-Hey, what's going on everyone?
Welcome to The 404 Show live from CES 2014.
I'm Jeff Bakalar.
-And I'm Justin Yu.
-Welcome to The 404 Show.
Everyone we're here live at the CNET stage.
It's very exciting, right?
-You can tell how excited we are to be here.
I'm excited today because on the program.
Please help me welcome game spots,
Round of applause for Peter Brown everyone.
-Good to be here.
Thanks for being here.
-Yeah, thank you.
-Good to see you man.
-Peter, you obviously have a big background in gaming.
-Gaming has decided to show up this year.
-Yeah, finally CES with a lot of game in content.
-It doesn't really happen.
So there's been some cool stuff.
Is there-- Off the top of your head?
Is there something that's like completely jumped out at you?
Razer totally caught me offguard--
-'cause they've got a new modular PC.
It's a few year's out.
-And it looks like it's out of a freakin' sci-fi movie.
-It looks like almost like a Blade Runner sort of instrument.
-It's called Project Christine.
-It's like this exoskeleton and sort of a tree, right?
There's like a chassis running up the middle and then I assume is where the motherboard is.
-Everything from the GPU to your hard drives, the power supply are catching these little compartments just slide them right in.
It's oil cool that's really quite.
-But it's also a few years away.
-So oil, I thought oil was for warming.
How does that work with the cooling, right?
I'm not crazy, right?
Well, I think the difference between oil and water is a little bit thicker--
-so we can probably handle higher temperatures.
-And-- I mean, who knows that Razer is really going to go with and I think oil is sort of uncommon, right?
-I think so.
It's a little strange.
-PC gamers have been building their own machines for a long time now, right?
-So, I'm kind of confused about who this is for.
Is this for like a dedicated gamer or the guy who's just lazy and doesn't wanna buy a zone component?
-It's for the lazy guy with a lot of money.
-It's for the lazy guy with a lot of money that doesn't wanna-- doesn't sort of like wanna
be bothered with pairing stuff up, right?
And it lets you actually configure your own machine, but you don't have to get inside the system.
You don't have to mess with any cables.
The only cable is the power cable the one to your monitor and then whatever, you know, mice or keyboards you have connected.
-I mean, you just look at this thing.
I'm not sure this is really-- It's an amazing looking device statistically.
-It might be a little bit of an eyesore after a while.
It's, you know, except for Christmas time.
-Razer is really heavy-handed with their design, right?
-So it fits with their portfolio.
I'm also got a really good fan bus.
So, I mean, I think the right customer will pick it up and love it because it's a Razer product.
-It's by anything-- by anything that I love here on.
-What I thought was really cool is that in the video for a game spot actually, he was talking about how you could actually do a subscription model for the components--
-where if you just didn't wanna buy a whole new GPU every month when they eventually come out like that, you just rent them out and swap it in as you want.
-Yeah, it's really unprecedented.
I don't think anyone has done that in the past.
-And as like you're saying, they pay monthly or annual fee and whatever something new comes out depending on what year you subscribe too
you get the latest and greatest hardware that's e-mailed to you from Razer.
Like Omaha Steaks, but for graphic start.
-You know, the one caveat here I hear is that anything you're going to add to this machine is going to have to come from Razer themselves.
-Right 'cause it's not proprietary sort of enclosure.
-And whether or not, hardware manufacturers are gonna wanna work with them to make that happen and still yet to be seen.
-Then, we'll find out.
-But it looks pretty.
-It looks really good.
-You know if they just got to build something like glows green and I meant to it.
-It sort of reminds me of that Phonebloks concept.
-Everything is modular in technology now
where, you know, you shouldn't have to buy one piece of technology then upgraded every single year.
It's really nice to finally get that.
-It's the illusion that you're like building your own thing.
-which I'm gonna do.
-You can even upgrade the display too.
I remember the guy who was demoing it and said you could either buy power button, which is the standard.
-or you can get this crazy display that pretty much tells you diagnostics for the entire computer.
It lets you boot the different operating systems or share to a logo.
