Steam Box http://www.stuff.tv/valve/steam-box/features en-GB Valve Steam Machine http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-steam-machine-preview/review <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> UPDATED 04/02/14: Valve reveals Steam Music: play your tunes while you&#039;re gaming. Landing soon on SteamOS and Steam Big Picture Mode </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="975" height="731" title="Valve Steam Machine" alt="Valve Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/Valve-Steam-Machine.jpg?1391527984" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/esat-dedezade" title="View user profile.">Esat Dedezade</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/microsoft-xbox-one/review" target="_blank">Xbox One&nbsp;</a>and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/review" target="_blank">PS4</a>&nbsp;are right around the corner, and the entire gaming world is champing at the bit to dive into the glorious world of next-gen gaming goodness.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £-1.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default"> stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> What exactly is a Steam Machine? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A Steam Machine is a PC with components that meet Valve&#39;s minimal performance requirements to run Steam OS &ndash; Valve&#39;s open source Linux-based operating system that&#39;s designed and optimised for gaming.</p> <p>In essence, there&#39;s nothing separating a Steam Machine from a regular PC; you could install Windows on it if you wanted to and still access Valve&#39;s packed games library on the excellent Steam store.&nbsp;Valve&nbsp;has&nbsp;already&nbsp;released an update which optimises Steam for the big screen, and Steam OS will take this experience much further.</p> <p>The only thing that makes a Steam Machine a Steam Machine, then, is the sticker of approval that Valve slaps on it &ndash; indicating that it meets their minimum requirements.</p> <p>While those exact requirements remain a mystery, Valve has released the specs of various low, mid and high-range Steam Machines, which it will send out to 300 lucky beta testers.</p> <p>The full specs below feature processors and graphics cards which vary in power, and the price and performance differences between them can be massive.</p> <p>The least powerful graphics card &ndash; the GTX 660 &ndash; will set you back &pound;160 and is a close equivalent to the graphics cards found within the next-gen consoles.</p> <p>Compare that to the Nvidia GTX Titan with its &pound;770 price tag and ability to play games at above-full HD resolutions on multiple monitors, and you begin to get an idea of the degree of variation and power that PC gaming (and therefore, Steam Machines) have to offer.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.theverge.com/2013/11/4/5063760/we-try-the-steam-machine-valves-video-game-console-of-the-future" target="_blank">The Verge</a> spent some time with Valve&#39;s own Steam Machine prototype, and despite it being only slightly larger than an Xbox 360, it still manages to cram in a massive Nvidia GTX Titan graphics card - an impressive feat indeed.&nbsp;Not only that, but the components are seperated into seperate compartments for improved cooling and air flow.</p> <p>Unlike the PS4 and Xbox One, Steam Machines will vary in appearance, as manufacturers will naturally imbue their machines with their own design preferences.</p> <p>Valve&#39;s own reference Steam Machine lacks an optical drive, for example, but there&#39;s nothing stopping another manufacturer from installing an optical drive into its own Steam Machine, or swapping out a hard drive for a faster SSD.</p> <p>Valve will even release CAD files for its Steam Machine cases, just in case you want to make your own from scratch.</p> <p><strong>Update 05/12/13:</strong> Pixxl has revealed the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/pixxls-steam-machine-pc-will-hug-back-your-tv/news" target="_blank">Jetpack</a>, a SteamOS gaming PC that fits onto the back of your TV. Designed for TVs between 32in and 70in, the Jetpack packs in Core i7 processors and an Nvidia Titan graphics card, along with 1TB of SSD storage. It&#39;s available from 1st January, priced &pound;612.&nbsp;</p> <p>Specs-wise it offers a multicore AMD CPU and a dedicated AMD Radeon R9270 graphics card (which is worth US$180 on its own), along with a 500GB hard drive and Steam OS pre-installed. All that for US$500.</p> <p>The lack of Windows means that you&#39;ll be limited to Linux-compatible games only, but there&#39;s no reason why you couldn&#39;t install it yourself for full compatibility with all PC games.</p> <p><strong>Update 20/01/14:</strong>&nbsp;Valve&#39;s very own Gabe Newell has revealed in a <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/motorsports/comments/1v85hy/the_heart_of_racing_new_team_competing_in_uscc/ceqmaeq?context=3" target="_blank">Reddit AMA</a> that he would have no problem with loading EA&#39;s Origin service onto Steam Machines. This would open up the Linux-based OS to even more titles, which can only be beneficial to gamers.</p> <p>Valve employee Anna Sweet also <a href="http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/valve-is-looking-to-add-more-properties-to-the-steam-machines-1215506" target="_blank">confirmed</a> that the company wants to add music, movies and TV services to Steam OS before Steam Machines hit shelves.</p> <p>If Microsoft and Sony weren&#39;t already scared of Valve&#39;s upcoming PC army before, they certainly should be now.</p> <p><strong>Update 21/01/14:&nbsp;</strong>Valve has released a newer SteamOS beta which addresses numerous issues dedicated testers had with the first iteration.</p> <p>Setting up a dual-boot option should now be far less of a hassle than it was in the first iteration of the beta, and&nbsp;partition, recovery and DVD install support is also now included.</p> <p>Click <a href="http://steamcommunity.com/groups/steamuniverse/discussions/1/648817378243644036/#p1" target="_blank">here </a>to take it for spin yourself. Happy gaming.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/EFrL6-OhN94" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="639" height="400" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steam-os-2.jpg?1391527984" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="639" height="400" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steambox-1-.jpg?1391527984" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Steam Machine specs – taken from Steam Community </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The 300 prototype units will ship with the following components:&nbsp;</p> <p>GPU: some units with Nvidia Titan, some GTX780, some GTX760, and some GTX660&nbsp;</p> <p>CPU: some boxes with Intel i7-4770, some i5-4570, and some i3&nbsp;</p> <p>RAM: 16GB DDR3-1600 (CPU), 3GB GDDR5 (GPU)&nbsp;</p> <p>Storage: 1TB/8GB Hybrid SSHD&nbsp;</p> <p>Power supply: Internal 450w 80Plus Gold&nbsp;</p> <p>Dimensions: approx. 12 x 12.4 x 2.9 in high&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Music Steaming </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>While SteamOS is still very much in beta, that hasn&#39;t stopped Valve from announcing <a href="http://steamcommunity.com/groups/steammusic#announcements/detail/1498873168009439000" target="_blank">Steam Music</a>.</p> <p>Steam Music takes the locally stored music on your PC and lets you play it directly in the Steam UI (or Steam&#39;s Big Picture Mode if you don&#39;t have a Steam Machine).</p> <p>Selected beta members will get access to the service soon, and a desktop version of the player is incoming.</p> <p>At the moment, you&#39;re unable to purchase or subscribe to music in the same way you can with subscription services like Google Play and Spotify, but this is definitely an exciting step in the right direction.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Steam Music" alt="Steam Music" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steam-music.jpg?1391527984" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A closer look </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Images of the Steam Machine console have trickled out online from some of the 300 lucky beta testers who have received their units.</p> <p><a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/1swi29/the_steam_machinebox_came/" target="_blank">Reddit</a> user colbehr has kindly shared shots of everything from the packaging and instruction leaflet to the Steam Machine itself, and it&#39;s looking very sexy indeed.</p> <p>Smaller than a hulking gaming rig and littered with connections, this particular Steam Machine packs quite the gaming punch, with an Intel i5-4570 processor, 16GB of RAM and a beastly Nvidia GTX 780 graphics card with 3GB of video memory. Take that, next-gen consoles.</p> <p>Sadly there&#39;s no pricing information available for this setup, but seeing as the GTX 780 wil run you back &pound;400 alone, it&#39;ll be well outside the console price territory.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="911" height="683" title="Valve Steam Machine" alt="Valve Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steam-machine-beta-1.jpg?1391527984" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="911" height="683" title="Valve Steam Machine" alt="Valve Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steam-machine-beta-2.jpg?1391527984" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="683" height="512" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steam-machine-beta-3.jpg?1391527984" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-4"> <div class="field-label">Image #4:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_4" width="911" height="683" title="Valve Steam Machine" alt="Valve Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steam-machine-beta-4.jpg?1391527984" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Meet the Steam Machines </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The first third-party Steam machines have <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valves-steam-machines-revealed/news" target="_blank">officially been unveiled at CES</a>, and they&#39;re going to arrive in a smattering of shapes and sizes. Here are some of the highlights:</p> <p><strong>Alienware</strong><br />Alienware&#39;s Steam Machine is probably the best-looking of the bunch, with its glowing angular corner and stealth black looks. Shame there&#39;s no pricing or spec information at this stage.</p> <p><strong>Digital Storm Bolt II</strong><br />The Bolt II packs in a Core i7 4770K processor, 16GB RAM and a GTX 780 TI graphis card, with a cavernous 1TB hard drive and a 120GB SSD. No wonder it costs US$2585.</p> <p><strong>Update 20/04/13:</strong>&nbsp;Dell has <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2014/01/15/alienware-steam-machine-september/" target="_blank">confirmed</a> that the Alienware Steam Machine will be released in September, hopefully with multiple configurations and different price points supported right off the bat.</p> <p>In an interview with <a href="http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/alienware-we-will-launch-new-steam-machines-every-year" target="_blank">Trusted Reviews</a>, Alienware&#39;s General Manager also stated that the company is planning to release a new Steam Machine every year. </p> <p>Although he suggested that gamers could customise options like processors and amount of RAM at launch, swapping out components like the graphics card later down the line will not be possible. Boo, hiss.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Valve Steam Machine" alt="Valve Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/alienware-steam-machine_0.jpg?1391527984" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="567" height="425" title="Valve Steam Machine" alt="Valve Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/digital-storm-steam-machine_0.jpg?1391527984" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Falcon Northwest Tiki</strong><br />Falcon Northwest&#39;s Tiki comes in a perfectly hideous/stylish (depending on your taste) airbrushed case, and is the most expensive of the lot &ndash; starting at US$1800 and going all the way up to US$6000, depending on how you configure it. Yikes.</p> <p>The spec list includes a Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan graphics card, up to 6TB storage and between 8 and 16GB RAM. In other words, it&#39;ll make mincemeat out of the Xbox One and PS4 when specced up to its full potential</p> <p><strong>iBuypower</strong><br />In the much more affordable camp, we have iBuypower&#39;s offering.&nbsp;US$500will net you an Intel or AMD quad-core processor, 8GB RAM, Radeon GCN Graphics and 500GB of storage.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Valve Steam Machine" alt="Valve Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/falcon-steam-machine_1.jpg?1391527984" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Valve Steam Machine" alt="Valve Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/ibuypower-steam-machine_0.jpg?1391527984" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Origin PC&#39;s Chronos </strong><br />The Chronos&nbsp;will land in various configurations, starting with a Core i7 4770K, up to 32GB RAM, 2 6GB Nvidia Geforce GTX Titans and up to 14TB of storage. The price has yet to be confirmed, but with a fully-kitted out spec sheet, it&#39;ll likely be in sell-your-second-car territory.