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Valve hardware news “rolling out” next week, Newell promises Linuxcon

Monday, 16th September 2013 22:46 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Steambox news is coming next week, Valve boss Gabe Newell told an audience at Linuxcon 2013.

Speaking at the convention, Newell addressed the topic of closed platforms and said Valve is looking to the more open Linux as the future of gaming.

“The next step in our contribution to this is to release some work we’ve done on the hardware side. Even more broadly in terms of the grand unification, we really don’t think that the fragmentation around the physical location or the input devices of computation is either necessary or desirable for software developers or for consumers,” he said.

“None of the propriety closed platforms are going to be able to provide that grand unification between mobile, the living room, and the desktop. Next week we’re going to be rolling out more information about how we get there and what are the hardware opportunities that we see for bringing Linux into the living room and potentially pointing further down the road to how we can get it even more unified with mobile.”

You can watch Newell’s full presentation below.

Valve has confirmed it has been working on a Steambox, which may have a biometric controller, codenamed Bigfoot; we expected the hardware to go into testing earlier this year. In addition, it has indicated its support of Steam boxes like the Xi3 Piston.

Thanks, Destructoid.

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27 Comments

  1. Diingo

    >Steambox
    >Steambox
    >Steambox
    >Steambox
    >Steambox
    >Steambox
    >Steambox
    >Steambox
    >Steambox
    >Steambox
    >Steambox
    >Steambox

    #1 11 months ago
  2. DSB

    They very publicly disowned the Xi3 though :P

    It’s not a Steam box, it’s a Windows 8 box.

    #2 11 months ago
  3. pcbros

    I’m very excited to see what Valve can bring to the hardware side of PC gaming. It has already done an excellent job on the software side.

    I do think there are too many hardware choices for the average gamer. I think having several choices for hard drives, motherboards, RAM and even CPU is fine since they don’t have a severe impact on gaming.

    But I think video card choices need to be simplified. I’m all for several manufactures releasing the same video card. But I don’t think we need a GTX 650, GTX 650 Ti, GTX 650 Ti Boost, GTX 660, GTX 660 Ti and GTX 660 FTW, etc. It’s just too confusing for people.

    They need to have a video card (in ATI and Nvidia flavors) for just a few categories. One for the average user and one for gamers.

    For example, they release the GTX 650 as the “standard” card and the GTX 670 as the “gamer” card. Then game developers would optimize their games to use the “gamer” video card. After 3 – 5 years, they can release new improved cards.

    But right now people are having to upgrade their cards every 1 – 2 years to run games at max settings. That makes PC gaming seem like something only rich people can afford and scares away people.

    I hope the Steambox addresses these issues. Maybe developers will create games to cater to the Steambox hardware.

    #3 11 months ago
  4. AngryConsumer

    @3 LOL… you know the average gamer just buy a console. they cant be arsed with 1000 different graphic cards and installing windows etc.

    #4 11 months ago
  5. noamlol2

    FUCK NEXT GEN

    even if it’s a 1000$ i’ll buy it

    sony can suck their HDCP and subscribtion fees

    PC for the win

    #5 11 months ago
  6. pcbros

    @4 – Steambox might change that. If the Steambox can manage to have atleast a AMD FX-6300, 8GB RAM, 500GB HDD, and GTX 660, those specs would out run a PS4 or XB1.

    The above gaming specs currently costs about $650 to build by a consumer buying from Newegg. So I’m sure Valve could build it for a lot cheaper.

    A $400 Steambox would totally change the way people see PC gaming. The Steam game library is already full of great games.

    Also +1 to Valve for using Linux! :D

    #6 11 months ago
  7. Phoenixblight

    “The above gaming specs currently costs about $650 to build by a consumer buying from Newegg. So I’m sure Valve could build it for a lot cheaper.”

    Uh huh what makes you think that? They don’t have manufacturing power that MS and Sony does and some how Valve will cut the costs to make it cheaper? Get flipping real. Also Gabe and his dream for Linux is a guy realizing that his company will slowly become irrelevant as things become more digital. Linux will never take over game development or gaming that is the same bull shit of atoms taking over polygons. Somehow 5% of the OS market will become a majority? I would say Chrome OS taking over is more likely than Linux.

    #7 11 months ago
  8. DSB

    Say wut Phoenix? You do realize that Sony and Microsoft aren’t manufacturing their own stuff right? They’re all looking to contract as much manufacturing power as possible, often from within the very same factories. Foxconn can’t even build their factories fast enough to keep up with demand.

    And somehow I doubt they’re paying full price on something like the AMD chips. AMD were desperate. I’m guessing they simply undercut everybody else.

    #8 11 months ago
  9. Phoenixblight

    @8

    “Say wut Phoenix? You do realize that Sony and Microsoft aren’t manufacturing their own stuff right? They’re all looking to contract as much manufacturing power as possible, often from the very same factories. Foxconn can’t even build their factories fast enough to keep up with demand.”

