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This changes everything: Valve enters console race

Wednesday, 9th January 2013 09:38 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Gabe Newell has confirmed Bigfoot, a Valve-made, Linux-based, console-like Steam box. Pay attention, says Patrick Garratt: the TV games market is about to be shaken to its “core”.

The joke surrounding Steambox has always been that of Half-Life 3 launching as an system exclusive and just how funny it’d be in terms of hardware sales. Who’s laughing now?

Valve will enter the living room games market with hardware it’s codenaming Bigfoot. The news ends nearly a year of speculation on the firm’s intentions for the console space, and could be the single most significant move in “video gaming” in the past decade.

Bigfoot, the only official name for “Steambox” we have at the moment, won’t be alone. Littlefoot (whatever that is) will cover touch and mobile devices, providing a complete home gaming solution for PC, TV and portable, all glued together with Steam. Valve head Gabe Newell said yesterday that Bigfoot’s controller won’t include motion controls (Wii Sports has already done it, apparently), but biometric feedback could well be related to the pad. The words sounded more Nintendo that Valve.

Newell’s admission comes at a telling time. Microsoft could be on the cusp of announcing the next Xbox – some rumours are suggesting you may get a first look at it a lot sooner than you think – and there’s little doubt Sony will use E3 in June to start seriously talking about the future of PlayStation. Valve is coming. Assuming Gabe can keep the price down, there’s every chance you may never need to buy into Microsoft or Sony hardware again.

Entry point

Valve’s entry into the console space bears stark similarities to Microsoft’s arrival with Xbox in 2001. Japanese firms Sony and Nintendo were in absolute control of consoles at that point, and it was unthinkable that a fresh approach, especially from the US, could make an impact. The chink in the market’s armour was then largely based on cultural aesthetics (that console games were made by the Japanese and the PC approach had no place on the TV), but this time the perceived normality of content delivery, specifically that it’s based on the sale of discs, has gifted Valve, and the apparently infinitely ambitious Gabe Newell, an access point. Steam is about downloading. It’s amazingly popular. Its approach is about to be taken across every screen in the home. Bigfoot will challenge the perception that the video games industry must sell itself on Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo’s premium disc model for another generation. Given Steam’s dizzying success and the explosion in subs-based music and video streaming, we already know that, for many, discs have been dead for years.

Then there’s the Steam library, an Alexandrian effort in comparison to XBLM and PSN. Thousands of games for less than $10. More than 50 publisher catalogues. Seasonal sales which bring “PC” versions down to single-digit euro levels. The impact on traditional retail and current supply chains could, in theory, be seismic. Valve’s already said it’ll sell Bigfoot to consumers itself. It doesn’t need shops. And if you have a fast internet connection, neither do you. Newell’s announcement today means that unless you want to play certain exclusives, PlayStation or Xbox may be about to become unnecessary.

The main unanswered questions regarding Bigfoot are related to date, power and price. If Valve can keep Bigfoot’s cost down to a sensible level, it probably won’t be able to make units fast enough, but there’s a chance it’ll be expensive. Also, we don’t know the spec. We all know how much users, especially console users, obsess about grunt. Lastly, we could be looking at something that won’t arrive for years, in which case the next traditional generation will have time to properly settle before Valve takes its shot. Newell’s already said there are no plans for a 2013 reveal.

Regardless, where some of the core audience was gearing up to buy into 720 or PS4 yesterday, today it’ll be waiting for Bigfoot. This is real: Valve is to launch a living room video games machine.

The joke surrounding Steambox has always been that of Half-Life 3 launching as a system exclusive and just how funny it’d be in terms of hardware sales. And here we are. Who’s laughing now? Bet your ass it isn’t Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo.

Breaking news

89 Comments

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  1. FabioPal

    Guys… it’s not a “console”, it’s just a pc sold in a shiny box with the Steam logo on it. The simple fact that you “can install Windows” on it says it all.

    And then don’t forget that the vast majority of the titles on Steam are for Windows, so the VAST majority of titles won’t be available “out of the box”.

    Don’t over-react on nothing ;)

    #1 1 year ago
  2. BULArmy

    Steambox is without a doubt a double – edged sword. A lot of PC gamers are PC gamers, because of the freedom that the PC provides. I am in that group. I don’t want one company to tell me wht is good for my gaming life.

    The expected price is also abysmal. I use a motherboard and processor from 2006 and still play almost all the games I want. I will upgrade soon, but paying $1000 for something that plays only games, no. And I think a lot of gamers have that mentality.

    HL3 as a Steambox exclusive will create a massive shitstorm towards Valve which can damage them very badly.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. pleasant_cabbage

    Yeah, I’m not enirely sure where this fits in with a market.

    It won’t have the sony, microsoft and nintendo titles that many console fans like and would miss, and it might not be that attractive to the pc gamer either.

    Of course it dosen’t have to be an either/or thing for console owners (and more affluent console owners without a pc might find it attractive) but I doubt many already high-end PC gamers would add it to their collection if it’s pretty expensive. Cost is going to be a bigee.

