No not really, but for those prices, some of them should be.
Valve released a brochure full of pictures of funny little boxes and specs during the CES 2014. A total of fourteen were released. Prices vary from US$499.00 up to US$6000.00, which is rather hefty. Some of these router-like looking boxes come with a standard build while a few others can be customized.
If you look at the PS4 and Xbox One specs, and compare them to some of these machines, your eyebrows will most certainly raise in a spectacular fashion while you mouth the the letters “W.T.F”…
Playstation 4 Specs:
CPU – Single Chip x86, 8-Core AMD “Jaguar” processor.
GPU – 1.84 TFlops, AMD Next Generation Radeon Graphics Core
Ram – GDDR5 8GB
Hard Drive – 500GB
Price – US$399.00
Xbox One Specs:
CPU – 8 Core Microsoft Custom
GPU – D3D 11.1 chip with 32MB embedded memory
Ram – DDR3 8GB
Hard Drive – 500GB
Price – US$499.00
Ok, so now we have something to compare these *cough*routers*cough* to. Have a look-see and tell us what you think?
Seems silly to make so many different machines with so many different specs and there are still more to come. Why not make three, low range, mid range, high range, and be done with it? The market seems too small for this to be a massive success and feels like Steam are trying to force their way into something that can carry on happily without them. Anyone up for a little OUYA?
Chances are, unless you are a pro-PC gamer/builder, the average Joe won’t understand what this is and head straight to the PS4/Xbone/PC market, even so, a serious gamer wouldn’t even consider something like this, as they would understand the advantages of owning a decent PC. Also, with these prices, one can build a custom rig far better and more powerful than some of the builds shown above for far cheaper.
I guess this would help create a slightly more competitive market, but not by much. Steam has a hell of a lot of users, but just how many of them will consider turning from what they are already comfortable with? To summarize what a Steam Machine can do, it plays fewer games, does less than half of what your PC can do and digs deeper into your wallet…
I am not saying this is a bad idea, but I’m saying it is a bad idea…
What are your thoughts? Would you consider coughing up cash to get one of these?