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  1. With the second day of DICE came Gabe Newell's keynote. Over the course of half an hour, he discussed a great deal of things pertinent to tech-savvy folks. From Steam to Apple, and living room PCs to cloud computing, he touched on many topics which deserve some thought. Gamers in particularly may like to hear what he said in regards to Valve's own Steam Box. Let's go over Steam Box-related content first. Newell expects that as consumers adapt to the whole "living room PC" concept we will see more products made for that market. There will be three tiers of machines from good, better, to best (with prices to suit each one). The Steam Box will be one of those inexpensive endeavors although consumers may always opt for a luxury item instead that runs Steam Big Picture mode. How can a Steam Box be cheap? With reliance on streaming over the network, the actual Steam Box will not need to be incredibly powerful. If anything, a user's current desktop PC is the thing that would be upgraded. Although Newell thinks that local streaming units in a home will work very well, he isn't confident about services such as OnLive. He outlined that while these products do work, they will fail if they ever see widespread interest. Since everything is streaming over the internet it would quickly get overrun if many users took to the service. Interestingly, Newell believes that Steam and Greenlight are not the way that their platform should be handled. There is always such a backlog of software being updated that the output is not nearly quick enough. Eventually, he hopes to see the service as completely modifiable by users, similar to how user-generated content is now a fully accepted part of Team Fortress 2. Community output is and always will be quicker (and of higher quality) than what Valve themselves could do in the same timespan. Gabe Newell touched on other topics and his keynote was quite interesting overall. If you're interested in hearing him speak instead of reading my paraphrased words then check out the recording of his talk right here:
  2. Unbeknownst to many gamers, today is the start of the annual DICE conference. It's not E3 or GDC, but DICE is a gaming-focused summit all the same which kicked off in Las Vegas today. The opening keynote pushed both Gabe Newell of Valve and director/producer/screenwriter J.J. Abrams together where they spoke about many things, including making a movie. The big news was dropped very succinctly by Newell: "We're going to try and figure out if we can make a Half-Life movie or a Portal movie together." J.J. Abrams is certainly no stranger to "geek" related media, and of course, Newell controls some very hot gaming properties. Although it is doubtful they have worked together very much at all on any movie yet, the seeds are planted. Whether it be a Half-Life or Portal film, gamers will probably become very excited, if they aren't already. Which do you think would make a better movie: Half-Life or Portal?