    Outlook: hard to say…

    *gets splinters from sitting on fence*

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Patrick Garratt

    @1 – Consoles are PCs in boxes. That’s all they are.

    @2 – The price is a big point, yeah. But I think a standard PC spec that everyone, including Valve, can work towards could have a huge impact. A know a lot of people who are put off PC gaming because all they basically want to do is buy a box, plug it in and off they go. This’ll fix it.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. naffgeek

    @2 Agree entirely.

    I think they have misjudged the market personally. I have a pc for work/play/admin and this box would do nothing for me to be honest.

    I am not a hardcore pc gamer as I have an xbox/ps3 too but am finding myself playing more and more games on my pc, however I would never consider paying $1000 or any where near for a restricted pc with no blu-ray (my internet is no-where near capable of streaming) and taking a mouse/keyboard put the the equation for fps’s.

    And using HL3 as a big carrot will piss off a whole legion of loyal fans.

    Much more interested in Project Shield. If that isn’t stupid money then I’ll be having one.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Dave Cook

    @2 It wouldn’t damage them. HL3 as a Steam Box exclusive makes perfect, logical sense. It would, as Pat says, change everything.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Dragon246

    If its just like MS launch, then valve needs to shut the pipes soon. It took MS years to launch and billions of cash in losses, something valve cant afford.
    I think valve would do a smaller release at first to gauge interest. Then if that blows out, it will go for the full market.
    And people were saying console biz is dying and that someone will leave the market. Weird.
    Pricing and specs will be the real maker/breaker. Although physical sales still far surpasses digital, specially in consoles.
    If this reduces psn and xbl prices, then awesome.

    “Valve’s already said it’ll sell Bigfoot to consumers itself. It doesn’t need shops. ”
    Its a good strategy early on. But to gain bigger market, they need to sell it in stores. Question is, why would gamestop sell this? Thats why ms and sony and ninty keep retailers happy.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Belmont

    Aren’t you missing something Pat? If Valve can reach a deal with publisher x to sell a game 70% off, then why Sony and Micro or Ninty can’t ? Another thing is that you say we won’t need a PS Orbis unless we want to play exclusives. Lets thing in reverse. I want a console so I get a PS4 or a X720 and I get all those games that are available on PC(Steambox) and many great exclusives. Why should I buy Steambox ?

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Atmey

    @4 Consoles are PCs in boxes. That’s all they are.”
    No they are not, consoles are computers with exact specs and exact OS so games run on all hardware exactly the same, the fact that the steambox using a windows does make it a PC rather than a console, windows is owned by micrsoft which also ownes xbox, I doubt they will agree to make an OS version specific for the steam box. If they wanted to be a console they should’ve build their own OS, or could use a their version of a linux build along with the expected linux steam.

    Steambox is just a branded PC (Alienware, Razor).

    #9 1 year ago
  10. MrXBob

    I’m having a hard time taking this article seriously. Is this a new parody writer?

    I mean honestly. Seriously. Without a doubt. This changes *nothing*. It is no more than a PC. Which we already have. Which we can already plug into our TVs and play with controllers.

    Yes, Steam fans are getting all giddy because they don’t quite understand what it actually is yet. They believe, somehow, that Valve are going to create a super-powerful PC for the price of a standard home console. Not going to happen. Seriously. Simply. Will. Not. Happen. Just can’t be done.

    Not to mention, the games will simply be PC games. Meaning the gaming landscape will not change at all. What this boils down to is basically another way to play PC games.

    It’s like saying Alienware “changed everything”. It didn’t. Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo… they have nothing to worry about, like this article heavily suggests they should.

    And don’t even get me started on how many times you’ll have to re-buy the next model to try and keep up with PC hardware. Meaning the market will be just as fragmented and unpredictable as PC gaming is in general. Developers already know that they won’t be able to guarantee their games will run on whichever “Steam box” you have. And so PC gaming will continue to get less support than consoles do.

    I mean… wow. I got a few laughs here today!

    #10 1 year ago
  11. pleasant_cabbage

    @6 (I guess!)
    Really think Valve would limit the sale of HL3 to this new box?
    Are you thinking timed exclusive or ‘only for steambox’?

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Old MacDonald

    1: You could install Linux on the PS3.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. DeyDoDoughDontDeyDough

    Like Pat said, consoles are PCs in boxes.

    The important mechanism here is the defined limits of a standard chipset. Rather than limit, the ability now to optimise properly means this machine should be able to produce graphics exponentially better than better-specced (on paper) gaming PCs. Optimisation is everything, it’s what PC games have never done well, could never do well due to nebulous hardware distribution among end users.

    This will change all that. PC gamers rejoice.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. FabioPal

    @4 No Pat, just no, consoles are dedicated, closed, frozen for years hardware.

    Their strength is in their “closeness”. As soon as you allow modifications to the hardware/software (read: you can install Windows on it) of a “console” it has lost its “console” status and it’s just, again, a PC.

