Friday, 29 March 2013 21:58
Steam Box's Fundamental Flaw FeaturedWritten by Erina Victoria Rose
It's happening; Valve is making its leap onto the couch gaming scene. Imagine having instant access to hundreds of your favorite games at launch? That'll be the case if the Steam Box is linked to your own Steam account. However, if that's the case, there is one big set back.
Valve's big cheese Gabe Newell has shed a little light on the future of their new console; to begin with, it will launch in three flavors: good, better, and best is what they are calling it. The cheapest version will act as a streaming box, which we are guessing will work similar to the OnLive mircoconsole. The better, slightly more expensive version, will be like a current gen console or a mid-range PC. The best version will be a fully souped up high-end PC with all the latest and greatest specs, but that's also kind of where the Steam Box's biggest downfall is.
The major factor that has kept console gaming afloat so long is a consistent gaming experience. Understandably, when it comes to console gaming each game is developed to optimize the console experience. The problem with a lot of PC games is that this consistency is lacking throughout a lot of games. Take most Activision titles as an example; a good majority of Activision games are rather poor ports, and games will struggle and frames will drop even on a pretty low settings on a high end PC. Also, a lot of games are optimized for certain graphics cards. Which means there may be issues with compatibility with the Steam Box. Let's not forget that, when it comes to PC gaming, the bar for benchmark is always being raised which could mean that the Steam Box would be out-dated for PC standard gaming within two years. One could argue that even though the Steam Box would not be running games on ultra settings after two years the graphics will still be on bar, if not better, than next generation consoles.
Ultimately, the thing we hope for the most with Valve's Steam Box is the thing that might actually end up killing it. The only way that Valve can guarantee quality for each game is that they make sure each, and every, game to release on the Steam Box is developed specifically for it--and, if that's the case, then the Steam Box loses its most promising feature; compatibility. On the other hand, these cons may not be enough to outweigh the high convenience of the Steam Box.