Valve announced a few months ago delays to Steam Machines until 2015 and while they didn’t cite any problems, it appears the company is not happy with what is coming to Steam OS and wants to broaden the playing feel and work more on the software before committing to an official platform launch.
SteamBoy looks like the first change in form factor from Steam OS, moving away from the console style PCs to a handheld system. Revealed in a video, SteamBoy will run most of the PC games on Steam, even though it is a handheld device, it uses the same interface the Steam Controller has, including the touch-sensitive pads.
Internally the SteamBoy has a mid-range setup, including a quad-core processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and a 5-inch touchscreen. The touchscreen part is interesting, it will allow Steam OS to utilise touch-screen enabled games and SteamBoy will be able to access these games, like Civilisation V.
There are two D-Pads and two touch-sensitive pads on either side of the SteamBoy, allowing different types of game input. The five-inch touchscreen is the same size as the HTC One M8 and Galaxy S5 screen, making it easily adaptable for anyone who has an Android smartphone, it might open up the Steam OS store to mobile games.
Steam OS is still in alpha and Valve is working out the many kinks of developing an operating system. The end result should make Steam OS better than Windows for games, but since it runs on Linux Valve is placing a huge bet on the developers being able to port their games to Linux OS, which might ruin the experience for older generation titles.
We have seen a lot of manufacturers making Steam Machines dual-boot with Windows OS, allowing users to switch between the two. This might be a viable middle ground for anyone who wants to game on PC and not just have a standard Windows setup, especially if it comes in a smaller box.