Valve "Confirms" Linux for Steam Box

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Valve "Confirms" Linux for Steam Box

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The word on the street in Germany is that Valve's "Steam Box" PC will launch later this year, and it won't be rocking Windows.

It's no secret that Gabe Newell isn't a fan of Windows 8, and so it probably won't come as too much of a surprise to folks who pay attention to such things that Valve's Steam Box will be based on a different OS. That's the word out of a Google-translated report from German site Golem.de, which quoted Valve engineer Ben Krasnow as confirming that the unit will be Linux-based.

Krasnow also said the pseudo-console will be out in 2013, and it apparently won't be alone. "The Hardware Lab also has a few secret projects that will be published in 2013," he said. "We have a good group of electronic and mechanical engineers, and we look forward to some... cool stuff." Alongside the Steam Box, Valve has been working on virtual reality and augmented reality projects, including some early-stage 3D goggles we heard about in September 2012.

Valve big dog Gabe Newell said in July 2012 that bringing a meaningful selection of games to Linux could help make it a serious competitor to Windows, but resistance to the idea came from a rather unexpected source: Free Software Foundation and GNU Project founder Richard Stallman, who said that the advent of closed-source, non-free games on Linux are "unethical because they deny freedom to their users."

Source: Golem.de

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So is the steam box confirmed? Last i heard it was a rumour that got discounted

adamsaccount:
So is the steam box confirmed? Last i heard it was a rumour that got discounted

It was confirmed at the VGA by Gabe newell himself.

Oh sweet, howd i miss that one?

It's getting interesting. I wonder if Valve will share some of the tech they develop with the Open Source community. That would be the customary thing to do.

It's hardly a surprise that Stallman warns about the development. And his worries are not completely unfounded. Some people might start thinking that Steam is Open Source just because it runs on a Linux based platform. That couldn't be further from the truth of course.

I think its going to be a mistake. Valves commercial rivals are not going to port their games to Linux to aid the profitability of Gabe. Its going to have valves games and a few indie titles but that's about it. Steam presence on a platform does not make it instantly the gaming mainstream. If it did then MACs would have just as many games as a PC.

albino boo:
I think its going to be a mistake. Valves commercial rivals are not going to port their games to Linux to aid the profitability of Gabe. Its going to have valves games and a few indie titles but that's about it. Steam presence on a platform does not make it instantly the gaming mainstream. If it did then MACs would have just as many games as a PC.

Maybe they could legally emulate or simulate the functionality of DirectX and other notable windows libraries. Then most Windows games would work out of the box. A lot of the work has already been done in the form of Wine.

Valve sees the big picture. They have seen the future. They see clearly that the industry is closing it's door to open source. Big players want more control. They see that Microsoft is trying to be more like Apple which would destroy PC gaming, and it's already threatening console gaming. So what is Valve's answer? A consumer friendly entertainment system. Fuckin' brilliant! This is why Gabe is one of very few video game billionaires. He is very much future oriented. He knows that in the long run being good to your consumers will grant you consumer loyalty. And there's nothing more important in the business in the long run. I can't wait to see where this goes next.
Big developers and publishers don't have to embrace Valve's system. Fuck them. Small independent studios will embrace it. They will profit from it and they will grow larger and more competitive. This is the way to innovate. Mark my words this is good for all gamers. It's the promise of a new Renascence.

Sure, some of you will say how Steam is not open source and how it's a monopoly. But it's not evil. Steam is benevolent and it's necessary. Valve is one of very few big players on the block who knows how important customer loyalty and respect is. Steam is good for gaming community.

Linux huh, that is a very odd choice, after all this means a good portion of current Steam games will not function at all.
Then again Valve is rolling in billions (quite literately), so if anyone can entice devs to jump trains it is them, and who knows where this will end up.

And yes sir Stallman we know this isn't within the vision of freedom Linux was made for but the sad fact is people just aren't ready for that yet, in a couple thousand years maybe but right now we aren't even over mobs burning media for shits and grins.
Baby steps.

I'm interested. It all depends on the spec and the price though. But if I could have access Steam and play even the indie/lospec steam titles from my account on my TV as well as whatever... Hmmmm it depends.

