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Valve hardware division hoping to launch public beta next year

Wednesday, 19th September 2012 00:36 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Valve’s new hardware team may have something to show as soon as 2013.

Speaking to Engadget, hardware division head and famous tinkerer Jeri Ellsworth said Valve is already conducting internal betas for the team’s products.

Ellsworth said Valve has the capacity to produce short prototype runs of new products, which would allow it to conduct public betas; she hopes to conduct one next year.

Valve still won’t say what exactly the hardware team is doing – a lot of delighted prototyping, by the sounds of it – but Ellsworth said its one-year goal is “to make Steam games more fun to play in your living room”.

It’s not clear what precisely this means, but the team is working to complement Big Picture Mode and to eliminate control barriers – so some sort of controller, it seems. Remember that controller patent, and the Steambox rumours?

In the longer term, the hardware division is part of Valve’s wearable computing movement, but is looking at a two to five year schedule on those projects.

Ellsworth said not to put too much store by prototypes spotted in images of the team’s workspaces.

“On any given day you could snap a photo of my office and find a variety of prototypes laying around,” she said, explaining that Valve has produced experiments which look good enough to ship, but are still just prototypes.

The latest find from happy snaps of Ellsworth’s workspace include a control pad with an inbuilt screen.

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86 Comments

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  1. Telepathic.Geometry

    It would be great if they released a kind of PC box capable of playing all the PC titles I’ve wanted to play for ages, but couldn’t because I don’t wanna get into the PC management business.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. OlderGamer

    TG man, you think what you want and do what you want, but the modern day PC doesn’t require you to manage much of anything. If I can do it, you can do it. Esp with Steam and its big picture.

    That being said, I am looking forwad to learning what Valve has in mind.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Telepathic.Geometry

    I’ve heard that before OG, and I guess for savvy tech dudes that may be true, but I don’t have the time or the knowledge to source parts for a PC I build myself, I don’t wanna spend the money to go large on a beast, and I don’t have the patience to tinker with resolutions and framerates.

    I have a busy life, I just wanna turn the thing on and play, end of story. I used to have friends living close who were PC gaming gods, and in those days I really enjoyed PC gaming because they took care of all of the really annoying shit for me.

    I appreciate the PC enthusiast opinion that it’s “not that bad”, and I’m sure it isn’t, but it’s not that easy either. I just wanna buy a 300 dollar or so box that I plug into my TV directly with no fuss or drama. You can’t be telling me that I can do that now with modern PC gaming…

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Christopher Jack

    @3, I get what you’re saying, I’d love to be able to pay every PC game without tinkering, just the other day I had to research 20 mins to fix a problem with Fallout 3- it was crashing every 15 mins or so. Turns out it didn’t handle multicore processors very well & I had to edit a .ini file & afterwards it worked like a dream but the point is I should not of had to do any research to run a game. There are numerous other issues with other PC games that would take too long to remember, many still unsolved.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Telepathic.Geometry

    Yeah, that’s my experience. Whenever I was playing on my mate’s PC, an issue would appear, he’d start fixing it, I’d spark up a fatty bumbatti, and by the time we were done with that the problem was gone, so no problem.

    To sum up, it’s not that I can’t handle PC gaming problems, it’s simply that I don’t want to. I have enough of those in my real life. Mind you, it has to be said that console gaming is getting closer and closer these days, with patches now completely the norm and compulsory hard-disk installs on my PS3 being pretty typical too.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Omelette

    It certainly will be a new accessory for the computer, not a new computer box. And here’s where I’m guessing that: http://blogs.valvesoftware.com/abrash/

    #6 2 years ago
  7. TheWulf

    This could be potentially interesting. Hardware coming from a business structure like Valve’s could either be a catastrophic failure (where no one told them it was a bad idea), or something simply brilliant.

    Well, I’ll be watching with interest. Either way, it’s likely to shake htings up.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Old MacDonald

    Jeri Ellsworth has done some amazing things in the past. The C64 DTV is still the best “games system in a joystick”-product ever made – even better than the real thing.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. roadkill

    @3 You know you could just ask a friend to create a configuration for you. It’s not that complicated really. And PCs and PC games are cheaper than consoles and console games. Not to mention the controls.. The only problem you might encounter on the PC is how good some players are. Some might destroy you the first time you switch to this platform.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Da Man

    ^You should try playing some competitive console videogame one day, you massive weirdo.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. viralshag

    @9, What a load of bollocks.

    “The only problem you might encounter on the PC is how good some players are. Some might destroy you the first time you switch to this platform.”

    No different to good console gamers then. As the majority of PC gamers are no better with a mouse and keyboard than people with a pad. Using a mouse and keyboard does not automatically make you better.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Gadzooks!

    Yeah, this whole ‘PCs are easy to build/run now’ myth is exactly that. A myth.

    Example: I’m in the process of upgrading the missus’ PC so she can play ‘Panda pants’ (her words, not mine!) at max settings.