    @12 yes, but you were not able to play any PS3 games on the Linux version of the PS3, weren’t you?

    #14 1 year ago
  15. Patrick Garratt

    @8 – That’s true, yep. What I’m saying is that there’s a massive gap in the market Valve can plug with this. And I do believe it could completely change the way the market sells games, as it’ll put a huge amount of pressure on retailers.

    Sony, MS and Nintendo can’t do the same because they have very strong links with retailers in terms of pricing. They can only drop prices in line with shops. If they didn’t, shops would go bust. This is why games on XBLM, etc, are usually very expensive compared to those in, say, GAME. If Microsoft kept selling stock into GAME then slashing the price for digital distribution, GAME simply wouldn’t take the stock as gamers would start buying their games through XBLM. MS’s model is based on discs – and it needs GAME to sell discs – so it can’t do it.

    Steam doesn’t have these worries with a lot of its games, hence the amazing sales. The premium, disc-based stuff is still expensive on Steam, but a huge part of the Steam library is digital-only. And you can’t get it on Xbox and PlayStation.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. Patrick Garratt

    @14 – Surely the point of this is that Valve’s standardising a PC chip-set?

    #16 1 year ago
  17. Belmont

    #12
    No more . and it was never supported by Sony.

    In the end I agree with many comments here. It is another way of PC gaming.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. friendlydave

    Isn’t this just basically a pre-made PC that Valve are selling? like the thousands you can already buy from other companies. Or am I completely missing something here?

    #18 1 year ago
  19. Belmont

    #15
    Now I get your point but with majority of purchases by gamers made of those premium disc-based stuff. How important is that? I mean for the console crowd it is more about COD than about indie titles and those PC and digital only things. Even if the console crowd demands too hard for those indie titles The big three can probably find a way to get them on their platform at roughly the same price.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. FabioPal

    @16 Why should they? Their strength is in openness, they’ve got a lot of indie games because you can make an indie game on any hardware not buying a kit/license and not going through the pain in the ass that is passing the hardware/compatibility tests that MS/Sony/Nintendo require because of the closed nature of their environment and to ensure a slick experience to the users.

    And then if I want a “closed” piece of hardware, why should I buy an expensive small box? Because it will be expensive, I’m ready to bet whatever you want on the price tag. They don’t have the strength and sheer money power that the other console manufacturers have. They should produce a HUGE amount of hardware, VERY closed, for YEARS to contain the costs. Just to see the majority of their catalogue jumping out of the box because it has Linux on it.

    I’m just skeptic, but maybe you’re right ;)

    #20 1 year ago
  21. pleasant_cabbage

    @18 and a new controller… I too seem to be missing something.
    *rummages*

    #21 1 year ago
  22. viralshag

    Why would this “change everything”? Like the other Valve backed hardware, why would any PC gamer buy this? And what’s been stopping console gamers from jumping on the PC wagon so far? A lot of PC gamers are also console gamers, so again, why would I essentially buy two machines to play the same library and what will I do with my already decent rig?

    I like variation, which is why I have a PC AND a console from Sony/MS. Unless all the games released on Bigfoot come with pad support, why would a console gamer get this over a regular PC?

    I’m not so sure this will be as revolutionary as some think. I really don’t see the big deal unless it’s hands down better on power and price.

    #22 1 year ago
  23. Dragon246

    @22
    +1

    #23 1 year ago
  24. Erthazus

    Can’t wait for this thing.

    I like how people say that this is a PC, but so far there are NO information about that console and YOU COULD INSTALL LINUX (and you still can with a dongle) on your PS3 which makes some idiots statements about “Duuuh you can install Windows on it so it’s not a console” invalid!

    Also, just for fun fact, XBOX 360 OS is based on Windows 2000 so please, just shut up.

    your consoles are essentially PC’s. In fact, they are shitty PC’s with horrible hardware inside it with horrible OS’s that is based on some other OS.

    Yeah, let Valve destroy Sony and MS. Do it Valve with Half-Life 3 exclusivity and you won the race pretty much.

    #24 1 year ago
  25. Belmont

    @24
    Sony may have some struggles but I don’t think it can be killed just like that. and in case of Valve conquering Micro and Ninty, you can keep looking forward to it…

    #25 1 year ago
  26. Patrick Garratt

    @22 – It’s a standard chipset and it puts your Steam account on the TV. Unless you have a TV PC right now, you’re playing Far Cry 3 on Steam at your desk, and unless you buy it on 360 or PS3 you can’t continue on your TV in the evening, say. Bigfoot means you play Far Cry 3 at your desk, go and have some dinner, plop yourself down in front of the TV and carry on with a controller from your Steam Cloud save.

    I’m pretty sure every major PC release – to which it’s applicable – will come with pad support from now on as a result of this.

    As to what’s stopping console gamers running to PC, I think a main reason is the hobby aspect, as I said up there. A lot of people just want to plug in and play, and not have to worry about spec. That’s why they stick to consoles. Bigfoot will fix that for Steam.

