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Customer Discussions > Video Games forum

Valve-backed living room PC system debuts today

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Showing 1-25 of 56 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 7, 2013, 7:10:54 PM PST

Valve-backed living room PC system debuts today
Valve and Xi3 will today show off a modular computer designed for Steam and the big screen TV in your living room - a "Steambox", in other words.

The hardware was developed by Xi3 but financially backed by Valve. It's not ready for launch yet, and Xi3 is calling the hardware shown at CES 2013 a "development stage" product. But there's a picture of the chassis available; it's said to be the size of a grapefruit. Check it out below.

The new product hasn't got a name yet, but is designed specifically for Steam and its Big Picture mode, with Xi3 making specific reference to home use as well as LAN parties.

"This new development stage product will allow users to take full-advantage of their large high-definition TV displays for an amazing computer game experience. As a result, this new system could provide access to thousands of gaming titles through an integrated system that exceeds the capabilities of leading game consoles, but can fit in the palm of your hand," Xi3 CEO Jason A. Sullivan said.

The modular computer will be on show at Vakve's CES 2013 booth, but beyond a mention of Valve's investment, Xi3 has refused to give further comment on the two companies collaboration, or anything about the system's specifications.

It's not clear if this is the hardware referenced in yesterday's reports of a Linux-based Steambox to debut in 2013.

Posted on Jan 7, 2013, 7:19:11 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 7, 2013, 8:24:16 PM PST
got mayo?™ says:
Here is the youtubez...
*its a modular motherboard design
*they specified a dual core stuffed in there, 20 watts, 'modifiable'...
*64bit x86
*Model X3A- entry under $500 designed for Basic computing

*Model X7a -Power user and Gaming ..'competitively priced as well'
-Powered by a Quad-Core processor running at up to 3.2GHz, integrated with up to 384 graphics shader cores, and 4GB or 8GB of DDR3 RAM, the X7A handles graphics-rich games like Crysis 2 with ease. The X7A runs 3 high-definition monitors simultaneously, has four USB 3.0/2.0 ports, four eSATAp ports, four USB 2.0 ports, a 10/100/1000 Ethernet port, and up to 1TB of super fast solid-state storage inside the chassis.

'keeping these computers for 5,7, may even 10 years...'!

Posted on Jan 7, 2013, 8:23:57 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2013, 5:56:09 AM PST
got mayo?™ says:
"integrated with up to 384 graphics shader cores"

Sounds like a mobile GTX 650M or 660M on the top model...which is comparable to a $100 GTX 650 desktop GPU.

I want to believe the 3, 5 and 7 models reflect Intel counterparts (i3, i5, i7)

There has been a X5A model, it was their first product that has been in the market already. This cES they announced the X3A and X7A. I wouldn't be shocked that the X7A approaches gaming laptop pricey if the entry level X3A model is in the $500 range :/

May as well get a laptop with an i5/i7 with a 660M. I just priced out an i5/ GTX650 'upgradeable' PC in the other thread for $500. There will be a price to pay for this low wattage form factor. Also, they mentioned patents, which indicate as the makers of this product any 'upgrades' will very likely be proprietary through them. Could get spendy and limiting to be handcuffed to this company.

That little cube makes all the sense for a kid's room computer if you just need to put to use some monitors, office PCs and even clusters for server use.. Then again all -in -one Pc's with i3's and Win 8 laptops can be had for $500.

Its both a great proposition but also a tough one in light of the market.

Posted on Jan 7, 2013, 8:28:15 PM PST
Kr155 says:
Just hurry up and take my money please

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2013, 8:33:45 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 7, 2013, 8:35:15 PM PST
got mayo?™ says:
You would pay, say a grand ,for something you could build better for under $500 just to use Steam? Because you can use Steam on anything as is now.

Posted on Jan 7, 2013, 9:14:18 PM PST
K Archer says:
So...pretty much all that was said was it exists, here's something around what it'll look like, nothing much else.

