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Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:33 pm
by hellboy
Steam is an excellent platform.  I'm a big fan of digital distribution for PC gaming, and while Steam isn't perfect by any means, I like the way they go about their business.  Also I thought this was cool enough that it deserved it's own thread.

As noted in the video games thread there have been some new developments released as the CES which involve a Steam Box of sorts.  Though details are limited, I came across this interview with Gabe a few minutes ago where he talks about the box, the possiblities and how Steam plan on releasing their own hardware, which importantly should be quite open:


So are most of these going to be Linux-based Steam Boxes?

We’ll come out with our own and we’ll sell it to consumers by ourselves. That’ll be a Linux box, [and] if you want to install Windows you can. We’re not going to make it hard. This is not some locked box by any stretch of the imagination. We also think that a controller that has higher precision and lower latency is another interesting thing to have.

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:34 pm
by hellboy
I also thought the question about controllers was quite interesting as well:

Speaking of controllers, what kind of creative inputs are you working on? Valve has already confessed its dissatisfaction with existing controllers and the kinds of inputs available. Kinect? Motion?

We’ve struggled for a long time to try to think of ways to use motion input and we really haven’t [found any]. Wii Sports is still kind of the pinnacle of that. We look at that, and for us at least, as a games developer, we can’t see how it makes games fundamentally better. On the controller side, the stuff we’re thinking of is kind of super boring stuff all around latency and precision. There’s no magic there, everybody understands when you say "I want something that’s more precise and is less laggy." We think that, unlike motion input where we kind of struggled to come up with ideas, [there's potential in] biometrics. We have lots of ideas.

I think you’ll see controllers coming from us that use a lot of biometric data. Maybe the motion stuff is just failure of imagination on our part, but we’re a lot more excited about biometrics as an input method. Motion just seems to be a way of [thinking] of your body as a set of communication channels. Your hands, and your wrist muscles, and your fingers are actually your highest bandwidth -- so to trying to talk to a game with your arms is essentially saying "oh we’re gonna stop using ethernet and go back to 300 baud dial-up." Maybe there are other ways to think of that. There’s more engagement when you’re using larger skeletal muscles, but whenever we go down [that path] we sort of come away unconvinced. Biometrics on the other hand is essentially adding more communication bandwidth between the game and the person playing it, especially in ways the player isn’t necessarily conscious of. Biometrics gives us more visibility. Also, gaze tracking. we think gaze tracking is gonna turn out to be super important.

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:48 pm
by The Boss
I was waiting for that last sentence. If they can come up with something that tracks your eyeballs with almost 100% accuracy, you can kiss controllers goodbye - at least in terms of the "look" thumbstick.

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:46 am
by UndKeineZwEier
That could be cool, but I could see problems with it.  You're eyes move a lot, and if the tracking is too precise then it could be pretty disorienting, but if it's not precise enough we're back where we started.  I'm curious how this would work for third-person titles as well.

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:46 am
by ilikecheese
heh he......"box"

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:08 pm
by petemasterpete
cheese said
heh he......"box"

yeah, apologies in advance, but the title of this thread is not right (more so, neither is the name of this gadget)