    #26 1 year ago
  27. Erthazus

    Valve just need to announce Half-Life 3 for that thing, new L4D. DOTA 2 too (which console runs DOTA games that has millions of users?)
    They can pretty much own next generation.

    With open hardware Valve can easily announce that Guild Wars 2 is coming to that box.

    Valve is going to be crazy.

    P.S. Big Picture is already a much more intuitive console interface then on PSN or XBL.

    Basically what needs right now:

    1) Exclusive games
    2) Decent Launch lineup (No problem. STEAM has a lot of games)
    3) Decent Next Gen Hardware
    4) Half-Life 3 ! ! !

    #27 1 year ago
  28. Patrick Garratt

    Like, assuming the price is sensible, I’ll probably buy it day one. All my Steam games on my TV? Yes please.

    #28 1 year ago
  29. freedoms_stain

    It’s interesting that considering we’re talking about a device that won’t even be announced in 2013 that so much of the speculation is negative.

    #29 1 year ago
  30. Erthazus

    @28, If all my games from Steam will be on the TV that will be gorgeous.

    And impossible at the same time because it sounds too good to be true.

    #30 1 year ago
  31. Gadzooks!

    I can’t see the steambox ‘changing everything’. To be honest I can’t see it changing ANYTHING.

    People will still have their established favourite franchises, online communities, back catalog and platform preferences. Digital distribution is already moving forward, and PC gaming is already available. What exactly will the Steambox bring to the party that isn’t already there?

    A fixed-spec PC with ‘Valve’ stamped on it isn’t going to revolutionise anything. It’s good to have another competitor in the field, but that’s all it will be.

    #31 1 year ago
  32. Gekidami

    “Sony, MS and Nintendo can’t do the same because they have very strong links with retailers in terms of pricing. They can only drop prices in line with shops. If they didn’t, shops would go bust.”
    Oh, so in a nutshell, what you’re saying is that buying Valve puts people out of their jobs. Okay then.

    #32 1 year ago
  33. viralshag

    @26, Or you could just buy a HDMI cable… I only ever play Farcry 3 on my TV.

    I certainly don’t need to buy a new machine to play PC games on my TV. That was the whole point of big picture mode.

    #33 1 year ago
  34. friendlydave

    @27(which console runs DOTA games that has millions of users?)

    There’s a reason for that, you need a mouse and keyboard for MOBA games for the precision. which I would rather sit at a desk then on my sofa with a tray to rest them on. Unless this bio-controller can somehow provide that.

    Edit* “I certainly don’t need to buy a new machine to play PC games on my TV. That was the whole point of big picture mode.”

    This.

    #34 1 year ago
  35. Erthazus

    @34, Exactly, but who said that you can’t connect your mouse and keyboard via USB in that thing?
    That is a possibility because Valve wants to make a very open platform. (Valve said that you can install Windows on that thing. Woohoo)

    You can play dust 514 on the PS3 (in the future) with mouse and keyboard. for example

    #35 1 year ago
  36. stevenhiggster

    I would have to disagree with you Pat, this won’t really change anything. All it is is a locked down PC which kind of takes the whole point of PC gaming away. Why would I buy this when I already have a good PC which is upgradeable when I deem it necessary.
    For my console fix I’ll stick with Sony as they have the exclusives I’m intersted in, for my PC gaming and Steam usage, I’ll stick with my PC, which btw is already connected to my TV and has a controller! Fancy that, I already have a Steambox!

    #36 1 year ago
  37. friendlydave

    @35 Did you read the rest of my post? I didn’t say you can’t I said why would I sit on my sofa, put some flat surface over my legs to use the mouse and keyboard when I can just sit at my desk. I understand with games that use controllers, sofa can be more comfortable, but for using mouse and keyboard I see no point.

    #37 1 year ago
  38. Gekidami

    Is the “It’s amazingly popular.” bit a joke? A free to register service open since 2003 on a platform billions of people own (for various reasons) has less registered users than the PS3 out since 2006 that costs money has brand new unit sales (second hand not taken into account). Quite frankly, thats a fail, a massive, oh so massive fail.

    #38 1 year ago
  39. viralshag

    @38, True. And just because a lot of people use it doesn’t always mean they like/love it. You would be stupid to not shop digitally through Steam.

    #39 1 year ago
  40. Gekidami

    ^ Indeed, i have a Steam account, and i never use it. Not only is the figure low for what it is, but its about as reliable as PSN account numbers.

    #40 1 year ago
  41. Erthazus

    “why would I sit on my sofa, put some flat surface over my legs to use the mouse and keyboard”

    Why would you do that at all? I know a lot of people who play consoles using PC Monitors. Yeah, really. There are a lot of people like that. Shock! Right?

    #41 1 year ago
  42. friendlydave

    @41 wait what? I don’t think you understand what I’m saying.