I honestly don't know how much you're going to be able to future-proof a PC nowadays (at least not cheaply), and that's, IMO, who this would really appeal to; people who want to PC game but don't want to pay the price for it (time or money). Modular upgrades, if proprietary, will get expensive, no doubt, and I can't really see the SteamBox being that cheap to begin with (since it is a PC, and they do want to somewhat future-proof it)

Need more about what exactly it will do, and the costs associated with it. Yeah, you can go on and on about cheaper games and all, but if the console starts at $500+ and does not go're not going to get nearly as many customers as you're hoping for, especially with PC gamers either knowing how to build a good PC cheaper, or willing to pay more for a better machine, console gamers taking their preferred console, and casuals looking at the cheapest "kid-friendly" (lack of a better word, sorry) console...Yeah, you'll get some console gamers who are looking to PC game, but that's if the price is right...

Personally, I'd rather build another PC and know exactly what I'm doing and getting, and when I want to upgrade and all. But that's just me...

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2013, 2:28:32 AM PST
MrFoxhound says:
There's no reason to believe that Valve will price themselves out of the market with this box. It's financially backed by valve, so they could sell it at a loss and make up for that since I'm sure that Steam will be the only platform that you can buy games on with it. It's like if the consoles we have now had no third party games. I don't see them pricing this so far out of reach, it would be counter intuitive to what Valve does with Steam.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2013, 3:16:39 AM PST
Kr155 says:
Man that will fit far better on my entertainment stand than any computer I could build, but your ur right I should reserve judgements until the higher priced models are actually priced, and to know what steam games will actually play on it

Posted on Jan 8, 2013, 3:38:16 AM PST
Anthony says:
my main question would be if games on this "steam box" can be modded or not. if not, then if it costs more than a current gen console, i am absolutely uninterested.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2013, 3:40:13 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2013, 3:41:13 AM PST
MrFoxhound says:
That's a good question, actually. I doubt that this would have the power to run some of those high end Skyrim mods that Capt K is having so much fun with.

I'm going to say that I doubt it will have that capability as this is designed for mainstream use, not really for the core gamer who most likely already has a decent PC.

I'm just friggin' stoked that it exists. I can't wait to hear more about it.

Posted on Jan 8, 2013, 4:08:25 AM PST
Geomancer says:
I'm skeptical on this whole idea. As people have pointed out, the cost sounds high for what you get like any pre-build PC and making things 'modular' sounds like a Microsoft move of charging insaine prices for things like hard drives.

This sounds very, very much like an Apple iMac where in essence the entire inside of the computer is just a laptop and the laptop versions of both processors and GPUs pale in comparison to their desktop counter parts.

While it won't be as small, you can make a pretty darn small PC none the less by using a Mini-ITX case and motherboard. You don't get the number of expansion ports and drive bays you do with a normal PC, but that should be expected in a small form factor.

The other concern I would have with this is Steam has a hard on currently for linux, and putting linux on this thing would save them a $100 licensing fee to Microsoft ... but also means your game selection is far smaller.

Posted on Jan 8, 2013, 4:17:55 AM PST
If it's priced high, I'm sure we'll see it drop. iBuyPower unveils their own "Revolution" today, which I believe is also a living room PC.

The market is about to become a lot more saturated with very small and very powerful home PCs.

I'm so excited. :D

Regarding Linux, a LOT of major companies are porting games to it. Blizzard has a major IP releasing for Linux soon and I think a lot more of the devs will follow suit. Microsoft shot themselves in the foot with the restrictions on 8.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2013, 4:18:43 AM PST
I don't believe it would either. I'm glad we're starting to see more PC love this year though. Hopefully more publishers and developers start releasing PC games and *then* porting them to consoles.

I think I'm going to buy that Shield just to play Dark Souls 2 on the go, hehe.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2013, 4:24:04 AM PST
"Sounds like a mobile GTX 650M or 660M on the top model"

Kepler chip?


