"Plenty of OEMs have lifted the veil on their planned Steam Machine products, but Dell really seems to want to break free of the pack with their Alienware-designed, small form factor machine that they unveiled at CES this week. It's surprisingly tiny, sleek and significantly smaller than the average game console, weighing only about 4 — 6 pounds fully configured. Dell had a prototype of the machine on hand that is mechanically exact, complete with IO ports and lighting accents. Dell also had a SteamOS-driven system running, though it was actually a modified Alienware system powering the action with Valve's innovative Steam Controller. In first-person shooters like Metro: Last Night that Dell was demonstrating, the left circular pad can be setup for panning and aiming in traditional AWSD fashion, while the right pad can be used for forward and back movement with triggers set up for firing and aiming down sights. You can, however, customize control bindings to your liking and share profiles and bindings with friends on the Steam network. What's notable about Dell's unveiling is that the Steam Machines initiative gained critical mass with a major OEM like Dell behind the product offering, in addition to the handful of boutique PC builders that have announced products thus far."
Troubles of the PC vendors
• Score: 3
I guess that in order to please the shareholders and ultimately survive in the business it's absolutely essential for the traditional PC vendors such as Dell to be innovative and seek and try out any possible new revenue streams, markets, and business models due to
the terrible shape of the industry... Five years ago the idea of starting to build and offer Linux based gaming boxes probably would've raisen rather unintentionally hilarious sentiments among the senior product management people of a PC vendor if someone would've dared to suggest something like that.
• Score: 5, Interesting
Funnily, when I got rid of my cable box, I realized that I lost my only way to quickly tell time in my living room. I took my old Android phone and cradled it on my stack to have a clock that's easily readable. Sure, I could get a clock for the wall or whatever, but that seems like more of a pain.
• Score: 5, Insightful
Two of the things I love about consoles are never having to check "System Requirements" or upgrade to support a new game.
Offset by 10 of the things I hate about consoles:
1) completely locked down
2) loaded with ads
3) games that are substantially more expensive
4) charge premiums for access basic features (e.g xbox gold)
5) artificial roadblocks to indie developers
6) artificial roadblocks to mods
7) demanding I have the disc in the drive, despite installing it to the hard drive
8) locking my online purchases to single physical console
9) arbitrary limitations on what controllers are available
10) 5 years out of date hardware on launch day
So, yeah, I can live with checking the box for requirements. To each their own, but I think that's the worst reason going to choose consoles.
For what its worth, I -do- have a Wii and WiiU, and I like them. For the last several generations now, Nintendo has had the least idiotic restrictions, and its relatively unique games library, and local multiplayer options have won me over my complaints. But the last playstation I owned was the PS1, and I've yet to have any interest in an xbox.
PC gaming had a rough batch of years for a while after the collapse of the retail market for games (when eb / gamestop etc all reduced their PC offering to one tiny shelf with some overpriced obsolete PC titles in beat up boxes).
But now, between Steam, GoG, Desura, Humble bundles, and the levelling off of the pc performance curve enabling gaming rigs to go for years without needing hardware to play ... the selection of games is enormous, and the prices are stupidly low.
Right now we are in a new golden age of PC games!
Now just give me a good joystick Space Sim in the vein of Privateer!
By Chandon Seldon
• Score: 5, Insightful
That hasn't been a serious thing in years. If you bought a decent gaming PC in 2006 you'd still be playing new games on it today.
• Score: 4, Interesting
Uhhh...did everybody forget those ubuntu netbooks and laptops already? Wow, short memories here. I can't say as i blame ya though as Dell has hell with Canonical, with them even having to keep their own fork because default ubuntu kept crapping on the drivers.
That said while I was all jazzed up about Steamboxes, now? Its a big meh. i mean the STARTING price is the same as the Xbone, and that is for the LOW END bottom o' the line system? Really? When you can get the octocore PS4 for $100 cheaper? I have a feeling this will go over like a lead balloon, the PC gamers already have Win 7 and DIY, the console gamers aren't gonna pay $100 more than a PS4 for an i3 unit that frankly if it weren't for the stylish case would go for $350 at Worst Buy, and the icing on the fail cake is just how little of the Steam catalog actually runs on the thing. I mean who is gonna want to pay $500 for a machine that gives you a worse catalog than just buying a $299 i3 Worst Buy special and adding an $80 HD7750?