    What ass are you pulling this from? It doesn’t matter lets assume you are right if Sony and MS are having issues somehow Valve will get ahead of Sony and MS? It will be a niche device for niche hardcore base like #1, #3, and #5.

    #9 11 months ago
  10. DSB

    @9 Look it up, it’s a warzone out there.

    Microsoft and Sony have the same issues as everybody else making hardware, and it’s not gonna be easier for Valve. They’re vying for the very same sub-contractors.

    The real question is whether Valve will be able to build the kinds of relationships they need to keep it cheap. It’s all about cents on the dollar.

    It could end up as a niche device, or it could become the iPod for gamers. Time will tell.

    #10 11 months ago
  11. Phoenixblight

    @10

    I don’t need to look it up. You are the one making the claim, one based on rumors at that. If we are basing facts on rumors then I will go with SOny was well ahead of the game and was having their consoles made in advance.

    #11 11 months ago
  12. DSB

    @11 Suit yourself, it’s common knowledge.

    I don’t think Microsoft or Sony have specifically addressed who will actually be making the new consoles, but the 360 was made by four different sub-contractors, and the PS3 was a joint venture between Sonys own plants and two other sub-contractors.

    That’s just at a cursory glance.

    #12 11 months ago
  13. Phoenixblight

    @12

    If it is “common Knowledge” why can’t you provide a link to such? Its just a scapegoat being used. “Oh I can’t provide proof but its common knowledge.” You are making the claim, you carry the burden of proof. MS has dropped 8 countries for release, not to mention all the conventions using a PC with Windows 8, Nvidia’s latest cards that probably means problems with meeting demands but that is not a claim as such. If you can just provide a link of the sub-contractors or even AMD saying they are having issues meeting demands then I would say you are right but until then its just you pulling crap out of your ass to prove a point.

    #13 11 months ago
  14. GwynbleiddiuM

    @PB It’s true, Microsoft is not a manufacturer, Sony’s manufacturers of choice are ASUS and Foxxcon. There are a few select consumer electronic products that Sony puts together themselves but that’s it. And Microsoft never ever had a manufacturing factory.

    BTW ASUS and Foxxcon are world’s largest manufacturers respectively.

    #14 11 months ago
  15. Phoenixblight

    @14

    Never said MS was a manufacturer. I said MS and SOny have manufacturing power that Valve or Steam doesn’t have. There is a difference.

    #15 11 months ago
  16. DSB

    @13 Honestly, it’s too exhausting to try and formulate a picture of. I’m not even sure I’m up to date. I’d suggest following the news.

    The outlook will literally flip within six months. One day you have a semiconductor shortage, the next it’s LCD displays, then it’s a labor shortage, and then you have the exact opposite problem with everybody building shit to beyond capacity, so the suppliers stock drops, and then they cut down, and then demand rises again, and then the customers stock drops because there’s not enough shit to go around, and the whole thing starts over.

    There’s zero stability.

    Google something like “tech supply shortage” and prepare for a headache. If you really want to paint a picture, go for “display shortage”, “semiconductor shortage”, “Flextronics shortage”, “Foxconn shortage”, “TSMC shortage”. Take your pick. Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

    Just after a cursory glance at that shit, I’m pretty sure I’ll steer clear of anything remotely connected to the words “supply chain” :P

    Either way, I dare you to walk into a room full of people who know what they’re talking about and claim that Sony and Microsoft manufacture their own consoles. For Sony it would only be partly true.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/12/us-pegatron-forecast-idUSBRE97B09420130812

    Pegatron seems to be signed up for the PS4.

    #16 11 months ago
  17. pcbros

    @7 – “Uh huh what makes you think that? They don’t have manufacturing power that MS and Sony does and some how Valve will cut the costs to make it cheaper?”

    I didn’t say they will make it cheaper than MS or Sony, I said compared to paying retail at Newegg.com, they could build it for less money. I’m assuming that buying wholesale and in bulk, will be cheaper than buying one piece of hardware at retail. Pretty common sense.

    I look forward to seeing how Steambox develops. PC gaming is great and people need to stop fearing it. I have so many great games for Steam (most of which I bought for $5 or less). Almost all indie titles get released on Steam as well.

    #17 11 months ago
  18. sebastien rivas

    @3
    I agree it is confusing and have asked from consumers extensive researches before throwing their wallets out, worse in recent months for example newer technology made price of some components just EXPLODE off the roof (cough Nvidia cough).
    Now comes a process we have all been through with one word, NORMALITY.
    In effect, if your flagship hardware sells for more or much more in this case then nothing keeps you from bumping your mid hardware or even your low-mid hardware as long as well… you do not see much competition. Us as consumers we just swallow the pill and call it NORMAL in favor for look at what it can do… woowww flashy… In other words we are pimped, this does not only go for (cough nvidia cough…of course).
    Think I am wrong? Think of 6 years ago, spending 300~400$ would take you the top of the line and a 150~200 was mid range, 10 years ago a 250$ would take you the top of the line and a 90$ was a mid range. Nowadays, 999~1200 I assume.. am I right? and a mid range is around what 500~600$ for a ~770?
    So yes card have gotten bigger meaning they use more silicons than 10 years ago, yet, is the different a price value. Moreover and in conjunction with the addition of other components on card, the shrink of components size, that make up for the difference and are we really pimped?

