Print 17 comment(s) - last by GreyMulkin.. on Jan 7 at 9:50 PM

IBUYPOWER's SteamOS-only machine will retail for $499

IBUYPOWER is spreading its wings a bit at this year’s CES with the launch of its SBX Steam Machine. The company makes its very clear that this is NOT a PC, but instead a SteamOS-only machine with an eye for bringing entertainment to the living room.
“We wanted to really show the world that the power of desktop gaming machine can be experienced in the living room in a totally seamless way,” said Darren Su, Co-founder and VP of iBUYPOWER. “All preconceptions of what entertainment in the living room should and can be, are out the door.”

The LED lighting is configurable via an iOS/Android app

The SBX will be available with multi-core processors from AMD and Intel. However, the machine demonstrated today at CES came equipped with a quad-core AMD Athlon X4 740 processor paired with 4GB of RAM and an AMD Radeon R7 250 GPU (1GB).
Priced at $499, you’ll also receive a 500GB hard drive along with a Steam Controller and an HDMI cable.

Steam Controller
A Steam controller will be included

The SBX will be available in either black or white; both of which have color configurable LEDs bisecting the top and bottom halves of the console. The lighting will be controllable via an app for iOS- or Android-based devices.
The SBX is scheduled to launch in Q2 2014.

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I just want the controller
By Labotomizer on 1/7/2014 11:01:38 AM , Rating: 2
I have a high end gaming PC. The controller is really all that intrigues me. And since it will work fine with Windows running Steam I really don't see the appeal of this. I know you can stream games to the TV in the living room but $500 to do that seems a bit crazy. I could run HDMI for cheaper or have a Wireless Display adapter configured for substantially less.

However this could be a plus for closing the delay from console to PC games in the long run, so I'm all for that.

RE: I just want the controller
By Breakfast Susej on 1/7/2014 11:51:54 AM , Rating: 3
I think the point is to continually chip away at Windows dependency until Microsoft is no longer the center of the PC gaming universe.

Windows 8 and Microsofts current direction seems to have really struck a nerve with valve, and they seem to be on a mission to end the era of Windows gaming dominance. More power to them, but honestly it's a long road that may be pretty rough.

I have to assume that Valve sees it that the writing is on the wall with Windows becoming a walled garden and forcing everyone down the metro with app store path. Eventually abandoning the desktop interface all together with the metro interface becoming all there is. Whether this will actually happen or not, I have my doubts. The consumers seem to be rejecting Metro pretty resoundingly.

Either way, It's interesting. And I'm really excited to see a company like valve throw their influence behind Linux like this.

RE: I just want the controller
By Labotomizer on 1/7/2014 1:33:27 PM , Rating: 2
I understand why they're interested in Linux. And while them using Linux as the foundation for SteamOS is certainly helpful to a more open platform for gaming I believe that pushing OpenGL will pay off even more. DirectX has become stale due to the lack of any real competition. Developers don't really want to go back to writing to the hardware. So major improvements to OpenGL will help Linux and Mac gaming, runs on Windows just fine and will force advancements in DirectX. Everyone wins in that scenario.

RE: I just want the controller
By someguy123 on 1/7/2014 3:29:21 PM , Rating: 2
DirectX has been at parity with opengl for a while now. The practical performance difference is negligible. The only real benefit is faster drawcalls on opengl (limited to nvapi mostly thanks to AMD's poor opengl support), but it's not a substantial difference. The only real platform with a huge api benefit over directx/opengl are consoles, which would be difficult to accomplish on a PC due to security issues surrounding direct low level hardware access on such an open platform.

RE: I just want the controller
By flatrock on 1/7/2014 4:58:37 PM , Rating: 2
I understand the advantage for Valve. I don't see the advantages to consumers.

It's basically PC hardware at a PC price. It's slightly cheaper because of the OS, you are giving up an awfully lot of flexibility and game selection to avoid paying MS around $100 or less for the OS.

If you are going to spend the money on PC hardware, why settle for a gaming specific box with a limited software library. Doesn't make sense to me.