    First step: Graphics card. Should be easy, no? Swap her HD4850 for a HD6870. Should be minimal driver fuss for a decent speed gain.

    Read some reviews, looked good. No warning signs.

    Bought, installed, now the machine will not boot. After much investigation it turns out they are not compatible with ASUS P5NE motherboards. It’s not a clock speed, interface, power or driver issue. It’s a BIOS problem and it wont be patched.

    Fuck that shit. It just isn’t worth the effort. After years away from tinkering with PC’s I come back and nothing has changed. You might get lucky and things just work but its a minefield, and a fucking expensive, frustrating and time-consuming one at that.

    If Valve make a fixed spec box with no access to drivers and with a unified online system then I’ll pay attention (because that will be a console), but until then PCs are just a burden I don’t need, or indeed want.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Gekidami

    @11
    Wrong. Try making a spread sheet with a pad. ;)

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Christopher Jack

    @12, You really should do some research or ask a professional when building or upgrading a PC. It’s just easier to ask 5 minutes of questions rather than fuck up &/or waste money. A quick google search will generally let you know if your components are compatible.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. freedoms_stain

    @12, well, you say “now” then reference tech that’s at least 5 years old (maybe 6?). When you go cross-generation with upgrades you can be in slightly murkier territory and you should put more effort into research – 1 google search would have told you everything you needed to know. A GTX 560 would have gotten you similar power with none of the issues (that took me 2 more searches).

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Gadzooks!

    #14

    I thought I had researched enough. I spent a good few hours reading reviews and comments of the card. No mention of compatibility issues there.

    Lesson learned anyway. I was considering getting my own PC up to gaming spec but definitely not now, not ever. Its for music and browsing only.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. OwnedWhenStoned

    My 2c: I have a PS3 and a PC and spend 90% of my time gaming on the PC.

    Bizarrely, because it’s easier.

    I’ve had my current PC for 2 years now, and I’ve had exactly one issue with it. (LA Noire)

    But every time I turn on my PS3, it wants to spend an hour updating.

    Then I put a game disc in, and it wants to update that. I get fed up and switch it off.

    PCs seem to have become easier, consoles have become more annoying.

    YMMV.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Christopher Jack

    @11, After being a mainly PC gamer for the past couple years after being an almost exclusive console gamer, I can tell you that it’s a fact that KB&M is in a different league to gamepads, especially after trying to use an X360 gamepad for the first several months in FPS.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Gadzooks!

    #15

    PCI express card, PCI express board. There should be no problem.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Gadzooks!

    #17

    Thats a problem specifically with PS3, and one of the many reasons I binned mine.

    Other consoles dont suffer the same problems. Same with mandatory installs.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. OwnedWhenStoned

    @20 Maybe so, but it didn’t used to be a problem with ANY console. I’ve had consoles since the Atari 2600 and the PS3 is without doubt the most annoying one to use.

    Gives you an idea of where things are heading I suppose.

    My PS3 is now a Blu Ray player and pinball machine.

    I even bought an XBOX 360 controller for my PC to play things like FIFA on it instead of the console.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Gadzooks!

    #21

    Fair point. As you say, YMMV.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. roadkill

    It baffles me how some console craptards keep thinking that they have superior controls without ever trying the mouse and keyboard. It’s really astonishing that people like these exist.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Gadzooks!

    #23

    I spent many years as a PC gamer before moving to consoles.

    FOR ME a control pad is catagorically better than M&K for most games. I dont enjoy gaming at a desk, or with a board on my lap.

    First hand experience.

    Now shut the fuck up. Adults are talking.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. OwnedWhenStoned

    @24

    I’m disabled (malformed hands), so I have a bit of a control bias but I agree that for some games a controller is better – driving games and FIFA are two examples.

    but I can’t use a controller for FPS games (too many buttons, not enough fingers in the right place) and SOME games (mostly on console) do not allow remapping of controllers. This is another reason I game more on PC, and I suspect I’m not alone amongst the disabled community. The flexibility of PCs is second to none. Even if there are no options to change control settings, there will be an .ini file somewhere.

    I agree on the couch part though.. much more comfortable than a desk.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. GwynbleiddiuM

    @24 Personal preference is not fact Mr. Adult. M&K being more accurate for many game types is fact, playing with a game pad is also great for some other game types, like platformers and sports, but a game pad can never have the precision of M&K in a shooter. you might be more comfy with a gamepad, but there are many who are more comfortable with mouse and keyboard. That doesn’t make you any more adult than anyone else.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. Gadzooks!

    #25

    It’s about time that some standards were introduced to console control schemes I think.

    Like you I’d prefer the option to configure a pad exactly how I want it. Stick sensitivity, deadzone, button mapping, etc.

    It’s something that should be mandated by the platform holders IMO and would surely benefit everyone, especially gamers like yourself or those with arthritis or carpal tunnel for example.