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Valve Steam Machine" alt="Valve Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/origin-steam-machine_0.jpg?1391527984" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-6"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The Steam Controller </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Valve&#39;s new controller is a mix between a traditional console gamepad and a laptop trackpad.</p> <p>It has two large clickable circular trackpads which Valve believes offers greater fidelity than traditional joysticks. There&#39;s also a clickable touchscreen nestled in the centre which can also display actions and additional controls.</p> <p>With 16 buttons in total, as well as the ability to reconfigure controls (useful for lefties), the open sourced hackable controller has certainly sparked our curiosity, and compatibility with existing Windows PCs is a plus too.</p> <p><strong>UPDATE:</strong>&nbsp;Valve has released a video showing the Steam controller in action, with first person shooters and a real time strategy game being used to demonstrate the level of control offered by both trackpads.</p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/ces-2014/hands-valves-steam-controller/news" target="_blank">Check out our Steam controller hands-on preview</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/eeAjkbNq4xI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="604" height="453" title="Valve Steam Machine" alt="Valve Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steam-controller_0_0.jpg?1391564716" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="567" height="425" title="Valve Steam Machine" alt="Valve Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/controller-bindings_0.jpg?1391564716" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-7"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Update 16/01/14:</strong>&nbsp;Valve has revealed that it&#39;s planning to tweak the design of the Steam controller.</p> <p>While the dual trackpads will remain put, Valve is ditching the touchscreen as it believes it&#39;s redundant and distracting.</p> <p>Instead, Valve is implementing a feature called Ghost Mode. In essence, when you move your thumb over the Steam controller&#39;s touchpad, you&#39;ll see a &#39;ghostly image&#39; of your thum on-screen, allowing you to press the virtual buttons displayed there.</p> <p>Not only that, but Valve is also re-shuffling the ABXY buttons into a more familiar diamond shape which will make it easier for people to adjust to from the existing Xbox 360 controller.</p> <p>A directional pad might also be in the works, and Valve confirmed that it will run on standard AA batteries, though we hope there&#39;s an Xbox-like Play and Charge Kit in the works too.</p> <p>Lastly, Valve revealed that up to 16 controllers can be supported at once.</p> <p>We&#39;re going to need a bigger couch.</p> <p>[Image source - <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2014/1/15/5312452/steam-controller-ditches-the-touchscreen-for-better-backwards" target="_blank">@TheIneQuation</a>]</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="908" height="681" title="Valve Steam Machine" alt="Valve Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/new%20steam%20controller.jpg?1391527984" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-8"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Virtual whispers </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Steam Machine could, at some point, also support virtual reality hardware similar to that of the Oculus Rift headset pictured above.</p> <p>While it sounds like a rumour fuelled by the wishful thinking of gamers, <a href="http://www.steamdevdays.com/?p=sessions" target="_blank">Valve itself</a> has fanned the flames by announcing that it will show off a prototype of what it thinks affordable virtual reality hardware will be capable of at its Developer Days conference next January</p> <p>Two virtual reality sessions called &quot;What VR Could, Should, and Almost Certainly Will Be within Two Years&quot; and &quot;Virtual Reality and Steam&quot; have been scheduled for the conference, which strongly suggests that virtual reality is, at the very least an area which Valve is dipping its toes in, if it hasn&#39;t already changed into its trunks and jumped in behind closed doors already.</p> <p>Valve also stated that it will demonstrate Steam VR overlay software alongside its prototype, as well as specific changes to the Steam store to accommodate the new VR interface.</p> <p>Will the Steam Machine launch with a VR headset? It&#39;s too early to say, but it&#39;s definitely more than just wishful thinking at this stage. We guess the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/oculus/who-needs-3d-movies-zero-point-worlds-first-360-degree-film-oculus-rift-headset/news" target="_blank">Oculus Rift</a> will have to keep us busy until we find out more info...</p> <p><strong>Update 14/01/14</strong>&nbsp;Valve has launched the <a href="http://steamcommunity.com/app/250820/discussions/0/630802344730488459/" target="_blank">SteamVR beta</a> - an Oculus Rift-optimised version of Steam that&#39;s designed to take advantage of the Rift&#39;s virtual reality magic.</p> <p>Oculus Rift owners can try out the mode right now by starting Steam with &quot;-vr&quot; on the command line, followed by pressing the Big Picture button to enter the made-for-VR version of Steam&#39;s Big Picture mode.</p> <p>Once that&#39;s done you&#39;ll be treated to a large curved virtual display, which you can navigate with your head movements.</p> <p>Stay tuned for more news from Valve&#39;s Steam Dev Days event, where more will be revealed.</p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/face-review-oculus-rift-crystal-cove/feature" target="_blank">Check out our Oculus Rift Crystal Cove hands-on review from CES</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="604" height="453" title="Valve Steam Machine" alt="Valve Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/oculus-rift.jpg?1391527984" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-9"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Price and release date </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Valve is a notoriously secretive company (just try asking them when Half-Life 3 will be out), and it&#39;s keeping its lips tightly sealed regarding release dates and prices for the various Steam Machines. We&#39;ll be updating this preview with new information as and when we get it, so stay tuned.</p> <p><strong>Update 12/12/13:</strong> Valve has announced that gamers will be able to download Steam OS from 13 December. That&#39;s also the date when 300 lucky US beta testers will be receiving their Steam Machines ahead of the general 2014 launch, which still hasn&#39;t received a solid date.</p> <p><strong>Update 07/01/14:</strong> Valve has revealed a host of third-party <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valves-steam-machines-revealed/news" target="_blank">Steam Machines</a> at <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/ces-2013/ces-2014-biggest-stories-so-far/feature" target="_blank">CES 2014</a>.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="713" height="535" title="Valve Steam Machine" alt="Valve Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/valve-logo.jpg?1391564716" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Preview </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-carousel-item"><legend>Carousel Extras</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-title"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Third-party Steam Machine revealed </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-steam-machine-preview/review" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-steam-machine-preview/review#comments CES 2014 Gaming Steam Box Valve Tue, 04 Feb 2014 15:33:08 +0000 Esat Dedezade 1427750 at http://www.stuff.tv Haptics, trackballs and Cheeto dust: How Valve built the game controller of the future http://www.stuff.tv/controller/how-valve-built-controller-future/feature <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> We investigate the evolution of the Steam Controller, from mutant trackball to the final, complete reinvention of the gamepad </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="How Valve built the game controller of the future" alt="How Valve built the game controller of the future" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/all-steam-controller.jpg?1391708713" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Earlier this month, we visited Valve&rsquo;s headquarters in Bellevue, Washington for an exclusive look at the development of the mould-breaking Steam controller.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/will-dunn" title="View user profile.">Will Dunn</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> You can’t magically support something new </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Whether or not you&rsquo;re convinced by the Steam controller, there&rsquo;s no denying that it is definitely a New Idea. With flat trackpads instead of sticks and buttons in unexpected places, it makes even the PS4&rsquo;s touchpad-toting controller look unimaginative. But why did Valve make one in the first place?</p> <p>&ldquo;For a few years now&rdquo;, say Greg, &ldquo;our customers have been asking us to solve a problem, which was that they had to give up all their games when they go to play in the living room. To do that you need three things: hardware, like a <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-steam-machine-preview/review">Steam Machine</a>, input and an <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/valve/hands-steamos/feature">operating system</a>.</p> <p>&quot;At first, our goal for our input device wasn&rsquo;t all that clear. We were doing some experiments on wearable computing and virtual reality, but for the living room, we needed an input device that was able to play the whole Steam catalogue, without requiring somebody to bring a mouse and keyboard onto the sofa with it. So we looked at what PC gaming uses by default, and of course that&rsquo;s a mouse and keyboard.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;We realised we had to make the games <em>think</em> they&rsquo;re being played by those traditional devices, because there&rsquo;s no way we can update all those titles to have some new input method - they were never built for a game controller, and every development team has since disbanded. You can&rsquo;t just crack a few thousand games open to magically support something new. So that was our goal: to translate between the expectation of a mouse and keyboard, and the actual buttons and surfaces on the controller.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong>: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-steam-machine-preview/review">Valve Steam Machine preview</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="They began by hacksawing an Xbox controller in half. Really. " alt="How Valve built the game controller of the future" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/IMGP0980.jpg?1391708713" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Also usable as a Batarang" alt="How Valve built the game controller of the future" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/IMGP0968.jpg?1391708713" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" title="The wires just plug themselves right into your hand" alt="How Valve built the game controller of the future" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/IMGP0977.jpg?1391708713" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The Cheeto Dust problem </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>If Valve was going to trick every game into its 3000-plus catalogue into thinking they were being played by traditional means, it would need a new device. Possibly quite a weird one. </p><p>&ldquo;With a mouse and keyboard, you&rsquo;ve got 104 keys in one hand, and a super-high-resolution 2D pointing device in the other. We started building controllers that had tons of buttons on them, and controllers that all kinds of different methods of doing that high-resolution 2D pointing. One of the early front-runners was a trackball.</p> <p>&quot;We built a lot of prototypes that had a trackball on the right-hand side. We had small trackballs, we tried cueball-sized trackballs that punched all the way through to the back of the controller so that the ball&rsquo;s being held around its middle, and you can hold the whole thing and have really precise input. That was great, because you could spin it and stop it with your fingers at the back of the pad. Trackballs are actually really, really good in terms of 2D pointing. It&rsquo;s precise and high-resolution, and it gives you a lot of physical control.&quot;&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;But it also had some downsides: it&rsquo;s asymmetrical, for one thing, so right-handed only; different people liked different configurations, so it&rsquo;s not a one-size-fits-all solution; and a trackball has a lot of moving parts, which means you&rsquo;re going to get a lot of Cheeto dust stuck in there.&quot; [<em>For readers not familiar with Cheetos, they are a cheese puff snack, larger than a UK standard Wotsit but not as nice</em>].