As usual on this forum when it comes to change, I am cautiously optimistic.

Adam Jensen:
snip

Slow down there Da Vinci. Leave some innovation for the rest of us.

This steam box thingy could be a fine replacement for my crappy laptop that can barely run half of my steam collection. Don't take too long about it OK Valve. I mean your software development is already at a snail pace and this is fricking hardware.

I'm very interested though it makes me wonder how they will deal with the fact that Steam games are rarely Linux compatible.

Bostur:

albino boo:
I think its going to be a mistake. Valves commercial rivals are not going to port their games to Linux to aid the profitability of Gabe. Its going to have valves games and a few indie titles but that's about it. Steam presence on a platform does not make it instantly the gaming mainstream. If it did then MACs would have just as many games as a PC.

Maybe they could legally emulate or simulate the functionality of DirectX and other notable windows libraries. Then most Windows games would work out of the box. A lot of the work has already been done in the form of Wine.

You can't legally copy DirectX. As to emulation, the only attempt to for directx has already had allegations of copying Microsoft binaries but for a full commercial release, Microsoft will going over the code base looking for reasons to sue. Microsoft are not going to licence the technology to a rival of the xbox. However you can use openGL on both OS's but that would require Valves rivals to port to opengl from directX. I also supsect that the Xbox 720 will use the latest DirectX version making it easier to port to the PC/xbox.

Very clever actually, Steam Box is pretty much guaranteed to be reasonably successful so by being Linux based it means developers will have to pay more attention to that OS bringing a lot more games to Linux and making it a fair alternative to Windows for PC users.

albino boo:

Bostur:

albino boo:
I think its going to be a mistake. Valves commercial rivals are not going to port their games to Linux to aid the profitability of Gabe. Its going to have valves games and a few indie titles but that's about it. Steam presence on a platform does not make it instantly the gaming mainstream. If it did then MACs would have just as many games as a PC.

Maybe they could legally emulate or simulate the functionality of DirectX and other notable windows libraries. Then most Windows games would work out of the box. A lot of the work has already been done in the form of Wine.

You can't legally copy DirectX. As to emulation, the only attempt to for directx has already had allegations of copying Microsoft binaries but for a full commercial release, Microsoft will going over the code base looking for reasons to sue. Microsoft are not going to licence the technology to a rival of the xbox. However you can use openGL on both OS's but that would require Valves rivals to port to opengl from directX. I also supsect that the Xbox 720 will use the latest DirectX version making it easier to port to the PC/xbox.

If valve can nail porting engines to opengl, its open season.

2013 will be the year of linux consoles, what with all the android consoles taking off and now steambox as well.
then again, at the end of '13 I will probably complain about how too many people will use tablets and how the desktop pc slowly dies while a lot of people shift away from windows 8 to apple and linux machines.

flarty:

If valve can nail porting engines to opengl, its open season.

If Valve can port the Source Engine to opengl, that's fine for them.

Other developers will still have to make the extra effort to port their own engines to opengl, and to support Linux. And there's no guarantee that they'll be willing to do so, seeing as to how they already spend millions porting between the 360, PS3 and PC.

albino boo:
However you can use openGL on both OS's but that would require Valves rivals to port to opengl from directX.

Like they do for the PS3? You're right, they'd never do that.

The only way I can see this to be successful is if many developers are willing to port their games to Linux, which is unlikely I'd say. My only worry about this is that it won't have many games, sure the Valve games will definitely work on this and maybe a few others but I doubt it will even come close to the next PS or Xbox.

Linux... well there goes my purchase. I wanted something with good backwards compatibility with old games!

Andy Chalk:
Valve big dog Gabe Newell said in July 2012 that bringing a meaningful selection of games to Linux could help make it a serious competitor to Windows, but resistance to the idea came from a rather unexpected source: Free Software Foundation and GNU Project founder Richard Stallman, who said that the advent of closed-source, non-free games on Linux are "unethical because they deny freedom to their users."

