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So the Steam box will basically be a standard PC in a cool box with Steam branding on it?

Which is exactly what a console is. I do not understand all these "but if you would pay x more you could get this and that and ..." here - yeah, you can do this, but people still buy a X-Box/PS3/whatever. The value of a console (or Steam box) is the _standardization_ i.e. all models of the Steambox are exactly the same. You test one, it works on all of them. Contrast this with the millions and millions of configurations that PCs have which are all subtle different. People can test as long as they want but can never be sure that a game will run on _your_ (or my or anyone else) PC.

The biggest value of an xbox is probably the heavily subsidised price point and access to a proprietary ecosystem and console exclusive games.

Unless Valve can pull out a huge amount of launch titles this will have a very weak ecosystem of it's own so will have to compete directly against other "gaming PC" companies such as Alienware.

> Which is exactly what a console is.

Not really.

- The Xbox 360 doesn't have a date/time chip. It gets its time from the cloud (Xbox Live).

- The security architectures of these platforms are extensive, to prevent piracy, cheating and malware.

I'm guessing that the days of standardization of console hardware are over; the mobile market has proven that you can innovate and increase power, and developers are happy to comply (as long as there is money in it). You can't /reduce/ computational power or feature sets easily, but you can certainly improve them.

Well, what did you expect?

Not entirely sure, but I don't see what the big differentiation would be with say an alienware gaming system. It's no cheaper and if they plan on putting Linux on it then the alienware will run many more games.

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