Saturday, January 11, 2014

News of Steambox in 2014

(2013 Steambox Debut)
With the holiday season over, and most gaming companies done with their Christmas and New Year sales, most gamers are focused only on completing all of the games they received for gifts this year. While not much news has been circulating, there are certain things to be looking out for this upcoming 2014. News of the release of Elder Scrolls Online and the new lineup of Mario games abound, what I'm most excited about is the new Alieanwear Steam Machine. Announcement a new gaming platform for the first time in fifteen years may sound a bit risky, given today's competitive gaming market, but is also extremely exciting for both console and PC gamers everywhere.

Not much is currently known about the new Steambox, but from what has been released, we do know that the box will be able to act as a mini server, able to serve up to eight controllers and monitors, meaning you could have the ability to hook the box up in one room and have it serve eight other screens, in distant rooms of your house. There will be no motion controls, rather a handheld controller as most other consoles use, replacing the keyboard that all Steam games typically use. To compensate for the lack of a keyboard, Valve has put a touchscreen in the middle of their controller (a bit like Sony did with the PS4) a pair of buttons flanking the touchscreen, and two 'non-joystick' analog on either side of them. Steam has also redesigned their website to better fit onto your livingroom TV, a simpler, sleeker design, called the 'Big Picture Mode', which can already be found on the steam website, under settings. Here, it will be easier to access your Steam account and the store to buy new games, eliminating the use of game discs.  Basically, the new Steambox will become a new gaming computer without the computer, a post-PC-gaming console if you will.

While console gamers are excited, PC gamers will still have the ability to sit back and relax with a nice game downloaded right from the internet, without having to move from their monitor to their TV screen. The point of the Steambox is to expand Valve's reach, rather than eliminate PC gaming entirely. With this, Steam will be able to reach out to a whole new audience who can experience a completely new form of platform gaming, one only previously experienced by PC gamers.

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