Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

SteamBoy Machine Wants To Make PC Gaming Portable

By - Source: SteamBoy Machine | B 17 comments

While we have already seen something similar by way of Razer's Edge and Edge Pro, startup developer SteamBoy Machine Team is currently working on something lighter for PC gaming on the go: the SteamBoy.

As the name implies, the device looks like a combination of the PlayStation Vita and the Steam controller. There's a touchpad on each side of the rectangular screen along with eight action face buttons (directional, ABXY), four trigger buttons and two additional action buttons on the back of the device.

SteamBoy will also run Valve's SteamOS platform, which should keep the overall cost to customers somewhat low given that there is no licensing fee for SteamOS. The team indicated that the final specs will feature a good balance between cost and performance, allowing gamers to play the majority of PC games on Steam.

"I think people will get shocked by SteamBoy potential and possibilities," said SteamBoy Machine Team. "SteamBoy is the first device that allows [you] to play Steam games on the go, you will keep playing your favorite games at the bus, the office, the school or the doctor's waiting room."

As for the specs, the team hints that SteamBoy may have a quad-core CPU, 4 GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal storage and a 5-inch 16:9 touchscreen. The first version is expected to launch in 2015 with Wi-Fi (likely Wireless AC) and 3G connectivity.

"SteamBoy won't be as powerful as other announced Steam Machines in the same way [the] Nintendo 3DS or PS Vita performance is not comparable to Wii U or PlayStation 4," a representative admitted in an emailed statement. "However, it will be possible to play the majority of current games in Steam."

What will be interesting to see is whether or not Valve Software will make the SteamBoy Machine team choose a different name, and not use the Steam name and logo. There may be an agreement already in place, so this possible infringement is just speculation. The website clearly states "Steam name and logo are property of Valve Corporation," and that "all trademarks are property of their respective owners."

If the specs are decent enough to play Skyrim on the default medium settings, would you purchase this device? We're hoping that the console will have HDMI output just in case the gamer wants to connect to a larger screen. Nvidia's Android-powered SHIELD already does this, turning the portable controller-like device into a console.

STEAMBOY PROJECT - E3 2014 TEASER

Follow Kevin Parrish @exfileme. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Discuss
Add your comment Display all 17 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    M0j0jojo , June 16, 2014 2:54 PM
    Didnt Nvidia Shield a;ready make pc gaming portable?
  • 3 Hide
    eklipz330 , June 16, 2014 4:29 PM
    all together now

    VAPORWARE
  • -4 Hide
    Mike Friesen , June 16, 2014 6:28 PM
    How about a laptop? Or do we have to literally be walking and gaming?
  • 8 Hide
    Alec Mowat , June 16, 2014 6:31 PM
    It's cool if it works with Steam games. Full PC games on portable? I'm interested.
  • 1 Hide
    ferooxidan , June 16, 2014 8:19 PM
    Quote:
    How about a laptop? Or do we have to literally be walking and gaming?


    can a laptop do nicely without adapter pulgged in? powerful enough to be playing on a plane/train w/o adapter? nope, i don't think so. plugging your laptop while traveling on your car? such hassle. waiting for someone on the cafe for just about 30 mins then have to open laptop first, waiting it to boot (or not if it is sleep mode), then playing games just for 15 mins literally, the person you wait come, then all those hassle putting it back on your bag and go. portable? yeah, right. got a long time waiting on the cafe, playing with laptop on battery, not powerful enough then set performance to be 100%, battery dies forgot to bring adapter, while this thing/ vita/ ds just need powerbank. portable enough? meh.

