So a number of Steam Machines were showcased at CES recently, and I’m feeling a bit like it’s not what I was expecting, but quite a bit like what I should have been expecting. It’s far more open source, it seems, open to development. Many companies are making Steam Boxes – their similarity is they will all be running the Steam OS and be available as gaming machines that can play your Steam Games.
I’ve talked about my interested in the Steam Machines before, and I was definitely thinking of it more as a replacement and upgrade for our gaming consoles – you know, sitting in the living room, attached to a TV, using a controller, and playing your games. And I would expect and hope I could put a game in (well, buy it online) and just play it, not running into problems of compatibility, graphics cards, etc. I was also hoping for a price point that would be similar to the other new consoles, the X-Box One and PS4.
However, what this really seems like is a gaming rig, basically a PC, just one running the Steam OS, and which is designed for gaming and the use of a controller. In my mind, it makes me think of an AlienWare computer – which happens to of course be a company making Steam Boxes. Compatibility might not be an issue, but that’s more because these look like super souped-up PCs is all. So let’s look at a review of these boxes, and then join me in thinking about the Steam Box with a poll!