</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="You got a lot of balls" alt="How Valve built the game controller of the future" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/IMGP0979.jpg?1391708713" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Your balls are on the line" alt="How Valve built the game controller of the future" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/IMGP0974.jpg?1391708713" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" title="Havin&#039; a ball" alt="How Valve built the game controller of the future" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/IMGP0975.jpg?1391708713" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The importance of haptics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Stumped by the Cheeto Dust Problem, Valve began investigating other means of control.</p> <p>&ldquo;When we started trying trackpads, they were way behind trackballs for a long time. It wasn&rsquo;t until we started changing the software that began to see its potential. There wasn&rsquo;t a ton of physical differentiation between the prototypes, but in the firmware, there was a tremendous amount of work that we were doing to get the trackpad to behave differently for different kinds of games. We started to think, this is more promising, because it gives us more power as software developers to adapt to the requirements of a different games, or to games in the future that we haven&rsquo;t thought of yet.</p> <p>For a while, we thought touch input was so strong that we even went off past trackpads and investigated touch input across an whole flat surface. It was useful to try that, but it taught us that wasn&rsquo;t where we wanted to go - often we ended up needing to have a divided experience, where you&rsquo;re looking down at your hands a lot and then up at the screen, and the tactile feeling of a controller was absent.</p> <p>It also taught us how important haptic feedback is for any touch device. That channel of information from the touch input device to the user&rsquo;s hands is vital. It can carry a number of different kinds of information on what&rsquo;s happening in the game, but on a nuts and bolts level it tells you what part of the touch surface you&rsquo;re using. We subdivide those surfaces into slices, or concentric rings, and those boundaries are impossible for the player to detect unless you have haptic feedback.&rdquo;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="For a while, the Steam controller looked like this" alt="How Valve built the game controller of the future" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/IMGP0973.jpg?1391708713" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A trackball that isn&#039;t a trackball </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It was at this point that the pieces of the puzzle came together. The problem was that Valve wanted a trackball that wasn&rsquo;t a trackball. The solution was to make exactly that: a virtual trackball.</p> <p>&ldquo;Once we started looking at haptic feedback, we realised it could also help us hold on to all the things we had achieved when building around a trackball. The little electromagnets in there are so precise that they can emulate the momentum in a physical ball. The user can feel that the ball is spinning fast, or it&rsquo;s slowing down, or it has stopped. So you can toss the virtual ball and have it feel like it&rsquo;s spinning under your thumb, then plant your thumb on it and have it quickly come to rest again. And that channel of information makes it easy to use. It makes you aware, even before you&rsquo;re seeing the results on screen, that you&rsquo;re speeding up or turning or stopping.&quot;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Come see my pad" alt="How Valve built the game controller of the future" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/IMGP0972.jpg?1391708713" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Nice pad you got here" alt="How Valve built the game controller of the future" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/IMGP0967.jpg?1391708713" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" title="Insert pad pun here" alt="How Valve built the game controller of the future" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/IMGP0976.jpg?1391708713" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A Steam controller will make you a better gamer </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>After a few minutes of play on the Steam controller, one of the first things you notice is that you hold it differently. The lobes of the controller body may look Xbox-esque, but they feel different, pushing into your hand in a slightly alien way.</p> <p>&ldquo;We did a lot of testing on hand position&rdquo;, explains Greg, &ldquo;and we started with setups that were arranged in the generic shape of a gamepad with the trackpad just kind of slapped on top. That results in a hand position where your whole thumb, the flat pad of your thumb, lays across the pad, which is less precise because it&rsquo;s trying to compute the absolute centre of that big region all the time. On the Steam controller, the touchpads have been dug in, and tilted to face you. They&rsquo;ve also been tilted outward slightly: along with the shape of the controller body, that makes the natural position to place the tip of your thumb on the touchpad. It&rsquo;s meant to help you position in a natural, relaxed way, with your thumb in the right position. This results in a much more precise control - orders of magnitude more precise.&rdquo;</p> <p>And Valve says its extensive testing indicates that a Steam controller could actually make you a better gamer.</p> <p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s something inherent about it&rdquo;, says Greg, &ldquo;that teaches you how to hold it right from the start. It&rsquo;s not your larger muscle groups you&rsquo;re using, it&rsquo;s your fine motor skills. Thumbsticks have made it so that FPSs are mostly developed with a certain amount of auto-aim turned on, but with the Steam controller, it&rsquo;s no longer necessary to have auto-aim because of the fidelity and resolution of the trackpad. By the time people get used to it, they report - and the data shows - that they quickly surpass what they would have been able to achieve with a thumbstick controller.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong>: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/ces-2014/hands-valves-steam-controller/news">Hands-on with the Steam Controller</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="The central touch panel has been replaced - beta testers preferred buttons" alt="How Valve built the game controller of the future" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/IMGP0966.jpg?1391708713" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Late Steam controller prototype" alt="How Valve built the game controller of the future" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/IMGP0965.jpg?1391708713" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" title="Late Steam controller prototype" alt="How Valve built the game controller of the future" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/IMGP0964.jpg?1391708713" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Game controls go open source </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Where console gamers all have broadly the same experience, PC gaming is a world built around tinkering and customisation. And for Valve, the only successful controller will be an open controller.</p> <p>&ldquo;In the past, with any new game controller, you spend a bunch of time configuring it. Hardware manufacturers usually make software that tries to make that easier, but usually those pieces of software are terrible. So we&rsquo;re not going to try to author default controls for every game: we&rsquo;re going to rely on the community, in a way that&rsquo;s similar to Steam Workshop, to create controller bindings that make sense for each game.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;People will be able to browse each other&rsquo;s configurations and make their own, and if they add one that&rsquo;s better than the existing default and lots of people like it and use it - that&rsquo;ll become the default set of controls. Even in our own games, we haven&rsquo;t done the work to natively support the controller with its own API. So when you play <em>Portal</em> with a Steam controller, the games believes it&rsquo;s being played by a keyboard and mouse.&rdquo;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="The guts of a Steam controller" alt="How Valve built the game controller of the future" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/IMGP0969_0.jpg?1391708713" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-6"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Thumb kind of monster </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Valve&rsquo;s office is, like most offices anywhere in the Seattle area, a 30-second walk from a Microsoft building. When asked how they felt when they heard Microsoft had spent $100 million on its new Xbox controller, Anna and Greg are amused.&nbsp;&ldquo;It wasn&rsquo;t tremendously surprising that they spent that much money, but the odd part was that they seemed so <em>proud</em> of it. That was only one part of the development of their new platform, so... it was an odd thing to base a wave of PR around.&rdquo; </p><p>And while the company has a reputation for secrecy, its hardware development has benefited from being conducted, at least partly, out in the open.</p> <p>&ldquo;We feel fortunate because we&rsquo;re accomplishing a lot with a smaller team size than other companies have. By having people beta-test our work in public, we&rsquo;re gaining a tremendous amount of confidence in our decision-making, and that&rsquo;s that&rsquo;s not something it seems like other companies are built to do.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>There&#39;s a flipside to involving your community: while gamers have always viewed Microsoft and Sony as standard, self-interested megacorporations, Valve has 65 million fans - fans who will be loudly disappointed if this first foray into hardware doesn&#39;t cut the mustard. And as with any mould-breaking technology, many will write it off before trying it (some already have) but if this controller suceeds, it&#39;ll change thumb-twiddling forever.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong>: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-headquarters-coolest-office-world/feature">Stuff visits Valve&#39;s mysterious factory of wonder (well, its office)</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="How Valve built the game controller of the future" alt="How Valve built the game controller of the future" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steam-controllers-all.jpg?1391708713" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-carousel-item"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-title"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Full Steam Ahead </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-standfirst"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item standfirst:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> How Valve built the game controller of the future </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/controller/how-valve-built-controller-future/feature" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/controller/how-valve-built-controller-future/feature#comments Controller Gaming Steam Box SteamOS Valve Fri, 31 Jan 2014 15:29:55 +0000 Will Dunn 1431860 at http://www.stuff.tv Valve Headquarters is the coolest office in the world http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-headquarters-coolest-office-world/feature <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Like a wide-eyed boy who has unexpectedly gained access to a chocolate factory, we visited the world&#039;s most secretive games company </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="&quot;When you turn it, information is released onto the internet.&quot;" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/IMGP0991.jpg?1390989123" /> </div> </div> </div> <p class="p1">The building Google Maps claims is the headquarters of <a href="https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=Valve+Corporation,+Bellevue,+WA,+United+States&amp;hl=en&amp;sll=47.612304,-122.195649&amp;sspn=0.005085,0.013078&amp;oq=valve+&amp;gl=uk&amp;hq=Valve+Corporation,+Bellevue,+WA,+United+States&amp;t=m&amp;z=16">Valve Corporation</a> is a very big, shiny, anonymous-looking building in a sprawl of other very big, shiny, anonymous-looking buildings in downtown Bellevue, Washington.&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/will-dunn" title="View user profile.">Will Dunn</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="p1">The Valve stronghold actually takes up five floors of this massive building, of which I get to see about one and a half, but it is the coolest office I&rsquo;ve ever visited (sorry, Google). Mostly because this is where the <em>Half-Life</em>, <em>Portal</em> and <em>Left 4 Dead</em> series were developed (and, so millions of gamers fervently hope, are still being developed), but also because they&#39;ve got a lot of fancy stuff. The shelves are festooned with custom-made statues, and a gravity gun and Portal gun are propped up on the desks. There&rsquo;s an alien barnacle on the ceiling, a crowbar hanging from a pinboard and in the reception, a really, really big valve. A present to Gabe Newell from his brother, it&rsquo;s a reclaimed pressure controller from a ship, a pleasingly massive red wheel on a solid brass mount the size of a fat ten-year-old. It weighs as much as a small car, and the floor beneath it had to be reinforced with extra beams when Valve moved in. