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Just what are they up to?

On the subject of Valve’s hardware exploits, which include AR goggle prototypes, Varoufakis explained, “At the time period between March till June I went back to Valve and we begun a research program of systematic study of their economies. Within a few days we had the first results that shed light on the way prices are determined and how arbitrage is fluctuating.
“At the same time, I got the chance to “see the future”. You see, in addition to their game software, Valve has started developing hardware. Worried by Microsoft’s and Apple’s tendency to claim a bigger and bigger cut of its profits (in order to allow users access to Valve games through the computers that run their software), Valve has started experimenting with its own machines that give you the ability to run these games without a (Microsoft or Apple-controlled) computer.
“I’ve signed an NDA so I can’t reveal much more. I’ll just say that I really saw the future. (it’s not a small deal to see a virtual but highly realistic alien stand beside a real human in the same room with you, walk around the room and wink at you. And all that without a screen, a projector or even a computer near you…)”


Bunta's Tofu

Yeah, its all pretty shady. TBH I don't really care about all of that, they need to give us *something* about HL3/Ep3 !

Although rumours are about that "Source 2" is currently in the works, so I'm hoping for a S2/HL3 launch...


AMG Owners

+1 really need to finish Ep3, it's becoming the new DNF.

And all I have to look forward to at the end of my Black Mesa -> Cinematic Mod replay is a fade to black with inconsolable sobbing. That's no way to end and epic series.

Anyway, the economist's papers on the TF2 economy have been really interesting. And I guess with MS trying to lock up Win8 like iOS I should be more excited about a steam box. But important things first, Ep3 for Xmas plz Saint Gabe.

Ep3 is required - I am sure the wait will be worth it.


Bunta's Tofu

Oh yes, and they have confirmed Steam Box.

Link Click


Bunta's Tofu




Bunta's Tofu

lol at that picture :p



AMG Owners

Hmmm sounds promsing, I'd be more interested in running a PC with "Steam" linux than upgrading to Win8 in the future.

As long as they don't go nuts and block normal PCs from getting the full steam anymore.

I've no doubt that if anyone can pull this off, it's Valve...but...

The XBox is basically just a "fixed spec" PC. With a GUI giving all the things you need for gaming - you can even browse the Internet on it.

The big benefit of PC's are proper multi-tasking, modding/tweaking and K&M controls.

1. K&M is out for 'sofa gaming'. Which puts you at a massive disadvantage for MP gaming on PC, and rules out a boat-load of Sim and RTS games, the mainstay of many PC titles.

2. Multitasking is out - you need a K&M for that really. And see above.

3. Modding/tweaking - People want pick up and play for consoles. They don't want to mess, to bodge and fettle. That's what PC gaming is for. I'd struggle to see this transfer.

Which kind of leads me to ask - why? What can they bring to the table that MS, Nintendo or Sony don't already have covered??


AMG Owners

There is a lot of talk about "body computing" - while I dont think Steam Box will be some sort of headset, it would appear that Valve have looking 20 years down the line if the rumours are true.

If they can make a powerful little unit that runs Steam and ALL the games then I will be happy - but it is a real shame that they cant come to a deal with Microsoft and the next X-box.

I need to do some more reading up on this me thinks...


Bunta's Tofu

Might finally get around to playing it

Having played through Serious Sam 3 (almost completed it) on Umbongo 12.10 with an A8-3850, HD7770 and 16gb of RAM (which really only benefits load times at that level) I can confirm that games on Linux work just fine, thanks.

Solid 40fps on Ultra settings@1080p, rising to 60fps regularly, and not dipping below 20 in even the mot hectic of scenes.

And I'm sure there are still driver tweeks to come - there have been a stream of patches in the 'proposed' repos which have boosted framerates for OpenGL stuff significantly in games - and this is within only the first few months of closed, and now semi-public, beta.

So I'm pretty sure that a linux based Steam box, with all the other guff removed (Unity on Ubuntu kills FPS as by default it tries to render everything, even fullscreen frames in games - multiple AA passes etc... :roll: disable that, whoosh, playable frame rates!) would be perfectly serviceable, bearing in mind that's a £150 mobo+cpu (if that) and a £100 GPU. Buying that bulk direct from a fab or ODM would reduce that cost significantly to Valve.

There's no true technical 'brick wall' that I can see at this stage - yeah, more engines need to be fully ported, but once that is done, I don't see why 60fps 'console' esque gaming on 'consumer' PC hardware in a custom box shouldn't be perfectly feasible.

I'm damned sure they won't be using a Windows license on every system, that's for sure - Newells made his opinions on Win8 very clear in that regard.

they could easily provide barebones type systems. Bulk buy/build mobo+chassis+chassis cooing, then leave people open to either install their own other bits as per the mobo or provide a complete system (i5-ish, 8 jiggas, two terabytes & a premium-mid GPU?)

Would be able to keep this in line with console prices, and would be user-upgradable down the track too (GPU at least).

I think it'd have to be MiniITX at the largest to be classed as a tv-room accessory, rather than a PC - people will buy 'set top boxes', they won't buy a PC for their living room (generally).

Ignore all the chavvy LEDs and crap - this is the sort of size it'd need to be at the very, very largest - I just wanted something that shows it to scale.

The actual case (Bitfenix prodigy) is pretty subtle and understated:

I would expect it to be smaller than that though, and probably modular to a degree, designed to accept a 'vendor approved' list of parts with certain thermal limits.

And all this helps you run around and shoot aliens and shit yeah?


It feels like that. Like a donkey. On a skateboard.

JL said...

And all this helps you run around and shoot aliens and shit yeah?

Fo' sho, mofo.

Speaking of the sort of improvement that driver tweeks can bring, here's an example.

From the Unigine benchmark, which anyone who knows their GPUs will know is pretty representative of current DX11 games and is massively punishing on anything other than upper end cards - that is, it looks choppy on any card costing less than £150. Don't believe there are many single card solutions that can average 60FPS on it at 1080p.

You may need to right click/open these shots
So, here's what I was getting before:

And here's what I'm getting now, after a kernel update and putting on the latest beta drivers from AMD:

That's quite a difference in minimum frame rate - it's the difference between 'stuttering piece of crap' and 'I can live with that'. And it's touching 60fps.

I turned Serious Sam on to ULTRA EVERYTHING SETTINGS (bar the AA - FXAA is good enough for me) and it's running as well as it did on the previous High settings.

Plenty more where that came from, primarily because, as noted, hardcore games development on Linux is a new thing really.

Updated December 10, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Dunno if its at all accurate but the xi3 "piston" being bandied about is TINY?

ie. Full of proprietary hardware :(

Was hoping for something shuttlesque with some standard card slots.

And still no Ep3 the barstewards.

report clicky Sounds like a good compromise between the ease of use of a console and the upgradeability of a PC to me. Some people (me) don't want to tinker endlessly with their tech. It's why I still use Xbox despite really wanting to get into steam as it's a much better service.


I often drive for a road travel

Potential Steam Box



Bunta's Tofu

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