    “Why would you do that at all? I know a lot of people who play consoles using PC Monitors. Yeah, really. There are a lot of people like that. Shock! Right?”

    What is this? Has nothing to do with what I said.

    #42 1 year ago
  43. Clupula

    This will change nothing. If anything, I’m getting a very big 3DO vibe from it.

    #43 1 year ago
  44. FabioPal

    @24 Read through my previous posts before shouting “idiot” at people.

    If you don’t want to accept that the strength of consoles is in their closeness than there’s no space to discussion.

    And, again, saying the a “console is essentially a PC” is, again, just wrong.

    Is any of the console based on an x86/x64 architecture? I tell you: no.

    #44 1 year ago
  45. Gadzooks!

    #44

    Both Sony and MS new consoles are x86/x64 using close-to-standard AMD CPUs.

    PC and console architecture is converging, which from a development point of view makes perfect sense.

    #45 1 year ago
  46. Erthazus

    “If you don’t want to accept that the strength of consoles is in their closeness than there’s no space to discussion.”

    Who said that Steambox big Picture mode will not be closed? Who said that?
    You are probably a forecaster and you know what will be inside Steambox too?

    yes, you are an idiot.

    “Is any of the console based on an x86/x64 architecture? I tell you: no.”

    What has hardware architecture have to do with “personal computer”?
    What you described is a hardware and again you are wrong here. Future XBOX and PS4 will use AMD CPU’s that are based on X86/X64 architecture.

    Fail!

    “And, again, saying the a “console is essentially a PC” is, again, just wrong.”

    Explain or just go away.

    #46 1 year ago
  47. Madlink

    I think all of the answers to the questions we have are too far off to say anything definitive, especially ‘This changes everything’.

    I think the idea of a spec for PC developers to work toward for future titles is great, but my only concern would be what that might mean for the back catalogue available on Steam. No developer / publisher is going to back to optimise for this machine. Providing that the spec of this ‘Steam-Box’ is high enough it might not be an issue, but if it’s not, then there’d be plenty of titles that would perform poorly, the kind of titles you currently need a £700 + rig to play decently.

    Yeah, I think you can definitely put me in the ‘How is this different to my PC, an Xbox Controller and a HDMI cable?’ camp right now. And until we get more details, that’s where I’m staying.

    #47 1 year ago
  48. mkotechno

    Half Life 3 will be not a “SteamBox” exclusive, I’m pretty sure will be a “SteamOS” exclusive, so you could play in every PC with a Steam partition, obviously this OS should be free to download.

    #48 1 year ago
  49. deathm00n

    @44 Just stop it right there, you are entering into the mad world of Erthazus, where he is the overlord of crazy arguments about how the PC will rule the world and all the consoles shall burn in the fires of hell!

    And I agree with the majority of this comments, this changes nothing. And I’m saying this being the owner of a gaming pc for many years, now I’m just tired of having to worry about specs and everything and I’m pretty happy with my PS3, I leave it just to play some indie games I brought from steam. I’m not willing to pay this amount of money to have indie games on my TV

    #49 1 year ago
  50. YoungZer0

    So that’s it then? Just a PC in the Box? Since i already have a PC, i don’t think i’m interested and i really, really couldn’t care less about Half-Life 3. I don’t think i ever completed Half-Life 2.

    #50 1 year ago
  51. Kalain

    It may not be a game changer in a physical, hardware sense, but more in way of how they look at content delivery to their user base. The 3 Manufacturers are still heavily reliant on physical stores to push their software sales, and with several of these companies closing down stores across the country they will need to have another way to deliver their games to the players.

    This will require a new train of thought for the major console companies as Valve have such a head start on them. Yes, Steam may not be perfect but it’s a hell of a lot better than what the console manufacturers have now.

    Just the statement of a Steambox coming will have sent ripples through the industry, just not part of the industry that we all see…

    #51 1 year ago
  52. FabioPal

    @49 yeah, you’re right. Sorry guys for feeding the troll, it won’t happen any more, I swear! :)

    #52 1 year ago
  53. YoungZer0

    @52: Troll he? I guess that’s what happens if you call Half-Life 1 and 2 incredibly BORING!

    #53 1 year ago
  54. Eddie Rodrigues

    @49 Erthazus hates gaming, our dear FabioPal at least takes the hand of console gaming, which pretty much gave birth to the gaming industry, just my opinion though.

    Nevertheless I’d buy a Steambox IF I didn’t had plans of getting a PC aimed for gaming, which sounds cheaper and more profitable since I can customize it the way my gaming needs want. But anyone be free to state a reason to get it even this way, I’d like to bring my console friends to the joy Steam is, but I can’t find a better argument than ‘DISCOUNTS!’ and somehow that isn’t enough for most gamers

    #54 1 year ago
  55. Gadzooks!

    #51

    At least half the games I buy on 360 are digital download. At least half of those are in sales.

    Some of the platforms highest selling, most critically acclaimed games are download-only (Trials and Minecraft having several million units sold each for example)

    So apart from pricing, something that can be adjusted pretty easily with a few publisher deals, digital distribution is here and working just fine.

