Author Topic: Steam Machines have been released  (Read 865 times)

logFarm

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Steam Machines have been released
« on: Saturday 2015-November-14 03:38:40 PM »
What is a Steam Machine

A Steam Machine is a game console, offering thousands of game titles
and competing directly with other game consoles such as Play Station.

However Steam Machines are not manufactured by a single manufacturer.
In fact anyone can make and sell a Steam Machine which is a very
different business model to other game consoles that are locked down
by Nintendo and Sony, etc.

Valve Inc, the company directly behind Steam Machine's development
states:

   Steam Machines are stand-alone devices that let you enjoy the Steam
   gaming experience in one box.



So what is Steam ?

Valve Inc calls Steam: The ultimate entertainment platform

It's an on-line software store, mainly games, which remembers your
purchases so provided you have access to the on-line store (Steam) you
can run your software from practically any computer.



SteamOS

Valve Inc [valvesoftware.com] have created a whole new operating
system called SteamOS to control their Steam Machines.

It is optimised for playing computer games and so includes (and
updates) the latest hardware drivers for maximum performance.

The big difference between SteamOS and (for example) Apple OSX is that
SteamOS is free for anyone to download and install on their own
computer.

Yes, free.

You don't need to purchase a Steam Machine game console to own a copy
of SteamOS. You can build your own computer with your own hardware
preferences, then download and install SteamOS for free and it's worth
noting: there's nothing stopping anyone from building and selling
computers with SteamOS installed. You might not be able to call it a
Steam Machine though.

Try and do that with Apple OSX.



Yes but why ?

Why would Valve Inc develop a game console and also poor resources
into creating and maintaining a whole operating system? What's in it
for Valve?

Simple, the hardware and software drive users to their Steam platform,
who will then hopefully purchase software.

In fact, Valve couldn't care less whether or not their SteamOS
operating system is controlling any of their Steam Machines, provided
that it continues to drive users towards their on-line stores (Steam).



This isn't a new business model

Google develop Android and ChromeOS to drive users towards Google's
products.

Amazon developed a collection of tablets and even a film streaming
device to drive customers to their products.

Apple are famous for iPhones and tablets that do exactly the same.

But this model does not always succeed.

Facebook attempted to sell a mobile telephone geared around Facebook.
I assume it made telephone calls too but whatever it was supposed to
do, it failed.



Why will Steam Machines succeed ?

The term 'success' needs to be carefully defined

Sony where prepared to make a loss on every PS3 sold just to get the
hardware into your house and then sell users the software to play on
it. Was the PS3 a failure?

Valve are not manufacturing the Steam Machines, companies like
AlienWare are. With no operating system tax to pay, a Steam Machine
running SteamOS is a cheap gaming PC.

As far as Valve are concerned, it's all about the software.

There are well over a thousand different game titles that the Steam
Machine can play, that's a lot more than Play Station 4 has available
for it.

There are also thousands more that Steam Machines can't play currently
because they have not all been converted to run on SteamOS.

All Valve Inc cares about is that everyone who purchases a Steam
Machine or anyone who downloads and installs SteamOS for free will be
driven to their on-line store and eventually purchase software.