FULL OF HOT AIR?
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.
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