    My first reaction is YES standardizing a bit video cards will help us consumer to go back to some reasonable price range because right now it is frantically outrageous and seriously PR’ed and helped by some BS marketing to be honest… My new purchase X790 TI boost ultra premium milkyway is faster than anything in the world… too bad bro you are already has been because my X790 GTX boost TI with plate reinforced armor dual turbine 3000 …. smokes you by a large 1.0111 percent in that particular game.

    Back to the article

    I believe Valve is doing a good thing here, I can;t wait to have more info about that Steambox do’s and don’t and specs :) Nice hoice to go with Linux btw, it needs some love from companies like Steam/Valve. I tip my hat to you guys!

    #18 11 months ago
  19. Dragon246

    @PB,
    +1
    Steambox is DOA imo. Do you really think a small company (yeah, small in front of Sony and MS) can undercut the big corps.
    Hell, they are even smaller than Ninty.

    #19 11 months ago
  20. pcbros

    @19 – With that mentality, indie developers are DOA since they are facing big corps like EA and Activision.

    And here is some food for thought, how did Steam (Valve) blow Games for Windows (Microsoft) out of the water? Shouldn’t Microsoft have been able to easily destroy Valve, since they are so big and have endless resources?

    Don’t underestimate the small guys…

    #20 11 months ago
  21. Phoenixblight

    @16

    Again I never said MS or SOny were manufacturers. I said they have manufacturing power that Valve doesn’t. I can see where I got confused was arguing a different point. I was talking about Sony and MS meeting demands and disagreeing with you on that they can’t make it where you were talking about them manufacturing them and whether they did it themselves or through contract.

    #21 11 months ago
  22. Dragon246

    @20,
    First understand the difference between “hardware” and “software”.
    One is a manufacturing sector, another is service sector.
    You can make a game just on skills, but hardware requires real big monetary investment.

    And I am pretty sure I would be right. PS4 and X1 (at least PS4) sales will blow the steam out of steambox.
    Wanna take a bet?

    “Shouldn’t Microsoft have been able to easily destroy Valve, since they are so big and have endless resources?”
    Yeah right. Valve is too small for MS to really care about. Food for thought, how many Steam users are there? And how many 360 users are there?
    Hint- Difference is in 10s of millions. 360 has more users and make more profit than Valve made in more than 10 years.

    And you know why Valve is going all gaga about Linux? Its simply because they know MS can lock them out of Windows which will kill them.

    #22 11 months ago
  23. Telepathic.Geometry

    @pcbros: I agree with virtually everything you say man.

    I think that Valve has the flexibility that few other companies has, to quickly get something decent to market, and then quickly iterate on it nimbly until their consumer base is satisfied.

    Also, it’s not like Valve are a tiny company. They are filthy rich, and thanks to Steam, they have the customers’ faith and goodwill, and the support of the industry, who understand that Valve knows what the fuck it’s doing.

    In fact, I would go further. Microsoft is less capable in these endeavours. It is too huge and shambling a company, and everything they do needs to go through a mill of paperwork and meetings, and be ratified and backwards compatible with archaic standards… And MS are out of touch.

    #23 11 months ago
  24. Llewelyn_MT

    @PhoenixBlight: “Also Gabe and his dream for Linux is a guy realizing that his company will slowly become irrelevant as things become more digital.” Made my day. :-D

    #24 11 months ago
  25. TheBlackHole

    A Linux Steambox is DOA because NONE of your existing Steam catalogue will work on it.

    Steam is predominantly a windows-based platform, so most games don’t have linux versions.

    #25 11 months ago
  26. Mike W

    @6

    Very good point. If they can somehow manage to be competitive with Sony and MS price wise, then this will turn out to be an interesting market battle.

    #26 11 months ago
  27. pcbros

    @22 – You have any numbers or links to back up those comparisons?

    “And you know why Valve is going all gaga about Linux? Its simply because they know MS can lock them out of Windows which will kill them.”

    I’m sure the fact that Linux is 100% free and open-source has nothing to do with it.

    @24 – The nice thing about a Steambox is that PCs do not suffer from the lack of backwards compatibility. I can still play classic DOS games!

    @26 – But I don’t think they would invest in launching a new hardware that would only play a small percentage (has to be around 25% or less) of the library. They must have something planned.

    #27 11 months ago

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