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iBuyPower Steam Machine - $499


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#1
Fergal

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Article link. Announced at CES.

 

I think this is rather ridiculous, IF the specs and prices are correct.

 

So basically, you are spending the same as an Xbox One w/ kinnect.

 

You get Steam OS - so all those benefits of cheaper games, sales and such in a console experience with Steam Big Picture - alongside the ability to go to a Linux desktop (Debian based, which is good) and still get that PC experience. Yes, I'm aware consoles have browsers and such, but its just not the same as a PC desktop environment, especially with Linux, extremely flexible and awesomesauce. It's also possible to get those console exclusives working on PC, but that might take some know-how, and not sure about the difference in methods between Windows and Linux.

 

As for specs - doesn't mention exact CPU or how much ram (which I can only assume would be 8gb), besides that very similar to next gen consoles. On par, maybe a bit ahead of PS4, I think. Xbox One GPU is definitely behind.

 

So basically, yes, €100 more than PS4, but is just worth it. Can't build those PC specs for that price on your own without some serious skimping. And that ability to upgrade parts if that's your thing. Probably will be even more models.

 

As for the Steam controller, I don't really know much about it, not really interested. If it actually works well, it could be quite amazing to get that console feel of a controller with a mouses accuracy. (Or so they have said)



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#2
David

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I still don't understand why anyone would by any of these Steam boxes.

 

The whole point of a console is having a mainstream, common denominator system. There's a huge user-base with exactly the same thing so you get a ton of mileage out of developing for it. They're backed by huge corporations with multiple divisions that are capable of taking a straight-up loss on the hardware because they know they'll eventually make money on the software.

 

The Steam box accomplishes none of that. Yes, the $499 price may look good when they're throwing around specs and dropping R9 270 in a press release, but there's 0 chance that it will be able to match the same price:actual cost ratio of a PS3 or XB1. Has anyone heard of iBuyPower? No. It sounds like some Chinese knock-off brand, and it probably is.

 

There's no way they have the resources to take a loss on the price of hardware. Not only  are they going to make less than Sony / Microsoft on software, they're going to make NOTHING because their system is for a 3rd party infrastructure.

 

The Steam boxes are just PCs with horizontal cases marketed as consoles. So it comes down to this - what is the advantage of buying and upgrading a steam box when you can build a PC? None that I can think of. 



#3
Fergal

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You claiming they won't be able to support a $499 price point. I said that this will leave no reason to buy the other consoles other than playing with friends - IF, if they keep that price. Their losses are irrelevant to the consumer if they can grab one while they can.

 

A PS4 or Xbox One is yes, just a PC in a small box. They use PC architecture, unlike say, the previous PS3 which used a cell processor and as a result, no 3rd party developers could make use of the hardware, that's different. A Steam box is merely a PC with SteamOS. I could dual boot into Steam OS and my computer would be considered a Steam Box. These pre-prepared Steam machines are just an opportunity for lower prices because they can bulk buy anyway. Hell, Sony aren't even at a loss on PS4's (unlike PS3s), cost $381 last I heard. Even if this Steam box is, it could be minimal enough to live with, I dunno.

 

I have no interest in buying this Steam box, or any other model if there will be one, I just like the idea. The advantages being introducing console players (or more of a console experience) to PC, you know, if Steam big picture opens automatically, while still giving more options IF people want to use them. And it's small. Yes, you can build really small systems nowadays easily if you want to, some great case options out there, but generally not as small as this.

 

In general it's just cheaper. You will not be able to build a PC for 500 with that GPU yourself. If you do, you've got some serious skimps and will probably encounter bottlenecks. But yeah, I would never buy one and upgrade, I'm talking about in the future as games become more demanding and you have some cash to spare, why not? (And yes, I know a 270 isn't very high-end, so it already will struggle with demanding games, but after a while, moreso).



#4
David

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You're correct with everything you've said, of course, but I wasn't arguing some of those points.

 

You claiming they won't be able to support a $499 price point. I said that this will leave no reason to buy the other consoles other than playing with friends - IF, if they keep that price. Their losses are irrelevant to the consumer if they can grab one while they can.

 

Yes, if they had this high quality hardware across the board and came out far ahead of the consoles at this price, they would be a good buy. What I'm saying, though, is that they WON'T make these things at a loss for the reasons I mentioned above.

 

For what it's worth, I looked at their site and they seem to specialize in customized gaming PCs that are fairly overpriced. Since they are only making the hardware, that's where they're going to make their profits.

 

In general it's just cheaper. You will not be able to build a PC for 500 with that GPU yourself. If you do, you've got some serious skimps and will probably encounter bottlenecks. But yeah, I would never buy one and upgrade, I'm talking about in the future as games become more demanding and you have some cash to spare, why not? (And yes, I know a 270 isn't very high-end, so it already will struggle with demanding games, but after a while, moreso).

 

I'm sure they're skimping on things as well in a similar fashion standard PCs from Dell and HP do. They always list fantastic individual components for the CPU / GPU that make the PC look like a great system at a low price. The things they don't include in their 4 bullet descriptions, such as the PSU, is where you're going to get screwed.

 

The advantages being introducing console players (or more of a console experience) to PC, you know, if Steam big picture opens automatically, while still giving more options IF people want to use them. 

 

This is a really good point. They may not be that great compared to user-build PCs, but those people aren't the target demographic anyway. The increased exposure for Steam is a good move on Valve's part even if many of the "boxes" by third parties will end up being fairly crappy.



#5
Fergal

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Yeah, I understand that they can skimp, it's just to what extend. I feel if I tried to build a 270 build with that budget, it just wouldn't be possible. Hell, imagine what a pain it would be to build on a SUPER-budget case, because those smaller cases come at a higher price generally.

 

But yes, I would never touch a non-80 plus certified PSU - but can they put in a cheap ass PSU that is likely to set fire to your living room and get away with it? Not sure they'd risk that, if they can't support that, they would have quoted a higher price I'd imagine.

 

Anyway, in relation to Steam OS. I personally have 0 use for it, because it is just a user-friendly Linux distro with Steam supported, not that I can't get that on other Linux distros (even if Ubuntu is the only officially supported one, ehh don't like Ubuntu so much). In general, if Valve pull enough support to get developers to use open-source coding (OpenGL vs DirectX) or get some workaround to get most games on Linux - I have absolutely 0 use for Windows, because maybe Photoshop. Which is great for future system builders, Linux is free, spare almost 100 for the rest of the build (or more for over 8gb, it's kinda ridiculous).

 

Edit: 13 Steam Machines announced at CES (including this iBuyPower): http://kotaku.com/fr...h-sp-1495960379

 

Meh, most look overpriced, although a lot are lacking information - I just see most being really high-end, at which point building a PC will probably end up being better value for money. CyberpowerPC seems to be the same as the iBuyPower one. One looks like a router. lel.






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