Steam Games Come to the Big Screen With a new TV Console
by Brandy Cross
There are lots of exciting events being announced at the CES, yesterday we covered Sony’s new flagship phone the Sony Xperia Z along with a range of other gadgets, and today Xi3 and Valve have announced more news, this time affecting the gaming community. Steam games that are currently played via the PC game console are now coming to the big screen, as Xi3 announces that they have successfully created a console that will work on a television screen.
What is Steam?
Steam is a digital gaming center developed by Valve corporations, currently compatible with Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS, Android, and to some extent with Playstation 3, although all features are not present. Steam licenses out top games and sells them through their storefront, the ‘Steam Store’. Users can then purchase games to play on the device of their choice, usually opening them up through one central management, being Steam. The store serves multiple purposes including allowing users easy access to a variety of games, helping to manage games and keep them all in one place, removing the need for discs, and helping with content and licensing control. Steam games also includes a range of free to play games similar to those found on Facebook or Zynga, but some unique to the platform as well. Similar stores include GOG and Origin, although neither of these two competing stores offers the same discounts or massive sales that attract many users to Steam.
Steam on TV
While there hasn’t been much talk about Steam coming to a television big screen, many people have asked about a Steam gaming console that would allow just that. Now, anyone who purchases a smart TV can actually play Steam games via their TV by plugging in a grapefruit sized box to their TV. Full access to some of Steam’s classic games including Left4Dead will allow users to play games directly from their monitor.
The new Steam game console was announced as a partnership between Steam and Xi3 earlier this month, and debuted at CES. The Valve Steam Game box has been code named ‘Piston’, a name which may or may not stick. Experts suggest that ‘Piston’ will not be Steams final game console, the actual ‘Steam Box’ is stated to feature full gaming capabilities that can be used across multiple computers and TV screens.
XI3’s ‘Piston’ is capable of playing computer games on a TV console with HD graphics, and will supposedly exceed the capabilities of other game consoles such as the PS3 or the Xbox 360. The device is small enough to fit in your hand, and features ‘Big Picture’ mode which is essentially the ability to see anything on the Piston box on a television. Because Piston is being created by Xi3, it is guessed to be a computer prototype.
Market for Piston
Steam is currently marketed to gamers who want easy access to popular games via their computer, but now it will also be available for anyone who wants to play games on their computers. While Steam is currently one of the most popular computer digital gaming companies, it can now expand to compete with Playstation, Xbox and Wii as well.
While there is no telling how television and gaming console fans will react to Steam on the big screen, it is highly possible that Steam gamers will be eager to move over to the bigger screen. Neither Valve nor Piston have released how much the device will cost, but it should be relatively affordable for users who want to upgrade.
Check this video from IGN