Steam Machine specs may have KO’ed Xbox One, PS4

By Alan Ng - Oct 5, 2013

We know that Valve is trying to make a breakthrough into the living room console space with their upcoming Steam Machine with Linux Steam OS and an innovative new controller. What you didn’t know is what kind of hardware specs the first models will be rocking – until now that is.

If Sony and Microsoft were previously not concerned with Valve breathing down their necks, they definitely will be now. Valve has released a set of specs that 300 prototype Steam Machines will be built on, and they are the most mouth-watering specs that all gamers alike should be very excited about.

If you thought that 8GB of RAM for the PS4 and Xbox One was impressive, we can tell you that high-end versions of the Steam Machines are going to have support for a monster 16GB of RAM. That will be combined with the top of the range NVIDIA Titan GPU, an Intel i7-4770 processor and wait for it – 1TB of storage space that isn’t just a hard drive, but rather a SSHD or Solid State Hybrid Drive that combines flash memory with hard drive into one storage medium.

It sounds like the stuff of dreams and don’t forget that these are official specs from Valve – so this is a reality in the pipeline waiting to happen. To give you an idea of what other specs are coming since there will be various configurations of the Steam Box, take a look at the official spec sheet from Valve:

Can Valve take Sony and Microsoft out of the game with their Steam Machines?

Can Valve take Sony and Microsoft out of the game with their Steam Machines?

It also goes without saying that these kind of monster specs would instantly blow the PS4 and Xbox One out of the water without breaking a sweat. The big issue for us though is obviously price. An NVIDIA Titan graphics setup currently costs in the region of $1000 alone, so we wonder how Valve are going to price the high-end Steam Machines in comparison with the $400-500 PS4 and Xbox One respectively.

They would be smart to get the price down to the $500-600 range, but can they afford to do this with the sheer grunt of the hardware specs contained inside? Sony and Microsoft simply cannot live with these type of specs, so we would say that the ball is firmly in Valve’s court now on how they decide to play it.

As we await more details from Valve, give us your reaction to the specs listed above. Is this the sole reason why you didn’t pre-order an Xbox One or PS4 console yet?

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  • medammit


  • Daniel Howell

    Wow. That is the gaming rig I built for my son for christmas. I used an ssd to cache for the hard drive. I had to put both windows 7 and 8 on because of compatibilty issues with 8. Guess that is a lot of machine for a 13 year old. But you ought to see some of the stuff he does with a computer. He pushes my first gen i7 build to its limits. He has started to dive into making his own pc games. Dont know where he got his intelligence from. Probably his mom. Nice to see consoles step up to pc. But dam this pc is a beast.

  • kygamer

    This has been the reason that I have not pre-ordered an Xbox One/PS4. I already have an extensive library of Steam games on my FX laptop and it would be nice to move those onto the big screen. With all of the DRM, monthly subscriptions, and a list of other issues, I am ready to move beyond what everybody else has. When I fire up my laptop and do some gaming, I am always in awe of how much better the graphics look compared with the same games on my consoles. They are far superior!
    It will come down to price for me. I am willing to fork over a few hundred dollars extra for this box. If it is double or more, I will probably just wait for a price drop. If Steam was to offer an unlimited game list and unlimited game time, I would also pay for a subscription. Tired of paying a monthly fee to get crap downloads to M$. And their Marketplace sucks! Never any REAL DEALS. I can go to GS and pick up the same game for 20-50% of what they want for it. That is why I love Steam! I will buy a half-dozen games a pop when they have their sales.
    I’m going to hold onto just before X-mas to see what transpires. If they can get me a Steam Box with good specs, fairly priced, and some kind of perk, I would be as happy as a kid in a candy store!

  • Tim John Silveira

    The problem is the very fact that they intend to release different tiers of hardware. Having worked in electronic retail for many years, I can see this creating confusion for the non-gaming parents out there. Even avid gamers, such as myself, will have to decide just how much are we willing to invest? The biggest advantage the console market has had in the past has never been the power of the machines, but in the standardization of the hardware within the brand. As a consumer, you walk in and you buy your machine with no fear of incompatibility, the hardware decisions have been made for you. You won’t go home only to find that your particular video card isn’t supported, or that you don’t have enough RAM, that’s all been predetermined. This in turn creates another console advantage, for software developers, creating software for a user base all running the exact same hardware.

