Valve "Confirms" Linux for Steam Box

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This is where Valve's own business model might just come back to bite them in the ass. Being mostly a gaming retailler, making most of their money off games sold on Steam rather than their own creations (which are increasingly Free to play to advertise their market system) the success of Steam Box is based entirely on the willingness of developers to make games for it.

While Gabe Newell has an unwarranted hatred of Windows 8, it doesn't change the fact that Steam still runs (for the most part) ON Windows 8. And Windows 7 will likely be a major operating system for a while (look how long Windows XP lasted before people dropped support). The thing is that Valve owns a distribution system, NOT a platform. Developers could easily develop games for Windows Live and Origin, or even just run without those systems (Look at Battle.Net). So Valve is quite literally under the thumb of those who make games, and the first distributor to be so.

Not to mention that their competitor in PC Gaming is Microsoft (who runs the platform partially open anyway) and their competitors in Console Gaming are Sony, Nintendo and... Microsoft again. For the first time, Valve's going up against actual, willing competition.

Steam Box could quite literally crash and burn under this odd situation.

This will probably be the most interesting thing to watch in the last few years.

Hey Valve, here's some free advice: Hire/employ/do whatever it takes to get the guys who work on Wine to help you with porting games to Linux. Seriously, these guys are talented and dedicated, and they can get shit done.

DirectX is nice and all, but not strictly necessary. I reckon we'll see an expansion of the OpenGL libraries very soon.

Hoo boy, I am excited! I've waited for this for a long time...

Oh, and guys; Stallman is Stallman. He's known for saying things like that, but he usually has good rationale behind them. Well, in theory anyway.

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.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

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.

Also, I'd like to mention that the PS3 runs OpenGL. All that the big guys need to do is leverage the PS3 code (or Mac, but Mac uses its own OpenGL, so that's not a good idea) for the Steam Box, and they're golden.

Laughing Man:

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.

Humble Bundles are a good source of knowing whether Linux users want games. They outpay the Windows and Mac users every year for the Humble Bundle. Also, marketing this as a cheap console that plays recent games is probably going to help the Steam Box get better.

Entitled:
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.

We're not even sure if it is. The article says pseudo-console, but for all we know, we might just get a PS3/X360 competitor with all the hatches sealed.

mrhateful:
Is Richard Stallman misquoted or is he really that dumb?

I don't know what you mean by Stallman being that dumb. His idea of freedom is quite different than what we think of as freedom.

For all we know, Valve could potentially lock us in using the Steam box. Very implausible, as they've shown by being nice to us PC gamers, but not impossible.

Humble Bundles are a good source of knowing whether Linux users want games. They outpay the Windows and Mac users every year for the Humble Bundle. Also, marketing this as a cheap console that plays recent games is probably going to help the Steam Box get better.

They need to get their head out their arses and knock this atypical Valve bullshit tell you a bit of something that means nothing nonsense and just man up and say weather they are realising a gimped gaming PC that no one with a brain is going to want to buy or if they are entering the console market as a proper and direct competitor to MS, Sony and Nintendo cause right now the info they keep realising seems to be geared towards getting the idiot fanboys moist while leaving everyone else shrugging their shoulders and wondering what the hell is going on in Valve headquarters.

Bhaalspawn:
This is where Valve's own business model might just come back to bite them in the ass. Being mostly a gaming retailler, making most of their money off games sold on Steam rather than their own creations (which are increasingly Free to play to advertise their market system) the success of Steam Box is based entirely on the willingness of developers to make games for it.

Have you realized that Valve's still going to sell as a digital retailer for Windows? They're guaranteed a good stream of money for a while, unless we all just drop Steam overnight. No one's going to do that.

While Gabe Newell has an unwarranted hatred of Windows 8, it doesn't change the fact that Steam still runs (for the most part) ON Windows 8. And Windows 7 will likely be a major operating system for a while (look how long Windows XP lasted before people dropped support). The thing is that Valve owns a distribution system, NOT a platform. Developers could easily develop games for Windows Live and Origin, or even just run without those systems (Look at Battle.Net). So Valve is quite literally under the thumb of those who make games, and the first distributor to be so.

Right, and grass is green and the sky's blue. Yes, Valve does distribute PC games, they're just expanding their service to Linux. Developers will go to Linux if the games go, and what is Valve doing? Making the games go to Linux.