It comes as no surprise to anyone who's involved in the Free-and-Open-Source-Software (FOSS) community; Richard Stallman is so devoted to the cause that he uses a machine with an open-source BIOS. He sees the use of non-free software on a Linux system as morally wrong.

Beryl77:
The only way I can see this to be successful is if many developers are willing to port their games to Linux, which is unlikely I'd say. My only worry about this is that it won't have many games, sure the Valve games will definitely work on this and maybe a few others but I doubt it will even come close to the next PS or Xbox.

When Steam first started supporting OSX, only a few games were supported. Since they provided the platform, many developers have taken advantage of that. I imagine the same will become increasingly true after Valve adds Linux support.

Even today, you can browse Steam and look at the games available for Mac and Linux.

anything on the unreal or unity engines can port across easy enough, also mac and WiiU use open GL and openAL so make your game in that and your most of the way to PC/ Mac/ linux/ nintendo. If sony are clever and jump on this standard they could all leave the next Xbox in the position of being a pain in the backside to port onto.

Also whats stoping them from having android stuff on there? it's a Java VM right? They could potentaly snipe the oyaa libary.

RhombusHatesYou:

albino boo:
However you can use openGL on both OS's but that would require Valves rivals to port to opengl from directX.

Like they do for the PS3? You're right, they'd never do that.

Sony isn't a rival to EA and Activision where as Valve is. Why would a company spend money to make a rival richer?

UNHchabo:

Beryl77:
The only way I can see this to be successful is if many developers are willing to port their games to Linux, which is unlikely I'd say. My only worry about this is that it won't have many games, sure the Valve games will definitely work on this and maybe a few others but I doubt it will even come close to the next PS or Xbox.

When Steam first started supporting OSX, only a few games were supported. Since they provided the platform, many developers have taken advantage of that. I imagine the same will become increasingly true after Valve adds Linux support.

Even today, you can browse Steam and look at the games available for Mac and Linux.

That is 342 games for Mac out of 1856 games on steam (all excluding dlc) so that is only 18%. For Linux its 38 out of 1856, which works out at 2%. Hardly a stampede.

UNHchabo:

Beryl77:
The only way I can see this to be successful is if many developers are willing to port their games to Linux, which is unlikely I'd say. My only worry about this is that it won't have many games, sure the Valve games will definitely work on this and maybe a few others but I doubt it will even come close to the next PS or Xbox.

When Steam first started supporting OSX, only a few games were supported. Since they provided the platform, many developers have taken advantage of that. I imagine the same will become increasingly true after Valve adds Linux support.

Even today, you can browse Steam and look at the games available for Mac and Linux.

It's true that there are quite a few mac games on Steam now but even though there are some AAA games on it, the big majority of the games are small Indie games. I suspect the same will happen with the Steambox. I'm not saying those games are bad or anything like that but most probably want to buy it for the big games. I don't think I'd buy a console just to play some Indie games, unless it won't cost more than around $100, which I doubt will be the case. Again, this isn't a critique against Indie games, I own quite a few myself but I just don't see many people buying it for those and very few AAA games.
The only thing that could make this a possible success is Valve's good name among gamers but I'm not sure that's enough here.

If I could play most games from my Steam library on this, I'd buy it immediately.

Calling it now; they go in heavy with this, the launch title will be Half Life 3. You KNOW that alone will make the install base psychotically massive. Instant profit factor.

albino boo:

UNHchabo:

Beryl77:
The only way I can see this to be successful is if many developers are willing to port their games to Linux, which is unlikely I'd say. My only worry about this is that it won't have many games, sure the Valve games will definitely work on this and maybe a few others but I doubt it will even come close to the next PS or Xbox.

When Steam first started supporting OSX, only a few games were supported. Since they provided the platform, many developers have taken advantage of that. I imagine the same will become increasingly true after Valve adds Linux support.

Even today, you can browse Steam and look at the games available for Mac and Linux.

That is 342 games for Mac out of 1856 games on steam (all excluding dlc) so that is only 18%. For Linux its 38 out of 1856, which works out at 2%. Hardly a stampede.