It's, yeah, it's pretty cool.
So how far do you think we're actually away from seeing this?
I mean, I will kinda like-- I think he does Project Fiona,
which came out as the Razer Edge, a
-tablet device with a controller.
-That took about two years after the announcement for it to finally come to market.
-I'd say probably 2016 and beginning 2016, you might see Razer actually announce the release date.
-That's all speculation.
We don't know--
-I mean, it gives me shivers just thinking about how much this is gonna cost.
-A lot of money.
-It's not gonna be cheap at all.
-Yeah, Razer is not for the budget conscious consumer.
I mean, this could be easily like a $3000 to $4000 investment.
-Depending on configuration, you know, I mean maybe their first year will start at $1500, right?
They had some really interesting modular PCs there as one with like-- it looks like a radar for some sort of like display on that.
What was that about?
-Right, well, that's the adjustment I was talking about.
They referred to it as the fancy screen.
-'cause I didn't really have a name for it.
-And you know, anything that you would actually, you know, wanna get information on by your system whether--
-the speed of your hard drive--
-yeah, temperature, anything like that, they can--
-display there for you.
-All right, let's continue the conversation.
This is an open discussion.
If anyone has a comment or question, raise your hand.
We'll bring you in on the--
on the conversation.
I wanna talk about a Playstation now.
-Right now, okay.
-This is-- This is something that we knew was coming in some form.
Sony had acquired Gaikai--
-the streaming company and turns out they used CES as the platform to announce Playstation now, which will be hearing in the summer--
-which will allow you to either rent or subscribe to a service where you can play the entire legacy of Sony games--
on a multitude of devices.
Have you played it?
What do you think?
-So, one of the editors that I'm here with, Justin Haywald, he got a chance to play it.
And when he described it, it's basically just like playing a PS3 that's in the same room.
He didn't experience any issues, wait and see and really like that.
-Well, the server he was playing off was right next to him.
-I mean-- And that's basically like having the PS3 right next to you.
-That's a problem.
I think one concern people are having is not so much the latency of the video signal which is important, but the input lag.
-Because when you send that command to the video, you know, that's a server away.
You're doing it sort of with what you saw,
but what was actually rendered a few seconds back.
So there's a little bit of like a back and forth that has to happen for what you put into the controller that would come back on screen.
It's like a fighting game and might be too intricate and, you know, need timing.
-But something like beyond two souls or the last of us, you know.
-And a sort of platform where you would just train yourself to have that built-in latency.
-Are you also at the mercy of your internet connection as well?
-I know a lot of company service providers actually copy your bandwidth and comcast like that.
-That seems to be like a big problem there if your
internet isn't as fast as say your opponents online.
What's interesting about that is back a Gamescom in August in Germany.
Sony was talking to the European audience who have inconsistent internet in some areas.
-And what they were saying is we're gonna be working with ISPs to create a more robust network.
I mean, saying that could mean anything, right?
Am I just mean that they're trying to figure out the best way that Sony can manage with what they're working with.
But, you know, down the line, you might see Playstation now as a really viable service.
-I mean, you know, you said you're body didn't experience a latency issue.
-I think I--
I think I did see that.
I think I did experience that I played it over at the Hard Rock.
-And kind of we're just like, you know, jumping just felt like-- I don't know, maybe it's also like a somatic-- but there's-- I felt like something was a 100% percent.
-It seems the reason that there will be latency issues, you know.
-And it's still such a young technology, but I think it's great that Sony is doing that and it makes a lot of sense that they didn't put backwards compatibility of the Playstation 4.
-I mean because that would have been a whole lot more money, you know, that the consumer would have to pay.
-Would it have been known?
-Oh, I think so 'cause-- I mean
for the Playstation 3, Sony works at IBM with greater proprietorship.
It was very expensive.
Really strict manufacturing specifications.
A lot of yield ratio issues so--
-Because you think that the PS4 is powerful and we'll have to just emulate that?
-I think the big thing for me, you know, like you said you have to take into consideration, the internet capability of just America.
