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Old 08-11-2015, 04:21 PM   #1
sai tyrus
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#Steam handheld device announced #SmachZero #SteamOS


PC Gamer has the story:

Quote:
It's a great idea in theory: a handheld device running SteamOS, which can play Steam games on the run. Whether it works or not is another thing, and the Smach Zero – formerly known as the Steamboy – isn't due to release until late next year, so we've got a while to wait.

The specs are decent for a machine of this size: it boasts 4GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, a 720p touch screen and HDMI output. According to a press release published earlier this year, it'll carry an "AMD embedded G-Series SoC 'Steppe Eagle' with Jaguar-based CPU and GCN-based Radeon graphics".

There's naturally going to be a tonne of games in your library that won't be compatible with the Smach Zero, but according to the promotional video embedded below it will play "1000+" games, with presumably more to come.
There's not much more info at present. The units are scheduled to ship in Q4 2016, and the price is €299 in Europe, and $299 in North America if you preorder from November 10.
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Old 08-11-2015, 04:40 PM   #2
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Valve's really trying to sink themselves aren't they.
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Old 08-11-2015, 04:48 PM   #3
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Valve's really trying to sink themselves aren't they.
Oh, I don't know. Worked for Sega!
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Old 08-11-2015, 05:01 PM   #4
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Valve's really trying to sink themselves aren't they.
They're not doing it. Some other company is. Don't see it doing well regardless. But who knows?
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Old 08-11-2015, 05:22 PM   #5
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Valve's really trying to sink themselves aren't they.
I see what you did there... uhh... that was deliberate yeah?

Speaking to names, with names like Valve, Steam and Hammer...we have the well know plumbing/waterworks theme goin on. Why no love for name of the new toy then? Other than evoking memories of the Gameboy... why Steamboy?
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Old 08-11-2015, 05:23 PM   #6
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I see what you did there... uhh... that was deliberate yeah?

Speaking to names, with names like Valve, Steam and Hammer...we have the well know plumbing/waterworks theme goin on. Why no love for name of the new toy then? Other than evoking memories of the Gameboy... why Steamboy?
Okay... pays to read... the Smach Zero. I.. what?
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Old 08-11-2015, 05:49 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Deus Equus View Post
I see what you did there... uhh... that was deliberate yeah?

Speaking to names, with names like Valve, Steam and Hammer...we have the well know plumbing/waterworks theme goin on. Why no love for name of the new toy then? Other than evoking memories of the Gameboy... why Steamboy?
I'm glad someone got the reference.
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Old 08-11-2015, 07:34 PM   #8
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I'm glad someone got the reference.
Ha. I didn't. Damn internets.
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Old 08-11-2015, 07:35 PM   #9
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The jaguar SoC is the "Same" as what it's found in a PS4 / XBOne. It all comes down to what mobile GPU they can wrangle from AMD but, considering the resolution, this could be well powered for its purpose. I'd prefer a Nvidia mobile GPU, of course matched with an Intel chip, as those parts draw less power and are thus extend battery life. Still, rather decent specs and with stream the machine gets an ecosystem from launch day. It will be interesting to compare this to the Shield devices, which have been sporting the still rare Nvidia SoCs for a while now.
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:19 PM   #10
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Its a great idea in theory because the hand-held market is blowing up, yo!
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:34 PM   #11
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Sure...for phones!

I will NEVER spend several hundred dollars for a dedicated gaming handheld ever again. I'll take a decent phone (like my OPO), with all of its abilities PLUS gaming, any day.

Dedicated handhelds are going the way of vinyl...a niche that will continue but only to remain just that, a niche. A blip in a market of three BILLION phones and the people who are gaming on them.
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:37 PM   #12
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..and this is definitely not a phone, so its time to pop a bag of some Hindenburg flavoured popcorn and watch the proceedings. Oh the humanity, and what not.
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:38 PM   #13
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The jaguar SoC is the "Same" as what it's found in a PS4 / XBOne. It all comes down to what mobile GPU they can wrangle from AMD but, considering the resolution, this could be well powered for its purpose. I'd prefer a Nvidia mobile GPU, of course matched with an Intel chip, as those parts draw less power and are thus extend battery life. Still, rather decent specs and with stream the machine gets an ecosystem from launch day. It will be interesting to compare this to the Shield devices, which have been sporting the still rare Nvidia SoCs for a while now.
I don't know. I don't think an Intel PLUS an NVidia will draw less power than those APUs.

And I have a (old) notebook with an AMD-A6 and it is quite competent. It's internal GPU is pretty powerful for it's size and power draw.

And as you said, it will be pratically the same chip used on the ps4 and xBOne, probably a bit better given the 2+ years of development on top of it.
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Old 08-12-2015, 12:49 AM   #14
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I wasn't recommending a Core iCPU with a full 970m. That would require a laptop battery and be more powerful than any MS Surface.

Power draw is going to heavily depends on the GCN Radeon portion of that SoC. If the chip is similar to the outdated Kabini chip, which also used jaguar core architecture, then the unit will be too weak to run games but use 15-20 watts to do so. That's not going to complete with a shield's tegra x1, which uses approximately 19 watts to game like a champ.
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Old 08-12-2015, 03:38 AM   #15
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I'd give them some slim chances. If they actually manage it I will be impressed, but what can't most phones play these days that this might?
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Old 08-12-2015, 05:53 AM   #16
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I'd give them some slim chances. If they actually manage it I will be impressed, but what can't most phones play these days that this might?
Well, anything that requires precise button presses and/or analog sticks (or whatever those circles are), for starters.

I'm curious if Steam's going to require any kind of certification/optimization for the screen, controls etc., or if there's merely a checkbox "runs on Smashbros SmachZero".

Also, will you be able to install non-Steam software, or is it a closed system? I'm not a programmer, so I don't have the slightest clue if it's possible to program for SteamOS, but not require Steam to run. If it was, this machine would be an emulator's wet dream, wouldn't it?
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Old 08-12-2015, 07:13 AM   #17
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Its a great idea in theory because the hand-held market is blowing up, yo!
It's a dumb idea if you're an invester. It's destined to fail. If, like Ouya, it keeps people employed for a couple years, it's not a completely stupid idea for the people working there.

Every now and then I wonder if you could make a living with the stupid ideas and finding stupid investors to fund them. Then just move onto the next stupid idea when the investor money ran out.
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Old 08-12-2015, 08:07 AM   #18
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Every now and then I wonder if you could make a living with the stupid ideas and finding stupid investors to fund them. Then just move onto the next stupid idea when the investor money ran out.
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Old 08-12-2015, 08:11 AM   #19
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Haha case in point.
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Old 08-12-2015, 08:31 AM   #20
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As hot as my notebook gets when I play steam games, I'm assuming you will need to wear oven mitts when using this device?

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I will NEVER spend several hundred dollars for a dedicated gaming handheld ever again. I'll take a decent phone (like my OPO), with all of its abilities PLUS gaming, any day.
There were two reasons I got a dedicated handheld. 1. 3D for the 3DS was something I had to experience. It is actually really cool, though the games are way overpriced. 2. You can't play Borderlands 2 (not streamed) on any portable but the Vita.

Also, I realized I was never playing games on my phone for fear of killing the battery, and then needing the phone later. Even with one of those portable chargers, the types of games I like (RPGs, action) kill the battery pretty fast. A dedicated handheld ensures I can play on the go, and still have phone connectivity if I need it. I still use the phone for lite gaming on the go, but when I have to travel, I have found a dedicated handheld to be a must.

If they ever improve phone batteries to allow me to play graphic intensive games AND get a full 8 hours charge out of it, that will be a game changer...
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