Steam Machines are Going Portable with the SteamBoy
While SteamOS and the Steam Controller have gotten a bit of interest from gamers and developers, the Steam Machines, Valve’s attempt at bringing Steam and PC gaming to the living room, haven’t exactly set the world on fire.
That may change with a new Steam Machine that was unveiled at E3. It’s definitely not your standard Steam Machine. The new SteamBoy is going to take your Steam experience out of the living room and on the road with this portable gaming device.
The best way I can think of describing the SteamBoy is that it looks like a PlayStation Vita crossed with a Steam Controller. While I haven’t gotten my hands on the Steam Controller and can’t sign off on it, the concept looks promising from a visual standpoint. The SteamBoy looks a bit beefier than the Vita so it’ll be a bit more comfortable to get a hold of which would address my number one complaint about my Vita: It’s just a bit thin for me to really feel comfortable holding. The SteamBoy’s design appears to address it.
Like the Steam Controller, this has the two touchpads on the front along with the eight action buttons. There are also four shoulder buttons and two more buttons on the back. The 5″ screen in the middle of the device is also a touchscreen so we’ll have to see how that can be integrated into games and SteamOS.
Under the hood, the SteamBoy is quickly left in the dust by its Steam Machine competitors. It has a quad-core CPU, 4GB of RAM and a 32 GB built-in memory card. Given how big and hardware intense games have gotten over the last couple of years. That’s not going to give you enough power or storage space to run upcoming triple-A games, especially if a memory card slot isn’t added. However, it will be ready for you to stream games using Steam’s new in-home streaming functionality.
So maybe the Vita is the perfect comparison for the SteamBoy. Both portables can run their own games but they aren’t powerful enough on their own to run the latest triple-A offerings. To make up for that, they can stream games from the more powerful hardware. While it would be nice to take this fall’s biggest games on the road, you should still be able to take older games and indies with you on the SteamBoy. Like the Vita, it might be better suited as a companion device but it won’t be too shabby as a standalone device.
No price has been announced for the SteamBoy but a 2015 release is the current plan.