In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2013, 4:25:14 AM PST
MrFoxhound says:
I don't know why they can't craft their own OS to put on this like the 360/PS3/every vg console. We don't really know how much more than just play games this thing will actually do. Also, no one has speculated on a price yet.

This isn't supposed to be a premium item. It's supposed to be an entry item for casuals who don't want expensive, high end PC's or don't have the technical experience to build their own rig. I would have a hard time believing that Valve will price this over $500. You have to understand that they are going to use this to compete with Sony and MS, at least that's what consumers will be thinking and for $1000, you can pretty much guarantee that there won't be any kind of casual response to that price when they can get all 3 current consoles for sub 1k.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2013, 4:27:18 AM PST
Geomancer says:
I'm not 100% familure with Linux, but don't you have to compile the game for a specific build of linux (or have it distributed for your flavor of linux)? That's an issue for most people, and one of the reasons Linux has never, and will never take off. It's too unfriendly to the average person.

As for playing games on the go with that thing Nvidia is coming out with ... don't hold your breath. It can't play PC games. It can stream games from a PC, big difference ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2013, 4:28:41 AM PST
In fact I would not be surprised to see valve subsidies this because it gives people access to the steam store. The goal could be short term loss, long term profit. Especially for only digital content this could be a better use of that business model than current consoles.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2013, 4:29:27 AM PST
"It can't play PC games. It can stream games from a PC, big difference ;)"

Exactly, which is why I pointed out this thing might use a Kepler chip. If that's the case, then this little system can also stream your Steam library to the Shield.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2013, 4:30:34 AM PST
Geomancer says:
They could do their own OS, but then games have to be compiled to run on it. Doable for their own IPs but much harder to get third parties to jump on board.

As for cost, the second post said the entry level model would be $500 ("under $500" means $499) and I'm guessing that would be an i3 with the intel HD graphics (as casual as you can get in the PC world).

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2013, 4:30:50 AM PST
Something tells me there will be valves Big Picture mode as a shell to the OS making it easy to use and tech smart people will be able to get past that to get to the core OS.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2013, 4:34:20 AM PST
MrFoxhound says:
That second post is not for the Steambox, that is for the computers that this company was working on before they were contracted by Valve for the Steambox. There is no way that Valve will put a solid state drive in this when the traditional drives work.

Posted on Jan 8, 2013, 4:38:09 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2013, 4:42:54 AM PST
got mayo?™ says:
Well it really depends what they price this like.

If its comparably priced like an X51 Alienware, the x51 makes more sense from an upgrade perspective. There are people using x51's with a Gtx670. You can upgrade your own memory and GPu with off the shelf parts....on sale, w/games bundled, your pickins etc...

If you are buying say a gpu upgrade for the X7a, it's going to come from the one source, on that custom short board...and it's something that's going to be price locked on the market. Proprietary stuff like that, engineered that way, is typically a model for profit.

I just see it as a tough sell on the PC building crowd that buys for performance/value and options. It could be hit for mass market, but does mass market see Steam as living room platform yet to see value in hardware priced that way? I suppose this represents that push towards that goal.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2013, 5:43:17 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2013, 5:48:22 AM PST
A customer says:
So far it's terrible news? Why would you spend so much money on a 'grapefruit' sized PC (that's just a PC) when you can build something for much cheaper and it will be better?

I was awaiting to be blown away by the Steambox, but now it's just looking like a mobile PC that runs Steam with a pricey tag.

In fact, if you don't like most PC cases because they look bulky and not friendly; you can buy these great box like entertainment cases now and do your build so it looks better on a entertainment center.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2013, 5:46:13 AM PST
Did you know I ate a grapefruit this morning?

It was tasty.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2013, 5:48:39 AM PST
A customer says:
It was destiny Mogwai.
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Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  14
Total posts:  56
Initial post:  Jan 7, 2013
Latest post:  Jan 8, 2013

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