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Rumor: Steam Machines Launching At GDC 2015

Is Valve finally wrapping up the development of its Steam Controller and SteamOS? That seems to be the case according to the latest rumor, which stems from an official comment from Valve Software that the company does not plan to host a developer conference this year. Why? Because the company isn't revealing new technology in 2015.

"This year our focus will be a bit different, so we are planning a larger than usual presence at GDC," a Valve representative told Gamasutra. "So, there will not be a Steam Dev Days this year, but we will certainly consider doing it again in the future."

That's where the rumor regarding the Steam Controller and SteamOS kick in. An unnamed source has informed Not Operator that Valve plans to launch the completed Steam Controller and operating system during GDC 2015 this March. The peripheral has been finalized, according to the source, and SteamOS will be brought out of beta. PC builders will also supposedly have solutions ready to launch.

We reported on the Steam Controller back in December, as an image of a new design surfaced in a beta build of the Steam client. The controller featured two touch pads, an analog stick on the left, and the four ABXY button setup on the right. The device also sported two buttons on the sides labeled "LG" and "RG," two shoulder buttons, two trigger buttons, and Stop and Play media buttons. The left touchpad included a four-point directional guide.

The Steam Machine topic has been a hot one for years now, and it escalated during CES 2013 when Xi3 was believed to be making a Steam Machine solution. A year later at CES 2014, we learned that a number of PC vendors were making Steam Machines, some of which we have seen go retail in 2014 without the Steam Machine designation. These vendors included Alienware, iBuyPower, Gigabyte and a number of others.

So what's the holdup? The Steam Machine Controller. According to Valve software, vendors can't ship a Steam Machine without it. These solutions will also rely on SteamOS, which last we heard is still in beta and not ready for prime-time consumption. Valve's platform, based on Linux, promises to enable better game performance due to the lack of all the junk that runs in the background of a Windows-based machine.

We already know that there will be a huge range of Steam Machines at launch. Some will hit the $499 price point, while some vendors will throw in more hardware meat that will require a higher price tag. The goal is to push the non-open-source consoles by Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo out of the living room. We already know that PC gaming is the way to go, but whether console junkies will ditch their favorite gaming machines and bite into the Steam Machine initiative remains to be seen.

So for now, take the GDC 2015 launch as mere rumor until Valve Software announces otherwise. Still, there's a good chance that the March launch is the real deal. We're hoping that, anyway.

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  • Grognak
    I can't imagine a reason why Steam Machines would succeed. Disregarding the fact that they're long overdue and that the feedback on the controller has been lukewarm, there's no reason for anyone to buy them at that price with SteamOS. If the difference between a glorified console and a fully functional PC is $100, I'd rather go Windows.
    Reply
  • Engineer123
    it's not a "rumour", confirmed already in November by Doug Lombardi, Quoted "...a large Steam-Machine presence at GDC 2015" to techradar.com

    Also: they have a huge booth there, look at the floorplan and they are among the few Diamond Partners of GDC.

    http://www.gamespot.com/articles/steam-controller-design-reportedly-finalized-more-/1100-6424515/

    OriginPC CEO confirms that Steam-controller is finalized and ready for production.

    What will Valve surely unveal at the GDC 2015:
    - the final Steam-Controller
    - official release date for the Steam-Machines, their specs and pricing

    Maybe, but not impossible at all:
    - a new Valve game which is bundled for free with every Steam-Machine

    Get hyped!
    Reply
  • airborn824
    I can't imagine a reason why Steam Machines would succeed. Disregarding the fact that they're long overdue and that the feedback on the controller has been lukewarm, there's no reason for anyone to buy them at that price with SteamOS. If the difference between a glorified console and a fully functional PC is $100, I'd rather go Windows.

    Well PC gaming is growing at an un-measurable rate. To think you can get all the AAA titles on a machine than literally can do it all makes sense. To be honest once Steam Machines launch, only the great exclusives from Nintendo will separate PC consoles from the others. We will start to see Microsoft open up Halo and other games to PC and XBOX as they win on both fronts. But i do believe that steam machines should dual boot Windows 10. Valve will continue to grow the OS till it has music, video, and browsing. Cheers to finally real competition.
    Reply
  • Bowmaster
    I can't imagine a reason why Steam Machines would succeed. Disregarding the fact that they're long overdue and that the feedback on the controller has been lukewarm, there's no reason for anyone to buy them at that price with SteamOS. If the difference between a glorified console and a fully functional PC is $100, I'd rather go Windows.

    Well PC gaming is growing at an un-measurable rate. To think you can get all the AAA titles on a machine than literally can do it all makes sense. To be honest once Steam Machines launch, only the great exclusives from Nintendo will separate PC consoles from the others. We will start to see Microsoft open up Halo and other games to PC and XBOX as they win on both fronts. But i do believe that steam machines should dual boot Windows 10. Valve will continue to grow the OS till it has music, video, and browsing. Cheers to finally real competition.