-There's no huge chunk of our country that's still on, you know, Dialups.
-The one DSL.
-Something like this is completely out of their relapse, just not gonna be available.
But, you know, you think about at Sony sells TVs, they sell Blu-Ray players, right.
They can put the service in any of those devices.
-You don't have to be using a Playstation 4 or Vita to play all these whole games.
-Right, he would play it on the Bravia at the-- at the demo there.
-And imagine they're all sort of kinda shooting this towards the customer that already has a good enough internet connection to run Netflix for example, or you know, something like that.
-And that pays with what it is.
-If you're always trying to market to the lowest common denominator in technology, you're never going to progress.
-So, I think this is a really good first step for them.
They're kinda sit a new president with the sort of technology.
Assuming that they can't get it right and continue to work and improve on it.
-Let me ask you guys a question so you guys got the briefing and everything.
I didn't actually get a chance to see it in person, but I'm warning about subscription model itself.
-Is it pay for title service, or is it gonna be a thing like Netflix where they already have a data base setup and you just pay a one-time fee or monthly and then you just pretty much get, you know, your choice, all you can hit of whatever you wanna play.
And it was like they were talking about a monthly subscription.
I think their monthly subscription is gonna give you pretty much open access.
-And then there's a renting sort of model.
-We just want one or something like that.
-And what about games that you've already owned say, like either physical or digital games, are you gonna be able to get those on to the PS Now.
By the way, I see PS Now,
-all I see is PS No, and that's not good for the shortening version.
-That's just my own thing, but yeah--
-If you look at the Playstation Vita, in Japan, there a lot of people who owned PSP games--
-to pay a small amount of money to get that title digitally on their Vita.
-And how do that-- how did they-- like how did that work?
How did they prove that?
-I think you take a photo of your disc and like--
-I think they had to do is getting a bar code.
-I don't exactly know, but they did do that and the system is still in place.
-They did not transact that over to America.
I think in America anyway people are used to sort of paying for new things like that.
-And Sony is gonna just sort of take advantage of that expectation that we're gonna pay for new services.
-You launch [unk] 14 times.
-So you may still have to keep your PS3, PS2 plugged in regardless if you wanna play those discs, right?
That's just not gonna include the entire legacy of games.
I think it's pretty interesting that, you know, when we go back to the whole internet issue, you'll be able to see what your experience is gonna be like before you pay anything.
-It sounds like you'll be able to do serve like a check.
-And I was talking with the director marketing for Playstation Now and he said that it will basically give you a sign of like bad, good, okay, and you go on from there.
-So, a lot of that is gonna be, you know, tethered too of where you are.
-I'm sure they will basically use that as an excuse for when they lose.
-They haven't good enough connections.
-I was-- I was between okay and bad and, you know, it's not my fault.
It's not my fault.
All right, we're gonna take a break.
Is that sound good?
-Sure, let's do it again.
-When we come back, more 404 with Peter Brown talking more about all the gaming at CES.
Stay tune, we will be right back.
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-All right, welcome back to The 404 Show live from the CNET stage at CES 2014.
You know, we don't just do this here, we do this everyday back in New York.
-Every single day, Monday through Friday.
-Absolutely, so check out CNET.com/the404 for our daily show.
-It's gonna be a lot of fun.
-We didn't talk to each other in a long time.
-Yeah, I haven't seen you in a bit.
-Yeah, it's been great.
-Anyway, okay, back it here.
Let's talk about Steam.
-This is like Steam show.
-This is-- This is a very big deal.
There was an event.
When was it?
Monday night where Valve basically announced 13 third party manufacturers that are building their own steam machines, Steam boxes, if you will.
-Some of them are cute, adorable.
Some of them are massive and cumbersome, really ugly looking.
-There is a very wide range of Steam machines out there, which I like to call them simply PCs.
-I thought you just gonna call them steamers.
-I'm more polite in that.
Yeah, I mean, so it's great to see that Valve is sort of, you know, trying to get more people in the PC gaming.
-I think the platform is wonderful and a lot of that comes from the fact that they've been so successful with the Steam platform.