    On a side note, the only thing that makes me curious is whether Valve can put real pc components on that, or it's just another compact notebook components. if it is as powerful as PS4 or even more, then I'm interested.
  • 1 Hide
    RoxasForTheWin , June 16, 2014 8:23 PM
    I'm curious to how this performs. Will we be able to play this on the go without having to worry about battery life.
  • 0 Hide
    Conrad Pinto , June 16, 2014 8:33 PM
    SteamBoy! Thought I heard this somewhere....Oh wait, that's the name of a Japanese Animated film.
  • 0 Hide
    outlw6669 , June 16, 2014 11:29 PM
    If I had to venture a guess; it will either have an A10 Micro-6700T or A4 Micro-6400T and it will be able to play the vast majority of (controller supported) Steam games...... if you are streaming them locally from your gaming build.

    While an interesting idea, it is definitely vaporware and not really practical for serious gaming.
  • 0 Hide
    Greg Williams , June 17, 2014 1:36 AM
    I think they mean 'A majority of the linux PC games on steam', not the actual majority :) 
  • 0 Hide
    UVB076 , June 17, 2014 5:26 AM
    Remember this is like a 5" sscreen, meaning the device will be small and incapable of holding either a powerful battery or powerful components
  • 0 Hide
    airborne11b , June 17, 2014 6:54 AM
    Ya, SHIELD has the right idea. Stream PC games from your home PC steam and origin library. Then also have access to Tegra games, android play store games AND android emulators of all your favorite classic systems (NES, SNES, Gensis, PS, N64, PS2, etc, etc) all on one handheld.

    SteamBoy seems irrelevant in comparison to the SHIELD, which should be getting a Gen 2 soon.
  • 0 Hide
    TeamColeINC , June 17, 2014 9:05 AM
    Why not just buy a USB controller, get an adapter for USB micro B, and Steam Stream to your smart phone? I saw this dude playing BF4 on his phone and it looked like it was running great and very responsive (i.e. minimal input lag).
  • 0 Hide
    Geekavenger , June 17, 2014 9:35 AM
    "If the specs are decent enough to play Skyrim on the default medium settings, would you purchase this device?"

    Skyrim does not run on SteamOS, it is not Linux compatible, truly one of my biggest disappointments with my home built steam machine. Streaming works okay but wireless congestion in my apartment building (40+ visible SSIDs on the 2.4GHz spectrum) makes streaming graphically intense games pretty pointless.
  • 1 Hide
    Durandul , June 17, 2014 1:58 PM
    If I can install my own linux, count me in. I like KDE, and gnome 3 is just... the worst.
  • 0 Hide
    Llisandur , June 17, 2014 2:44 PM
    If I can install Windows 8 and the real Steam on this I might actually consider it.
  • 0 Hide
    LostAlone , June 18, 2014 3:58 AM
    I can see they have a good idea, but I'm not sold on this.

    The question I'm wondering about is this: Are PC games really designed to be played on the go? Yes, there are a lot of indie games that maybe fit that niche, or at least you wouldn't be heart broken to switch off at a moments notice, but almost all higher profile games (ie games most people know about) are supposed to be played in at least hour long chunks. I almost never see people playing games on laptops as I commute, but I see plenty enough playing on phones and tablets. That pick up/put down thing is really important to how people use devices.

    It seems like it's a device that would be best for the younger generations (ie, people who get dragged along to family gatherings, have to wait around to get a lift and/or who's parents refuse to get them an actual PC because the internet is big and scary). And that's fine. I don't have a problem with that at all. But it seems pretty likely that this will cost more than a new 3DS, and well within the laptop price range.

    I guess we'll see how things go.
  • 0 Hide
    hixbot , June 18, 2014 5:17 AM
    Quote:
    Didnt Nvidia Shield a;ready make pc gaming portable?

    Not really, Nvidia Shield runs Android on Arm, so it's not a mobile PC platform. Yes it does stream PC games, which I suppose you could consider portable, as long as you're in WIFI range of a gaming PC.

    The Steamboy will be running SteamOS on x86/64, which is a true portable PC. I bet you could install Windows on it if you wanted.

    I'd be very interested in it if it used real analogue sticks and not those touch pads.

React To This Article