    One potential problem is certain companies, like EA, who may continue to refuse to allow their new products on Steam OR companies like Ubisoft who allow for purchases on Steam but then require Uplay. IDK, maybe you can still launch those clients out of SteamOS which would solve the issue, but I don't know if I've seen anything definitive. With that said, I'd love to see it succeed!
    Reply
  • Bloob
    I can't imagine a reason why Steam Machines would succeed. Disregarding the fact that they're long overdue and that the feedback on the controller has been lukewarm, there's no reason for anyone to buy them at that price with SteamOS. If the difference between a glorified console and a fully functional PC is $100, I'd rather go Windows.

    Steam machines are fully functional PCs.
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    I believe your forgetting a point about "PC gaming is better". One of the key aspects of pc game is the keyboard and mouse. Mouse and Keyboard offer better performance and accuracy than controllers on a number of games.

    I'm not saying that I hate controllers, ill still use controllers every now and then. But it seems strange to do console (controller) gaming on a PC. However if this steam controller actually is just as good as a mouse then I will change my mind. :)
    Reply
  • Vlad Rose
    With the Steam machine, you should be able to do both mouse+keyboard and game controller still; just like a PC. I do know that some games I own on steam I'd hate to play on a keyboard+mouse (Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter IV, etc), same with trying a controller on other games (FPS, RTS, or MOBAs for example). I can see this controller helping with at least one of those genres (FPS) if their touchpad thingie on it works well enough. It could be a good compromise to having 2 separate gaming setups.
    Reply
  • stevejnb
    I still don't see the need for these devices, outside of the absent license fee and the bragging rights of "ZOMG ITS NOT WINDOWS I MUST HAVE IT!" for an audience that takes their fandom - or anti-fandom - to Apple drone levels.

    PC gaming on Windows machines is, as it stands, pretty close to a truly open platform. Steam exists on a Windows platform, instituting its DRM and making profits entirely independent of any MS heavy-handedness stymying them in any way. Indie games ranging from Minecraft (hey, it WAS indie when I started on it) to To The Moon have flourished on it. Anyone can build pretty much any game, any gaming service, any way they want on Windows. PC gaming has developed in pretty much any way game developers have wanted it to without them being beholden to Windows, and Windows has been host to dozens of non-Microsoft distributors and revolution after revolution on a gaming friendly but gaming agnostic Windows platform. What is the ill in Windows gaming that you think SteamOS is going to fix? What does SteamOS add to this beyond appeasing the "WE HATE MICROSOFT BECAUSE IT'S MICROSOFT!" crowd?

    Valve's great accomplishments in gaming are Half Life and making a bunch of PC gamers who will torrent a movie because they don't like the look of the FBI warning at the start actually embrace DRM and all of their games being tied to one company. Personally, the moment a company that makes most of its money from putting ALL games they associate with under a DRM wall wants to create a whole OS suggesting all games should run under their watchful eye, I get a bit worried. However benign they look for now, doesn't anyone else see the problem here? A DRM company that make you access every single game through their app store wants to make your OS - and the PC gaming community is rushing to *embrace* this and heralding it as a great step forward? Will we all be happier once, rather than having the pretty much open gaming platform, you sign in to Steam for EVERYTHING? As it stands, Windows says "make your game, we don't care what you do with it. We make our money, you make yours." Valve says "make your game, use our DRM, give us a cut." Valve in charge of a gaming is good in your eyes?

    I really don't support SteamOS. Let a company that doesn't put DRM on EVERY game they touch, and get a cut of every game's profit, be the shepherd of gaming. Doesn't have to be MS by any means - but a DRM company that makes you access every single game in your library through their app store? Their profit model just screams conflict of interest to me when it comes to controlling a whole OS. I'm amazed that so many PC gamers hate Microsoft so much they seem to either miss or willfully ignore this point.
    Reply
  • Merry_Blind
    Since the controllers isn't symmetrical anymore anyway, I don't understand why they don't get rid of the left touch pad. A thumbsticks is perfect for movement in any 3D game, and D-Pad is perfect for movement in any 2D game or interface. Right touch pad is useful for aiming since it's supposedly more precise than thumbsticks.

    So yeah... no point in having two touchpads, and omitting the D-Pad completely is stupid.
    Reply
  • GreaseMonkey_62
    I think the biggest detriment right now will be that it's running on Linux which still has a really small gaming usage. People are going to want to play (insert popular game) and find out it won't run on SteamOS. Unless Steam has addressed this issue somehow.
    Reply