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve had five people try to lift that thing&rdquo; says Joel Hatfield. &ldquo;They can&rsquo;t even tip it. I like to think that when you turn it, information is released onto the internet.&rdquo;</p> <p class="p1">I give a spin, but <em>Portal 3</em> fails to materialise. &nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="951" title="The headcrab scuttled off before we could take a picture" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/IMGP1008.jpg?1390989123" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="p1">And then, of course, I&rsquo;m greeted by Gordon Freeman. Not the actual Gordon Freeman - he&rsquo;s in an extra-dimensional holding state, obviously, preparing for Unforeseen Consequences - but Greg Coomer, a long-time Valve employee who was one of the original head models for The Freeman. He&rsquo;s wearing glasses. The goatee is missing, but he does look - to a misty-eyed Valve fan - quite a lot like Gordon Freeman. With him is Anna Sweet, who thankfully doesn&rsquo;t look like Alyx Vance, or I&rsquo;d be crawling through an air duct cackling excitedly about headcrabs by now. Anna and Greg are two of the leading figures on the Steam Machine project, but they don&#39;t have job titles; the company is very proudly &lsquo;boss-free&rsquo;, with no chain of command and no limit on the amount of holiday or sick leave an employee can take.</p> <p class="p1">Valve relies heavily on community, both at a customer level - every decision on the design of <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/valve/hands-steamos/feature">Steam OS</a> and <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/ces-2014/hands-valves-steam-controller/news">its new controller</a> has been informed by the reactions of the 65-million-strong Steam community and 300 lucky Steam gamers who were picked to test a prototype Steam Machine - and internally, with employees effectively voting for each other&rsquo;s projects by choosing to work on them. The desks famously have wheels to allow people to move around the building as they pick different things to work on. As Anna shows me around a floor of engineers and industrial designers prototyping hardware, she points out Frank: &ldquo;Frank&rsquo;s one of our lawyers, but he&rsquo;s doing a bunch of work to do with the hardware side of things, so he&rsquo;s moved here.&rdquo; In a lot of workplaces, allowing employees to pick how and where they worked would spell disaster, but at Valve it&rsquo;s a recipe that makes billions. Does this do-what-you-want culture ever backfire on them?</p> <p class="p1">&ldquo;Sometimes. What makes it work is that everyone tells everyone else about what they&rsquo;re working on, and the measure of whether your work is successful is whether other people will join you and start working on your project. We&rsquo;ve had to turn down people who are absolutely at the top of their field, in some cases very well-known, because we thought they might not fit with this way of working.&rdquo;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1201" height="900" title="In times of crisis, this can be used as America&#039;s largest cheesegrater" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/IMGP1007.jpg?1390989123" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="p1">As we continue our tour of the hardware development floor - a floor that I am Definitely Not Allowed to take any pictures of - Anna shows me the banks of 3D printers they use to run off prototype controllers, boxes of which are lined up in racks along a wall. It&rsquo;s a Cambrian explosion of controllers, evolution throwing up form after form: angular pads with flat touchscreens, chunky Sega-esque pads with sticks, N64-style pads with alien-looking lobes and trackballs instead of sticks. One can be used like a normal gamepad, but has a line of magnets down the middle that allows it to be cracked in half and used as a Wii-style motion controller.</p> <p class="p1">We continue past a couple of spaces in which the walls are covered with what look like QR codes, and Anna explains they&rsquo;re visual cues for the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/oculus/valve-s-vr-headset-even-better-oculus-rift/news">virtual reality equipment their R&amp;D guys are testing</a>. A number of Oculus Rift units, including one that looks like a <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/face-review-oculus-rift-crystal-cove/feature">Crystal Cove</a>, are being worked on among boxes of electrical and optical components, and a thing that looks like a huge Kinect stands on a tripod in the middle of the room. It&rsquo;s probably a 3D camera, although it might also be a sentry.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="899" title="One controller had a tiny mouth that sighed you when you shot a good guy" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/IMGP0981.jpg?1390989123" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="p1">Back in the demo room, I&rsquo;m given some time on a prototype Steam Machine - I stop and gawp for a long moment when I realise it has free access to <em>every single one</em> of the more than 3000 games on Steam - and at last get my paws on that strange-looking controller. It&rsquo;s difficult to believe it will be any good until you actually get it in your hands, because it&rsquo;s all about feeling - specifically, haptic feedback.</p> <p class="p1">The thing about Steam&rsquo;s new controller is that those pads aren&rsquo;t really pads: they&rsquo;re virtual trackballs. A lot of Valve&rsquo;s prototypes used real trackballs, and when you&rsquo;re not looking at the controller it feels as if there&#39;s a kind of ethereal golf ball beneath each thumb. The controller is shaped so that your thumb stands on point, rather than mushing flatly against the surface. This improves accuracy and sensitivity, and also makes the pad less sweaty, because the shape and the control scheme means you hold it more gently than a traditional thumbstick pad. When the tip of your thumb moves across the pads, they click gently. Tiny actuators give a very fine degree of haptic feedback that makes it feel as if you are rolling a ball covered in little dents; flick your right thumb quickly across the surface and it whirrs and then slows down, exactly like a spinning ball. The left &lsquo;ball&rsquo;, which replaces&nbsp;the WASD keys,&nbsp;clicks relatively slowly, like the gentle rubbery clicking of a mouse wheel. The right &lsquo;ball&rsquo;, which replaces the mouse, feels lighter and faster, giving you more speed and sensitivity for fast aiming. It makes you realise what incredibly sensitive instruments your hands are, and how&nbsp;much information you can get through them&nbsp;- the speed of the virtual trackball lets you feel how fast you&#39;re moving even before your eyes register the change on screen.</p> <p class="p1">For anyone who plays console games already, the transition to a Steam Machine controller should be pretty straightforward. I am a ham-fisted n00b of the first order, but I was jumping around <em>Portal</em> quite happily within a few minutes. I didn&rsquo;t take quite so easily to the less familiar <em>Trine 2</em>, a platformer which uses a mouse pointer for aiming ranged weapons, until we took a look at some other control mapping options for the game which had been suggested by the community of beta testers on the prototype machines. I picked the most popular control map for the game, resumed and found it a lot easier. When you have 65 million gamers to mine for feedback, it makes the right answer a lot easier to find.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1191" height="900" title="It also opens the occasional inter-dimensional rift" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/IMGP0989.jpg?1390989123" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="p1">As the demo draws to a close, we go through a little fact-checking and I decide I might as well try my luck.</p> <p class="p1">&ldquo;...and just remind me, when did you say the release date for <em>Half-Life 3</em> was?&rdquo;</p> <p class="p1">Greg grins. &ldquo;Oh, you missed it the first time we said it?&rdquo;</p> <p class="p1">I stare studiously at my notebook, biro hovering expectantly over the page.</p> <p class="p1">&ldquo;You&rsquo;re just gonna get blank stares from us on that one.&rdquo;</p> <p class="p1">Aww.</p> <p class="p1"><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-steam-machine-preview/review" target="_blank">Valve Steam Machine preview</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="It&#039;ll turn up, just give it another 10 years" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/half-life-2_1.jpg?1390989123" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-carousel-item"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-title"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Opening the Valve </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-standfirst"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item standfirst:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Stuff visits Valve HQ. Yes, we asked about Half-Life 3 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-headquarters-coolest-office-world/feature" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-headquarters-coolest-office-world/feature#comments Gaming Half-Life 3 Steam Box SteamOS Valve Sat, 18 Jan 2014 12:28:33 +0000 Will Dunn 1431417 at http://www.stuff.tv Fully Charged: Winamp lives on, SteamVR announced and Moto G gets stock Android http://www.stuff.tv/fully-charged-winamp-lives-steamvr-announced-and-moto-g-gets-stock-android/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> All the morning’s biggest and best tech news stories in one place </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Winamp lives on" alt="Winamp lives on" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/winamp-logo%20%281%29.jpg?1389839850" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/sam-kieldsen" title="View user profile.">Sam Kieldsen</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Winamp saved from certain death </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Veteran media play app Winamp was <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/fully-charged-build-your-own-iron-throne-winamp-saved-death-and-white-xbox-one-you-ll-never-own/news">all set for the software version of the glue factory</a>, with owner AOL looking to ditch it as part of a money-saving drive &ndash; but an eleventh hour intervention has given it new life.</p> <p>Belgian digital audio startup Radionomy has acquired both Winamp and media streaming service Shoutcast from AOL in a cash-plus-shares deal. Shoutcast will be integrated into Radionomy&rsquo;s existing digital radio service, while Winamp will remain much as it is today &ndash; a media player compatible with almost every format and access to 60,000 internet radio stations.</p> <p><strong>[Source: <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/14/aol-sells-winamp-and-shoutcast-for-5-10m-to-radionomy-takes-12-stake-in-belgian-digital-audio-company/">TechCrunch</a>]</strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> NES carts transformed into amazing 8-bit harmonicas </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>YouTube user Besami Sentaku has found a brilliant new purpose for those old NES cartridges: filling their shells with electronics that enable them to function like electronic harmonicas.</p> <p>Blow on where the contacts would have been and be transported back to the 80s by glorious 8-bit sounds. Get a few of them together &ndash; as seen in the video above &ndash; and you could even create your own chiptune orchestra.</p> <p><strong>[Source: <a href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57617140-1/8bit-harmonica-blow-into-your-cartridge-for-music/">CNET</a>]</strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/pLpDXkMQmcc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Valve launches SteamVR mode for Oculus Rift </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Valve has been a supporter of <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/oculus">Oculus Rift</a> from almost the very beginning, but now the company is starting to get truly serious about virtual reality by launching a SteamVR mode for its Steam gaming service.</p> <p>Available now, SteamVR allows owners of an Oculus Rift dev kit to try out an &ldquo;experimental&rdquo; virtual reality mode in games like Half-Life 2. Being experimental, stability is far from guaranteed (judging by the comments underneath&rsquo;s Valve&rsquo;s announcement, there are several issues to work through at the moment), but as a taste of what&rsquo;s to come in the future it&rsquo;s exciting stuff.</p> <p><strong>[Source: <a href="http://steamcommunity.com/app/250820/discussions/0/630802344730488459/">Steam Community</a>]</strong></p> <p><strong>READ MORE:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/face-review-oculus-rift-crystal-cove/feature">Stuff&#39;s Oculus Rift Crystal Cove hands-on review</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="604" height="453" title="Valve launches SteamVR mode for Oculus Rift" alt="Valve launches SteamVR mode for Oculus Rift" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/oculus-rift-2%20%281%29.jpg?1389839850" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Motorola Moto G getting stock Android edition </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Motorola has announced that the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/motorola/motorola-moto-g/review">Moto G</a>, its wonderfully affordable smartphone, is to get a stock Android &ldquo;Google Play Edition&rdquo; &ndash; at least in the US.