Yeah, but both of those categories are getting larger each day, and every time new games come out, a larger proportion of them are supported on the other two platforms. Based on the New Releases and Top Sellers lists, the proportion of new titles supported on Mac looks to be more like 30%.

A crowd draws a crowd; if Valve supports Linux, more people will use Linux, which will draw more developers to support it.

Aaaaaand there goes my purchase.
I have nothing against linux, but were I to buy a "steambox" I'd prefer if at least 90% of my already purchased games would run on the damn thing in the first place.

I'm pretty sure that if this is a PC, then you can just install Windows 7 on it along with the pre-installed Linux.

Is Richard Stallman misquoted or is he really that dumb?

Bostur:

albino boo:
I think its going to be a mistake. Valves commercial rivals are not going to port their games to Linux to aid the profitability of Gabe. Its going to have valves games and a few indie titles but that's about it. Steam presence on a platform does not make it instantly the gaming mainstream. If it did then MACs would have just as many games as a PC.

Maybe they could legally emulate or simulate the functionality of DirectX and other notable windows libraries. Then most Windows games would work out of the box. A lot of the work has already been done in the form of Wine.

I remember it being said that they had to reprogram L4D2 to use OpenGL instead of Direct3D, since it's not available on Linux. I can see Valve and other indie developers converting their games in similar way, but not major publishers like EA, Ubisoft and Activision.

I don't see Linux becoming the leading OS for PC gamers any time soon, but it could still become a major one.

While I admire Stallman's resolve to stick to his principles, at the same time having more than one version of Linux isn't exactly...new?

The having your cake and eating it too philosophy of Linux has been liberating for all types of users, if not utterly annoying due to the lack of support caused by splintering your focus.

Anyway, while people may be skeptical about this, I think there's a reason why Valve's been trying to hide confirmation for so long, and both Gabe's willingness to publicly announce their intentions, in addition to their enabling huge piles of cash, lead me to believe that this might actually be possible.

After all, if they can replicate the performance they've had with the initial testing in other games, they could easily leap past other competitors just by the difference in efficiency alone. Forget next gen, they can just take current gen and blow the everloving shit out of everything else.

I can't wait to see where this goes next.
Big developers and publishers don't have to embrace Valve's system. Fuck them. Small independent studios will embrace it. They will profit from it and they will grow larger and more competitive. This is the way to innovate.

LOL right because their are massive queues of people waiting for the midnight launch of Super Meat Boy and World of Goo. If Steam want the Steam Box to stand a chance they need to make it so that the big developers want to use it, either that or they need a big name seller to get the stupid people and fan boys to buy in to the hardware early. Anyone else seeing HL3 as an exclusive for the Steam Box? If that's the case that's a whole new kettle of fail but that's for another post.

FinalDream:
snip, sorry

Lucky Godzilla:
snip, sorry

I don't think that they would release a steamconsole (or "box") that doesn't support more than 90% of their library. So don't say no to it before you don't know whether or not they sat down and worked on that, just on the basis that it is running a linux-based system (GNU/Linux was pretty surprising to me that much stuff, while not officially supported, ran anyway with the help of wine. And this time a major corporation is working on it, so maybe, just maybe this might work out)

UNHchabo:

albino boo:

UNHchabo:

When Steam first started supporting OSX, only a few games were supported. Since they provided the platform, many developers have taken advantage of that. I imagine the same will become increasingly true after Valve adds Linux support.

Even today, you can browse Steam and look at the games available for Mac and Linux.

That is 342 games for Mac out of 1856 games on steam (all excluding dlc) so that is only 18%. For Linux its 38 out of 1856, which works out at 2%. Hardly a stampede.

Yeah, but both of those categories are getting larger each day, and every time new games come out, a larger proportion of them are supported on the other two platforms. Based on the New Releases and Top Sellers lists, the proportion of new titles supported on Mac looks to be more like 30%.

A crowd draws a crowd; if Valve supports Linux, more people will use Linux, which will draw more developers to support it.

When you take out the indie titles and just stick to AAA its isn't anywhere near 30%. This is something to do with the fact pcs outnumber macs 20-1 and linux as an os only has 1% of the desk top install base.

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