Saturday, February 9, 2013

Zinio: Room service, PC Gamer (US Edition) | Mar-1...

Room service

Somewhere in Bellevue, Washington the Valve Corporation is working on a gaming PC that Gabe Newell describes as “living room-friendly.” So it’s safe to assume that, in addition to being compact, quiet, and easy to hook up to a TV, it’ll be based on standardized components inside a sealed case that does everything but detonate upon opening to prevent you from messing with the hardware.

I can’t say I’m not looking forward to one. I can easily imagine something that gives me easy access to my PC games in the living room vastly extending the amount of time I spend slumped on the couch. On the other hand, I know that the most effective and dependable way to make something easier to use and “living room-friendly” is to remove choices. I think of PC gamers as people who do things the way we feel like doing them. We’re people who like to mess with things: we customize, tweak, break, reconfigure, and perfect. It’s a platform for our imagination and expression as much as for our entertainment—even if we’re just expressing our choice of videocard.

All in all, I can live with the standardized hardware, but not without mods and my choice of controllers. The more flexibility and choice the mysterious “Steam Box” can offer me, the more likely I’ll cotton to it.

What about you? What would convince you to pony up for a living room rig from Valve? Let me know at




Played an unhealthy amount of CS:GO. Dreamt of a future where FPSes were popular eSports.

Was declared a saint in Crusader Kings 2, and spent the holidays acting all smug about it.

Hunted through Far Cry 3’s menus to find and kill its cruelest antagonist: constant tutorial pop-ups.

Our efforts to delay Gunpoint continue: this month we made Tom play BioShock Infinite.

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