    BTW, just to make this clear, I’m not advocating that either control scheme is intrinsically better. Just that pad suits me better than M&K.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. ManuOtaku

    I dont do PC gaming, not only for the constant update or the hustle to keep the Rig updated, which i do see as a core,but is more for the control of the mouse and keyboard conjuction, i always seen those for work i mean to do spread sheats on excel, word documents, power point presentations, etc, i dont consider them fun for playing, because i cannot sit in my couch with those to play games, maybe iam biased, but thats the main reason i dont like PC Gaming, for the controls moreso than the constant build of the Rig.
    p.s and i agree with the notion that consoles are becoming with each passing gen more like a PC, with the constant updates , etc, it is something that worries me.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. DrDamn

    @28
    Besides which your “.” doesn’t appear to work that well which could affect some games quite badly. ;)

    #29 2 years ago
  30. ManuOtaku

    #29 Doc, i dont follow you, what do you mean?

    #30 2 years ago
  31. Gadzooks!

    #26

    Accuracy is irrelevant if you can’t game comfortably. So the only relevant FACT is that my controls are better for me and your controls are better for you.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. DrDamn

    @30
    Sorry just being a bit of a grammar Nazi, but you could do with putting a few more “.” in your posts. It would make them easier to read.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. OwnedWhenStoned

    @25

    Agreed.

    What I would also like to see is game reviews telling you if the game has reconfigurable controls.

    (I realise I’m in the minority, but I seem to remember that game reviews used to do this back in the day)

    I’ve given up on buying driving games for the PS3 now after being burned twice (Driver: LA and Motorstorm) which stick the steering on the left stick, as I can’t pull it. And there’s no way to move it.

    This was also true of GRID on the PC, but there is an .ini file you can edit for that.

    @28 I think that’s exactly whats happening, and both platforms are becoming more closed.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. ManuOtaku

    #32 Doc, Ah ok sorry, please keep in mind that English is not my first language, and i really appreciate your feedback, is the only way to keep improving, thanks.

    #34 2 years ago
  35. OlderGamer

    Really, honestly in the most truthful way I can put it, some gamers have the wrong idea regaurding PCs. Most of the things, like price, configurations, upgrading used to be PC problems.

    I buy off of the shelf, I spend less on my PCs then I do my consoles. I have upgraded my consoles HDDs more then I have upgraded my PCs. My second(wifes) PC is now betwen 4-5 years old, I put one upgraded Graphics card in it, it cost me 60usd at Best Buy. I have purchased a 120GB xb360 HDD, and that cost me 100usd at Gamestop. I also bought a 250HDD, I think that one was a 200usd price, but I bought a Final Fantasy Bundle because I got the game, extra controler, and a back up system that included the 250HDD for I think 400usd.

    I spent less then 600usd for each of my PCs, I have two.

    When you factor in game prices, I have spent much less on my PC then on my xb360.

    I am not tech savy. I couldn’t build a PC if you paid me. As for upgrading graphics cards, you flip the locks on the side of the card, uplug the card, plug the new card in, lock the flips on the side, put your case back on and go. The instructions have pictures.

    If your really inept, there are plenty of stores that will slap in these things for you while you wait. My brother inlaw uses Geek Squad at Best Buy. There are things you learn, just like I would always buy Logitech over MadKats, I always stay away from AMD graphics cards. The AMD ones always have confige troubles, lack in driver support, and the customer service is horrible.

    I recently bought a super nice 3D headphones set for my xb360. Loved it till it just stoped working. It was a Trittin brand, come to find out that is also a MadKat product. I should have know better, but didn’t research who made it. I just bought it because it was cheaper then the turtle beach ones. I now own a TB one. That type of thing could happen regaurdless of what your talking about, from tablets and smart phones, to video game accesories.

    I am sure three guys will get on here talking about benchmarks and price points regaurding AMD and proclaim their products are exactly the same but carry better value. I wouldn’t touch them, once bitten twice shy and all of that.

    A few months ago, my son bought himself a laptop. 500ishusd 4GB ram, nothing great. He is currently playing Diablo III and Guild Wars 2.

    I mean it was what it is. But todays PC gaming is pretty mass market. An it couldn’t be that if it was too expensives, required constant tweaking/configuring, expensive upgrading, or indepth knowledge. For something to be mass market it has to be affordable, easy and accesable.

    PC gaming is.

    All of those things you guys think PC gaming is, it used to be like that. It just isn’t anymore. Or at least it doesn’t have to be.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. viralshag

    While I mostly agree with OG on that, I would always say building your own is better. Overall, it’s really not much harder than what he explained for the graphics card.

    It really is a simple process these days and there are plenty of online places that offer simple step by step guides and advice on a build. I have never had any major problems with my machines and they run like a dream. I feel much better knowing the quality of everything I put into it.

    #36 2 years ago
  37. Gadzooks!

    OG, you seem to be having reading problems today. I will reiterate:

    I removed old PCI express card, installed new PCI express card from same vendor. It stopped my system from booting with no workaround.

