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Scan Steam Box - more details emerge

Chris Finnamore
7 Jan 2014
Steam OS
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We talk to Scan's Technical Marketing manager James Gorbold about the custom-made box from Bolton built for living room PC gaming thrills

Scan is one of the official Steam Box partners, and the company has revealed some details about its exciting new Steam OS gaming PC.

The PC/console is designed in-house at Scan and, according to James Gorbold, Technical Marketing manager for Scan, the Bolton-based company's take on a Steam box is heavily influenced by where the "Steam Machine", as Gorbold called it, will sit in your home. While many manufacturers are obsessed with cube-shaped compact PCs, Scan doesn’t see the point in something that won't fit easily under your TV. "Why make something that doesn't fit into your living room furniture?" says Gorbold.

For this reason, the Scan Steam Box will be more like a normal bit of hi-fi equipment. At 40mm high, Scan's prototype is around the same height as a Freeview recorder box, but it's about half the width (we're waiting for final dimensions from Scan). This makes it more like the size of a compact Blu-ray player, and smaller than both a PS4 and Xbox One.

The machine's specifications will also be tailored to your living room. According to Gorbold, the system is optimised for gaming at 1080p - by far the most popular resolution for home TV sets. Scan claims its Steam machine is certainly capable of playing Battlefield 4 at this resolution.

However, Scan doesn’t intend the Steam OS-powered PC to replace a standard high-powered Windows rig. Instead, Gorbold claims that the Steam machine will complement the tower with the 2,560x1,440 monitor in the bedroom or office; thanks to Steam's Cloud-synced games, you can switch seamlessly from the hardcore gaming PC to a more relaxed experience on your sofa using the Steam box and a gamepad.

You'd have to be a wealthy gamer to do this, though, as Scan's Steam box certainly won't come cheap. When it's released, in the "second half of this year", it will be £699 including VAT. Not bad for a PC which can play Battlefield 4 at 1080p, but overkill if you just want to play Trine and Limbo and certainly aimed at a different market to an Xbox One or PS4.

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