Hardware Manufacturers Concerned About The Viability Of Steam Machines

Written by Jon Sutton on Mon, May 19, 2014 12:40 PM
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A number of third-parties have expressed their concerns regarding the viability of Steam Machines, with some claiming the market just isn’t there for profitable machines.

Alienware, Falcon Northwest, and iBuyPower are among those manufacturers worried about the imminent arrival of living room gaming PCs, making it clear that perceived value and market fragmentation could mean a slow start…

Valve unveiled the Steam Machines concept last year, alongside the SteamOS and the ever-evolving Steam Controller. The entire concept is part of a drive to integrate PC gaming more effectively into the living room, and in turn taking back the market share from console-exclusive gamers.

For Valve it sounds like an almost risk-free recipe for success; for the hardware manufacturers though it’s potentially a multi-million dollar gamble as they push these living room PCs out there.

Speaking to Gamasutra, general manager of Alienware’s gaming division Frank Azor said "It's going to be very challenging. This will absolutely be the least profitable system we ever sell."

iBuyPower’s director Tuan Nguyen was also also wary, warning "It's like the Android phone marketplace. You have phones all over the place with wild specs and pricing.” Part of the initial assumption with Steam Machines was that it would lead to a simplification of the PC marketplace, but it’s increasingly looking like the opposite may be true.

Kelt Reeves, president of Falcon Northwest, retains his faith in Valve’s concept though, saying "If anyone can do this, Valve can do it."

What we do know is that Steam Machines should begin cropping up for sale in the coming months, with the Steam Controller tipped for an October launch.

Interested in either the Steam Controller or the Steam Machines?

Has Valve done enough to make the Steam Machines a worthwhile purchase?

Let off some steam in the comments section below!

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00:45 Jun-04-2014

Asus' Steam Machine looks amazing, and has nice hardware

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13:03 Jun-04-2014

A link, please?

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16:29 May-28-2014

"If anyone can do this, Valve can do it."


Aint that the truth!

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20:06 May-31-2014

Well said, I must say.

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13:30 May-20-2014

Steam machine brings best of both worlds! But linux is not an everyday OS in my sense. I mean you need to do lot of f*cks to get the thing going. It's no simple thing.


And it needs exclusive titles to get users

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09:30 May-20-2014

okay whats next ?
the origin machine ?
the walmart machine !!
its anarchy !! :/

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07:13 May-20-2014

I don't think gamers will prefer steam machines over PCs and consoles :\

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20:42 May-19-2014

imo only the 500$ cuberpower steam machine makes sense ( the one with i5 ,8gb ram 500gb hdd and r9 270 / gtx 760 ) .

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19:13 May-19-2014

one thing that may let steam os down, What if some one wanted to play a game like battlefield 4, or any other ea game

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18:05 May-19-2014

Then they shouldn't have started selling steam machines while the OS is still in -alpha state...
ooh, and that's been said by me, someone who dislikes steam machines and steam oss, but sees it as a good oportunity for more games to be released on linux

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17:28 May-19-2014

No offense to anyone who likes these these steam machines are useless anyways both to console players as well as PC gamers.Valve should focus on making games and bring Half-Life 3 and Portal 3 rather than this.
But I like that controller though..Will try it out one day.

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04:51 May-20-2014

Well SteamOS basically "hides" the features of a comon Linux distro. You can get much more if you install Ubuntu for example and add Steam to it.

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14:12 May-19-2014

I still don't see who the Steam Machine is for? PC people aren't gonna leave their rigs for this, and I really don't see console players giving up next gen systems for this either. And you won't even be able to play Origin or Uplay, right?

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14:47 May-19-2014

The idea behind the Steam Machine is to hybrid PC gamers with console gamers. And the ability to upgrade the console more like a PC vs. a console. With PS4/XB1 and Wii U you get what you get for the next 5 to 8 years. Steam Machine you could literally swap out the VGA card to a newer model...The controller is a hybrid to from what I read....