    PCs are what they are, as they have always been.

    #37 2 years ago
  38. DrDamn

    @34
    Yeah I realise that – no need to apologise. Simply that if you broke things up a bit, then you’ll have more people read and understand your comments.

    #38 2 years ago
  39. OlderGamer

    Gad, I can’t trouble shoot for you. I am not techie at all. I would have to wonder if you recieved a bad card? Or maybe there is a generational issue, like FS suggested. And when you say vender, what do you mean? Who makes the card? Vender to me means peddler/seller/store. Do mean manufacter?

    I can’t help you at all. If it were me, I would ask someone who knows about that stuff to help me. But first I would prolly return the card to the store and get another one.

    In all fairness, Gad, consoles have problems too. From minor ones like 3rd party acesories to major ones like RRoD. Most things today are made for absolute lowest cost possible, and while a suit will tell you about that being good biz, I still call it cheap. And cheap shit often doesn’t work or breaks. Some products are better and some worse, thats why I won’t go with Madkats, as an example.

    #39 2 years ago
  40. ManuOtaku

    OG i feel the same way as Gadzooks does, i think PC doenst worth all the hassle/hustle, theres multiple things that gets in the way, that you need time in order to search and install, it is like music or anime for me, i do prefer to buy a CD and/or buy an anime R1(american distribuitor), than using my computer to download songs for my ipod and/or anime in order to watch it on my computer, because it takes a lot of time, which i dont have, between my kids, wife, games and anime, i dont have that spare or free time, you known i do own an atari, intellevision, NES,SNES, Genesis, Dreamcast,PS2,N64,Gamecube, gameboy, 4 DS, PSP, 4 3DS, 3 wii, 2 ps3 , 3 xbox 360, and the only one that did die on me, was the wii because my son is pretty rude with his consoles, the rest is still functioning till this very day, even the 2005 360 launch model, therefore in that regard, for me consoles are a plus, but i do understand that if people has the knowladge and the time, they are right to game on PC, and see PC as the best gaming offer, i do really understand it, is just that the controls and the hassle is not worht it, for me at least.

    #40 2 years ago
  41. OlderGamer

    I m not trying to convince anyone of anything. Really. I justthink that some folks have the wrong idea about PC gaming. If it was expensive or hard, I couldn’t do it lol.

    You still buy Music on CD? I don’t any of the local stores around here even have a decent selection of CDs anymore. I know Walmart carries a small shelf of them. iTunes for me ;)

    #41 2 years ago
  42. Gadzooks!

    OG,

    By vendor I mean ASUS. ASUS cards, ASUS board. I’ve had good results from them in the past so stuck with what I thought was safe.

    It isn’t a duff card. It works in my DAW PC. It’s an incompatibility issue, not listed on the vendor website, but now that I know what to search for I find is widespread.

    My point is that PCs have not progressed in terms of ease of build/maintenance in the way you claim. It is not a hassle-free utopia unless you pay for professional maintenance or buy systems pre-built (at a premium).

    All platforms have their issues. PCs just as much as consoles.

    #42 2 years ago
  43. ManuOtaku

    OG On Amazon, mostly rock, but yes they even release them till this day the last i got was the Megadeth end game CD, by the way great CD, i know iam a dying breed, call me old school, is that i just hate the time it takes to download songs and install them on my ipod, the same with anime, i dont use fansubs or torrents, i wait them for the proper release with R1 distribuitors like Funimation, Sentai, NIS, etc.,

    #43 2 years ago
  44. Dragon246

    For me , the “closed” nature of consoles click. Single hardware supported for 5-7 years. No pc rig is capable of that.

    #44 2 years ago
  45. OlderGamer

    Dragon, I am playing 10 yr old PC games in 1080p at 60fps. No console has that much backwards compatibilty either.

    #45 2 years ago
  46. DSB

    @44 That’s not what closed means. Closed means that it’s padlocked for developers unless they pay the hardware manufacturer.

    And it’s the reason why you only have one subpar interface to choose from, instead of maybe 10 better ones.

    It completely stamps out innovation. The reality is that a lot of people would love to do something much better for free, but they can’t, because the console is locked, so the guys who own them can monetize everything that goes on them.

    In the beginning I could see the convenience, but these days consoles are anachronisms. Downloading and updating games are such a pain compared to the PC where you often just have to spend one or two clicks doing it. I was pretty shocked to see how bad it was when I went back to using my 360.

    Whatever consoles gained by having uniform hardware, they’ve long since lost by failing to update their design and delivery.

    #46 2 years ago
  47. Dragon246

    OG, not many people play 10 year old games. Although pc is definitely the best platform for vintage games.
    Consoles beat pc comprehensively in terms of support.

    #47 2 years ago
  48. Clupula

    I’m not a PC gamer either, because of the exact reasons a lot of people state (although if your PS3 has to update every time you turn it on, it means you’re not turning it on except for once every few months). I don’t have the time nor the inclination to research different parts for the computer just to play games. I know my current computer would die from Half Life 1, nevermind something modern, and when I see people say that maybe you should consult a professional, I think…Why should I have to?