    So for consoles there are no ‘ripples through the industry’, no major re-think of the platforms and services, just a continuation toward a download-only future that has been growing for the last 7 years.

    #55 1 year ago
  56. OlderGamer

    Why do people assume HL3 won’t be playable on PC as well as Bigfoot? It might work on both using the same exact code. Or with very little work from valve.

    The concern i have here is that if you essentialy stop PC game tech from progressing because of Bigfoot that could be bad. In other words three years after it comes out no one will want to push the envolope beacuse the Bigfoot won’t be able to run it. Or will it be upgradable?

    In a sense we already have that problem, consoles have been holding PC back for years now. BigFoot may add to that.

    But I know consoles needed a rethink. Maybe Valve can breath new life into things.

    I am thinking at this point that there might be so many devices next gen that no one enitity will gather one large piece of the marketshare.

    I can tell you one thing, I was not all that excited about next gen. I have my WiiU and my PC. I was happy with that. I will take a wait and see approach to what MS/Sony do. But in the end, if I decide to buy a console…I will also be looking pretty hard at Bigfoot/littlefoot.

    Also amazing to see all of the console fanboys sniffing the wind, it just doesn’t smell right to you guys does it?

    #56 1 year ago
  57. Kalain

    @55

    And what about your ‘Triple A’ games? How are those digital downloads going for you? Consoles are still based on Physical disk sales. The transition to digital only will need a much better rethink than what they’ve got now.

    Are you in the upper echelons of the industry to know what effect an announcement like this will have? Like me, you aren’t, so we don’t know what is happening in the management of MS/Sony/Publishers etc etc, as I stated at the end of the sentence.

    Anything that effects the console-ecosphere will have management types talking about how to counter it or improve what they have. Publishers rushed to get mobile games out when Apple allowed games to be available via iTunes app store. This cause companies to quickly get mobile divisions up and running to tap that new group of players.

    When the largest player in the DD market announces that it’s going to be bringing out a Console like device, then you can guarantee that it will get a lot of people in a lot of companies, talking about it and the ramifications of what it could do to them as a business.

    #57 1 year ago
  58. DSB

    I was pretty shocked to get back on the 360 and see just how crappy the digital offerings were. They’re stuck in a time pocket.

    #58 1 year ago
  59. Gadzooks!

    I sniff the wind and find it stinks of ‘the sky is falling’ bullshit OG.

    Fact: The sky is not falling.

    #59 1 year ago
  60. OlderGamer

    “And what about your ‘Triple A’ games? How are those digital downloads going for you?”

    You might be amazed to learn how many gamers pay XBLA, PSN, or other such byte sized offering over the big box games these days. I buy only a very small handfull of trip a games in a year anymore. They are too much the same, overexposed, and lack frshness. Not to mention they are over priced and DLC fueled, in many cases.

    #60 1 year ago
  61. OlderGamer

    lol sorry Gad, the sky is not falling. Never said it was. But there is a new way of doing biz coming down the road. That could make winners out of some, lossers out of others. For example smaller studios that can compete on Steams indies scenes could be big winners, retail chains could be big lossers. And fanboys that like to debate about which nearly indetical system is better then the other, are taking notice.

    No matter what happens, it is change. And I think change is long long overdue.

    #61 1 year ago
  62. M. K.

    Finally, the first step for valve to be doomed. NICE! :D

    #62 1 year ago
  63. Gadzooks!

    #57

    As I said, the only thing required for consoles to decouple from retail is a pricing adjustment.

    Tell me what else you consider needing a ‘major rethink’ apart from pricing.

    The infrastructure is there. Things like 5 million Minecraft XBLA sales and the popularity of PSN+ says the public accepts console DD in a big way already.

    All Triple-A makes it to console DD stores already, it just needs to get there faster than it currently does.

    But this has been slowly happening for ages. It’s not radical, not a rethink, not a crisis, just a continuation of a trend.

    #63 1 year ago
  64. FabioPal

    That’s the point OG. I really don’t think that it’s a change at all.

    UNLESS they’re actually making a console, which means that you can have exclusives, that the games are not compatible with the PC version etc. But, again, I don’t think they have the raw power/money to enter the console market.

    Oh, for the records, I’m an eager pc gamer and I love Steam for what it offers.

    #64 1 year ago
  65. Telepathic.Geometry

    I think that the people who don’t get how this could change everything are full on PC gamers, who don’t know how many of the filthy console gaming masses want to get into PC gaming, but are turned off by the extremely high psychological barrier to entry.

    Whether it’s real or not, a lot of consumers think of PC gaming and think of an expensive rig that needs to be replaced/upgraded every year or two, high maintenance as regards patches and drivers, the low but significant chance that your game just won’t run correctly (or at all), and cables all over the shop…

    You give me an affordable, presentable PC which I can use to play on my monitor AND my telly, and you stick a “Valve approved” sticker on the side of it so that I know that every Steam title will run on it, and I and SOOOO fucking on board it’s scary…

    Now, can they manage that? I dunno, but if they can, and realistically it seems likely that they can at least get very close to that ideal, Sony, MS and Ninty are in even more trouble than they and the industry at large is already in.

