Despite Apple taking the headlines over the past weeks with the upcoming announcement of it’s new Apple Watch, then yesterday when it officially announced it to the world, there is other news that we would like to report to you. Sure, we’re excited about the Apple Watch and it’s 38 varieties, though not so excited about it’s $15k and up price tag for certain models. However, what we’re really excited about is the announcement from Steam where they have finally made the Steam Machine(not the old carpet cleaning machine), official, though it will be delayed until later this year.
Wait, what? There was an announcement about Steam we hear you cry? Well, yes, and it tells us all we need to know in time for launch in November, or it at least told us they were expected to release in November, and hopefully that remains true.
The 15 consoles – not quite the 38 Apple Watches – will touch down ranging from around $500 to a whopping $5,000 with the likes of Alienware, Gigabyte, and Falcon Northwest all producing boxes. Branding itself as a home PC console, Steam Machines will bring PC gaming to the television, but how much can they actually compete with the likes of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 which already dominate the market? After all, the reason PC gaming and console gaming haven’t killed each other off is because they are so different.
On PC you’ll get dedicated games spending hours upon hours in the top ten UK online casinos or major role-playing realms, tailoring their decks to meet requirements. A box sat on a TV cabinet won’t do that. Nor will Steam have any big exclusive games, at least not yet, a prerequisite for the seasoned console gamer.
So exactly where does it fit in? It appears to be a sort of middle ground for the casual gamer. And with brands like Gigabyte; who produce some of the finest gaming laptops on the market; making boxes, we’ll be in for some pretty special game play.
Steam machines will be sure to deliver ground-breaking game experiences across all sectors, from on-going classics like Football Manager where you can take some of the world’s worst teams to the top, to free slot games where you can enjoy endless hours of quirky fun while winning money in the process but what could be the clinching factor. The one that takes it from another console to something else will be Valve’s Vive VR, which could be the perfect accompaniment to the machine.
That of course won’t come in November, but it’s all set to blast Oculus Rift and Sony’s efforts out of the water when it lands. It’ll be interesting to see how a third console hitting the market will be taken. For the PC gamer, they may still be tempted to just stick with the mouse and keyboard to play their Steam, with the option to go online too, but elsewhere it could take off and be a genuine rival for Sony and Microsoft, particularly if Vive VR is as ground-breaking as we expect it to be. Until then though, we can just fiddle about with our Apple Watches…