-But one problem that they're having I think is that they have so many manufacturers making so many different types of machines with different price points.
-It's not really clear who their customer is.
-I think it's very strange especially-- you know, the whole idea with this is getting PC gaming into the living room, right?
That is like number one on the objective risk.
-I mean, we really think that that means that they're trying to compete with consoles.
-But it's a weird sort of thing because a lot of these things will not have Windows on them.
-And you're basically limited to the amount of games that only work on Steam OS and like the Linux sort of environment.
Linux totally supports OpenGL.
-They don't know that.
Most games are indirect access of Microsoft-proprietary tech.
-I talked to a lot of-- they don't know this.
-They think they're just gonna play every multiplatform game and how to be like that.
-And Valve is not being entirely forthcoming about this.
-So mean rightfully so, right?
They wanna just get people interested first and then let them learn the details.
-But it's gonna come down at the hardware manufacturers to say, "By the way, if you're only gonna buy this with Linux, you're only gonna get about 200 to 300 games on there versus the 65,000 games that are on the steam."
-I don't know, but it's a large number.
-It seems like if you're-- if you're a dedicated console gamer that once you're getting the PC gaming well, then you're gonna have sort of have a paradox of choice here.
You know, a lot like-- a lot of Android users have when they have to go through a million different phones.
But, you know, if you're PC gamer, you probably already have a pretty good setup at home.
-Who is this for?
-That's exact-- And that's exactly what you're saying like who exactly is a Steam machine for and who is that person that wants that and not just a gaming PC that they would hook up to their TVs.
-This is like buying an iPhone, but not for the cellular service or any of the internet browsing, but just to use as an MP3 player.
It just doesn't make sense.
I mean, all of the manufacturers have different ideas who their customers are going to be, but you know they're calling it a Steam machine, and Valve so far has imposed no limits like you don't have to license that name.
So, people can be selling all these Steam machines, but really that might hurt Valve's perception because their initiative primarily, right?
-And if they don't have a clear message, consumers aren't gonna know what they're getting.
-And that's-- that's hard for people who are just trying to sort of jumping easily to swallow.
-There's no consistent sort of level quality that they're, you know, managing and regulating.
-It's kind of fragmenting.
-One, you think that there is just no one steam box.
Why is that that they had to sort of put it out into a bunch of different manufacturers?
How can they just make one themselves?
-When they're gone.
-I mean, now this isn't a hardware company, right traditionally?
They've said that they don't wanna get into the hardware business.
They're even saying at the event on Monday night that we'll make as many as we have to make.
And to me that says we'll make as many as we have to just sort of inspire hardware manufacturers--
-like show them what works, but I don't think you're gonna see Valve selling their own machine.
I will say a company like Alienware who announced their small box, they're-- you know, they're well recognized in the gaming space, even outside of that and they're owned by Dell and I think that you're gonna find that Dell and Alienware are gonna be able to sell machine that's going to attract the console consumer.
The person who's used to spending
$500 now, unlike a new gaming system, I think they hit that price point and have better graphics in a console, that's a sort of thing that people wanna hear, you know.
-It sounded like the entry level version of that was gonna hit that $400 to $500 switch, but at least that's what we heard at the event on Monday night.
-Yeah, it will be really interesting to see-- For me, you know, I think even the casual gamer who is enticed by PC gaming, you know, oh, I have PC gaming friends and then you won't shut up about how it's such a superior experience over console gaming.
Those guys are also able to upgrade their graphic cards every two or three years.
They're able to pop in more random replacements and swaps stuff out.
You're not-- You're not doing that with a lot of the sort of proprietarily bill Steam machines that we saw on Monday night.
-They're a lot of these really small Steam machines that are supposed to attract the customer just once a little box.
-But those are running like mobile GPUs-- mobile CPUs.
It's gonna be kind of underwhelming when you imagine PC gaming as this amazing resource for incredible graphics, right?
-You're not gonna get that with something that's built for a laptop.
-And I think that's gonna keep some people offguard.