Not to mention that their competitor in PC Gaming is Microsoft (who runs the platform partially open anyway) and their competitors in Console Gaming are Sony, Nintendo and... Microsoft again. For the first time, Valve's going up against actual, willing competition.

Hoo, boy. I hope you realize that MS is doing jack shit for PC gamers? Games for Windows Live, does that ring a bell? And seeing that Windows 8 is going the way of the Mac, gamers and computer users in general will be going to Linux unless MS gets it shit together.

Even if we're talking consoles here, there is still a good chance for the Steam Box to thrive in the console market. Some people aren't in the market for triple-AAA games. Want a good example? Ouya. People want a CONSOLE, not an all-around media device with services that can be obtained for far less.

The other fact to consider here is that people are going to leave the consoles if Sony, MS, and Nintendo don't do something to keep their attention and go to PC. I've seen many people go to PC as people have realized that if a PC can do things that consoles can for cheaper and far better, they'll save some cash.

thesilentman:
Even if we're talking consoles here, there is still a good chance for the Steam Box to thrive in the console market. Some people aren't in the market for triple-AAA games. Want a good example? Ouya. People want a CONSOLE, not an all-around media device with services that can be obtained for far less.

The other fact to consider here is that people are going to leave the consoles if Sony, MS, and Nintendo don't do something to keep their attention and go to PC. I've seen many people go to PC as people have realized that if a PC can do things that consoles can for cheaper and far better, they'll save some cash.

First of all: Ouya hasn't been properly released yet. Any claim regarding Ouya is entirely speculation.

Second of all: Speculation is exactly what I'm doing right now. No need to go all "Valve is teh godz" on me.

Thirdly: Speaking as someone who uses Windows 8, Newell was full of shit regarding anything he claimed it was doing.

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."

Listen Stallman, not EVERYTHING can be free. A AAA title that costs 100 million to develop will never be made if the developer/publisher can't charge for it and recoup the costs.

But Stallman's attitude is not surprising in the least, nor will it affect Valve's Steambox plans in the least.

Bhaalspawn:
Thirdly: Speaking as someone who uses Windows 8, Newell was full of shit regarding anything he claimed it was doing.

To my understanding, the primary reason Newell doesn't like Windows 8 is because it's Microsoft testing the waters before locking down Windows development.

There's a very legitimate concern that they're going to do the certification thing they have for the new tiled UI in Windows 8 for everything in Windows 9. Which means the little indie developers won't be able to release their games on windows without being certified, which costs money and means most of them won't be able to release it.

I have no idea if Microsoft is planning to do that, but they could and have demonstrated a willingness to do so in Windows 8. It's a legitimate reason to not want to support it.

Bhaalspawn:

thesilentman:
Even if we're talking consoles here, there is still a good chance for the Steam Box to thrive in the console market. Some people aren't in the market for triple-AAA games. Want a good example? Ouya. People want a CONSOLE, not an all-around media device with services that can be obtained for far less.

The other fact to consider here is that people are going to leave the consoles if Sony, MS, and Nintendo don't do something to keep their attention and go to PC. I've seen many people go to PC as people have realized that if a PC can do things that consoles can for cheaper and far better, they'll save some cash.

First of all: Ouya hasn't been properly released yet. Any claim regarding Ouya is entirely speculation.

Second of all: Speculation is exactly what I'm doing right now. No need to go all "Valve is teh godz" on me.

Thirdly: Speaking as someone who uses Windows 8, Newell was full of shit regarding anything he claimed it was doing.

It appears you don't even KNOW what his problems with Windows 8 are. The problem is that Microsoft is going towards a closed platform and that is completely true. Their Metro apps can only be purchased through their app store and a developer can only sell Metro apps if Microsoft approves them. That is on desktops, laptops, etc. The desktop side is still there and still open, but will the desktop be there in Windows 9 or 10? Not if Microsoft follows their current business plan.

Agayek:

Bhaalspawn:
Thirdly: Speaking as someone who uses Windows 8, Newell was full of shit regarding anything he claimed it was doing.

To my understanding, the primary reason Newell doesn't like Windows 8 is because it's Microsoft testing the waters before locking down Windows development.

