game for an entirely new console means writing the game yourself, or buying the company that makes it (Fable and Halo are both MS).

    So yeah, if Steam was willing to have games that runs on Steambox but not Steam (since that would dilute the exclusivity of the titles on their console), was willing to buy other games companies and put billions of dollars into entering this market as a level-player in the console business, then yes, maybe Steambox and Xbox 360 might be a viable comparison.

    But until then, not so much.

    I agree the chances this will unseat the major consoles is pretty slim, especially considering the billions of dollars of investment the major consoles spent to get where they are..

    But when you structure your business model such that you don't need to sell millions of consoles to make a return, it doesn't really matter. Like if I make $200 per console and my initial R&D was $250k, all I'd have to sell is 1250 consoles in total to make my investment back. I'll be more conservative at say $1 million initial R&D investment, which can easily pay for like 7-8 full time engineers working a whole year on the project, and you'd still make your money back with selling 5000 consoles.

    It's hard to say how popular this thing will be without knowing what Valve is planning though. One thing I can say is it's pretty silly to underestimate Valve's capabilities to make stuff people will want to buy, and unlike their competitors they do it without much of any public capital. The company is practically legendary in the games industry, and they show they can start entire new market without even trying (Steam).

  • evildictait​or

    , Bass wrote

    But when you structure your business model such that you don't need to sell millions of consoles to make a return, it doesn't really matter. Like if I make $200 per console and my initial R&D was $250k, all I'd have to sell is 1250 consoles in total to make my investment back. I'll be more conservative at say $1 million initial R&D investment, which can easily pay for like 7-8 full time engineers working a whole year on the project, and you'd still make your money back with selling 5000 consoles.

    Why would anyone pay you $1000 for the hardware, +$100 for assembly, +$200 for the retail cut + $200 for tax + $200 for your profit = $1700 for a device that has no exclusive games, and can't be used to do anything other than play games you can already play the games you can already play on your Windows desktop? Why wouldn't you just pay $1000 for a big Windows box and put Steam on it, and you can use the $700 bucks that you have left over to buy yourself a new Xbox and a PS3.

    At the moment I'm not convinced that they'll sell 5000 boxes. Consoles are not an easy market to get into, and I think SteamBox doesn't really have any features that anyone wants. It's going to be expensive for the hardware compared with other consoles (because of lack of subsidy), it'll have no exclusive titles, and even if it plays all Steam games, there's a whole load of major titles it'll be missing out on from Windows/PC, Xbox and PS3.

  • Bass

    But again this is all wild speculation and it's funny how far people are willing to make predictions using totally incomplete data. Reminds me of this:

    But at least Ballmer knew the initial price and a basic idea of it's capabilities. We don't know even know that much. It's like me saying Windows 9 will be a failure.

    There is a lot of buzz around this product. The fact that there are people that are going to such absurd and unusual lengths to spread negativity about this product without knowing anything about it.. that this thread is 5 pages long is interesting in its own right. When I see lots of  people talking about something, either dismissive or not, it personally increases my own desire to understand the product. It signals to me that this thing is has a good chance to be a "Big Deal", assuming Valve doesn't f**k it up somehow. We can't know.

  • evildictait​or

    , Bass wrote

    There is a lot of buzz around this product. The fact that there are people that are going to such absurd and unusual lengths to spread negativity about this product without knowing anything about it.. that this thread is 5 pages long is interesting in its own right. When I see lots of  people talking about something, either dismissive or not, it personally increases my own desire to understand the product. It signals to me that this thing is has a good chance to be a "Big Deal", assuming Valve doesn't f**k it up somehow. We can't know.

    There's a lot of buzz around cats with their heads through a piece of bread.

    Anyway, I wish Steam well. Let's revisit this thread in a few years and see how they do.

  • BitFlipper

    Part of the problem here is that when you read these interviews with Steam, it is clear they don't even know what SteamBox is going to be themselves. Any company that even attempts to break into this market needs real management with real ideas and not someone that thinks they have a vague idea of what they might possibly one day want to start thinking about developing. You need real R&D with real management, real market research and real capital.

    This reminds me a bit of OnLive. The same sort of buzz was around it and I knew at the time it was going to be a big flop. Yes not quite the same thing but just someone else that thought it was easy to take on the Big Boys. How's that working out...? Check this out.

Comments closed

Comments have been closed since this content was published more than 30 days ago, but if you'd like to continue the conversation, please create a new thread in our Forums, or Contact Us and let us know.