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Gabe Newell  (Source:
Steam Box has to beat Apple into the living room

Gabe Newell said that Apple may be the main problem with getting the Steam Box into living rooms.

Newell, Valve's co-founder, told a class at the University of Texas' LBJ School of Public Affairs that Apple could be a threat to his company's upcoming Steam Box if it gets to the living room first.

Steam Box is Valve-developed hardware that aims to broaden the reach of Steam, which is Valve's digital distribution and multiplayer/communications platform. Right now, Steam delivers a variety of games to a user's desktop computer, but Steam Box will bring these games to the living room -- such as on a TV with Big Picture mode.

Not much else has been disclosed about Steam Box, other than the fact that it's Linux-based and will be an open system (Newell even said that it'd be possible to install Windows onto the Steam Box). While no release date is in sight, Newell worries that Apple may launch a similar platform for the living room -- thus beating Valve to the punch.

"The threat right now is that Apple has gained a huge amount of market share, and has a relatively obvious pathway towards entering the living room with their platform," Newell said. "I think that there's a scenario where we see sort of a dumbed down living room platform emerging — I think Apple rolls the console guys really easily. The question is can we make enough progress in the PC space to establish ourselves there, and also figure out better ways of addressing mobile before Apple takes over the living room?"

While Valve is looking to offer the best hardware for the best possible price point, Newell worries that Apple may make a move first and offer a closed platform that will lack the user-generated content that Valve (through Steam Box) would offer.

"The biggest challenge, I don't think is from the consoles," Newell said. "I think the biggest challenge is that Apple moves on the living room before the PC industry sort of gets its act together."

Source: Polygon

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RE: Very strange outlook
By Samus on 2/2/2013 12:09:54 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, working backwards, I'll start with how clueless you are of the x86 ISA.

It is SO hard to license, that currently only two manufactures print wafers built on it. VIA/Cyrix/Transmetta/etc have all given up licensing because it was expensive and more complicated that buying licenses for Microsoft software (which is, and always has been, a disaster, working through vendors that have no idea what is what.)

BOTH ISA's are PROPRIETARY. ARM Holdings is substantially more lax with instruction modifications and additions as long as they are still compatible with their target compiler, ie, ARM v7.

Everything else you said shows that you need to research and understand instruction sets better, and why x86 is NOT desirable for 99% of what people interact with on a device. CISC computing is completely inefficient for almost everything. It can not be made power efficient. Yes, the Intel Atom-based smartphone is pretty fast, but the battery life is lower and it still lags in even optimized conditions (such as sun spider) clock-for-clock.

If you play BF3, you might know other people who have tried BF3 on dual core CPU's. BF3, like most new games is optimized for quad-core, which is you your (and my) i7 run it so well. I fear these game consoles, which as I said aren't modular or upgradable, will severely lack the power of our i7's very quickly, which will again hinder advanced development.

If they're going to go x86 in a console, the only real advantage is transparency (upgradability) which the manufactures wont take advantage of.

There is little-to-no argument you can have with me or any other engineer that CISC architecture is superior to RISC architecture. Why do you think your videocard is so good at what it does, after all? It sure as hell isn't x86 :)

RE: Very strange outlook
By ktemple on 2/2/2013 10:42:35 AM , Rating: 2
There isn't much truth to anything you just said.

No one has the RISC vs CISC argument anymore. That ship has sailed. ARM CPUs implement CISC features and philosophies now to help overcome some of their legacy constraints, and white papers on the next generation show them doing it even more so. The x86 family has been implementing RISC features and philosophies for years.

Medfield has average battery performance. That's pretty good considering your and others' accusations that it's an insatiable battery monster. It also performs well. This is all on the first try. Chances are, Merrifield is going to embarrass you in this argument. Intel has shown time and again how competent they are in the CPU space. You generally don't want to bump heads with a group that spends as much as they do on R&D.

GPUs actually aren't all that great at what they do. They achieve their goals through brute force throughput and parallelism, mainly because that area is so advanced that computer science makes slow strides in developing efficiencies for it. Most recent advancements in consumer-level graphics technology have been small implementations of CISC philosophies.

Ultimately, your argument is invalid. Both philosophies have their place, which is why this argument died years ago and the two started intermingling. HSA tech will accelerate that miscegenation, and most parts in the near future will be able to draw on each feature where appropriate.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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