There's a very legitimate concern that they're going to do the certification thing they have for the new tiled UI in Windows 8 for everything in Windows 9. Which means the little indie developers won't be able to release their games on windows without being certified, which costs money and means most of them won't be able to release it.

I have no idea if Microsoft is planning to do that, but they could and have demonstrated a willingness to do so in Windows 8. It's a legitimate reason to not want to support it.

Not only that but Microsoft takes a 30% cut of everything sold through their app store. So Steam would have to hand over a 30% cut to Microsoft of their sales. Never happening in a million years.

Mygaffer:

Bhaalspawn:

thesilentman:
Even if we're talking consoles here, there is still a good chance for the Steam Box to thrive in the console market. Some people aren't in the market for triple-AAA games. Want a good example? Ouya. People want a CONSOLE, not an all-around media device with services that can be obtained for far less.

The other fact to consider here is that people are going to leave the consoles if Sony, MS, and Nintendo don't do something to keep their attention and go to PC. I've seen many people go to PC as people have realized that if a PC can do things that consoles can for cheaper and far better, they'll save some cash.

First of all: Ouya hasn't been properly released yet. Any claim regarding Ouya is entirely speculation.

Second of all: Speculation is exactly what I'm doing right now. No need to go all "Valve is teh godz" on me.

Thirdly: Speaking as someone who uses Windows 8, Newell was full of shit regarding anything he claimed it was doing.

It appears you don't even KNOW what his problems with Windows 8 are. The problem is that Microsoft is going towards a closed platform and that is completely true. Their Metro apps can only be purchased through their app store and a developer can only sell Metro apps if Microsoft approves them. That is on desktops, laptops, etc. The desktop side is still there and still open, but will the desktop be there in Windows 9 or 10? Not if Microsoft follows their current business plan.

The Metro UI is part of this plan to create a network of all their devices. Their tablets, smartphones, PC's and the new XBox. The Metro apps and UI are used for this, with the ability to function as their own system as well. But on the PC side, that's ALL it's intended to be used for. So all their phone and tablet apps can be used on a PC as well. Cross-Platform.

The Desktop is never going away. Not only does it make no business sense, but it's been the basic staple of the PC that Microsoft is known for. All the complaining is is melodramatic squawking. Of course Newell has a reason to be worried. Microsoft is getting into distribution and online functions on the PC, something that has been Newell's territory for nearly a decade now.

Bhaalspawn:
First of all: Ouya hasn't been properly released yet. Any claim regarding Ouya is entirely speculation.

Fair enough. Just pointing out that the fact that the Ouya was massively successful on Kickstarter shows that there is a market for those types of games. The Steam Box can compete in that niche AND the console space if Valve knows what they're doing.

Second of all: Speculation is exactly what I'm doing right now. No need to go all "Valve is teh godz" on me.

I'm not putting Valve on a pedestal for everything, if you've noticed. I'm highly advocating them as they're bringing games to Linux, something that I have wanted for a long time.

The reason for this? I've never liked Windows. Never. Only for my games and testing applications that I made I'll use Windows, other than those two, nothing. Windows is flawed from a design standpoint to the point where it becomes detrimental to my work.

Proof? Why the hell do we need a registry in Windows when Mac and the *nix systems don't need them? Why must I wait on an application when I hit End Process in Task Manager? Why the hell does Windows 8 take up 20 gigs on my hard drive?

You know what? Let me dig up a previous post in a thread about Linux gaming. That'll explain my disgruntlement with Windows.

And adding in the fact that Windows seems to be DEFINITELY copying Apple, it's time for me to jump ship to something that isn't trying to be a smartphone. My desktop and smartphone have different uses, and now is not the time for having the desktop lose functionality.

Thirdly: Speaking as someone who uses Windows 8, Newell was full of shit regarding anything he claimed it was doing.

I use Windows 8 too. I got it as a rather cheap upgrade to Vista and it's pretty good in that regard. Everything that's new, however drives me up the wall. As in, Metro, the Windows Store nonsense, and SmartScreen. Oh, and Secure Boot. That can go fuck right off.

Mr. Newell just happened to see the future for him and he's looking for a way to make it better for him. Going to Linux is a good start. He doesn't like the Windows Store. OH THE HORROR! NOW I HAVE TO SEND MICROSOFT A CHUNK OF MONEY IF I WANTED STEAM TO BE IN THE WINDOWS STORE?? OH WHY!!??