I guess if you want the simplicity of a console (assuming Steam OS offers that), and don't want to pay a monthly fee, it may make sense. They had better get some top tier titles available for it soon if they want to succeed.

By flyingpants1 on 1/7/2014 1:25:33 AM , Rating: 2
So what's good about this? Overpriced/underperforming vs. A PS4, and no game selection with SteamOS only (although I don't see why they would prevent you from installing Windows). You can likely upgrade some of the internals, but this ends up costing even more and the casual target market doesn't know or care..

It's probably going to take another generation before they figure out how to commoditize these things and find out where the advantages are..

RE: huh
By purerice on 1/7/2014 3:38:52 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, you can add Windows on there.
I was stoked when they early mentioned $500 would include the R9 270 but the 250 is 1/2 the 260x and slower than even the 7750.

The 270 seemed too good to be true but the 250 is really... meh...

RE: huh
By GreyMulkin on 1/7/2014 9:48:46 PM , Rating: 2
On game selection, there's more games for SteamOS / Linux than there are for PS4.

/PS4 owner
//runs Steam on Linux

Oh Wow!
By vol7ron on 1/7/2014 10:21:39 AM , Rating: 3
$500 w/ a Steam Controller!? AND a HDMI cable !?!?

Where does the line start?

RE: Oh Wow!
By ClownPuncher on 1/7/2014 12:49:23 PM , Rating: 2
I'd pay that just for the HDMI cable.

Ideas from Valve are usually...
By MZperX on 1/7/2014 1:42:09 PM , Rating: 2
... great, even groundbreaking (like Half-Life or Steam) but I don't get this one. I've had a gaming capable HTPC connected to the big screen TV in the living room since 2008. Anyone with even a modest budget could do this for years if they wanted to game on their TV. Nowadays it's getting ridiculously affordable if you build an AMD APU based system. It might not run Metro 2033 at 120 FPS but it will play the vast majority of games (even big titles) with acceptable visual settings and frame rates at 1080p. So, the only thing new/interesting here is perhaps the controller. But even that is a long shot since the Xbox 360 controllers work so seamlessly with Steam for pretty much anything you'd want to play with game controllers. And if you wanted a setup like this, chances are you already have the controllers (I do).

So, who's going to pay $500 for this box to stream games from another PC is a mystery. This may be the first time that I can remember when Valve misses the mark. I guess we'll see...

By GreyMulkin on 1/7/2014 9:50:19 PM , Rating: 2
Most people don't build their own computers or have any idea that a regular desktop computer can be hooked up to their TV.

There is a market for these kinds of things but I don't know how big it will be.

Good start.
By blzd on 1/7/14, Rating: -1
RE: Good start.
By flyingpants1 on 1/7/2014 1:50:11 AM , Rating: 2
It's linux dude. It can't run PC games designed for Windows (most of Steam's catalogue). The most it can do is stream them from another Windows PC on the LAN.

RE: Good start.
By Breakfast Susej on 1/7/2014 10:24:03 AM , Rating: 1
I'm wishing for good things for Steam OS. But that's just marketing talk. It's going to be able to stream games from your windows PC to the steambox and thus play every game on steam. That's what they actually mean.

They know it can never have native Linux support for every game in the back catalog of steam, it's just not feasible. So they are big on promoting this feature and downplaying the dependency on having a Windows PC.

Assuming they can get new games coming out on Linux regularly and everything goes amazingly well it could be awesome for Linux as well as Linux gaming. Don't be deceived though into thinking it isn't still a big risk that may not work out.

RE: Good start.
By vol7ron on 1/7/2014 10:25:10 AM , Rating: 2
Laptops come with a screen, keyboard, trackpad, camera, mobility, amongst other things...

... pickles to carrots, pickles to carrots

RE: Good start.
By Motoman on 1/7/2014 11:09:38 AM , Rating: 2
Or, you can connect your PC to your TV with an HDMI cable.

If you want to be nifty, run it through the walls with some keystone jacks.

In the end, you'll basically be doing what the "Steambox" is doing, and save a ridiculous amount of money, and have one less computer in the house to worry about.

"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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