Windows 8 (Concept) Windows 8 Console


New Member
With the recent news and rumors about Valve's "Steam Box" and Windows 8 new metro design, I've started thinking about a game console/media player based on the Windows 8 platform. Although controller/remote support isn't supported for navigating the Metro UI, (it should be added in a future update IMO) the simple intuitive interface lends itself for seemless control with these devices (A 3rd party program that transcribes button presses to keystrokes can remedy this quite nicely)

With Windows 8, you can already check your email, news, weather and sports, watch Netflix, Hulu plus, listen to music and internet radio, but how much better would it be to be able to on your big screen TV? Perhaps to pass the time during the commercial breaks of your favorite shows? Or one device to play your games from the comfort of your couch with Xbox Live Arcade and Steam Big Picture Mode?

With next gen consoles around the corner, I really think this could be a viable alternative with many advantages over them (not having to rebuy your library, having the power of an actual PC) Its a shame that Gaben is against Windows 8, especially for "steam box" as I think it has potential to be a powerful platform for TV. I went ahead and put together a lists of parts I would use for a home build.

Apex DM-387 Computer Case - Micro ATX/Flex ATX- A nice, small form factor case at 3.9" thickness it wouldn't be much bigger than most DVR's or set-top boxes

GIGABYTE GA-Z77M-D3H Motherboard - Not much I can really say about this, it fits the form factor and has appropriate expansion slots for what i want with this project.

Intel Core i3-2100 BX80623I32100 Processor - 2nd Gen i3 processor is fast enough for the light use that it would have in this role.

Asus GeForce GTX 650 Video Card - 1GB GDDR5 - The best card that supports full-sized HDMI and doesn't suck for playing games. You probably could go cheaper but I'm not typically one to go cheap on grapics

SanDisk Ready Cache SDSSDRC-032G-G26 32GB SSD - Just enough room on this SSD for Windows 8 and maybe your favorite game but thats really all the room thats needed for email, browsing, and streaming. The case has room for one more harddrive for expansion for games or saved TV

Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer BLT4G3D1608DT2TXOB 4GB RAM - 4GB is pretty much the standard for most computers anymore and more than enough for streaming and similair uses and most games won't utilize this much anyways.

Thermaltake TR-500 TR2 ATX Power Supply - 500W - More than enough power for this build. Has enough cables for all components.

ASUS BC-12B1ST 12X Blu-ray Drive - The best price for a blu-ray player you can get on TigerDirect. It also supports 3D blu-ray but so does every other player that isn't 1x speed.

KWorld PC150-U HDTV Tuner Card - PCI slot TV tuner for hooking up your cable or OTA channels. Comes with DVR/TV software and a remote.

HiRO H50215 Wireless N Adapter - PCIe x1 slot wireless NIC for be able to use wifi rather than having to route internet cables to behind your TV

All together with a license of Windows 8 its about $563 on Tigerdirect, or about $160 higher than the likely price point of the next gen consoles. Some money could be saved by using on-hand parts or by dropping features such as wi-fi for those who don't need it, or a tv tuner for those who only want to stream but those who don't have a controller or wireless keyboard may want to spend more to get those.

Would the customibility be worth the extra ~$150 over the next gen console? Is it a mistake for Valve to exclude Windows 8? I'm eager to know your guys opinion
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Essential Member
It's an interesting concept for sure, but the processor and graphics card become major bottlenecks if someone had any intentions of doing any sort of 3D gaming, especially with an i3. As a media center TV or whatever else, I think that would be a great setup (hell, you could probably even get away with cheaper hardware then that!).

I bought my parents a Boxxee Box from D-Link for Christmas, which is essentially a media center box that offers unlimited streaming (both legal/illegally) over the internet, otherwise I'd look into something like this. I have avoided such small PC's in the past (nettops specifically) as they usually had Atom processors.