    #65 1 year ago
  66. stretch215

    Still not interested. At all. I also can’t believe people are still waiting for hl3. I’m more pumped for gta V.

    #66 1 year ago
  67. OlderGamer

    Fabio I think Bigfoot will have a mega ton of exclusives. But they may not be trip a games. Look at all of the exclsuives PC has. Indiewise.

    Plus, lets say Bigfoot can run Guild Wars or Rift or EQIII. What if Blizzard get on board and for 350usd you can play StarCraftII, Diablo III, and Wow.

    Right now we know very little. Best to sit tight and wait and see what happens. But I think just about anyone with a level head could look at this and think it could be huge.

    People talk about Vavle entering the console market. but I see it as more of the merging of traditional consoles with modern day PCs. I am not a PC techie. But I game on Steam. Almost everything is plug and play, very rarely do I have a problem. And with the community forums there I can fix the problem with user given step by step instructions. Modern day PCs are what they used to be in the mid 90s.

    Consoles and PCs have been on a collision path scince day one.

    That is all Bigfoot is really going to end up being a more console like PC or if you like a PClike console. Look at the services the xb360 already offers. They are trying to do a lot more then just games. I bet they continue down that road with xbnxt. Consoles in effect are morphing into locked down PCs.

    It amazes me that so many people get up in arms over this at all. I guess people just don’t like change.

    For long time PC gamers I don’t think this represents a major impact. But for long time console gamers…it could be huge.

    I can’t wait for it. I am so tired of traditional consoles. That is why I play PC to begin with.

    #67 1 year ago
  68. Eddie Rodrigues

    @65 they would still be playing on a console though… AND you won’t be able to mod games

    #68 1 year ago
  69. OlderGamer

    @Eddie how do you know it support mods? It might.

    #69 1 year ago
  70. Gadzooks!

    #OG

    “I am so tired of traditional consoles”

    But not the WiiU, right? Cos that isnt a traditional console and you haven’t been raving about it since you got it, right?

    I have popcorn and a LOLshield ready. Take all the time you need….

    ;)

    #70 1 year ago
  71. friendlydave

    @OG “Plus, lets say Bigfoot can run Guild Wars or Rift or EQIII. What if Blizzard get on board and for 350usd you can play StarCraftII, Diablo III, and Wow.”

    My only problem here is I would still want to use a keyboard and mouse for these games, and sitting on my sofa with them is not comfortable.

    There are some MMO’s I could sit on a sofa with a controller but not many.

    Same with FPS games.

    #71 1 year ago
  72. stretch215

    This thing won’t even be announced this year, and probably won’t go on sale until late ’14 early ’15 at the earliest. I don’t think that Sony/ ms have too much to worry about as their consoles will already be out. Valve is not a household name like the big 3 are, and I don’t see many console/pc gamers jumping ship to a “consolized” pc. Of course there are people that will, I just think they are in the minority. This “console” has as much potential to do well as it does to completely flop.

    #72 1 year ago
  73. stretch215

    @70 he’s under the influence of “nintendo magic”, and maybe a good dose of senility ;)

    #73 1 year ago
  74. bitsnark

    “I have popcorn and a LOLshield ready.”

    Oh man! :D

    #74 1 year ago
  75. OlderGamer

    The WiiU GamePad adds to the game experience. So at least that is something. Still tho, I game on PC more then anything else. I have never denied that.

    Also why assume that Bigfoot won’t also use kb/mouse?

    #75 1 year ago
  76. viralshag

    I also don’t get some of the PC gamers here who have been known to knock consoles for thier “shitty sub par graphics” but seem ready and willing to accept this, when this hardware will face the exact same problems.

    Will the hardware in Bigfoot not age just like any other console and be out dated by the progression of PC graphics cards?

    #76 1 year ago
  77. Dragon246

    @70
    I can pre-order the LOLshield? :D
    Consoles really are fine the way they are right now. Only digital prices need to be addressed, and they will be in due course.
    And what #63 said.

    @OG
    “Fabio I think Bigfoot will have a mega ton of exclusives”
    Yeah right. And they will support a steambox instead of millions that have PC?
    PC gaming is not steam, its much bigger than that.
    I like how console fanboys doesn’t include wiiu lovers. Keep going mate!

    #77 1 year ago
  78. DSB

    @76 Why is the argument always horsepower though? I always thought that was the most braindead thing you could use to divert a discusson from the actual experience of using a device.

    The experience is what matters to me. I’m not looking for gauges to max themselves out, I’m looking for something that does a lot of cool stuff, in a way that’s convenient, and that I enjoy using.