</p> <p>In the US, the Moto G Google Play Edition strips out the few Motorola additions to the Android OS, leaving the phone with the same platform as you&rsquo;d find on the Nexus 4 or Nexus 5. The price for the phone is the same: US$180 for an 8GB model and US$200 for a 16GB model.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s hoping the same option comes to the UK.</p> <p><strong>[Source: <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2014/01/14/moto-g-google-play-edition-now-available-for-180">Engadget</a>]</strong></p> <p><strong>READ MORE:&nbsp;</strong><strong><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/motorola/motorola-moto-g/review">Stuff&#39;s Motorola Moto G review</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Motorola Moto G getting stock Android edition" alt="Motorola Moto G getting stock Android edition" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/moto-g-play-edition.jpg?1389839850" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Moto G Motorola Oculus Rift Smartphones Steam Box SteamOS Valve Tue, 14 Jan 2014 20:49:37 +0000 Sam Kieldsen 1431246 at http://www.stuff.tv Hands-on with Valve's Steam Controller http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/ces-2014/hands-valves-steam-controller/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> We rub our thumbs across the touchpads of the controller that Valve reckons will replace the keyboard and mouse </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Valve Steam Controller hands-on" alt="Valve Steam Controller hands-on" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/steam-controller-hands-on-01.jpg?1389085477" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>PC gamers are, it&#39;s fair to say, very attached to the old keyboard and mouse combo.</p> <p>But with Valve planning to put gaming PCs in our living rooms with its <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valves-steam-machines-revealed/news" target="_blank">Steam Machines</a> project, it&#39;s looking to augment the traditional PC gaming setup with an altogether more console-esque controller.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/stephen-graves" title="View user profile.">Stephen Graves</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> You got the touch(pads) </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>On its front face, the Steam Controller features a pair of touchpads in place of thumbsticks, with a touchscreen occupying the centre of the controller. Around the back, the standard triggers are joined by a pair of large buttons that run along the length of the grips.</p> <p>The prototype versions that Valve brought along to its <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/ces-2013/ces-2014-biggest-stories-so-far/feature" target="_blank">CES 2014</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valves-steam-machines-revealed/news" target="_blank">Steam Machines launch event</a> feel a bit lightweight and flimsy &ndash; hopefully that will be fixed in the final model &ndash; and don&#39;t feature the central touchpad, offering four physical buttons in its place.</p> <p>But what&#39;s the Steam Controller actually like to use? It has quite a steep learning curve. We tried it out with an FPS game, and although you can see exactly why Valve has placed the controls where they are, so that you can use the grip buttons to jump and crouch without taking your thumbs off the touchpads, those of us who are used to standard game controllers will struggle initially.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Valve Steam Controller hands-on" alt="Valve Steam Controller hands-on" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steam-controller-hands-on-04.jpg?1389085477" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Valve Steam Controller hands-on" alt="Valve Steam Controller hands-on" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steam-controller-hands-on-03.jpg?1389085477" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Touch too Much </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The touchpads are pleasingly responsive, and deliver little bursts of haptic feedback as you run your thumbs across them. Again, it takes a while to get the hang of these controls &ndash; you&#39;re supposed to tap on the left pad to move, while swiping on the right pad to turn.</p> <p>In practice, it feels a lot like trying to pat your head and rub your tummy. We also noticed that you have to adjust your aim slightly after a rapid turn &ndash; not something that troubles the mouse-and-keyboard brigade.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Valve Steam Controller hands-on" alt="Valve Steam Controller hands-on" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steam-controller-hands-on-08.jpg?1389085477" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Valve Steam Controller hands-on" alt="Valve Steam Controller hands-on" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steam-controller-hands-on-06.jpg?1389085477" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" title="Valve Steam Controller hands-on" alt="Valve Steam Controller hands-on" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steam-controller-hands-on-02.jpg?1389085477" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The Limits of Control </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Only time will tell if the Steam Controller will displace the joypad and mouse/keyboard control setups in gamers&#39; affections.</p> <p>Our first impressions suggest that while it&#39;s certainly an accurate control device, it takes some getting used to &ndash; and you have to be prepared to put in the time to learn a whole new control scheme.</p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/ces-2013/ces-2014-biggest-stories-so-far/feature" target="_blank">CES 2014 - the biggest news so far, live from Las Vegas</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Valve Steam Controller hands-on" alt="Valve Steam Controller hands-on" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steam-controller-hands-on-07.jpg?1389085477" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/ces-2014/hands-valves-steam-controller/news" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/ces-2014/hands-valves-steam-controller/news#comments CES 2014 PC Steam Box Valve Tue, 07 Jan 2014 05:00:47 +0000 Stephen Graves 1430832 at http://www.stuff.tv Valve's Steam Machines finally revealed http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valves-steam-machines-revealed/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Huzzah! Valve&#039;s taken the wraps off the gaming PCs readying their living room assault </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Valve Steam Machines" alt="Valve Steam Machines" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/steam-machines_0.jpg?1389692463" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Valve has been opened &ndash; the PC gaming gurus behind Steam have revealed their first batch of <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-steam-machine-preview/review">Steam Machine</a> gaming PCs.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/stephen-graves" title="View user profile.">Stephen Graves</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Building up Steam </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A range of partners have developed the Steam Machines &ndash; PCs that follow guidelines and meet standards laid down by Valve, and run its SteamOS operating system.</p> <p>They range from the dinky to the bulky, and take in everything from heavily designed machines that wouldn&#39;t look out of place next to an Xbox One or PS4 under your telly, to black boxes that look like servers.</p> <p>Of course, it&#39;s what&#39;s inside that counts.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alternate, Alienware and CyberPowerPC </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Alternate&#39;s Steam Machine packs in an Intel Core i5 4570, 4GB of RAM, a Gigabyte GTX 760 GPU and a 1TB SSD, with a retail price of US$1340.</p> <p>Alienware is keeping its cards close to its chest as far as specs and price are concerned, but design-wise it&#39;s the standout success of the line-up &ndash; a gorgeous, angular box with subtle glowing details.</p> <p>CyberpowerPC&#39;s device starts at US$500, with an AMD/Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM and either an AMD Radeon R9 270 or Nvidia GTX 760 graphics card, and 500GB of storage.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="CyberpowerPC Steam Machine" alt="CyberpowerPC Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/cyberpowerpc-steam-machine.jpg?1389692463" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Alienware Steam Machine" alt="Alienware Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/alienware-steam-machine.jpg?1389692463" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" title="Alternate Steam Machine" alt="Alternate Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/alternate-steam-machine.jpg?1389692463" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Digital Storm, Falcon Northwest and Gigabyte </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Digital Storm Bolt II crams in a Core i7 4770K processor, 16GB RAM and a GTX 780 TI GPU, with a whopping 1TB HDD and 120GB SSD. Unsurprisingly, it&#39;s pricey, at US$2585.</p> <p>Falcon Northwest&#39;s Tiki comes in a perfectly hideous airbrushed case, and is the most expensive of the lot &ndash; starting at US$1800 and going all the way up to US$6000, depending on how you configure it. The spec list includes a Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan graphics card, up to 6TB storage and between 8 and 16GB RAM.</p> <p>Gigabyte&#39;s adorably tiny Brix Pro features a Core i7 4770K, 16GB RAM, Intel Iris Pro 5200 graphics&nbsp;and a 1TB SATA HDD.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Digital Storm Bolt II Steam Machine" alt="Digital Storm Bolt II Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/digital-storm-steam-machine.jpg?1389692463" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Falcon Northwest Steam Machine" alt="Falcon Northwest Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/falcon-steam-machine.jpg?1389692463" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" title="Gigabyte Brix Pro Steam Machine" alt="Gigabyte Brix Pro Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/gigabyte-steam-machine.jpg?1389692463" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> iBuypower, Materiel.net and Next </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>iBuypower has conjured up an Xbox One-style case that sells for an Xbox One-style price &ndash; US$500 and up. Inside, you get an Intel or AMD quad-core processor, 8GB RAM, Radeon GCN Graphics and 500GB storage.</p> <p>Materiel.net&#39;s US$1100 black cube doesn&#39;t bother with the fripperies of design; it&#39;s all business, with a Core i5 4440 processor, 8GB RAM, a MSI GeForce GTX 760 OC graphics card and a 8GB + 1TB SSHD.</p> <p>The Next SPA is a similar black box, with a Core i5, 8GB RAM, Nvidia GT 760 graphics and 1TB storage.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="567" height="425" title="iBuyPower Steam Machine" alt="iBuyPower Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/ibuypower-steam-machine-hot-stuff.jpg?1389621037" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Materiel.net Steam Machine" alt="Materiel.net Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/materialnet-steam-machine.jpg?1389692463" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" title="Next Steam Machine" alt="Next Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/next-steam-machine.jpg?1389692463" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 2014 CES Hot Stuff Award winner </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/ces-2014/2014-ces-hot-stuff-awards/feature" target="_blank">The iBuypower Steam Machine&nbsp;is one of our 2014 CES Hot Stuff Awards winners &ndash; click here to read about the rest</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Origin PC, Scan, Webhallen and Zotac </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Origin PC&#39;s Chronos comes in a variety of different configurations, starting with a Core i7 4770K, up to 32GB RAM, 2 6GB Nvidia Geforce GTX Titans and up to 14TB storage. The price has yet to be confirmed, but expect it to be astronomical.</p> <p>Scan&#39;s NC10 is one of the most interesting designs of the launch lineup, with an unusual stretched-out configuration wrapped in a metal shell. The prototype on display came with some unsightly &nbsp;Inside, you get a Core i3 processor, 8GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M graphics and 500GB storage, with a price tag of US$1090.</p> <p>Webhallen&#39;s big and bulky US$1500 beast has specs to match its size &ndash; and price. You get a Core i7 CPU, 16GB RAM, GTX 780 graphics and a 1TB SSHD.</p> <p>Finally, there&#39;s the Zotac Steam Box &ndash; which loses points for design, being a rebadged Z Box. Specs have yet to be confirmed, but expect it to clock in at US$600.