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Will Steam Machines be a true competitor to Xbox One/ PlayStation 4?

by on November 28, 2013
 

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Next-gen is officially here! We now have both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 available in almost every country of the world (with a few exceptions), and we can say that the race between titans has started.

We are looking closely at how Microsoft’s and Sony’s consoles are evolving but none really seemed to take Valve’s new gadget in consideration. Well, this kind of behaviour from gamers is justified, as Steam Machines are still under development and haven’t even reached beta phase.

What makes Steam Machines capable of being in a race with next-gen consoles? We’ll look into some things that are different from what we are used to and in the end we’ll try to decide if Steam Machines is a worthy competitor or not.

First off, Steam Machines is not only a device with a standard configuration. The console will be available in a few variations of configurations, in order to fit everyone’s needs and pockets. For example, there will be less powerful consoles that will cost less but there will also be high-end console for those who can afford.

On top of that, any hardware that meets the Steam Machines specification can be turned into a home console by installing the free SteamOS, a linux-based operating system. This means that you don’t actually have to buy their dedicated console in order to test out the new OS.

More than that, both old and new games will slowly be available for SteamOS, meaning that you will be able to play the majority of games already purchased using Steam.

The new Steam consoles will also come with a brand new controller, that features two HD clickable trackpads, sixteen buttons, and a high-resolution touchscreen placed in the center.

So we have a console affordable for about anyone, with a controller that promises to be perfect for both PC and console fanatics, but will Steam Machines rise up to the expectations and join the race?

The console itself has potential, but we haven’t seen yet any new exclusive games that might attract more people to buy it. Microsoft has its games, as well as Sony. I can only think of one thing: a major selling point for the new console would be if Valve would announce a Half-Life exclusive game.

Well, that’s not going to happen, as Valve announced that they will not develop any game exclusively for the console and they encourage other developers to follow their lead.

So, what Valve will introduce to start attracting players to their side? Steam Machines is just a prototype and will be tested late 2013 by 300 lucky gamers, while the console remains to be launched in 2014.

For now, the console isn’t really a competitor for either Xbox One or PlayStation 4, but it sure looks promising. They could also bring something new to the market and crush everyone and everything, but this remains to be seen.

We’d like to wish Valve good luck in their journey and we hope to see good things from the upcoming Steam Machines.

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  • Matt
    November 28, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    It’ll all depend on specs and price. Steam Machines may be more expensive than PS4 and Wii U at first, but over time they may offer much better specs for similar prices due to a faster (yearly?) hardware refresh.

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