I don't disagree with you at any point, but the question I have is how well it will compete in the living room space. PC gamers are going to continue to be PC gamers. Will the steambox open a new avenue for non-PC gamers? Will it offer enough compelling reasons for folks to by pass the PS4/X1 for a PC centric system, which lacks a lot of the side features that have become console standards?
I love the idea of the steambox and system, but if valve & co are trying to compete with the console guys, how long before their boxes can compete as seemlessly as the consoles not only to games, but also to the lifestyle (netflix, social networking, ect) that people have come to use their gaming systems for.
I will probably build a my own steambox/gaming system, but it's still going to be hard for me to use that as a primary when I can tell my xbox "Xbox, find the Panthers game" (which remains to be seen how well that will work, but that's the promise from M$). I look forward to seeing what kind of features people can create for the steambox.
On a side note, I'm really looking forward to the implementation of AMD's Mantle, its deep programming language accessible on AMD hardware. That could make better use of the resources and hardware in AMD system (including the PS4/X1). Color me excited right now for the future of gaming.
they'll be ready to do all of that on launch. the question is, are microsoft and sony prepared to step up with their consoles and bring things to the table that the steam machine will?
as far as voice recognition...yeah. i can see that totally not working well at all.
really, you don't think Steam OS will include a browser? Valve is actually working on it as a counter measure to Windows 8, not ps4 and xbox1. but it will compete with them anyway.
how does not paying for your online service sound? a more functional online experience already awaits on steam compared to what you have on the consoles. group chat with 50 people, voip included. private voip chats.
there are things that Steam already does that consoles won't do for another 3 generations.
if they would integrate guild competition, they'd rule the world
but as far as competing with xbox and ps4...there will always be some people that are too stubborn and set in their ways to embrace something as radical and progressive as the Steam Machine
everything that works on Linux will work on Steam OS.
as far as building your own gaming rig or steam machine, valve just cut the cost of the OS out of the overhead, since Steam OS will be free
Steam OS will also be open source. so as far as what it will bring to the table, the sky is the limit on potential
even the controller will be hackable