</p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/ces-2013/ces-2014-biggest-stories-so-far/feature" target="_blank">CES 2014 - the biggest news so far, live from Las Vegas</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Scan Steam Machine" alt="Scan Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/scan-steam-machine.jpg?1389692463" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Origin PC Steam Machine" alt="Origin PC Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/origin-steam-machine.jpg?1389692463" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" title="Webhallen Steam Machine" alt="Webhallen Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/webhallen-steam-machine.jpg?1389692463" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-4"> <div class="field-label">Image #4:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_4" width="1200" height="900" title="Zotac Steam Machine" alt="Zotac Steam Machine" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/zotac-steam-machine.jpg?1389692463" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-carousel-item"><legend>Carousel Extras</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-title"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Valve Steam Machines revealed </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-standfirst"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item standfirst:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The SteamOS-powered PCs that will conquer your living room </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valves-steam-machines-revealed/news" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valves-steam-machines-revealed/news#comments CES 2014 PC Steam Box Valve Tue, 07 Jan 2014 04:04:11 +0000 Stephen Graves 1430810 at http://www.stuff.tv Hands-on review: SteamOS, Valve's game-changing operating system http://www.stuff.tv/valve/hands-steamos/feature <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Valve&#039;s revolutionary take on living-room gaming has entered its public beta phase, but is SteamOS ready for primetime or should Linux-nerds only apply? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="SteamOS" alt="SteamOS" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/steam-os.jpg?1388729928" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Things used to be simple. Unless you were a graphics designer or something to do with media, buying a computer meant buying a Windows PC.&nbsp;</p><p>Now, the world is abandoning the desktop and with it new platforms like iOS and Android are flourishing, while Microsoft flounders. Why then, in the post-PC world, is a company synonymous with PC gaming bringing out its own operating system for explicitly old-school PC hardware?&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/adamoxford" title="View user profile.">Adam Oxford</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Building up Steam </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Steam has been the most incredible story for Valve. It first appeared with Half-Life 2 way back in 2004, and on its arrival was met with a barrage of criticism.</p> <p>Skip forward nine years, and Steam is now the darling of PC gamers. Valve doesn&#39;t release sales figures for the digital distribution platform, but it&#39;s the shop of choice for most. Rock solid performance and a penchant for supporting and promoting independent developers on the same footing as major publishers have won over all but the most die-hard of sceptics.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="SteamOS" alt="SteamOS" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steamos-big-screen-pic-2.jpg?1388729928" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> What is Steam? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>If you&#39;re not a PC gamer, and have never heard of Steam, it&#39;s easiest to think of Valve&#39;s signature software as like the App Store or Google Play. Essentially, Steam is a giant shop for downloading games, typically onto a Windows desktop.</p> <p>It&#39;s a shop, however, with built in online authentication systems to prevent piracy (which publishers love) and a huge forum community which loves to create mods and add-ons and other &#39;user-generated content&#39; (which players love). It&#39;s a shop which also takes care of tracking achievements and the gamification of games, and has awesome money-off sales every couple of months and gives back through its indie developer program, Greenlight.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> High-pressure Steam </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>As far as Valve is concerned, we don&#39;t need Windows any more. For some time, it&#39;s been encouraging developers to code for the open source operating system, GNU/Linux, and has had a version of Steam available for the popular Linux distribution (distro) Ubuntu since late last year.&nbsp;</p> <p>Now, the final stages of its plan are in place. SteamOS is Valve&#39;s own operating system, designed primarily for PC manufacturers and home-brew hackers who want a simple, cheap PC in front of their TV instead of an expensive and restricted games console.</p> <p>At heart, it&#39;s a minimalist installation of Linux designed simply to run the same Steam client that already exists, but exclusively in the Big Picture mode designed for a TV screen rather than a computer monitor. Install SteamOS, and you have immediate access to all the Linux-compatible games already on Steam.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="SteamOS" alt="SteamOS" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steamos-bastion.jpg?1388729928" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Getting started with SteamOS </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Installing SteamOS right now is a bit of a pain, but only in terms of system requirements. You need a fairly modern PC which supports UEFI booting, a hard drive you&#39;re prepared to wipe and an Nvidia graphics card.&nbsp;If you have all those things, all you need to do is download the installation files and boot up. If you don&#39;t, well, there are some unsupported workarounds but they&#39;re not exactly straightforward or necessarily reliable.</p> <p>You can even get it running in a virtual machine like VirtualBox, but that&#39;s not for the faint-hearted.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="SteamOS" alt="SteamOS" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steamos-installing.jpg?1388729928" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Specs snapshot </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>We tested SteamOS on a PC with:</p> <ul> <li>Core i7 3930K processor</li> <li>12GB RAM</li> <li>1TB HDD</li> <li>Nvidia 670GTX Graphics</li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Old faithful </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>What is impressive, however, is that if you stick to Valve&#39;s recommended system specs SteamOS is boringly reliable. It literally boots directly to the Steam client to download and play games.</p> <p>There is a traditional desktop mode, using GNOME, but while most Linux distros come with word processors, email clients, video and photo editing tools built-in, SteamOS is barren of such things by default. Adding them isn&#39;t hard, since SteamOS is based on Debian and so any software repository designed for Debian should work in Steam, but Valve has always been clear that SteamOS is not intended to be a Windows replacement.</p> <p>If you want Linux and Steam on a desktop PC or a laptop, install Ubuntu and grab Steam from the built-in app store &ndash; it&#39;ll be a much better experience.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="SteamOS" alt="SteamOS" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steamos-big-screen-pic.jpg?1388729928" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Multi-talented </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>SteamOS isn&#39;t strictly single purpose, though. It&#39;s more like a very high-end smart TV, the old Linux media centre standby, XMBC, or the Boxee set-top box. There&#39;s a browser in the Big Screen interface already, which is fine for web services, and apps for services like Netflix are likely as development picks up.</p> <p>The really good news is that there are well over a hundred Linux games available on Steam now, including relatively well-known names like Metro, Sir, You Are Being Hunted, X, Football Manager and the newly released space MMO Entropy (alongside Valve&#39;s own titles Half-Life 2, Team Fortress, Left4Dead and Portal). They&#39;ll run just as well in a different distro as they will under Steam OS. There are performance improvements hard coded into SteamOS which aren&#39;t in other distros, but for the most part they&#39;re well hidden and unlikely to be noticed given that you can only use it on a well-specced PC anyway.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="SteamOS" alt="SteamOS" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steamos-03.jpg?1388729928" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="SteamOS" alt="SteamOS" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steamos-sir-you-are-being-hunted-1.jpg?1388729928" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Underwhelming, in a good way </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>All of which is a long way round of saying that SteamOS is a bit underwhelming, really. And that that&#39;s a good thing. The first appearance of this massively anticipated, much wanted operating system is stable, reliable and only as good as the currently superlative gaming distribution platform &ndash; which is a let down to those who somehow wanted more.</p> <p>Why would you want a Steam Box instead of an Xbox One or PlayStation 4? Mainly because it means the platform no longer matters &ndash; you can buy a game on Windows, Mac or Linux and so long as it&#39;s available on all three platforms, you can install and play it on your desktop, laptop or console.</p> <p>That&#39;s the same game, with the same saves and the same multiplayer features and community. And you only pay once, and because there are no licensing fees, you usually pay less than a traditional console game too. And while there may be a worry about how many games are actually available on Linux and thus Steam Box, you can &#39;stream&#39; games from a Windows PC running Steam to a console running SteamOS over your home network &ndash; although that&#39;s a feature that&#39;s not available in this early release yet.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="SteamOS" alt="SteamOS" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steamos-01.jpg?1388729928" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-6"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> SteamOS: Initial verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Should you download SteamOS? Maybe &ndash; but in most cases you&#39;ll be better off running Steam on your existing Windows, Mac or Linux desktop.</p> <p>Keep an eye on it, though. With PC manufacturers already starting to sell computers with SteamOS pre-installed and a community of gamers begging for its release, this is going to be the most serious challenge to the Sony/Microsoft duopoly for games for many years. Poor, poor Nintendo.</p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-steam-machine-preview/review" target="_blank">Read our full Steam Machine preview here</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="SteamOS" alt="SteamOS" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steamos-hands-on-01.jpg?1388729928" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/valve/hands-steamos/feature" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/valve/hands-steamos/feature#comments Gaming Steam Box SteamOS Valve Mon, 16 Dec 2013 15:35:28 +0000 Stephen Graves 1430156 at http://www.stuff.tv Valve's Steam OS will be released on December 13 http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-announces-steam-os-will-be-released-13-december/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> L33t PC gamers will be getting an early Christmas present from Valve this year </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="637" height="477" title="Valve announces Steam OS will be released on 13 December" alt="Valve announces Steam OS will be released on 13 December" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/steam%20machine%20factory.jpg?1388683939" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Valve has announced that its made-for-gaming Linux-based Steam OS will be available to download on 13 December.</p> <p>It recommends that only &quot;intrepid Linux hackers&quot; download Steam OS for the time being, until it&#39;s more polished next year, but we&#39;re sure that won&#39;t stop PC gamers with itchy feet from&nbsp;jumping in as soon as possible.</p> <p>Valve also announced that it will be shipping Steam Machines and controllers to 300 lucky beta participants on the 13th too, but only to US gamers. Boo, hiss.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/esat-dedezade" title="View user profile.">Esat Dedezade</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> There&#039;s a storm brewing </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>In other related news, Digital Storm has revealed a US$1,470 gaming PC which can dual-boot Windows and Steam OS.