Valve Reveals SteamOS

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There are like hundreds of technical questions here that I feel that people should be asking, but aren't asking.

What about driver support? Is it going to be just as "open" as Ubuntu or this basically just Steam? Can I still download whatever programs I want, customize the experience and do everything else which makes Linux more "open" than Windows? Is streaming really the only viable supplement for Dirext X incompatibility or will there be a vine platform so that any of my existing games would actually work on this thing?

Gabe has given me some neat photoshopart and a few optimistic tagline, but he hasn't given me any real reason why Steam OS would actually solve the problems of existing Linux distros- the kind of problems Linux as a platform has to overcome to even be an option.

Weaver:
I'm a little concerned with the amount of control Valve would be able to exert. I like Steam, but it's near monopolistic position is worrying. Having a Valve OS would be sure to lock everyone into Steam being the only outlet for purchasing/playing games.

Also, who wants to bet HL3 is going to be a SteamOS exclusive?
This would explain the crazy development time.

We don't know anything yet about Valve tying things to Steam and considering they're putting emphasis on SteamOS being free, open, collaborative etc., I kinda doubt they will lock it down as much as they've feared from Microsoft. Having such an open console capable of competing with the very much locked-down PS4 and XBone could turn into a feature of its own that they shouldn't be interested in losing.

If anything, I hope people will be running SteamOS and play any natively supported games on it just to piss off Microsoft. This seems like the first step on the long road to end our dependency on Windows. Plus, if enough people start gaming on a Linux distro, wine could improve much quicker than it has so far. If I could get rid of Windows without also getting rid of 90% of my games, I'd do it in an instant and I'm guessing most PC gamers would as well and that seems to be Valve's end goal with this.

Marik Bentusi:

Weaver:
I'm a little concerned with the amount of control Valve would be able to exert. I like Steam, but it's near monopolistic position is worrying. Having a Valve OS would be sure to lock everyone into Steam being the only outlet for purchasing/playing games.

Also, who wants to bet HL3 is going to be a SteamOS exclusive?
This would explain the crazy development time.

We don't know anything yet about Valve tying things to Steam and considering they're putting emphasis on SteamOS being free, open, collaborative etc., I kinda doubt they will lock it down as much as they've feared from Microsoft. Having such an open console capable of competing with the very much locked-down PS4 and XBone could turn into a feature of its own that they shouldn't be interested in losing.

They haven't given us any reason to believe that talk is anymore than buzzwords.

Valve likes to talk open but their entire business plan is about locking down and sucking revenue out of a closed, tightly controlled platform.

WTF is a 'living room machine'? The info from Valve is so completely vague it tells you pretty much nothing. It seems like all this really does is stream your PC to the living room TV and they have just re-branded the idea of a 'Steam Box' to call it an OS.

lacktheknack:

Nocturnus:

lacktheknack:

Valve hates where that OS is going. Making their own is a pretty interesting way of getting around that.

It's free, and OSs can be dual booted.

Just saying.

They can hate where it's going all they want to, but the fact of the matter is that most people are still going to run it, and with that, most games are going to be made for it. Their native Linux Platform, to a large extent, is still going to require a machine with a good set of hardware running that "operating system that they don't like" in order to access the grand majority of their library.

Hilarious. I challenge you in the other thread and you don't even grace me with a reply, but bring up the exact same things I tried to answer fifteen minutes later in this thread... and then reply to me in this one to take me to task on a different issue.

Blinded by single-mindedness? Never!

Anyways, no one said that it wasn't going to need good hardware. Also, you're not a soothsayer. SteamOS is much more game-oriented than Windows, and it's fully possible it'll eclipse Windows in use by gamers.

I never checked on that other thread. Sorry :P

And, maybe. We'll have to see. Valve is saying that they have some publishers on board, so if they can actually make it a next-gen compatible OS with a comparable console, and it has all those games ready to go? You never know.

