FULL OF HOT AIR?

GAX (Malaysia) - - FEATURES -

The first batch of Steam Ma­chines are set to hit store shelves over in the U.S. on Novem­ber 10 later this year, with Alien­ware and SY­BER Gam­ing be­ing the first two com­pa­nies con­firmed to have their Steam Ma­chines dis­played on those shelves. We’ve al­ready talked about what they are ca­pa­ble of in the first half of this fea­ture, which brings us to the all-im­por­tant ques­tion of whether it would be worth­while in­vest­ing in them.

We’re sad to say that if you al­ready have an almighty gam­ing rig sit­ting com­fort­ably in your bed­room, chances are you wouldn’t find a Steam Ma­chine to be of much use. If you’re buy­ing into Valve’s idea of get­ting a Steam Ma­chine just so you can play your fa­vorite games on the mas­sive HDTV in your liv­ing room, you prob­a­bly should in­vest US$49.99 (ap­prox. RM187) for the Steam Link stream­ing con­sole in­stead. It al­lows you to stream games your games wire­lessly from your gam­ing rig onto your TV in 1080p at 60fps, negat­ing the need for you phys­i­cally con­nect your rig to your TV, or a Steam Ma­chine, for that mat­ter.

If you don’t have a gam­ing rig and you’re look­ing for one in the form of a Steam Ma­chine, you’ll have to bear in mind that be­cause it runs on Linux, only a lim­ited se­lec­tion of games on the Steam Store will be com­pat­i­ble with it. A quick search through the Steam data­base will show you that there are only 1,242 games (at the time of writ­ing) that are com­pat­i­ble with the SteamOS op­er­at­ing sys­tem, a stark con­trast to the 5,500+ games that are avail­able for Win­dows. Mind you, the 1,200+ games do not in­clude triple-A ti­tles like Grand Theft Auto V, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and As­sas­sin’s Creed Unity. You should def­i­nitely think thrice about get­ting a Steam Ma­chine if you wish to use it for de­vour­ing block­buster ti­tles. Also, Steam Ma­chines are not much of a re­place­ment for con­soles ei­ther. Sure, its graph­ics would be bet­ter, but you will be los­ing out on the high-pro­file, con­sole-ex­clu­sive games, such as the Halo se­ries on Xbox, and the

Un­charted se­ries on PlayS­ta­tion. As a mat­ter of fact, the triple-A ti­tles that we’ve men­tioned ear­lier that are not avail­able on SteamOS are all read­ily avail­able on con­soles. So un­less a game like Half-Life 3 (wish­ful think­ing) be­comes a SteamOS ex­clu­sive, Steam Ma­chines will have very lit­tle go­ing for it as far as games are con­cerned. What’s the point of hav­ing a hard­core gam­ing ma­chine when there are hardly any games that it can play?

With that said, Steam Ma­chines are still very much at its in­fancy stage. They have plenty of room for im­prove­ment, many loop­holes to fill, and many over­ar­ch­ing doubts to ad­dress. Our ad­vice to you – should you choose to heed it – would be to wait a lit­tle while more and let the en­tire no­tion of Steam Ma­chines de­velop fur­ther, be­fore de­cid­ing whether or not to take a leap of faith.

Also, Steam Ma­chines are not much of a re­place­ment for con­soles ei­ther.

5 ASUS ROG GR8S

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6 Ori­gin OMEGA Steam Ma­chine

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7 7 Fal­con North­west Tiki Steam Ma­chine

8 Gi­ga­byte BRIX Pro

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