Steam Machines have been priced and I’m unimpressed
I’ve given it some time. The Steam Machine unveilings occurred earlier this week. It’s no longer just a gut reaction, but instead a feeling I trust: I am unimpressed with each and every “Steam Box” that was unveiled.
Granted, I’m not exactly the demographic Valve is looking for. If I’m playing a game on a PC, I want to sit at my desk with a 24 inch monitor and use a mouse and keyboard. That’s a PC experience, that’s why I enjoy playing my shooters on my PC: I want that up close and intimate feeling. That’s not a feeling I get with a console.
That’s not to say I’m not going to enjoy Titanfall on my Xbox One or didn’t enjoy Gears of War on my Xbox 360. Those experiences just don’t compare to, say, Left 4 Dead or Dota 2. I don’t lean forward in my chair playing on my console; I lean back and get comfortable.
It’s not just about sitting comfortably, but also playing comfortably. That’s how I feel with the mouse and keyboard setup. It’s something I’ve been accustomed to for almost twenty years. I grew up playing Doom and Quake with a mouse and keyboard. I then moved to Return to Castle Wolfenstein with a mouse and keyboard. I played Crysis, RAGE, and Left 4 Dead with a mouse and keyboard. 99 times out of a 100, if I’m playing a shooter, I want to use a mouse and keyboard.
It doesn’t hurt that these games look spectacular, either. Sure, Crysis and RAGE look pretty nifty on consoles, but they’re unmatched on PC. It’s a real feeling of accomplishment that my computer, built from blood, sweat, and tears (seriously, I cut myself a couple times, worked hard over the summer, and cried after the frustration from going back and forth to Micro Center and spending lots of money) could produce something this beautiful. It’s a great way to escape the struggles of work and relax with a game.
That’s right; I also use my computer for work. Whether it’s editing videos or writing articles, my desktop isn’t just a playground. That’s something a Steam Machine couldn’t necessarily do. So why would I drop $1000-plus on it when I can just build a new PC that can do everything I need it to?
Maybe I’m missing the bigger point, though: I’m not Valve’s target audience. Honestly, I don’t really want to bring my PC games into the living room. I’m comfortable with where they are. It’s understandable, however, what they’re doing. The console crowd is missing out on a lot of fantastic titles that are only available on PC. This will help bring them in to the “master race.”
I just hope they’re willing to pay, because if they hated the price of the Xbox One, then boy, you ain’t seen nothing yet.