    Maybe I’m the atypical PC gamer, but fuck horsepower. That’s really always been little more than icing on the cake. I’m encouraged by the fact that Newell isn’t actually talking about that, and instead focusing on systems and real performance, like improving the controllers, instead of just putting more raindrops on Batman.

    That being said, it’s not like we’re in position to answer any of the big questions right now. My interest is piqued though.

    #78 1 year ago
  79. themadjock

    I foresee this magical open valve steambox console being hacked to pieces. Do Valve think by offering an open platform that hackers will not try to get free games and steal source code just because they can?

    #79 1 year ago
  80. polygem

    ”You give me an affordable, presentable PC which I can use to play on my monitor AND my telly, and you stick a “Valve approved” sticker on the side of it so that I know that every Steam title will run on it, and I and SOOOO fucking on board it’s scary…”

    ^^THIS^^. huge market.

    i really can see ms and valve getting along somehow, sharing pc knowlege/history, being both us companies, dealing out things, games for windows, sharing market. will it really run linux? sony will be shot in the head as a console hardware manufacturer at some point, continuing to produce great games, nintendo might survive. they have a different busines modell. a good one. could be enough.

    i wasn’t that excited about the nextgen but this really does change everything, it’s a bomb…i am excited now, that’s for sure, thx valve and good luck. good chance you’ll get my cash.

    #80 1 year ago
  81. theevilaires

    No God of War….No Uncharted series….No Gran Turismo games….WTF is it changing? Its just going to confuse more consumers out there with already established brands like PlayStation and Nintendo. I think they’ll have better luck if they call the machine Sega Dreamcast 2. Half-Life ranks nowhere near my top 10 fav games of all time so I can care less about HL3 unlike some of you. Even if Valve launched this box at $199 I still wouldn’t pick it up before I invested into the other 3 major players.

    I’m sure Valve will do a hell of a lot better than the phantom did but main stream take over I highly doubt.

    #81 1 year ago
  82. Eddie Rodrigues

    @69 Only if we use an external HD on it, unless the Linux system they add to it allows us to download and manage them.

    @81 They must bring us new IPs though.

    #82 1 year ago
  83. Kabby

    Xbox 720 is probably taped out at this point in time. PS4 is probably more or less done, too. You’re looking at an AMD 7000 series GPU/APU in both. Best case.

    Valve just needs to wait for definite specs to show up and gazump them in the hardware stakes. Think less about it being the Xi3 ‘mini PC’ but more of an open ‘Xbox 800′.

    It’s far more exciting this way. Nobody wants a cheap ass PC sat in the living room.

    #83 1 year ago
  84. DSB

    @82 Newell was pretty clear in saying that you could. They haven’t talked about any restrictions, other than the fact that they prefer to have none.

    “[it’ll] be a Linux box, [and] if you want to install Windows you can. We’re not going to make it hard.”

    Obviously it’s going to come with some form of app to make Steam ready and easy for anyone who buys the box, but it sounds to me like you can do whatever you want with it beyond that.

    It’s not a closed console. I reckon choosing Linux has more to do with keeping costs down, and of course deferring that potential expense to you.

    #84 1 year ago
  85. Eddie Rodrigues

    @84 I’ll check this out but if that is so you clearly changed my view on this console, so thank you. As for now I still won’t be planning on getting one for price matters, unless Valve manages to make it cheaper here in Brazil (that is $999 dollars converted into reais and not $999 dollars converted into reais then added 200% in taxes)

    #85 1 year ago
  86. DSB

    Here’s the full interview, well worth a look:

    http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/8/3852144/gabe-newell-interview-steam-box-future-of-gaming

    #86 1 year ago
  87. Phoenixblight

    I honestly don’t think this Steambox will be a traditional console. I just think it will be for those that just don’t want to have a PC they have to manage and worry about upgrading. Just don’t see Valve pulling a MS and shunning an entire market they have built just to get a swing at console market especially since consoles are being predicted to be on its last gen. What we understand as consoles now will eventually become a service that the big 3 will provide to consumers.

    #87 1 year ago
  88. Eddie Rodrigues

    @86 This article was more complete than I’d thought, clearly changed a lot my view, although the price still quite… horrifying

    #88 1 year ago
  89. Kalain

    @Gad

    You’re right on on how quickly can they get a game to Digital from retail, but also how will a new player effect them. Look at Sony. They didn’t discuss the effect MS had with the first Xbox, they were expecting the PS3 to sell just as well as the PS2 in their short sighted arrogance and look what happened when the 360 was released a full year ahead of them?

    In an industry which is so competitive, any hint of a new console from any major players, will get people asking what will it be capable of, what features might it have that they don’t. With a Steambox, they’ll more than likely go look at steam and examine it at lot more thoroughly and keep an eye on it’s development a lot more. Knowing what your competition is doing helps you keep a step ahead or on a level field at least.

    If companies are not talking about it, then they haven’t learned from Sony’s mistake.

    @86
    Good article, gives a much bigger insight into what Gabe wants from the Steambox.

    #89 1 year ago