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More SteamBoy Details Emerge, Including Provisional Specs

Category: Gaming
Posted: 08:37AM

Yesterday, I posted about a new handheld device called the SteamBoy, which promises to bring SteamOS games on the go. There was a lot of skepticism on the project, with many people calling it fake in the YouTube comments, so I decided to reach out to the SteamBoy Machine Team to learn more. I am sure the company was inundated with inquiries, but to my surprise a representative got back to me rather quickly, and here's what he had to say.

While full hardware specs will be confirmed soon, the team is currently working on a design with a quad-core CPU, 4GB RAM, 32GB built-in memory, and a 5-inch touch screen at 800x480 (16:9). There will also be an HDMI port that will allow users to connect to an external monitor, television, or even the Oculus Rift. Any game in your Steam library that the hardware can run will be automatically supported, and the team made it a point of emphasis that the SteamBoy is indeed a portable console in the vein of a PlayStation Vita or Nintendo 3DS. That is to say that, unlike the NVIDIA SHIELD, the SteamBoy does not need to stream from a PC to play your Steam games. And like the Vita, two models are being created: Wi-Fi and 3G+Wi-Fi. In other words, "SteamBoy will be a console completely independent from your PC, aimed to be used anywhere."

Keeping that in mind, the main goal is to provide a portable device rather than a powerful Steam Machine, so battery life is a big priority. What that will be is not yet finalized as all these specs are provisional. Also unknown at this time is pricing, but the team is working on balancing between performance and cost; don't expect it to be as overpriced in comparison with recently announced Steam Machines. As of now, the team is looking at a 2015 release date. While the Steamboy Machine Team may be a new company, I was told it is composed of "experienced engineers in the game industry." While the specs and release date may be provisional, the SteamBoy should definitely be something you keep your eye on.

Source: Email Correspondence

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ET3D on June 16, 2014 12:00AM
Specs sound uninspiring. RAM is fine, storage is okay but I hope they include a microSD slot with 64GB+ support. 800x480 is very low, but probably a means of keeping frame rates good with an integrated SoC. Hopefully that's either Cherry Trail or Mullins and not just Bay Trail. I would still have preferred 1024x600 as a minimum. I'm not sure that all games with even work with 800x480.
ClayMeow on June 16, 2014 07:16AM
I was a bit surprised it wasn't 540p or 720p, but like you said, the lower res should mean it'd be easier to get acceptable performance out of lower specs. The company made it clear to me that battery life is extremely important to them, as is keeping the costs down. The important thing to remember is that high res isn't as necessary on small screens, and at 5" it should still look good if you can max out all the rest of the settings.

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