I don't see it eclipsing the current Console market, though. The "All Digital" route was tried by XBoxOne, and we saw how well that went with console gamers. PC Gamers wanting a living room alternative? Maybe. But it HAS to have the library to back it up, and that will require a lot of time. It won't be until that time is over until they can completely cut ties from Microsoft or Apple and call it their own deal.

Really, how is GNU (which Linux is basically part of), i.e. the idea and implementation of free software, compatible with closed-source, DRM-ridden, propriate spyware bullshit that is Steam and Steamworks?

Sigh.

Couldn't they just throw some support at Wine? They won't get the respect of Linux people this way.

Tanakh:

Daverson:
And there was me saying you'd never get everyone to jump over to Linux. GabeN, you magnificent bastard! D=

This is no Linux tough, and by that I mean it's not meant to be a Windows alternative for PCs. It seems to be however a Linux based OS, but if that is what you meant, "everyone" already jumped over to Linux with Android.

Anyway if they deliver on the performance increases I am in.

I call all Unix-y OS "Linux", because I'm an ass like that. =p

You can bet your arse valve'll port this over to PC. When you think about it, it'd be pretty foolish not to.

so its linux with a shinny new user interface.

i am not really impressed by this.

Nocturnus:
I never checked on that other thread. Sorry :P

Ah. Pretend I said nothing.

And, maybe. We'll have to see. Valve is saying that they have some publishers on board, so if they can actually make it a next-gen compatible OS with a comparable console, and it has all those games ready to go? You never know.

I don't see it eclipsing the current Console market, though. The "All Digital" route was tried by XBoxOne, and we saw how well that went with console gamers. PC Gamers wanting a living room alternative? Maybe. But it HAS to have the library to back it up, and that will require a lot of time. It won't be until that time is over until they can completely cut ties from Microsoft or Apple and call it their own deal.

If Valve built the OS from the kernel up, it's totally possible that they've programmed basic compatibility that works for a large chunk of the library.

Or maybe they'll hire CD Projekt to do it. :P

If game performance is better on the SteamOS than Windows then I'm all for it.

Odds are dual-booting a PC with SteamOS and Windows would essentially be a "gaming mode" for the computer. Frankly, I'm surprised this hasn't happened already. Consoles like Xbox and PlayStation are essentially computers with a dedicated gaming OS.

A computer running SteamOS is essentially a console except that the hardware can be customized.

So the two remaining announcements are steambox and game sharing feature they've talked about? yay? I guess...

Sgt. Sykes:
Really, how is GNU (which Linux is basically part of), i.e. the idea and implementation of free software, compatible with closed-source, DRM-ridden, propriate spyware bullshit that is Steam and Steamworks?

Sigh.

Couldn't they just throw some support at Wine? They won't get the respect of Linux people this way.

They're not trying to impress Linux users, they're trying to impress PC/console crossover-ers.

Daverson:
I call all Unix-y OS "Linux", because I'm an ass like that. =p

You can bet your arse valve'll port this over to PC. When you think about it, it'd be pretty foolish not to.

I really hope so, personally i have no intention of buying a steambox but might use steamOS on my PC if it offer even the slightest advantage over windows. But... I don't think this will make Linux based OS more popular among the general public, for one PCs are reducing it's market share, but mainly because I don't see steamOS being a general use OS (like Ubuntu or Windows) but a very niche OS (more akin to a console OS).

But what do I know, might be wrong.

Maxtro:
If game performance is better on the SteamOS than Windows then I'm all for it.

I would...If it was worth it. Most native Linux games would struggle to tax my PC, including nearly all Valve games and the demos which used the SDK Source 2013.

Besides, they've still got a lot to explain before I even care. If it's going to look like Win 8, Valve can fuck right off.

Need more details obviously but not everything I want to play is on Steam. Not every good deal is on Steam. I just broke out of my ridiculous 5 year long "I'll only buy it if it registers on Steam" trance and I don't plan on falling back into it ever again.

