Software developing hearth-throbs (and game market moguls) Valve have finally shown off the cold hard nuts and bolts of their new games system. Designed as a PC for the living room, the announcements did seem a mite confusing, so here’s a digest of what you need to know.
Machines not machine
Yes, the plural is important here. Valve have confirmed that they will be making multiple different machines, both in-house and with third-party cooperation. Showing a flair for customization that might impress the die-hard PC audience, it is still rather confusing for casual or console gamers, but there will be several different Steam Machines, with slightly different applications.
Different on the inside and outside
Although it’s positioning itself as a direct competitor to the current gen of consoles, this is fundamentally a PC, and a Linux-based OS one at that. The differences A thorough tear down of one of their first-party machines is viewable here;
It looks a bit prettier than people expected
When the first pics started going up from beta testers, it was clear that some real thought and care had been put into its look and feel, from the sleek and stripped-back appearance to its pleasantly olde-worlde shipping crate-style container. There have also been several unboxings for the packaging and contents, such as this one below.
The controller is a sight for sore thumbs, and has attracted a good deal of attention for its slightly different approach. People are divided as to whether it will stand the test of longterm use, but all appear excited by its deviation from standard models, such as its back-to-front appearance, increased curvature and angled buttons, as well as a launchable on-screen keyboard for online game play and strange, concave trackpad dents where analogue sticks might otherwise have been. Discussion on just the controller alone has proven to be in-depth to say the least.
What can we play on it?
Most of the entire Steam catalogue, but with a few notable exceptions stemming from extant licensing arrangements. If you need some food for thought, here’s ten of the best to get you started.