    I have a PS3. I put a game in. It plays. I have an incredibly comfortable controller (I remember playing the first Alice game on a friend’s PC years ago and the mouse/keyboard controls drove me crazy. Couldn’t play the game for more than an hour before I had to stop). I don’t have to upgrade my hardware every two weeks. I can do everything I need to.

    #48 2 years ago
  49. Dragon246

    @48,
    Exactly.

    #49 2 years ago
  50. ManuOtaku

    OG and thats a plus in my eyes, i mean the constant updating in the graphical department, in that PC is light years ahead, i just wish theres some way consoles will do that too, without losing the close environment, like the N64 espansion pack, that let increase the capacity of the console to play certain tittles that had/require better graphics, so if consoles would let improve in easy ways the graphical specs in the same vein as PC, but in a easier friendly way without any hassle, just an open and install operation like the n64 expansion pack, i will love and approve that on consoles.

    #50 2 years ago
  51. DSB

    @48 That’s not really the whole story. Sometimes, you pop in a disc, you meet a prompt, you look at a download bar, you restart.

    That doesn’t happen on the PC. Discs are a thing of the past, updates are automated, and you always have choice. Nobody needs brick and mortar anymore. They can get their games faster and cheaper online.

    The scenario you’re setting up may have been relevant 10 years ago, when consoles could get away with having anemic digital components and basic design, but it’s fallen very far behind over the years.

    I was pretty shocked to go back to my 360, and I actually made a forum post about it. It’s amazing how using a console in 2012 can actually leave you wishing for devices that are something like 10-20 years old. The design is just awful.

    I don’t feel like I’m being convenienced, I feel like I’m stuck in 1998.

    #51 2 years ago
  52. OlderGamer

    There is a big difference between a vintage PC game and a vintage console game tho Dragon. I am currently playing Phantasy Star Online Blue Burst. I have the game on max settings and it rivals todays current gen system(maybe better because of full screen AA effects).

    I also own the game for Dreamcast, Gamecube, and Xbox one(PSO is one of my fav all time games). Not only is the PC one graphicly miles ahead, but the extra content is robust and insane. I use a xb360 pad to play.

    One of the big deals/trends is to put out HD remakes of older console titles. From stuff like Jet Set Radio to games like the PS2 God of War. We see that all of the time. But with PC most of the old games are in HD already. And many of them have extra content via mods that expand the game.

    Am I being some sort of PC elitest? No, but I am showing you, or trying to, that it isn’t just an open and shut case. PC is very compeling. I have NES games running in HD, on my PC. Graphics aren’t everything of course. But I think as far as PC gaming goes, you will find a lot of folks that still play older games. And the fact that the games look crisp and sharp has a lot to with that. You don’t get that generational gap that seperates one console game system from another. I just recently fired up my copy of Destruction Derby on PSone. I found it hard to play, the graphics and frame rate where tough. I used to love that game. If that game where on PC, it run smooth as glass.

    So you are right about vintage games being better on PC. I just wanted to add that vintage doesn’t have to conjuire up this image of old, outdated and graphicly inept games. A great game is a great game. And the back catalog of PC games is vast. It is one of the things that gives it such value, imo.

    #52 2 years ago
  53. Clupula

    Don’t know how the 360 does updates, but on the PS3, after it downloads a patch, the game restarts automatically. Doesn’t require me to restart the game. And I can download plenty of full games on my PS3 as well. I know you can do that on the 360 as well.

    As I said, I don’t have time to go research which parts are the best or to find out what specs I need for a particular game to get optimal performance out of it, blah blah blah. Pop in a disc. Disc works. Download game. Game works. End of story. And I’m good for half a decade, at least.

    I don’t ever worry that, oh, this game’s going to look like shit because I didn’t upgrade my graphics card or whatever.

    #53 2 years ago
  54. ManuOtaku

    #51 DSB “They can get their games faster and cheaper online”

    I dont want to start another discussion, but thats the problem, is not their game at the end, at least the very definition of ownership in digital media, especially in gaming, is very ambiguous, i think untill we have laws that rule this in the proper way, or rules that establish in a very concrete way what we do own?, and what they do own?, digital only is not that feasible IMHO.

    #54 2 years ago
  55. Clupula

    Last computer I used mostly to play games was a C64. Never had to upgrade that.

    #55 2 years ago
  56. OlderGamer

    lol I loved the C64, those were the golden ages of gaming right there. Great time to be a gamer. I had boxes and boxes of flopy discs!

    #56 2 years ago
  57. DSB

    @53 I think you’re making it a lot more complicated than it has to be.

    It’s pretty easy to find out which setup is going to hold you over for the next many years.

    If you don’t want to do that, that’s obviously your choice, but I’d rather have a bit of inconvenience right now, than a lot of inconvenience for years to come, which is what I get on a console.