For me, it's just kind of a letdown, you know.
If I'm-- If I'm a guy who had moneys like okay and I can venture up and I wanna get that PC gaming experience with the better frame rates, better textures, you know, and I buy like an $800 Steam machine and I'm just sort of not wowed by it, I'm gonna be like, "Oh, that hell that I'm just doing."
-And that's a sort of thing that I'm worried about is gonna hurt Valves brand recognition for this Steam machine.
-Let's talk about prices for these Steam machines.
Did you guys actually see
price tags attached to those?
I mean 13 of them seem that they would want incremental prices for, you know, from low to high end.
-Is that case?
-It's kind of like Alienware was gonna introduce something in that $400 to $500 switch, but no real commitment on what that price is.
But then, you know, you have the company like Digital Storm that basically had a gaming PC and slap the Steam logo and was like, here you go.
-Yeah, they're a thousand dollar Steam machines, you know.
-And they were-- they've-- So, Digital Storm like Origin, those guys are working on stuff that is-- it looks a little bit different from what they used to have.
-But it's still a robust box with, you know, really expensive inner [unk].
-It's not what a console gamer is looking for, and if you ask them who they're marketing to it, they're saying the wealthy person who doesn't really consider money an object.
It's like buying a car.
They equate it to a Ferrari, right?
-If that person is able to afford the best, then buy the best.
-Let's talk a little bit about the controller.
-I've had a little bit of hands on with that.
What were your thoughts of it?
-It's too early.
-You know, Valve is talking about putting a touchscreen in the middle of the device.
Right now, there's four buttons in place of that.
There are 17 buttons total and then there are two trackpads, which each have their own buttons, that's 19.
-And then you can map buttons to wherever your phone is on those trackpads.
-That's a lot of impact to people hit track off.
-And either software developers are going to have to create profiles for games to support this.
-But Valve has actually said they're gonna make it the community's responsibility-- not responsibility, but they're going to allow the community to create their own and, you know, through just, you know, the distribution of the community figure out which ones work best.
-So, they're actually saying like, "You're the developers here.
You're in-- but they're actually putting the burden on us to figure out how to use it.
-Yeah, I don't wanna work for them.
-I don't wanna work for them.
-This scares a little bit and finish up with the Oculus Rift and all of the cool stuff there doing.
I assume one day they will have something for sale.
-It's pretty exciting.
-They are pairing Oculus Rift with a gaming exoskeleton this year--
-which I guess you sort of like feel getting shot.
-Is that the whole point?
-I didn't see that part.
There was feedback and all there?
-I mean there's some--
-there's something kind of wicked going on.
-Well, the exoskeleton part that I'm familiar with is the motion tracking, right?
-Because virtually Oculus.
Up until now anyway, I was only able-- you're only able to like [unk] in space.
Now, it's got positional tracking using a camera and, you know, movement to taking little dots that the camera reads and so you can go down now in extra line Z space, but that doesn't count for your shoulders and your hands, right?
-And if you're playing a game where, you know, you'd end the game doing things, but like your hands are still
like [[unk] that's just for you, right?
-Are you-- I mean, do you think this is something that-- I think they have the best shot if they are, but do you think this is something that could really take over?
-The exoskeleton are oculus.
-I think oculus is going to get a lot of support.
People are really excited about it.
-And they're being really careful with when they're saying, you know, what the final feature set will be, when it's gonna come out, and the price because they equate it to building House of Cards, right?
They're gonna get every little card right, add it to the house and then they have the complete structure and then they're gonna offer to the consumer.
-And I think that that involves market testing, you know, ready for technology to improve.
People are already excited about it and they don't even know what they're gonna able to get their hands on.
-So as I keep adding features and when they finally announce the price, which I think it will probably be around $300, I think people are gonna latch on to it pretty quickly.
-Yeah, I think the Oculus Rift is probably something that gamers will sort of latch on to as time goes by, but this exoskeleton sort of seems like too much.
You know, every time I see someone's tripped into one of these things, I'm like, "This guy is selfish and super lonely." You know like he doesn't wanna play with anybody.