Microsoft is going the route of Apple, mark my words. If Windows 9, Blue, whatever they're going to call it now is a Mac clone, dark days will follow in the computer world. Give the position and power that MS has, it is going to be hell for anyone having a job dealing with computers.

albino boo:
linux as an os only has 1% of the desk top install base.

People always say this, and my first thought is [Citation Needed]. As far as I'm concerned, there's no accurate way to determine Linux install base. Majority of non Apple PC's have Windows preinstalled, as well as license tracking, so it's easy to determine how many installed copies of Windows there are. The same applies with Macs since they don't come with anything else. A lot of Linux users, myself included, have purchased laptops/computers in the past that had windows preinstalled and promptly installed linux in it's place.

If anything Humble bundle is a good way to get an idea of the marketshares for installed OS's.

This is for Frozenbyte Synapse bundle <---older bundle
image

This is for Humble Bundle 6 <-- newer bundle
image

Linux size of the chart has been approximately the same, if not larger, than Mac.

I'm not disputing the fact that Windows has the largest share, I'm just saying that numbers, such as 1%, have got to be wrong.

On the day that Ubuntu 12.04 was released, it was downloaded 7.5 million times, and that was a single day in April. Surely not all of them are downloading it to waste space on their hard drives as an ISO.

Personally I think that Linux as a market for games is something that people overlook or brush aside due to inaccurate data. The pie chart I posted shows that there's a definitely a decent amount of linux users wanting to play games, yet they rarely make them. Mac's user base is arguably just as small, yet they get ports of games.

mrhateful:
Is Richard Stallman misquoted or is he really that dumb?

No... he's really like that.

He's a fundamentalist, pure and simple.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

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.

True, but with the advent of a new "generation" of consoles coming, many devs will be looking to upgrade their infrastructure for the new systems. They'll be looking to invest in new platforms.

Given the increasing apathy towards "the big three" within the gaming community, and the explosion of mobile gaming, many devs will also be looking for new avenues of development.

As such, things like the Ouya or this linux-based Valve system may seem just as, if not more, enticing than the next Xbox or Playstation.

Lucky Godzilla:
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.

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

Except, for all we know, Valve's been working on a emulated Windows environment that works in tandem with Steam-Linux, so that all of your old Windows or DOS based games have a stable, compatible environment to run in. Their own version of WINE, if you will.

That's a massive assumption, on my part, but given how fervent Valve's been in porting things to Linux, it wouldn't surprise me if such a project existed.

Adam Jensen:
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.

I work a weird IT job for an elderly millionaire. He used a phrase the other day that describes Microsoft, Apple, & every game publisher pretty well: "penny wise & dollar dumb". Always making the quick buck with no thought toward the future

Few companies can stay principled & future oriented, but Valve does because Gabe decided to stay a private company. No stock-holders to answer to. Market analysts have no effect on his business. He can allow himself to make good decisions. He is a gamer & he know what gamers want.

Wouldn't our community love the potential of Linux gaming, without the hassle of a likely unfamiliar OS? Dedicated Linux gaming computer with a user-friendly interface... brilliant

thesilentman:
Microsoft is going the route of Apple, mark my words. If Windows 9, Blue, whatever they're going to call it now is a Mac clone, dark days will follow in the computer world. Give the position and power that MS has, it is going to be hell for anyone having a job dealing with computers.

The day Microsoft announces that all of the programs that will run in a Windows environment have to be bought through the app store the day the military drops Microsoft support. The military cannot hand over several of its programs to a company to put on their store and buy back. It's completely insane, and it's going to be amusing when it happens.

I bet all those Devs on Steam whose games are written using Unity are laughing all the way to the bank.
Just set the build target to Linux and Profit... .. and then MacOSX ..and then iOS ..and then Android (including OUYA)

..ah, but the downside being that they get to develop in C# instead of C++ or Java... erm - not sure if that's so bad.

I suppose there's the price point.. $1500 for the full thing or Free for the basic with Windows, Mac and Linux.. erm.

..Nope, I'm lost. I can't see how a Steam Box can possibly fail - Whereas Windows 8's closed market can die in a ditch - On fire.

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