Although we knew it was going to eventually happen, Steam have come out big. The next generation of PC gaming is dawning upon us, much sooner than many of us may think. In November, be prepared to see Steam Machines sat alongside home cinema equipment and satellite boxes in lounges, as PC gaming for the masses has finally arrived.
The Steam Store now features a tab displaying the range of hardware that Steam is releasing, even detailing the individual Steam Machines that have been so far announced. The page’s tagline, “PC gaming is expanding” perfectly explains the direction steam wants to take with their new hardware, claiming “This November, we’re bringing everything that makes the PC great—the best games, the biggest communities, and the most exciting technologies—to new destinations”.
Firstly, Steam have outlined the SteamVR, and a partnership with HTC that will make using VR technology a much more streamlined affair. HTC’s Vive is powered by SteamVR, and hopes to bring VR to the mass market. Steam have said that the headset will be available in Spring 2015, and we look forward to getting hands on with this exciting new system.
Steam Machines are coming in November of this year, and we can see a detailed list of the various machines and their price points on the Steam Store. Prices range from $459.99 all the way up to a beastly $4999.99, the Falcon Northwest Tiki Steam Machine. Below is a gallery of the Steam Machines, more information can be found on Steam’s website. These Machine’s are going to change PC gaming forever, and over the coming months I’m sure we’ll be seeing more details being released.
The Steam Controller will allow users to easily control their games, and will help to bridge the gap for console users, to provide a similar experience with the Steam Machine. This will be great when using your Steam Machine or Steam Link on your main TV, as it can often be very clunky trying to use the traditional keyboard and mouse set up, “Play any Steam game from the comfort of your couch”. The controller is feature packed, yet consists of a relatively standard layout, with ‘dual trackpads’ that will provide accurate control across the spectrum of your game library.
Finally, we see the Steam Link. This can be seen to have a similar function to the Playstation TV. You simply plug it in to your TV, then connect it to your network. Your computer will then be the workhorse behind running the games, and then it will beam them to the Steam Link. You can now sit back and enjoy all your favourite titles on the big screen! I feel like this is a truly fantastic little piece of kit, and one that will certainly have a place next to my main TV, much to the inconvenience of the rest of my family when they’re trying to catch up the latest soaps. Even better is the price, at $49.99, as can be seen on the Steam Store, it is essentially as affordable as a Chromecast, and I don’t know many people who don’t own one of those nowadays.
What do you think of Steam’s breakthroughs into the hardware market? Excited, meh, don’t care? Leave a comment below!