GAMING BLEND

Steam Box Could Expand PC Gaming By Several Magnitudes, Says MSI

By William Usher 2013-03-09 15:32:46 discussion comments
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Killer Technology and MSI recently announced a collaboration of bring Killer's E2200 Ethernet technology to MSI's Gaming Motherboard setup, giving gamers a two birds for one stone sort of deal. During a press pre-briefing, Gaming Blend was given the opportunity to talk with MSI and Killer about their collaboration, as well as any possibilities of making the new hardware more Steam Box-friendly.

While the initial announcement of the MSI and Killer collaboration focused more on gaming gear for competitive gamers, Qualcomm's and Killer's lead marketer, Sean McCann, and MSI's associate marketing manager, Alex Chang, had some interesting things to say about the upcoming Steam Box platform for the PC couch-entertainment experience.

Regarding Killer's Ethernet solution working in conjunction with Steam, McCann stated that...
“Currently, with Big Picture Mode, you can take any PC and take it into your living room and plug it into your TV. And you'll have controller, keyboard and mouse access to Steam and its current Big Picture Mode.

Killer Technology – Killer's hardware – would make that a lot easier to manage because you could download a game in the background while you're actually playing an online game in Steam. It's very feasible and I do it all the time: I'll download a new game in the background while playing Team Fortress 2 in the foreground.

So the technology is certainly very capable.”

Killer focuses on network solutions for gamers. That's right, network solutions for gamers. So having a Killer-compatible Steam Box would definitely make it convenient to manage all the incoming and outgoing bandwidth for dedicated gaming on the Steam Box.

Chang also chimed in regarding the upcoming Steam Box, in which Valve will be testing various prototypes in the next few months, noting...
“Having a Steam Box is one way of expanding the PC landscape.” ...”It's kind of expanding the PC landscape in terms of slowly pushing the gap between the average console users that may not ever want to touch a PC versus some of the hardcore PC gamers that will never want to touch a console.

“It's definitely exciting. I'm interested more in will people be interested in PC hardware and upgrading and the modifying perspective. Because as you know, consoles – once it's out – it's stuck for several cycles of [PC] hardware upgrades until the next set of consoles comes out.

If we can get more users to accept the fact that 'hey you can buy a PC and have incremental upgrades that would have a big impact on gaming performance', and if people can actually realize that then that would expand the PC gaming market by several magnitudes.”

I know a lot of people are thinking that Valve could misstep with the Steam Box, but so long as it's open-platform like a PC and comes in a variety of low-end to high-end tiered models with pricing ranging from $199 to $399, then I honestly don't see how they can fail. A $399 PC stripped down with the bare essentials and a decent GPU/CPU combo will still be able to output some amazing (properly optimized) games at good framerates.

We'll keep you posted on what happens with the Steam Box in the coming months, but in the meantime you can learn more about MSI's gaming gear or Killer Technology's gaming network solutions by visiting each of their respective websites.
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