And They Called Them, Steam Machines

Some more exciting news from the three part Steam announcement.  Alongside SteamOS, the standalone operating system Steam has promised "soon", Steam recently released information on the next stage of their announcement trio.  Steam Machines; several different models and makes of gaming machines in the market, all loaded with SteamOS, and ready for your TV gaming enjoyment.  What will this mean for the Xbone and the PS4?  What will this mean for video gaming as a whole?  These are questions we all have, and more, and I am going to give my thoughts on this very exciting news.

Hardware, built for us by "multiple partners" as Steam puts, that is supposed to make sense for me, or you.  Consoles built with varying hardware components, all catered to the consumer's wants and needs?  From my translation of this, they will be catering to price differences more than anything else.  The more you spend, the better the machine.  Other things like, you know, size will come into play, naturally.  There are those people out there that like to take their consoles with them and LAN party at their friends houses, smaller would be better.  Then there are the folks like me, who don't mind size, but want power, and they will presumably have one to cater that need as well.  Maybe the media center fans?  One with better video or audio capability?  At some point, I begin to wonder if making this many different types will harm them more than help.

Here they come, sometime in 2014, to stand up to the likes of Microsoft and Sony.  Will having a Steam Machine really drag me away from similar titles on my PS4 or anyone's (who buys one if they do) Xbone?  How do they plan to compete with the already self sustained all in one media consoles?  They will need to bring something to the table that neither of them can give you, or take something they give you, and make it better.  I am not confident that they can pull that off, despite how happy I am to see this.  When it comes down to it, we all already have a box that plays games, surfs the internet, plays movies, plays Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and has an established hardware base.  I get on my knees and beg Steam to give us a reason to own a Steam Machine, give us a reason to use one over our already Steam powered computers.  By then, those Steam powered computers having the open option to load SteamOS right onto.

An interesting take on Beta testing is coming our way with this as well.  If you follow their steps, you can enter your chance to be one of the 300 people who get their prototype machine, and test for them.  So far the steps are easy for someone like me, but any antisocial person or one without a television, will pretty much be disqualified right away.  Don't get me wrong, I would absolutely love to be a part of this, but it is likely not to happen.  However, you, you should get out there, get on the Beta testing list and take a shot.  Then invite me over, because I want to check this out.

So what do you think?  What would you like to see from this?  I have many ideas floating through my head for this, but I want to hear some creativity out there.  Question of the day, what would you like to see or do you expect to see from Steam Machines?

Steam's Steam Machine Page