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16:50 May-19-2014

it's really simple actually,
people will have OS designed and optimized for Steam games, with practically no resources eaten by OS itself (unlike Windows) and so will be able to offer noticeably better performance especially when different API will be used (DirectX is Microsoft's monopole so don't expect DX-based games to run in SteamOS),
also the OS will be given for free, so people can save bunch of money not buying Windows for the machine and not loosign ability to play the games, browse internet and do many other things (since the SteamOS is just Debian modification and so most Linux programs work there too)

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17:24 May-19-2014

Ok. That makes sense. I didn't know the Steam OS could do all that. Thanks for the info.

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17:39 May-19-2014

I have tested SteamOS in December last year - check blog , and I've been testing various Linux-based OSes for years so SteamOS wasn't a "big new" for me haha :Đ

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04:58 May-20-2014

I think you don't realize SteamOS is Linux, people already use many disros like Ubuntu andplay native Steam games with it so there is no loosing in here.

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17:45 May-19-2014

You have tested steam os which is just linux
But steam box is just overpriced piece of normal hardware you can buy and put together with own hands by anybody with iq above 40
And upgradable vga? So what, anybody remember hd7950 mac edition with 50% higher price? :-D

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11:26 May-20-2014

Yeah, I wouldn't buy those u boxes either, I would just make one

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13:42 May-19-2014

So they are questioning the PC? sorry but for me everything depends of steamOS, hardware has nothing to do here

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15:02 May-19-2014

SteamOS only supports NVIDIA hardware, And not AMD hardware. Sorry dude :P

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19:27 May-19-2014

i dont think Valve is that stupid to go without AMD support in the long run.


StarC is comming up and they are heavy on the Mantle, think of all the players that will go away from SteamOS, I think might lose up to half of the PC world interested in their OS...

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20:08 May-19-2014

yup, they started with nVidia support which does NOT mean they wouldn't give a fak about AMD, I expect the final release of SteamOS will have proper driver support and optimization for both :)

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22:00 May-19-2014

It is because AMD does not have Linux drivers for there hardware like NVIDIA does. NVIDIA has always support Linux!

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22:12 May-19-2014

@Tzzsmk
i dont even mind if it wont be on its launch day, i just hope that steamOS will make AMD rethink all that Linux support plan they have (or should i say "have-not") ^^

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08:15 May-20-2014

Maleficarus ..that is wrong because years ago I tested Xubuntu with my HD4350 and there were drivers :P

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14:52 May-20-2014

There poor performing half @ss Linux drivers. That is what I meant sorry...

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17:07 May-19-2014

Nothing wrong with that!

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17:26 May-19-2014

Not for you, Atleast :/

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14:18 May-20-2014

I think its all up to AMD, they MUST improve their drivers for Linux as sooner as possible
(I tried them on Ubuntu and they are horrible, weird screen tearing, extremely poor performace etc...) This is also why Valve hates AMD and prefers Nvidia.

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13:34 May-19-2014

My biggest question about Steambox is, can it run Origin or Uplay? What if we want to play, say Battlefield 4 or Dragon Age Inquisition which are Origin only? And Assassins creed which required Uplay?

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13:45 May-19-2014

SteamOS is running on Debian which is a sort of Linux, if you wanna play DirectX-based games you have a problem :P

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17:29 May-19-2014

That basically means you cant play anything.

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04:47 May-20-2014

Linux always had Wine, with it you can play Windows games and PlayOnLinux simplyfies the process with a game list.

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04:52 May-20-2014

But it has its fair share of problems everyone knows that

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05:30 May-20-2014

At lest the PlayOnLinux list makes most of the games run pretty well

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13:16 May-19-2014

Whether steam machine will be successful or not depends on whether Steam OS will be successful or not; Valve should work hardly and quickly for the compatibility of Steam OS ...

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13:28 May-19-2014

wise words, so far SteamOS is not even as good as Windows+Steam

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13:12 May-19-2014

what a bullshiet :P
I could consider my PC "Steambox" and it's definitely one of best deals I've ever done :Đ

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