It was gaming's hot topic for 2013: Steam Machines. Otherwise known as Valve's plan to take on the living room. The project had my attention for months, with Valve teasing a revolutionary controller, a custom operating system and even an army of hardware partners at CES 2014. Now, almost a year later, those PC manufacturers are ready to unleash their products on the world, with or without Valve. But what happens when you launch a Steam Machine without the project's progenitor? You get the iBuyPower SBX: a $549 Windows 8 desktop ($399 without the OS or accessories) designed to be an entertainment hub. So can Steam's Big Picture mode survive without the backbone of Steam OS or the company's oddball touch controller? Let's find out.