Valve’s new Steam controller is a bold experiment: an attempt at fusing a PC mouse with a traditional console-style controller. It still hasn’t entirely clicked with me.
Steam is a massive online gaming platform that reaches 100 million players worldwide. Now, Valve, the company behind Steam, along with a litany of hardware makers (in this case Dell/Alienware) wants to go head-to-head with Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft.
One year ago, at CES 2014, Valve introduced a new kind of gaming PC, a Linux game console with a gamepad designed to be good enough to replace a mouse and keyboard. 14 PC manufacturers were on board, each creating a Steam Machine in its own image. And then... crickets. What the heck happened?
There's no shortage of Steam Machines going on sale, but ASUS's newly announced GR8 seems, well, great: it only takes up 2.5 liters of space, yet packs a Core i7 chip, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750Ti, 4K output and Miracast support. That sounds like a portable console PC to us.
Some Steam Machine makers are attempting to create small form factor gaming machines powered and priced competitively to the latest generation consoles. Starting at $1,899, Digital Storm's liquid-cooled Bolt II is not one of those.
Valve has offered up 300 beta kits of its forthcoming Steam Machine console for developers and the like to play around with. Fortunately, iFixit got its hands on one, too—and then ripped the sucker apart. Here's what's inside.
As promised, the lucky beta testers of Valve's own first-party Steam Machines are starting to get their consoles...computers...whatever. Here are a couple of unboxings, showing off not only what they get in the box, but also a pretty snazzy shipping case.
Valve's first Steam Machine—the one they'll be sending out to 300 beta users later this year—will be a super-high-end machine. And the specs are crazy impressive.