Are you ready to bring Steam into your living room?
This week Valve made a series of announcements regarding Steam. We have the new SteamOS, official Steam machines, and a legit Steam Controller. With their powers combined, Valve hopes to bring traditional PC gaming to the living room. So with that, are you ready to bring the Steam gaming experience to your couch?
Matt Liebl Follow on Twitter
One of my biggest complaints about PC gaming is being constricted to my desk. I know Steam has Big Picture mode which allows you to play on your television, but if you fall into the same category as me -- with no TV in your "office" -- then it really doesn't help.
I like to play games in the living room; I hate being confined to my small man cave. And oftentimes my fiancée enjoys watching the games I play, making console gaming in the family room couch a much more optimal setup for me. So for me, this whole "bringing Steam into the living room" is really exciting.
There's still specifics to get into -- pricing, what a Steam machine is exactly, and whether or not the Steam Controller is actually functional, are all major questions I have -- but I like Valve's overall vision. They are definitely on the right track and thinking outside of the box. I don't know if traditional PC gamers will necessarily go for it, but I'm sure the idea of Steam in the living room is definitely an attractive offer for console gamers who enjoy the Xbox and PlayStation. I'm a bit skeptical about that controller, though.
Verdict: Looking forward to having Steam in my living room.
Mike Splechta Follow on Twitter
I'm not sure whether I'd call Valve geniuses, or just absolutely ballsy. They're subtly taking jabs at the competition, while obviously fighting for dominance of the living room. And I couldn't be happier.
Big Picture Mode was easily one of the best, first steps Valve took for Steam. I'm a huge fan of booting up my controller-enabled library on my big screen, especially for games I could otherwise never play on consoles (such as They Bleed Pixels or E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy). While I'm not sure I'm their prime target for a SteamOS machine, since my computer is relatively up to date, I am fascinated with the new Steam controller. It looks weird, and I'm not sure whether it'll be my go-to controller for Steam games, but the prospect of being able to play my entire library -- not just controller enabled games -- is certainly exciting.
I'm all for Valve taking the plunge into the battle for living room space, and making the PC a relevant competitor in the next-gen race.
Verdict: Pumped for Steam dominating my living room.
Lance Liebl Follow on Twitter
I need more details, like prices and how it's going to work. Come November, I'll have a PlayStation 4, in addition to the Wii U, in my living room on my 60-inch television. When I play PC games, that's what my computer is for. For me, Steam machines and SteamOS solves a problem I don't have yet.
The controller is really interesting, but I'll have to try it in person before I pass judgment on it. Trackpads have never wowed me, so the controller is a wait and see for me. Valve does get points for being really creative, though.
Right now, it's been a bunch of teasing. But, like I said, this seems like the solution to a problem that a lot of people don't have. It's ahead of the game. So come a couple of years from now, when I'm ready to upgrade or build a new computer, the Steam machine might be the way to go instead.
Verdict: It solves a problem I don't have.
Andrew Clouther Follow on Twitter
As a PC gamer, I’m excited for any new Steam breakthrough. Big Picture mode is pretty hopping and with all these new Steam gizmos, the PC market is finally heading towards television and “console territory.” I feel it’s too early to really know what Valve has in mind, but the direction they are heading is pretty remarkable; talk about thinking outside the box.
Here’s the thing, traditional PC gamers aren’t hurt by this. If you don’t want SteamOS, a Steam machine, or a Steam Controller – you don’t have to use it. You have, well, Steam and your classic PC set up. All this new tech really speaks to those people who want to play games in a different room, want to see what Rome II looks like on a 42957629 inch TV, wants to game while their significant other sleeps, or want to be more social in your household – there are options now.
It’s hard not to be excited for this stuff since it doesn’t hurt the old PC market at all. I predict the controller being good for non-action type games and more useful for Civilization, turn-based types.
Verdict: I can't wait to try it out.
Tatiana Morris Follow on Twitter
Valve's announcements brought about as much excitement as they did questions. Everything they announced had a certain amorphous consistency to them. There is one thing that is clear though, Valve wants in on what Sony and Microsoft have going with their home consoles -- and it might just work.
The entire concept of bringing PC gaming to the living room is pretty exciting to me. Valve has a lot to offer; I mean, they are basically saying that they want to bring the flexibility of a PC to a living room. They've stated that their device could be modified to run another OS, which puts to rest any complaints about certain games not being able to run on Linux.
I still have my questions when it comes to Valve's plan. Will it be more cost effective than the PS4 or Xbox One (even if the 'Steam Machine' itself is more expensive wouldn't Steam's sales really make up for that cost)? Will I be able to continuously modify the box/machine so that it can rival any other home console on the market? If the answer is yes to either of those two questions, sign me up - I'm ready and willing.
Verdict: Hesitant, but intrigued.
Are you excited to bring Steam into your living room? Let us know in the comments below.