    And instead of simply allowing people to make it better, like an open platform, you have to wait for the console manufacturer to either get a clue, or have mercy on the users who have to suffer that design.

    Not to mention the lack of digital games. I can’t remember the last time I was in a games store. Two clicks and it’s downloading.

    What I can see as a disadvantage is the price. A gaming rig costs a lot of money, and pretty much anyone is going to have to save to afford it. Ultimately it depends on how much you demand when you game, and what kind of options you want.

    I can listen to music, check Facebook, be writing for work, or load up a game within seconds, never using more than 20 clicks to do it. To me that’s worth paying for.

    @54 Again, you don’t own your games today. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you can stop worrying about it. If people wanted to take your games, they’re fully within their rights to, whether it’s on a disc or on an HDD.

    Wake me up when that actually becomes a problem. Nobody has ever taken a game from me.

    #57 2 years ago
  58. OlderGamer

    “I think you’re making it a lot more complicated than it has to be.”

    That is the crux of it right there for me. It isn’t what some folks think/say it is.

    Also I agree on the owning stuff.

    That being said, consoles are easier. Esp the Wii and XB360. PS3 is a bit of a fuddity duddity. But what I would give up in favor of that small bit(and it is just that a small bit) of convienance is not worth it. PC just offers so much more, imo.

    But ultimatly to each their own.

    I can see PC having less value if your in one of those places with very poor internet.

    #58 2 years ago
  59. ManuOtaku

    DSB “@54 Wake me up when that actually becomes a problem. Nobody has ever taken a game from me”

    DSB the thing is they dont need to take away the game from the user, they change the TOS and EULA, to their likings without any external control, and if the user wont accept the new change, then he/she cannot access the games under his/her account and the ones the user did paid for them, thats a forcing situation IMHO, they are not taking directly the games from you, thats true, but it is done very subtle, like the valve change of TOS and EULA.

    Also i dont want to wait to see that happen in order to react, lest have a preventive mind instead of a reaction one, i dont like to see people affected by this, if we can act priorly in order to avoid it, more empathy is not bad.

    DSB with physical media we have the first sale rule, that basecally says that i can sell, give away, gift , etc the physical games, the TOS and EULAS, are done under this principle i mean with the first sale rule, therefore there is some ownership right there, the thing is they said, the providers, is not a sale just a license, but they have the first sale rule on the TOS and EULA, thats ambigous, and that needs clarification, if we dont have a clear environment, something shouldnt be implemented, thats not saying down with digital because i dont like, what iam saying is we need to clarify certain things that are critical for those transactions.

    #59 2 years ago
  60. Gadzooks!

    “I have a PS3. I put a game in. It plays”

    Now we all know that is not the case for a large percentage of games on PS3. It can take hours to install (mandatory) and patch a PS3 game.

    #60 2 years ago
  61. DSB

    @59 For the 50th time….

    Once they start taking our games away, I’ll worry.

    Until then, I think they’re slightly more interested in making money and selling games, than using their incredible power as a videogames publisher-or-retailer to take over the world and oppress the masses.

    And even then I’m sure Guy Fawkes and Natalie Portman will find a way to stop them.

    #61 2 years ago
  62. OlderGamer

    I also agree with manu about gamer rights. But I kind of figure that next gen the shift will be away frm boxed products to digital ones. Meaning that the same problems he is talking about on PC will become a problem on Console.

    Keep in mind too Manu thatlast gen MS just pulled the plug on LIVE. If you had a game on xbobx one LIVE that you played, you were out of luck. Live for the first xbox was just killed nearly over nite. I lost the ability to play both boxed and digital products. I don’t think they ould do that going foward, but it would stink if all of a sudden I couldn’t redownload Pinball FX2 tables if I needed to.

    I think DSB is right in regaurds to us not owning anything. The trick, for game companies, is to not let us figure that out. If Sony, for example, redesigns PSN and makes PSN+ subscriptions the only way to play online with PS4, we either sign up or stop using it. But, we don’t have a say. Just like you pointed out, they can change the tos and eula anytime they want. They make the rules.

    Another strike against consoles, they are closed systems and the platform holders have near complete control. In terms of services. What is nice, is that we can still go play older systems w/o hassle. But going forward, in the modern digital/online gaming world, there will be little difference between PC and consoles. Imo. ‘Cept of course that one is closed and the other is open.

    #62 2 years ago
  63. ManuOtaku

    #61 So in the case a user dont agree with the new TOS and EULAS, are they not taking away his/her games?, at least he/she cannot access them, if some people didnt click accept, they did loose it, at least thats an strong possibility there, therefore for me it is not a thing of “when that happens”, the thing is “if can happen”, and clearly this can happen here, and iam not fine with that notion.

    #63 2 years ago
  64. DSB

    @63 Honestly I couldn’t care less. Some people are just too paranoid to be on the internet to begin with.

