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Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:33 pm
Steam is an excellent platform. Â 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. Â 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. Â 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?
Weâ€™ll come out with our own and weâ€™ll sell it to consumers by ourselves. Thatâ€™ll be a Linux box, [and] if you want to install Windows you can. Weâ€™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
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?
Weâ€™ve struggled for a long time to try to think of ways to use motion input and we really havenâ€™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 canâ€™t see how it makes games fundamentally better. On the controller side, the stuff weâ€™re thinking of is kind of super boring stuff all around latency and precision. Thereâ€™s no magic there, everybody understands when you say "I want something thatâ€™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 youâ€™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 weâ€™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 weâ€™re gonna stop using ethernet and go back to 300 baud dial-up." Maybe there are other ways to think of that. Thereâ€™s more engagement when youâ€™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 isnâ€™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
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
That could be cool, but I could see problems with it. Â 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. Â I'm curious how this would work for third-person titles as well.
Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:46 am
Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:08 pm
yeah, apologies in advance, but the title of this thread is not right (more so, neither is the name of this gadget)