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Old 01-08-2013, 10:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Steam Piston - Thoughts?

Xi3′s Piston: A Steam Box Emerges, Sort Of

Overall it sounds like a great concept for Valve to capture more of the console market. The pricing is a bit steep, but I really like how its designed to be modular. What does everyone else think? Am I buying into too much of the hype?
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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assuming it is fully modular as they advertise and that hardware upgrades could be released I'd probably buy into one simply to be a replacement for a dedicated gaming PC. If it were priced right it'd be more cost effective to buy this and a cheap laptop to do everyday work then try and build an over the top future proof gaming box and hope to hell it'll last at least 2-3 years.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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it is happening!!!!

you cannot stop GabeN!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWLM7o_EXt0

but why "steam piston?"

why not "steam valve?"
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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COOL. Interested, but in no way in the market :P
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm still not sure about this.

I've seen Xi3's other computers and they appear to be workstations. Of course this is a little bit beefier but what are the clock speeds? $900 for a "gaming computer" that doesn't have a dedicated GPU?
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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but why "steam piston?"

why not "steam valve?"
A piston can use steam to do work... A valve just lets steam pass through, regulate its flow, or blocks it.

Valve (Parent company) controls the steam (Spin off service) that is pushed through to drive the piston (extra profit and drive).


As for the issue of the device's GPU and why it isn't a 'dedicated' card, well, why bother with an extra card and controls when it can be built into an existing modular card? Having a single large format expansion board that holds a well balanced amount of RAM with a suitable GPU build into a dedicated board (Or similar combinations of logically paried parts of a computer) makes sense when you are looking to produce a modular product that makes it easier for an end user to swap out parts.

No more "Which graphics card should I upgrade to?", but rather "Do I want the economy, gamer, extreme, or uber-ultra board?".
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The price point needs to be pretty low to make a dent in the console market. Realize that companies don't make a lot on the console itself. The model is really "give them the console so we can sell them the games". If they can adopt a similar model then they have a shot. Otherwise, to me it's too "single purpose". That said, I'm not a console gamer and have no real desire to have more crap plugged into my TV.

Outside of desk space and HTPC stuff, I've never seen the advantage of plugging in any sort of PC into a TV. I always find it more usable to just sit closer to a smaller screen (actual monitor with higher resolution) and use a keyboard and mouse.

All of that said, if they do it properly I think it has a chance of success. The interesting thing about consoles or fixed hardware like this is there are some clear advantages. You don't have to deal with an infinite number of platform configurations / compatibility issues and can optimize software to run on this specific system.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Eh, it's a good idea, but you could probably build a small media-center PC with gamer leanings from off the shelf parts and have it be your entertainment center - surround sound system, blu-ray/DVD player, connection to Netflix and Hulu, and also play Steam on your big screen TV with their new Big Picture service. I'd much rather go that route than something like this or Ouya.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Eh, it's a good idea, but you could probably build a small media-center PC with gamer leanings from off the shelf parts and have it be your entertainment center - surround sound system, blu-ray/DVD player, connection to Netflix and Hulu, and also play Steam on your big screen TV with their new Big Picture service. I'd much rather go that route than something like this or Ouya.
but will it be enough to get consumers to abandon their existing system? xbox, ps3, etc already do some of the above, and anyone that cared would already own a blu ray player of some sort by now. those kids will have to buy a new system, and you can't sell the old steam games back to gamestop like you can on consoles.
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Before the first day Velcor said let there be Heinous and it was true. And then Heinous said "Let there be God" and it was true. And it was good
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