Now that both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One have been released for sale to the general public, everyone can weigh in on the great debate over which one is the best. Despite the differences in size, the two consoles do look somewhat similar, with their boxy designs and sleek black palettes. How much more black could they be? The answer is none. None more black.
As the eighth console generation settles into place with the PS4 and Xbox One snuggling up alongside the Wii U and Ouya, another contender is on the horizon. Valve, not content with dominating the world of digital PC games sales, this year announced plans to launch a line of Steam Machines that are designed to boost the living room entertainment experience. Last month, Valve outlined the specs for the prototype Steam Machine, which will run on the Linux-based Steam OS and be built out of high-end PC parts, enabling it to play games at 60fps and 1080p.
Now Engadget has offered the first look at a new prototype of the console, which is most definitely not black. Instead, the Steam Machine is a sleek white box with the Valve logo embossed into the top and a light bar with a customizable color running through the middle. The prototype, which was built by iBuyPower, is smaller than an Xbox One, but larger than a PS4, and has an integrated power supply that negates the need for an external power brick. Check out the design below.
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It might be accused of looking at Apple's notes, but in design terms that's not necessarily a bad thing. This Steam Machine looks like it could easily blend with the decor in the bridge of the rebooted Star Trek's USS Enterprise, and is very different from the simple black design that we saw earlier this month. The next important question however, is whether or not the average gamer will be able to afford it.
The Verge has further details on the pricing of this Steam Machine, and the good news is that it won't cost as much as a high-end PC. Instead, Valve's first console comes with a price tag of $499, the same as the Xbox One, as part of a package deal that also includes the Steam controller and comes standard with Wi-fi, Bluetooth and a 500GB hard drive.
Since Valve has said that there are no plans to develop exclusives for the Steam Machine (so no enticing gamers to buy with the promise of Half-Life 3), the hardware itself needs to be pretty special in order to compete with the latest versions of established products like Xbox and PlayStation. With the release of the first Steam Machine set for next year, tell us if you think Valve has what it takes to play in the console big leagues.