It's like seeing the guy just with one pair of 3D glasses on at home,
but nobody else can watch because it's only about one for himself.
-I don't know.
It just seems like this thing work-- Do gamers really wanna suit up before they actually wanna play?
-It seems like this is wanna like thank you to the couch.
-Become the couch and play-- and play games for a little while.
-I think you're gonna see the Oculus represented in very different markets.
-People are assuming that like, "Oh, I can use this to my living room." But like you're saying, it's probably not the best experience.
And now with the company called VRcade from Seattle and what they're talking about is sort of similar to a holodeck from Star Trek.
-They create an entire room like think about
laser tag, right?
And there are objects in that room like props and everything has digital trackers on it.
-and there are cameras that are seen where everything is.
When you've got the Oculus Rift or any other VR headset on, everything is represented as it's rendered from the computer.
So in that scenario, it's more of like a-- like an entertainment thing in an amusement park.
-You know, I think that's where you're gonna see things like the exoskeleton come into play.
-'Cause if you're in your living room and you don't have any relations your environment and you're swinging around and shooting things and rolling with a pet.
I mean what are you gonna do?
Lock up your pet every time you like get into--
-elbow your dog in the case of accident like that?
That's not realistic.
-But there are other uses beyond gaming and that they're trying to explore as well.
-Like airlines for example.
-Last year, they had a demo where it was-- you're in a virtual cinema.
So it was like you were sitting in a middle of the theater and you have the movie screen.
You can look all around and you would see other seats.
Imagine being in an airplane where you can just block out the fact that you're in a tight little can with hundreds of people.
-You're just in a movie theater.
I mean you get to drop out of reality for a little bit.
-And I think you're gonna see, you know, airlines get really excited about that because it [unk] first class initially, right?
-That's a pretty good incentive
to offer people.
-I'm scared of that, though.
-Actually, I would want like, you know, a mounted camera on the nose of the plane and get that view like that we kind of terrifying and all--
-Hey, you never know.
-I don't wanna feel to get too comfortable on airplanes, though.
You know, if they completely forget that there are other people around that could present some danger right there.
-Let's do that.
-My thing with the Oculus Rift, I think it's great.
Every time I've put it on, I'm blown away.
-But I also was kind of blown away the first time I used Wii bowling.
-And the fact that I also like move around now with any sort of motion control thing, I instantly have a terrible reaction to that and I'm scared that the amount of motion required for the Oculus Rift experience might get to that point where I'm just like, all right, my neck is killing me.
-What am I doing?
-So, there are some games such as EVE: Valkyrie, which is a space combat simulator--
-And that's been developed from the Rift from the ground up.
And in that scenario, you're in a cockpit, you know.
And if you're in a cockpit, you're in a chair, maybe you have your hand and like, you know, it's a wheel or some sort of
You're not gonna have to move your whole body.
-But it offers a really great experience.
-There's a-- What the military does for some things is when, you know, airline-- Air Force pilots want attract enemies.
They actually used the direction, the trajectory of their gaze through their helmet to lock on and that something that's been replicating the EVE: Valkyrie.
So, it actually incentivizes you within the game to sort of just touch your head just a little bit to become better at it.
-And I think at that point, you're not really concerned about moving so much because it's actually really fun and really cool to do.
-That's a little different other than like,
you know, playing on your couch defending the country or just like trying to win a game.
-Yes, it's very--
-Oh, I was just--
-I was trying to give you some relativity.
-No, that's amazing stuff.
How you know that is beyond me, but I appreciate it man.
Hey Peter, thanks so much for being here.
-Yeah, thanks for having me.
-Everyone stick around, we're doing some giveaways, so make sure you don't go anywhere.
That will do it for us.
This is our last CES show, man.
This was a good year, though.
I had a lot of fun.
Join us back when we're in New York CNET.com/the404.
That will do it for us from CES 2014.
There's a lot more to come
right here from the CNET stage so stay tune guys.
We'll see you.
Thanks for being here.