Coming to A TV Near You: Steam Machine

steam3If you were hoping to have the new Steam console in your home by Christmas, your wish just came true.  Valve has announced that the new Steam controller, Steam Link and Steam Machine now have a release date of November 10th.

The Specs

The devices will be manufactured by a few outlets from what I’ve seen, but most are stuck on the Alienware version, and be sold at Gamestop (though I doubt that is the only place).  The controller and Link will cost $50 apiece, and the Steam Machine will come in four different configurations, each one priced comparable to its components:

  • The $750 option comes with an Intel Core i7 – 4765T Quad Core processor, nVidia GeForce GTX GPU card w/2GB of GDDR5, 8GB of DDR3, 1TB 7200RPM HDD, 2×2 802.11 Wireless Card and 1 Steam Controller.
  • The $650 option comes with an Intel Core i5 – 4590T steam4Quad Core processor, nVidia GeForce GTX GPU card w/2GB of GDDR5, 8GB DDR3, 1TB 7200RPM HDD, 2×2 802.11 Wireless Card and 1 Steam Controller.
  • The $550 option comes with an Intel Core i3 – 4130T Dual Core processor, nVidia GeForce GTX GPU card w/2GB GDDR5, 8GB DDR3, 1TB 7200RPM HDD, 1×1 802.11 Wireless Card and 1 Steam Controller.
  • The $450 option comes with an Intel Core i3 – 4130T Dual Core processor, nVidia GeForce GTX GPU card w/2GB GDDR5, 4GB DDR3, 500GB 7200RPM HDD, 1×1 802.11 Wireless Card and 1 Steam Controller.

The “Big Idea”

The boxes run off of the Linux-based Steam OS, meaning that since it isn’t Windows anything, only a fraction of the games can be played on the device.  Back in January. there were actually a total of 13 Machines each built by one of the partners that are working with Steam on this venture.  The prices for the units then ranged from $500 to $6000!  I’m not really sure a $6000 console is something the public can get behind though…

The idea here is for people who either want to move their PC gaming to the big screen TV in the living room instead of at their desk, or those who can’t afford to keep their hardware up to date for the PC gaming to be a reality, there is now a console alternative.  The unit can handle up to four players at a time and the Link can bring your PC library of Steam games to the console unit so that you can play them all there (I had to go look for what that thing does, it’s not really clear on the Gamestop site).  The controller’s buttons are apparently customizable, so that would need to be part of your set-up list.  You have to tell each of the buttons what you want them to do when you push them.

The Wrap-Up

The units can be pre-ordered now, through Gamestop and I believe they ship to arrive on the release date (not be shipped on the release date).  I guess the real question for anyone considering this is, is this a viable option to PC gaming?  Or are you better off just building your own PC rig and gaming on a bad-ass PC like always.  That’s one that would have to be taken on a case by case basis for every gamer and every household.

steam5The Alternate (no, not alternate, Alternate, as in I believe that’s who manufactured it) can be found on the Valve site, here.  The ones available for pre-order through Gamestop are the Alienware versions, and can be found here.

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