    Removing the hardware variables ensures that each player is receiving the exact same gaming experience with ease of use amd peace of mind. That is what console gaming is all about and why I think Sony, Microsoft and (hopefully) Nintendo are quite safe. If you’re looking for more control over (and power out of) your hardware, you should look into a PC.

    • Colin

      That won’t be an issue. Steam’s lowest spec’d console option would still be able to play all of the games offered in the Steam game library, but at a lower graphic level. This gives the consumer greater choice depending on their budget. The hardcore gamer would also have the choice to build their own hardware from scratch. So Steam have made a console to suit all sorts, including those that just want to plug in and play.

      • Tim John Silveira

        That’s not the mindset of your typical customer that comes in to buy a console. After 2 decades in electronic sales, I find that most customers are still not particularily tech savy and multiple tiers in a product line can create a lot of confusion and frustration. Your average consumer doesn’t buy a console because of the hardware inside of it, but for the user experience that it offers them. Hence the popularity of the Nintendo Wii, or the appeal of owning Apple products (hand holding user friendliness). That may not be your and my cup of tea, but that is the product that sells. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with the approach Valve is taking, but that the consoles aren’t in as much trouble as this article would like to suggest.

        • Neel Gupta

          Mac vs Windows
          Android vs iOS
          SteamOS vs XBox+PS3+Wii

          Diversity wins MarketShare, Standardization wins ProfitShare !

  • Colin

    This is the future of the living room console. Sony and M$ can go shove all their restrictions where the sun dont shine!! I’ve always been a pc gamer, but with the recent gta5 release, I couldn’t resist and got myself an xbox. Then I experience a few problems getting the game installed on my 4gb xbox, but sort it out by using my 3tb ext hdd. (Which M$ so nicely restrict it to 32gb…) To my SHOCK and HORROR, I find out I have to PAY M$ for a gold membership just to play gta online?!?! Wtf… Can’t believe they’ve been getting away with that. (I don’t care for the other stupid extras that come with a membership) On pc gaming, we’re just used to another level of standard. Now, at last, Steam is going to change the standard for consoles!

    • Dominic Vinall-Smith

      Turns out you should have got a PS3, doesn’t it. You’d have avoided all of your problems. There’s still time to trade in the Xbox! : )

    • train

      You should have done some research before just buying a system and expecting everything to be perfect. GTA 5 PS3 500GB bundle is $270, online is free. Did you even go into walmart, they have a dozen of the bundles. Do you know the difference between DVD and blu-ray? Blu-ray is way better, it rarely scratches and holds 6x the data. You should never just walk in to gamestop and say “I want to play gta 5” they will get you to go with the most expensive option. Even gamestop has displays of the 500 GB GTA 5 PS3 bundle. How could you not bother to look around the store at all that you’re in? Or even read reviews about the game online!

      • Colin

        Yeah, you’re right, I should have done my research. I mistakenly assumed that xbox was a hassle free gaming console. As for blu-ray and hdd space; I didn’t need any of those, since my tv setup is already juiced up. I simply bought the xbox to play gta5, nothing more. Prices there in the US are cheaper though…Here in South Africa I got the xbox and gta for $320, which is the cheapest deal I could find. The cheapest ps3 I could find goes for $320, and I still need to buy gta. (I at least did some research on the prices, and deals.)

  • Darius9k

    Lol cost will be more than twice of ps4 for that spec. Just marketing hype.

  • Shady Tools

    Even when/if it comes out, there won’t be any games for it will there?

    • Peter Lauder

      It’s called a steam-box for a reason… there will literally be hundreds of games available for it straight away. Any game that is, or will be available on steam will be available on the steam-box.

    • zazend15c

      Don’t be a fanboy tool. Do your research. I’m sure they were others that said there was no way Sony or Microsoft could compete with Nintendo or Sega. Times change, this is the future, whether or not steam can make it productive. The current gen of game companies isn’t serving their customers. This is their last ditch effort before they have to get out of the way. Steam has leverage in as much as they are a distribution company. They want to get games to the people, not pigeon hole their customers into certain titles. Titles will be the central driving product, not systems.

    • Neel Gupta

      When Android first came out(version 1.0), how many apps was there on the Android Market ?

      5 years later, Android has over a Billion apps ecosystem !

  • Bonzo McDonald

    £2, 000 ?

    • Krepler

      Yup. Too bad that’ll be the only version that’ll allow you to see a difference between the ps4/xbo.

      Or, developers may start making Linux games that are catered to the steam box. That’ll be an interesting turn off events!