And yeah, we're talking about Valve. The company that found a way to monetize profile customization by introducing trading cards.

PROFILE CUSTOMIZATION.

if it could get all games in my library to launch on it, i'd risk putting it in my gaming rig

lacktheknack:
They're not trying to impress Linux users, they're trying to impress PC/console crossover-ers.

As a Linux user I am impressed, most of us are if you bother to read more techy oriented sites like this article http://games.slashdot.org/story/13/09/23/177246/valve-announces-linux-based-steamos (yeah, yeah, slashdot being mainstream nowdays, whatever). But I get what you say, there are hardcore GNU purist that will take an affront, good thing no one cares about that and they will just throw a fit on a dark corner of the internet.

So this is why Gaben has been saying Linux will be the future of gaming. Whether or not that pans out remains to be seen. Doesn't seem likely when you still need a Windows machine on your network to run your huge backlog of existing games to stream over the network. Are they also putting effort into polishing wine's Direct3D support? This will be necessary if Linux is to ever truly take over. That's going to be quite a bit of work. There are so many bugs in it, both major and minor. Very few major Windows games on wine are a totally smooth experience right now.

Still unconvinced.

And will remain so until I see a strategy on how they're going to deal with DirectX.

Most PC games are still being build based on that instead of OpenGL ( and other APIs for sound, input etc. ). Older games are for a very large part build on DirectX. And DirectX is fully owned by Microsoft and only available on Windows.

I don't really see the use for an OS that's only going to be able to stream the vast majority of games because it itself doesn't have the supporting libraries to run them.

Are they going to do a push in the games industry at large for OpenGL along with OpenAL for sound and something else for Input? Maybe SDL instead? Are they going to make a deal with Microsoft to get some form of DirectX running on SteamOS?

Until I know whether or not SteamOS is going to be able to play all the games I own that require DirectX and, if not, if Valve's going to ensure that no future PC game ever is going to use DirectX SteamOS will just be a second choice that technical people install as a dual-boot. Why use an OS that can only run OpenGL games when there's an OS that runs both OpenGL and DirectX games?

There are enough great games I'm missing out on already due to exclusive status to the consoles. I don't want to massively increase that list by adding games using DirectX on top of it.

So - it'll be a box that'll let you play console games via your PC, on your TV.

Not a bad idea - it might be like an Ouya that actually sort of works as intended.

I doubt I'll get one any time soon - seeing as the closest thing I have to TV is my PC, but I can tell that this could very much allow console game manufacturers to to develop for a single platform (PC) which would allow them to constantly scale the hardware requirements, completely abolishing the idea of "console hardware generations"

Tanakh:

lacktheknack:
They're not trying to impress Linux users, they're trying to impress PC/console crossover-ers.

As a Linux user I am impressed, most of us are if you bother to read more techy oriented sites like this article http://games.slashdot.org/story/13/09/23/177246/valve-announces-linux-based-steamos (yeah, yeah, slashdot being mainstream nowdays, whatever). But I get what you say, there are hardcore GNU purist that will take an affront, good thing no one cares about that and they will just throw a fit on a dark corner of the internet.

I can't wait to hear Richard Stallman's response to this! I can hear the weeping and voodoo-stabbing already! :D

webkilla:
So - it'll be a box that'll let you play console games via your PC, on your TV.

Not a bad idea - it might be like an Ouya that actually sort of works as intended.

I doubt I'll get one any time soon - seeing as the closest thing I have to TV is my PC, but I can tell that this could very much allow console game manufacturers to to develop for a single platform (PC) which would allow them to constantly scale the hardware requirements, completely abolishing the idea of "console hardware generations"

No, there's no box. It's an OS, like Windows.

not sure if i got this right but is this supposed to be a new and improved linux operating system for those who don't want to learn linux

or is it trying simply trying to imitate a console of some kind

either way it looks quite interesting, wouldn't replace my current OS but that's only because i spent 50 quid for windows 8 -.-

At first I was thinking this was kind of lame, and it really is. Not really any point, it won't replace the Windows PC for those who desire one yet those are the games it's dealing with. And it won't replace the current living room gaming consoles as those are different games. It's too much of an extra expense to merit getting an extra machine, so.. pointless.

