Tag Archives: Valve

Game Streaming, the Secret to Gaming in the Not Too Distant Future…

Let’s just get this one point out of the way early, the key to next generation gaming is Game Streaming. The only real question is when. Whether connected to a cloud service or a local PC the chances are in the not too distant future the machine you are playing a game on won’t be the one rendering the frames.

While game streaming technology has been bubbling away and developing for a number of years it is only now that the technology is ready for prime time. Services are already appearing from Sony and Nvidia but Valve’s is also preparing to launch its own assault on our living rooms, their primary weapon being the Steam Machines that include game streaming functionality.

Amongst all of this progress Microsoft have been decidedly quiet on the subject of game streaming with either the Xbox One, PC’s or tablets. Are they that far behind the 8 ball?

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Project Piston, the Steam Box Prototype Xi3 Style…

A match made in heaven, Steam and micro PC maker Xi3 have been seen around the halls of CES in compromising positions. With Xi3 hardware on display at Steam’s booth and Xi3’s CEO talking up everything Steam something is in the air.

Project Piston is result of this not so secret partnership, a micro computer not much larger than a Rubik’s cube that also happens to be the Steam Box prototype.

The latest product developed by Xi3 is designated the X7A, this is thought to be the technological foundation of the Steam Box prototype. Keeping with Xi3’s compact form factor and modular design the X7A measured a mere 11cm at each corner, a tight squeeze for a fully fledge PC. Clever by design Xi3 have split the PC’s motherboard into 3 parts that are laid around the inside surface of the cube. See the previous Highpants article on Xi3’s excellent chrome cube for more information.

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The Steam Box Update, Linux Powered Steam PC Console confirmed…

Steam, the purveyor of digital game downloads are no longer content being the leading online game distribution network, confirming it has hardware on its mind. CEO Gabe Newell let slip recently during an interview with Kotaku that Steam is indeed working on a hardware platform, the Steam Box.

Designed specifically for the living room big screen TV experience the Steam Box will be a Linux based mid range PC on the inside with a Steam interface upfront. Competing directly for our living room TV time, Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft should all be looking over their shoulders.

The Steam Box won’t be just competing with the consoles; by mid 2013 a number of Windows 8 boxes designed for the living room will also be available. Covering all of their bases Steam already has client software for all of the competing platforms, win win.

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Valve Source Filmmaker, The Ultimate Animation Tool…

Movies and video games have become tightly inter-twinned in recent years. Valve, software developers of the gaming kind, are doing their bit to drive the trend with the release of their in-house movie making software. Released this week to the public, and it’s available for free, is Valve’s Source Filmmaker (SFM). Bringing film making and animation tools to the public’s desktop.

Until the public release of the beta SFM the software had been used in-house by Valve. Used to create the type of short films that marketing departments love and cut scenes for the latest games. SFM has quickly evolved, becoming a one-stop shop for animation and possibly the most efficient animation tool to date.

Over 50 short films have been built using SFM, including the ‘Meet The’ series along with many in-game short films. Included for your viewing pleasure is the latest film in Valve’s ‘Meet the’ series, ‘Meet the Pyro’. Built using Team Fortress 2 game models and 3D objects it’s an atmospheric short film that highlights the power of SFM. Also included at the end of the article is the video introduction of SFM by team fortress, a must watch for the animation inclined.

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Valve To Release A Steam Powered Console PC, The Steam Box…

The war between console gaming and PC gaming is about to heat up, and become a lot more confused. Valve the creators of many things gaming are said to be planning a Steam based Console PC. According to website ‘The Verge’, Valve is designing a set-top box / console gaming device that would incorporate Steams new interface. Allowing the Steam Box to run all of Steams PC games. Some are calling it the Steam Box but we prefer Steam Console PC.

At its heart the Steam powered Console PC would run on standardized Windows PC hardware with the emphasis being a TV integrated experience. Steam is said to be attempting to bring the easy to use console experience to PC hardware, all wrapped in a compact exterior.

There is no mention of pricing, which will be one of the major factors for establishing such a system. The concept actually becomes extremely interesting if fast and cheap are combined successfully. With the potential of making the entire Steam catalog of games available to a whole new group of gamers, Console PC gamers. There is also no detail on the final look or design of the console, here at Highpants were just hoping they take the obvious queues, a Steam Punk console would be incredible.

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Steam Mobile App Beta. Steam Engine Gaming on The Go…

Valve is preparing to bring it’s legendary Steam Gaming system to a Smartphone – Android or Apple iOS – near you. Over many years Steam has built up an enormous following of dedicated gamers by offering an easy to use system that streamlines the gaming experience, providing easy gaming at discount prices. Now with the open beta program taking applications Steam is preparing to revolutionize mobile gaming. Allowing your Steam experience to cross all boundaries.

Steam has over the years built a strong brand name amongst PC gamers. Applying the extremely successful PC online game distribution model to smartphones the new Steam Mobile App brings the Steam game store, chat functions, friend lists along with news and reviews. Sensibly Steam Mobile uses the same log in as your PC account, leveraging the existing user base onto the mobile platform and giving its users another portal into their online gaming lives.

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