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SteamOS, Steam Machine and Controller shown in video

SteamOS, Steam Machine and Controller shown in video

The Steam Machine and Steam Controller

The first videos of users playing with their Steam Machines have started appearing online, allowing for the chance to see Valve's new console in action.

Units of the Valve-designed console were shipped out to 300 lucky users a few days ago with unboxing videos appearing online over the weekend. Now we're starting to see teardown videos and loads of footage of the OS and games in action.

In particular, a beta tester called Cory Nelson has posted a host of videos, including an unboxing, a teardown, comparison between Windows and SteamOS running on the machine and a look at the new Steam Controller being used to play games.

The videos show that the console is fairly impressive as a piece of hardware, being impressively compact but packing in an Intel Core i5-4570, an Nvidia Geforce 780 GTX, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive - plenty enough to run the likes of Portal 2 and Left4Dead 2 on full settings at 1080p.

The videos also show how there is very little to the desktop experience once the Steam interface is closed - it's pretty barebones stuff. The SteamOS is based on Linux, though, so is open for lots of tinkering.

One of the most exciting aspects of Valve's whole push into the gaming hardware space is the introduction of the Steam Controller, which is a typical game controller but that uses trackpads in place of thumbsticks. This is supposed to make it much better for playing games for which you'd normally use a mouse. Nelson describes using the controller as "really natural" and shows that it works completely with Windows, registering as a normal mouse.

You can see more of Nelson's videos on his YouTube channel.



13 Comments

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greypilgers 17th December 2013, 19:56 Quote
Always Left4Dead2 and Portal2... Don't get me wrong, they're seminal games, but sheeeeeeeet... When are they gonna at least apply a demo of something slightly less, well, ancient?
Teknokid 17th December 2013, 20:37 Quote
I'd love to buy the case and install my own small form factor PC in there, It seems like a really good concept to me
flibblesan 18th December 2013, 08:45 Quote
I really like that case.
ziza 18th December 2013, 16:16 Quote
I have some concerns with regards to cooling and temperatures, since there are no vents for GPU and I was not able to check the PSU. The cable management built in plastic it is also no good for cooling.
siliconfanatic 18th December 2013, 21:45 Quote
I was under the impression that the steambox was going to be using AMD's R9 290, not a 780?
theshadow2001 18th December 2013, 22:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziza
I have some concerns with regards to cooling and temperatures, since there are no vents for GPU and I was not able to check the PSU. The cable management built in plastic it is also no good for cooling.

The gpu sucks air in through a vent below the card and blows it out the rear by the i/o. The power supply cpu and gpu all have their own segregated air flow paths
SexyHyde 19th December 2013, 00:17 Quote
Looks fairly decent. I can see room for improvement with the layout, but it's a solid compact start. I'm also wondering whether a btx 'style' cooling setup would be better, as you could have one piece of ducting, one or two channels and cable management and hard drive mounts incorporated.
Corky42 19th December 2013, 01:20 Quote
Seeing as its very unlikely that Valve is going to make more than these 300 beta test units i couldn't care less how they are built. What im looking forward to is CES 2014 in January and the Valve developers conference after it, as i think we will be seeing a lot more OEM's showing of what their take on a Steam Machine.
SexyHyde 20th December 2013, 00:31 Quote
I think Valve would be stupid to not sell a unit of their own as people would buy a Valve model just because it's Valve. There is a plenty big enough market for a few premium paint models and they could charge a ridiculous amount for a 'companion cube' special.
I'm excited for the future too, but these are a signal of whats to come. Valve will want OEM's to stick to a few key design features. As crap ones will be bad publicity and will tarnish the otherwise great offerings i'm sure we will see.
forum_user 20th December 2013, 01:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SexyHyde
I think Valve would be stupid to not sell a unit of their own as people would buy a Valve model just because it's Valve. There is a plenty big enough market for a few premium paint models and they could charge a ridiculous amount for a 'companion cube' special.
I'm excited for the future too, but these are a signal of whats to come. Valve will want OEM's to stick to a few key design features. As crap ones will be bad publicity and will tarnish the otherwise great offerings i'm sure we will see.

I would buy a companion cube for sure! Especially if it was a limited edition SteamBox, first release, from Valve, signed by Gabe and Valve staff.

Your mention of a "few key design features" reminds me of many mentions of the 'SteamBox certification' - whether true or not (unconfirmed) - it makes perfect sense for Valve to maintain control over the hardware specs. A third party console that is SteamBox certified can have elevated customer support over Steam PCs due to having some kind of manageable standards in place. A console without great support would be a nightmare for Valve, the 3rd parties, and the customers.
whamio 20th December 2013, 10:37 Quote
build your own steam machine, load their os, use the new controller.....what's the problem?
Andy Mc 20th December 2013, 10:41 Quote
I'm still miffed that the 300 steam boxen ended up being US only in the end...
Corky42 20th December 2013, 10:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by whamio
build your own steam machine, load their os, use the new controller.....what's the problem?
The problem is we cant buy the controller yet.
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