</p> <p>It&#39;s packed with a dual-worthy Nvidia GTX Titan&nbsp;graphics&nbsp;card and&nbsp;liquid&nbsp;cooling, and we can&#39;t wait to see it in the flesh at <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/ces-2013/ces-2014-biggest-stories-so-far/feature">CES in January</a>.</p> <p>Check out more of our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/ces-2014/ces-and-beyond-ten-tech-trends-will-define-2014/feature">CES 2014 news, predictions and trends here.</a></p> <p>[<a href="http://steamcommunity.com/groups/steamuniverse#announcements/detail/1930088300965516570" target="_blank">Steam Community]</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="595" height="445" title="Valve announces Steam OS will be released on 13 December" alt="Valve announces Steam OS will be released on 13 December" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/digital%20storm%20steam%20machine.png?1388683939" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-announces-steam-os-will-be-released-13-december/news" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-announces-steam-os-will-be-released-13-december/news#comments CES 2014 Gaming Steam Box Valve Thu, 12 Dec 2013 10:27:14 +0000 Esat Dedezade 1430045 at http://www.stuff.tv Piixl's mighty Steam Machine gaming PC will hug the back of your TV http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/pixxls-steam-machine-pc-will-hug-back-your-tv/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> This British-designed SteamOS PC is a master of stealth and power </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="605" height="454" title="Piixl&#039;s Steam Machine PC will hug the back of your TV" alt="Piixl&#039;s Steam Machine PC will hug the back of your TV" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/jetpack-tv.jpg?1386619585" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>British PC manufacturer Piixl has revealed the Jetpack, a PC that&#39;s designed to attach to the back of your telly to hide it from view.</p> <p>Designed to run Valve&#39;s upcoming <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-steam-machine-preview/review" target="_blank">SteamOS</a> (though it can run Windows and Linux too), the Jetpack provides enough space for some serious gaming firepower including Intel&#39;s latest i7 processors and Nvidia&#39;s beastly top-of-the-range Titan, along with 1TB of SSD storage.</p> <p>Out of sight then, but definitely not out of mind.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/esat-dedezade" title="View user profile.">Esat Dedezade</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/pixxls-steam-machine-pc-will-hug-back-your-tv/news" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/pixxls-steam-machine-pc-will-hug-back-your-tv/news#comments Desktops Gaming PC Steam Box Thu, 05 Dec 2013 11:59:29 +0000 Esat Dedezade 1429800 at http://www.stuff.tv Valve releases Steam Machine specs, freaks out PS4 and Xbox One http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-releases-steam-machine-specs/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> If you&#039;re one of the lucky 300 beta testers hand-picked by Valve, this is what you have in store </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="604" height="453" title="Valve releases Steam Machine specs" alt="Valve releases Steam Machine specs" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/steam-controller_0.jpg?1381420722" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Valve has outed the specs for its range of <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-reveals-steamos-first-three-announcements/news" target="_blank">Steam Machine</a> prototypes, giving us a first glimpse at the sort of firepower we can expect to see from the gaming service's launch hardware when it becomes publicly <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-steam-machines-coming-2014/news" target="_blank">available next year</a>.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/esat-dedezade" title="View user profile.">Esat Dedezade</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Specced to impress </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The specs below range from the machines equipped with the insanely mighty £770 Nvidia GTX Titan graphics card to the £160 GTX 660, with Intel i7, i5 and i3 processors thrown into the mix.</p> <p>The high-end Steam Machines will pack in a whopping 16GB of RAM, with 8GB for the lower end models.</p> <p>The 450w power supply unit is too low for a Titan, so we presume that high-end beta testers will be kitted out with a PSU that's a little more substantial.</p> <p>Each Steam Machine is fully customisable, from the&nbsp;processor and graphics card to the motherboard itself, just like a regular gaming PC.</p> <p>There is of course nothing stopping you from building your own Steam Machine and loading Valve's open source SteamOS onto it when it's released next year, and&nbsp;Valve will even release the sourse CAD files if you want to replicate the look of its Steam Boxes to the very last detail - case and all.</p> <p>Whether or not the average console game will be willing&nbsp;to&nbsp;fork out extra cash for a gaming PC with better performance and a quirky controller remains&nbsp;to&nbsp;be seen (the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/microsoft-xbox-one/review" target="_blank">Xbox One</a> is&nbsp;already&nbsp;considered fairly expensive at £430 after all), but we'll know for certain when SteamOS and Steam Machines are released next year.</p> <p>[<a href="http://steamcommunity.com/groups/steamuniverse#announcements/detail/2145128928746175450" target="_blank">Steam Community</a> via <a href="http://www.t3.com/news/steam-machine-specs-revealed" target="_blank">T3</a>]</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="604" height="453" title="Valve releases Steam Machine specs" alt="Valve releases Steam Machine specs" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steamos_0.jpg?1381420722" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Steam Machine specs – taken from Steam Community </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The 300 prototype units will ship with the following components:&nbsp;</p> <p>GPU: some units with Nvidia Titan, some GTX780, some GTX760, and some GTX660&nbsp;</p> <p>CPU: some boxes with Intel i7-4770, some i5-4570, and some i3&nbsp;</p> <p>RAM: 16GB DDR3-1600 (CPU), 3GB GDDR5 (GPU)&nbsp;</p> <p>Storage: 1TB/8GB Hybrid SSHD&nbsp;</p> <p>Power supply: Internal 450w 80Plus Gold&nbsp;</p> <p>Dimensions: approx. 12 x 12.4 x 2.9 in high&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-carousel-item"><legend>Carousel Extras</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-title"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Valve Steam Machine specs revealed </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-releases-steam-machine-specs/news" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-releases-steam-machine-specs/news#comments Gaming Steam Box Valve Mon, 07 Oct 2013 12:02:08 +0000 Esat Dedezade 1427572 at http://www.stuff.tv Touchscreen-equipped Steam Controller unveiled by Valve http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/touchscreen-equipped-steam-controller-unveiled-valve/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Valve rounds off week of product announcements with touchscreen- and trackpad-wielding gamepad </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Steam Controller" alt="Steam Controller" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/steam-controller.jpg?1380645394" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>We were hoping for Half-Life 3 and we got something a little less exciting. But only a little. Valve today rounded off its week of product announcements with the <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/SteamController/">Steam Controller</a>, a gamepad it has designed to accompany its <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-reveals-steamos-first-three-announcements/news">SteamOS</a>-running <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-steam-machines-coming-2014/news">Steam Machine</a> (and other PCs running the OS).</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/sam-kieldsen" title="View user profile.">Sam Kieldsen</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Southpaws rejoice </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>In total, the pad features 16 buttons, half of which are accessible without the user having to life his or her thumbs from the trackpads. The setup is totally symmetrical, which means left-handed players can flip controls for any game.</p> <p>In order to maintain compatibility with Steam’s existing game library, the controller features a legacy mode that essentially fools the games into thinking it’s a keyboard and mouse. Players can set their own button configurations and share them online with the Steam community, and the controller itself will be open and hackable, according to Valve.</p> <p>Valve says the controller will be sent out to the same 300 beta testers who receive a the prototype Steam Machine computer.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Steam Controller bindings" alt="Steam Controller bindings" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/controller-bindings.jpg?1380645394" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-carousel-item"><legend>Carousel Extras</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-title"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Valve reveals Steam Controller </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/touchscreen-equipped-steam-controller-unveiled-valve/news" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Gaming Steam Box Valve Fri, 27 Sep 2013 17:21:40 +0000 Sam Kieldsen 1427177 at http://www.stuff.tv Valve: “Steam Machines” coming in 2014 http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-steam-machines-coming-2014/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A variety of SteamOS-powered gaming PCs are coming next year, but 300 lucky gamers will get a Valve-built prototype in 2013 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Steam Machines" alt="Steam Machines" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/steam-machines.jpg?1380640267" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Valve has just made the second of its three announcements this week: <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/SteamMachines/">Steam Machines</a>.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/sam-kieldsen" title="View user profile.">Sam Kieldsen</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Your quest for the first SteamOS hardware </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Anybody can enter the pool to receive one of the (free) 300 beta boxes by completing an “Eligibility Quest” on Steam. To do so, they must join the Steam Universe community group, agree to the beta test terms and conditions, have at least ten Steam friends, create a public Steam Community profile and play a game using a gamepad in <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/valve%E2%80%99s-big-picture-mode-launching-today/news">Steam’s Big Picture mode</a>. This must all be done by 25th October.</p> <p>30 or fewer testers will be chosen based on their past contributions to the Steam community, but the rest will be selected at random from those who have completed the above steps. So even if you’re not a Steam veteran, you still have a chance to get your hands on Valve’s SteamOS machine by the end of the year.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/EFrL6-OhN94" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No spec or design info... yet </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Valve is remaining tight-lipped on the specs and design of its box but says it will reveal more “soon”. It will, however, be able to play any of the 3,000 games already on Steam, with “hundreds” already running natively on SteamOS and the rest available via in-home streaming. The company also say that the hardware will be open and upgradeable.</p> <p>You’ll also be able to build your own PC hardware and install SteamOS on it for free – but Valve hasn’t said when it’ll be available.</p> <p>Yesterday we wrote about why we think SteamOS will be the platform to finally bring PC gaming to the living room. You can read the article <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/steamos-why-next-must-have-console-might-be-pc/feature">here</a>.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Valve will make its final Steam announcement on Friday at 6pm UK time. Please be Half-Life 3, please be Half-Life 3, please be Half-Life 3...</p> <p>[Via <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/steamos-why-next-must-have-console-might-be-pc/feature">Steam</a>]</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-carousel-item"><legend>Carousel Extras</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-standfirst"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item standfirst:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Valve takes on next-gen consoles with SteamOS-powered gaming PCs </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-carousel-image-small"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item small image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_carousel_image_small" width="450" height="340" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Steam-Machines.jpg?1380640267" /> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-steam-machines-coming-2014/news" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Gaming Steam Box Valve Wed, 25 Sep 2013 17:34:36 +0000 Sam Kieldsen 1427092 at http://www.stuff.tv SteamOS: why your next must-have console might be a PC http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/steamos-why-next-must-have-console-might-be-pc/feature <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> With Valve’s new platform, PC gaming will finally find a proper place in the living room </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="SteamOS logo" alt="SteamOS logo" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/steamos_0.jpg?1380101578" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Yesterday <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/SteamOS/">Valve revealed SteamOS</a>. And with it, for the first time, it feels like a developer is on the verge of pulling off what no other company has ever done before: making living room PC gaming popular.