Friday, 16 May 2014

How Valve's Steambox won the console war

If you weren't already aware this is the second in a two part look at the upcoming Steamboxes, It wasn't originally intended to be a two-part article, however, after speaking with an old friend, one sentence put me on a path to going almost completely 180° on my original view. To the point that I have just jumped back over to steam and started playing through my huge library of games. (I mean back through, right? No, probably like you, I bought most of this stuff in sales and never played it.) Thanks Humble Bundle.

Time................ on my side, oh yes it issss. Song lyrics never come across aswell in text. but if you can imagine me as a young(er, he was never young) Denzel Washington and the year is 1998. you may know where that song is from (its from Fallen, if you haven't seen it, go now, go and watch it).

This was the thing my friend said to me which almost immediately switched my brain from believing the Steamboxes are doomed to believing they cannot actually fail, possibly ever. In my previous article I wrote how the Steam Platform as a whole still feels quite incomplete, and whilst I don't disagree with my earlier observation, it doesn't mean it isn't an incredible success used by over 7 million people daily (65 million total users as of Oct 2013 vs Xbox live 42 Million). and yes "used = running idly on their PCs", likely as a background task. But still, who in their right mind just leaves their Xbox or PlayStation (or Wii, lol) just sat on in the background? Rock Stars and Drug Dealers that's who.

But it wasn't all like this. Several years ago, I was the sole steam user amongst my friends, begging them frequently to give up on their Playstation 2sn Xboxes, Dreamcasts or even N64s (Luke) because PC gaming is the future and that future is steamy! And now, here we are 15 yeas later and we still debate over which console is/was better, but we all have Steam accounts...........

I sill totally agree that the SteamBox cannot compete with the PS4/Xbox One, but it doesn't need to. And I don't think valve are really even trying to. Like I previously said, there is no first party hardware. But for valve at least there doesn't need to be. Why not let manufacturers with dedicated hardware experience throw their money at the platform whilst they test the waters. lets be honest, few would want it to but as I said, this could fail. and if it does valve hasn't got got a warehouse worth of boxes they need to find a place in the destert for.

If you Google the words "Valve cancelled" you wont find any notable headlines pertaining to a product or service that they have announced. Steam OS and Steambox exist and I can't see valve canceling them, In a decade or two from now, these will exist  in some form because Steambox is not a console generational console it's a modular platform that Valve have more than enough money to ensure it passes the test of time.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

How the Steamboxes failed

Before we continue, and you all start rage-hating me for damning your beloved console to be. Please take a moment to have a look at a good friend of mine's Darks Souls Gaming Blog - On The Game. If you prefer a well versed literary journey through the histories of gaming, then this should be the next link you click. If you want to read my rant below then stay here. but click that link after (I'll even make it easy for you and put the link at the bottom of the page).

How the Steamboxes failed

"It's not even out yet, how can I possibly make such a claim?", is the question you are probably asking behind all the rage and anger you feel purely over my headline. so please allow me to put this into perspective.

I love Steam, it is one of the first applications I install on a computer as soon as I set one up. As computer technician, it is the only gaming platform I have ever recommended to people when they ask for a trustworthy source. As an Xbox One owner who is a bit disgruntled that his digital purchases from the 360 wont carry over to the new platform, i'm actually looking to move to Steam as a living room alternative, so that my financial investment in the platform wont be negated in the next generation. The Steam game library is immense, they have free to play, they openly support mods and even go out there and encourage indie developers to put their games on that platform, and the creators of Steam are the creators of Half-Life. Due to that final piece alone they have my support for life. So please trust me when I say I am not hating on their soon to be released living-room extension of their platform, i was excited from the moment Valve announced they would be releasing Steam hardware. But as excited as I want to be about the potential this could have, I can't ignore the the following, in fact I believe it "has" the potential to be the Steambox death sentence.

So, I got married, and married is awesome

So, a year ago today, at about this time I was probably doing something in the run up to my wife's wedding. The wedding was in August and it's now only May but there was much to plan, so I was told.

Only kidding, my wife wasn't a crazy nightmare fiancé trying to get everything perfect, that was more my thing. She organised the hell out of it a good year prior, it was about this time I came in and messed it all up and added some creative flair.

Hand's down, best day of my life and it was mainly because of all of our family and friends making it such a great day.

But anyway, this is a photoshop related post, so i'll finish the wedding chatter by saying that this was an idea I got 2 days before the wedding.

I'll be honest this is not some of my best editing work, in fact its pretty awful in comparison to some of the other pieces I've done. But it was a hell of a lot of fun to play about with.