    I clicked accept and surprise…. Nothing happened.

    Did you know you could be hit in the head with a satellite right now? Better start building that bunker, and finding a way to stop all the space programs.

    #64 2 years ago
  65. ManuOtaku

    OG iam not saying we own the games or that we are entitle, but theres clearly an ambiguity torwards this situation, first the providers indicate is not a sale, is a license, but the TOS and EULAS are done with the first hand sale, which let you sell, give away, keep the game if you dont do anything wrong, like a book or something, because it was done for physical things, therefore you dont loose your game no matter what, now if we dont agree we loose our access, and they are applying this to digital things, the ownership thing in digital is not clear, not for us the users, not for them and not for the laws, thats why i dont see it right, i mean basing an entire new way of distribution without putting everything clear and crisp, with the rules that will define this transaction, thats with what i dont agree, the ambiguity in such a delicate issue, it is not physical but has some rules that are for physical things, thats mindbending, i am with the notion that everything should born in the right way, clear with all the rules, if thats doesnt the case it shouldnt be born at all, and that applies to everything in life, because that leads to chaos and abuse for all parts involve.

    #65 2 years ago
  66. ManuOtaku

    #64 DSB “I clicked accept and surprise…. Nothing happened”

    That was the best possible escenario, iam glad for you, but that doesnt mean the other, in which you didnt clicked accept, shouldnt exist or doenst exist, which lead you yo loosing all the access to the games you pay, license or bought, that is the crux of this.

    #66 2 years ago
  67. DSB

    @65 Dude, grab the nearest manual you have from a physical product. Go to the last page. Read the fucking EULA.

    Now scream with terror.

    I just looked at mine for Red Dead Redemption. Reselling the game is actually a direct violation of the license.

    “License Conditions: You agree not to commercially exploit the software. b) Distribute, lease, license, sell, rent or otherwise transfer or assign the software”

    It’s every bit as clear as it is online.

    #67 2 years ago
  68. DSB

    Thing is, if you’re that desperate to be afraid of these companies, that’s your right. But then you should stop buying games.

    You’re accepting these TOS, and accepting the EULA every single time you do. You’re aknowledging that you have no right to the software, in any way.

    What you have a right to, is the personal use of it. That’s the license you’re buying.

    It’s amazing how you can apparently accept that if it’s written in a manual, but not if it’s written on a webpage.

    #68 2 years ago
  69. ManuOtaku

    #67 DSB thats the problem it is a physical thing, is very different that digital , why digital is done with the same rule as physical?, and with physical you dont loose anything if you follow those rules under that license, that physical EULAS are done with the first sale rules, therefore if you dont violate anything, they cannot restrict the access you have of the physical thing, lets say a book, you keep it, you are following the EULA and the first sale rule, but in this case case you follow the rules, but dont accept the new ones, that were changed without any control, then you loose all the access, why i loose if i did what they physical first rule said on the original EULA?, and why they are forcing me to accept new ones, knowing if i dont accept i will loose it, this doesnt happen with physical,mind you, theres the ambiguity which i dont agree with it.

    #69 2 years ago
  70. Gadzooks!

    Where would we be without our trusty tinfoil hats, eh?

    CLICKING TOS AGREEMENTS. THAT’S WHERE, MAN!

    Goddamn mind-fingers and brain radio man, they got us wired man… Wirelessly!

    #70 2 years ago
  71. DSB

    @69 Again, read the TOS. Please read the TOS. They reserve the right to change them whenever they want, they collect your gamertags, they log you whenever you use them, they reserve the right to deactivate the product at their convenience.

    The exact same as a digitially distributed game.

    I have no idea why you choose to believe that it’s different, but it’s not.

    Nobody’s taking my physical games away, any more than they’re taking my digital games away.

    The TOS/EULAs say the exact same things.

    You can continue to lie to yourself and actually believe that they’re different, but that’s your problem man. You have the opportunity to educate yourself and take a serious look at the situation. Last page of the manual.

    If you choose to focus on what might happen, instead of what is happening, and fail to realize that it’s the exact same whether you’re buying a physical or a digital product, then I think you’re just creating a problem for yourself.

    I obviously can’t convince you differently, so I reckon I’m better off spending my time enjoying my nice big digital library :P

    #71 2 years ago
  72. viralshag

    Right now I’m thinking Johnny Mnemonic and that you’re all a bunch of Lo-Teks.

    #72 2 years ago
  73. ManuOtaku

    DSB they are not the same, i can sell the book, but not the digital game, and both EULAS from the physical and digital media are done with the first sale rule, which allows this for physical, i mean selling, but not for digital, therefore why i can sell the physical thing, without violating anything, but not with digital, clearly theres a differentiation, although they are based on the same premise or rule.

    #73 2 years ago
  74. OlderGamer

    I think as time moves forward the tos/elua stuff will be a bigger issue. I hope EU can lead the way and force a few changes, and then that my backwards nation will follow. I say backwards because my nation puts bizz above citizens, sellers above buyers. Not as bad as some other nations, but bizz gets away with an aweful lot of crap.