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/sam-kieldsen" title="View user profile.">Sam Kieldsen</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A living room PC with a console approach </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>But none of them has succeeded. Despite the repeated, desperate claims of a vocal minority of PC gamers, consoles have always worked better in the living room environment: out of the box they’re simpler; they don’t require a keyboard; their UI looks better from the sofa; and they’re cheaper. Yes, you can build or buy a PC that ticks all the necessary boxes, but it requires effort, research and money – more money than you’d pay for a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360.</p> <p>You can wander into any high street shop and pick up one of those for under £200, take it home, plug it into your telly and have a game up and running in 10 minutes. Could you do that with a PC? Could your dad? Your 10-year-old cousin?</p> <p>But it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s an opportunity to seize here, and Valve seems like the only company committed to grasping the nettle. SteamOS is free, open source and can be installed on pretty much any PC. It’ll likely offer a user interface similar to Steam’s <a>Big Picture mode</a> (designed for TVs and gamepads, with simplified controls and large icons that can be seen clearly from the sofa).</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/EFrL6-OhN94" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="SteamOS " alt="SteamOS " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steamos-2_0.jpg?1380101578" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The Linux factor </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>And crucially it’s based on Linux and, unlike Windows or Mac OS, it’s designed for a small and specific set of purposes: playing games, allowing users to buy and download games, and a bit of media streaming. Valve claims that graphics processing is better on SteamOS (we assume the company means in comparison to Windows and Mac OS) and that audio performance and reductions in input lag will be too.</p> <p>This should help maximise the performance of hardware components, allowing developers to wring better graphics and sound out of cheaper machines – much like they already do with consoles. Nobody doubts that today’s PCs can blow today’s consoles away when it comes to graphics and sound, but you have to pay a significant premium for that – with SteamOS, that should change.</p> <p>We don’t know what the hardware requirements for running SteamOS are yet, but Valve will almost certainly reveal its own “Steam Box” PC this week. The picture should be clearer then, and we’ll get an idea of the price too.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Gzn6E2m3otg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> But what about game compatibility? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Valve says that developers are already working on SteamOS titles, but we don’t know which ones and how many. One thing the company has said is that Windows and Mac OS games purchased on Steam can be run through any SteamOS computer via home streaming: you start up the game on your Mac or Windows machine and can then play it in the living room through a SteamOS PC. Good to know for anyone with a huge existing library of titles.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> SteamOS is still Steam </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Crucially, SteamOS won’t change any of the great things about Steam. The cheap (frequently hugely discounted) games, for instance. If you’re a console gamer, take a look at the Steam store and marvel at how affordable everything seems in comparison to console games – so affordable, in fact, that despite being a wholly digital distribution channel, Steam is never accused of corporate-friendly profiteering as Microsoft was when it announced its original, <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/xbox-one-will-allow-trade-and-play-used-games-%E2%80%93-you-may-have-pay-charge/news">since-changed</a> plans for how games would work on the Xbox One.</p> <p>People are happy to buy games on Steam despite knowing that they can’t sell them on eBay afterwards. Why? Because they don’t feel like they’re being shafted by greedy corporations. Valve is so loveable that it’s even going to let you “lend” Steam games to up to ten friends for free through its Family Sharing feature. Would Microsoft have done the same with Xbox One games? We’ll never know for sure but we’d bet big that the answer is no.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Steam logo" alt="Steam logo" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steam-logo_0.jpg?1380101578" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Steam store" alt="Steam store" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steam-store.jpg?1380101578" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Non-interactive entertainment </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Today’s consoles are about more than just games, of course, and Valve is aware of that. SteamOS supports music, TV and movie streaming, and Valve says it’s “working with many of the media services you know and love”. We don’t know specifics yet but we’d say Netflix, Lovefilm/Amazon and Spotify are the keys.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The price needs to be right </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>In order to truly compete with existing living room games titans Sony and Microsoft, the Steam Box really needs to come in at an equal or lower price than the Xbox One and PS4. As well known as Valve is in gaming circles, the incumbents have an advantage in mainstream brand awareness and marketing clout. If SteamOS hardware that offers an equivalent experience to the Xbox One or PS4 starts at £500 or £600, it’s hard to see the casual gamer on the street picking one up, cheaper games or no.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A killer app? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Every new console platform features at least one killer exclusive to convince gamers that it’s worth buying over its rivals. The Xbox One has <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/titanfall-xbox-one-really-brilliant-they-say-it/feature">Titanfall</a>, the PS4 <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/ps4-launch-games-revealed-%E2%80%93-killzone-shadow-fall-driveclub-and-more/news">Killzone: Shadow Fall</a>. SteamOS will need one too – and it could be Half-Life 3. Yes, really.</p> <p>Half-Life 3 is probably the most eagerly-awaited game of all time; there hasn’t been a new Half-Life game since 2007’s Episode 2, and the story of Gordon Freeman remains half-told (no pun intended). Valve hasn’t even confirmed that a new Half-Life title is in development, and there’s speculation that this caginess could be due to this bombshell: Half-Life 3 will be the SteamOS flagship title and the game that convinces wavering gamers to invest in a PC running the OS.</p> <p>Valve has <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/">two more announcements</a> to make this week. We’re hoping – nay, praying – that the first is a SteamOS-powered Valve-branded PC – and that the second is Half-Life 3. Keep your fingers, toes and crowbars crossed, folks.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Half-Life" alt="Half-Life" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/half-life-2_0.jpg?1380101578" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/steamos-why-next-must-have-console-might-be-pc/feature" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/steamos-why-next-must-have-console-might-be-pc/feature#comments Gaming Steam Box Valve Tue, 24 Sep 2013 18:52:06 +0000 Sam Kieldsen 1427039 at http://www.stuff.tv Valve reveals SteamOS in first of three announcements http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-reveals-steamos-first-three-announcements/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Living room-friendly Linux-based platform will also stream Mac and PC titles over your home network </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Valve reveals SteamOS in first of three announcements" alt="Valve reveals SteamOS in first of three announcements" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/steamos.jpg?1382073949" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Valve has made the first of three product announcements today: and it’s a new operating system.</p> <p>SteamOS is a Linux-based platform that can be run “on any living room machine”. Valve says developers are already creating games for it, and interestingly that it will support open, collaborative titles that can be easily modded by users or the developers themselves down the line.</p> <p>It’ll feature improved graphics processing performance (presumably Valve means over standard Linux), and Valve is currently working on better audio processing and a reduction in input lag.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/sam-kieldsen" title="View user profile.">Sam Kieldsen</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Mac, Windows and media streaming </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>As well as running SteamOS games, the platform will stream Mac and Windows titles from your existing computer to your SteamOS living room PC over your home network. So essentially any existing titles will be available to play, in addition to titles specifically developed for SteamOS.</p> <p>It’ll also support the Family Sharing feature Valve talked about last week (allowing you to “lend” games to other Steam users), parental controls and, intriguingly, access to (unspecified as yet) music, TV and movie streaming services.</p> <p>So no <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-steam-box-gaming-pc-incoming/news">Steam Box</a> hardware reveal yet, but don’t worry: Valve is making two more product announcements this week, the next of which is on Wednesday evening.</p> <p>[Via: <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/SteamOS/">Steam</a>]</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="SteamOS" alt="SteamOS" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/steamos-2.jpg?1382073949" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-carousel-item"><legend>Carousel Extras</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-title"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> SteamOS unveiled </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Gaming Steam Box Valve Mon, 23 Sep 2013 17:33:16 +0000 Sam Kieldsen 1426982 at http://www.stuff.tv Valve Steam Box looks set for Monday reveal http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-steam-box-looks-set-monday-reveal/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Teaser site for the Linux-powered PC gaming console appears, complete with countdown clock </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Valve Steam Box looks set for Monday reveal" alt="Valve Steam Box looks set for Monday reveal" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/steam-box-teaser.jpg?1379930037" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>It seems like Valve is set to reveal its long-awaited <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-steam-box-reveal-teased-next-week/news">Steam Box</a> console on Monday evening.</p> <p>The company has set up a <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/">teaser page</a> for the Linux-powered PC gaming console. And the countdown clock finishes at 6pm on Monday 23rd September.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/sam-kieldsen" title="View user profile.">Sam Kieldsen</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Triple whammy? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Steam Box is thought to be a compact Linux-based console able to play PC games purchased over Steam, Valve’s digital games store.</p> <p>Valve also <a href="https://twitter.com/geoffkeighley/status/381097222307192832">told games journalist Geoff Keighley</a> that it would be making no fewer than three announcements next week, which ties in with the three circles on the teaser site. It could well be the case that there will not be one, but three different Steam Boxes, revealed. Colour us excited.</p> <p>[Via <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/">Steam</a>]</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/steam-box/valve-steam-box-looks-set-monday-reveal/news" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Gaming Steam Box Valve Fri, 20 Sep 2013 19:33:53 +0000 Sam Kieldsen 1426914 at http://www.stuff.tv