    #74 2 years ago
  75. DSB

    @73 And absolutely none of that means that your games are taken away.

    #75 2 years ago
  76. ManuOtaku

    #75 DSB i was replying that you say they are the same, digital and physical,but they are not, even if they had the same premise the first sales rule, they are treated differently by the providers which incides over the level of what you can do with them, therefore the providers didnt want to grant the user with this option, i mean selling, under their TOS and EULAS, even tough is on the premise of the first sale rule,which they are based on, so basecally they are doing what they want without any form of control from anybody, like a law and third party institution, etc, but they cannot change the issue that this is a sale, because it is done or based under the first sale rule, which allows the user to do a lot of things with their purchase, and one of them is keeping the physical thing, if the user do not violate any copyright rulings of course, therefore it is not for me to say if they are the same or different, but is clearly an evidence that we need proper rulings, because this is a very ambiguous topic, it is a sale or a license, if it is a license it cannot be based onto the first sale rule, because it is not a sale, if it is a sale it will grant the user a lot of possibilities like selling, keeping the games regardless of updates, etc, see where the ambiguity lies, thats what are they doing now it is a license with a sale ruling, and thats why i said we need a clear enviroment prior establishing this as a proper distribution media, we cannot do this with so many uncertanties, which incide in the possesion of the games the user does have.

    #76 2 years ago
  77. Da Man

    Wow, some stupid PC nerd made an ignorant post about him not being able to use an Xbox 360 properly. This something fresh, search engines need it.

    Better go check it out.

    #77 2 years ago
  78. DSB

    Whereas we’re really in danger of running out of console fanboys who turn into an insecure, defensive little blob at the slightest mention of criticism.

    Glad you’re still around Da Man.

    #78 2 years ago
  79. Da Man

    Oi, if I was an insecure fanboy I’d be creating threads about my toy nemesis on the forum, going into alcoholic rage mode the moment I turn on a PC.

    You’re welcome, genius.

    #79 2 years ago
  80. DSB

    Mhm.

    #80 2 years ago
  81. Kabby

    Fanboyism aside the thing to take away from these past few years is that the gap between console hardware releases has cemented the PC, in many peoples minds, as the ‘better’ system.

    I’m pretty curious to see what impact the PS4/Nextbox will have on this trend.

    #81 2 years ago
  82. ManuOtaku

    #81 i think it is because the lifecycle of this console generation was the biggest, therefore the graphics gap is more noticeable than ever before, although iam not a graphics whore, well just for cel shaded not realistic ones.

    #82 2 years ago
  83. Da Man

    #80 The irony..

    #83 2 years ago
  84. DSB

    I think people are gonna be as hyped as they always are whenever a new system hits, and that’s never good for the PC, but I think what’s gonna give them real longevity is the way they’re gonna take over your TV.

    There are quite a few serious barriers to providing something like television, especially in the US, but I think they should be throwing everything into that.

    If a console can be a cheaper, simpler way to get something that will replace a cable or satellite subscription, then it’ll really transcend just being a gamer product. I don’t see that as an area where the PC can really compete.

    I can watch Netflix and NFL games on my computer, but it’ll always be better on a big TV.

    #84 2 years ago
  85. OlderGamer

    I would agree with you guys about the length of this hardware cycle.

    Too long.

    I am less interested in the impact the PS4/XBXNXT will have on the industry and more interested on the industries impact on the PS4/XBXNXT. I don’t think the platform holders have such the stranglehold on the game industry as they once did. And I don’t think the core demographic is as important to that conversation as it once used to be.

    Just take a look around.

    Poeple have been leaving AAA console games in droves. PC and mobile are huge, much bigger now then when this gen started. Market demographics have expanded. Games like Angry Birds and Minecraft change the tone of the conversation. F2P isn’t just some futuristic buzz word, it is here and it works. The economy is terrible in most places. A strong yen could easily tie Sonys hands(Nintendo gets a pass because they don’t make upper tech heavy systems and gives them more wiggle room where pricing is concerned).

    I don’t think PS4/XBXNXT systems will have an impact at all on those things. But rest assured that those things will impact the systems.

    How will Sony/MS adapt to their enviroment?

    Look at Vita, take into consideration all of what I just said. Now ask yourself if they released the right product? I say no. And if they make the same mistakes with PS4, Sony could be in big trouble. Vita didn’t have an impact on anything. But the enviroment it was released into won’t support the system. I hope Sony learns from that.

    I am telling you guys right now, MS will clean up next gen. I suspect MS to have 60%+ of the market share hardware and (possibly even)software next gen. And that may not be reason to rejoice, even if your a Xbox fan. MS will monitize the shit out of us.

    But we will have to see what happens.

    #85 2 years ago
  86. G1GAHURTZ

    Polly wants a long winded cracker.

    #86 2 years ago