But then I got to thinking. With the rumours of a 'Steam Box', could we be about to see a gaming pc from Steam with the same model as the consoles?

As with the PS3,360 and upcoming gen, will Steam sell it's box at a loss? Will it rely on SteamOS integration and a practical monopoly on PC digital game sales to make up for it?

In other words, with the SteamOS / SteamBox combo, will we be seeing what may be the first cheap, manufacturer subsidized high-end gaming PC on the market? If that is where they're going with this it could be an amazing development for PC gaming.

Although , they should stop throwing Linux around as if it's a buzzword, it just makes non-nerds nervous when they need to be doing the opposite, selling it on the Steam integration and simplicity of getting games and drawing in the traditionally non-PC folk.

Nocturnus:
The only thing I have to ask is... why? The console can't really stand alone, considering its Linux library is bare bones to say the least. So, in order to play any games worth their salt, it will require a running a high end gaming PC somewhere else in the house running Windows or MacOS.

Then, on top of that, you'll have to have another piece of gaming hardware sitting in the living room.

At that point, what's the lure? Why strip your PC Of all the other features that you'd want/need just for this OS? Why not just run Steam on said Living Room rig in Big Picture Mode running Windows?

It seems like reinventing the wheel, and unnecessarily. A great idea hampered by the fact that it's relying on a complicated home-network setup to function with everything on Steam's Library. Either that, or you get stuck with the limited Linux-based stuff.

And you are making a mistake right here, yes you would still need proper gaming hardware for the steam server, the but streaming client, could actually be pretty much be anything with a screen or that connect into a screen, if the streaming client software is release under free license. Basically you would just need a smart TV or an Apple TV box for example to connect to a Windows steam server. SteamOS is just Linux solution for HTPC (and possibly desktop, either through official and unofficial support, it mostly just a matter of knowing if Valve will support desktop software through official package repository, has I am certain someone will create package to make steamOS into a desktop OS, if they don't provide official support)

Riotguards:
not sure if i got this right but is this supposed to be a new and improved linux operating system for those who don't want to learn linux

or is it trying simply trying to imitate a console of some kind

either way it looks quite interesting, wouldn't replace my current OS but that's only because i spent 50 quid for windows 8 -.-

The second one. Linux distros already have the "User Friendly" scale covered (Ubuntu for n00bs, ARCH for masochists, and everything in between).

GabeN is a fuckin' deity. This sounds really good. Open source gaming OS. What's not to like...in theory. Now let's see about that Half-Life 3 announcement.

webkilla:
So - it'll be a box that'll let you play console games via your PC, on your TV.

Not a bad idea - it might be like an Ouya that actually sort of works as intended.

I doubt I'll get one any time soon - seeing as the closest thing I have to TV is my PC, but I can tell that this could very much allow console game manufacturers to to develop for a single platform (PC) which would allow them to constantly scale the hardware requirements, completely abolishing the idea of "console hardware generations"

No box has been announced yet. So far this is just a Linux-Based OS that is Steam branded. We have no clues as to what they are talking about, however so far nothing all that interesting.

shrekfan246:

Andy Chalk:
In other words, in case there was any question, this all but guarantees that an announcement of a Steam box - the "SteamOS machine," as Valve puts it - will follow soon.

That's kinda what I figure is going to happen as well, but who knows. All I know is that the announcement confused me greatly, because those vague, jargon-y promises pretty quickly make my eyes glaze over in boredom.

Also, I can't take credit for this, but "SteamOS" should totally be called "GladOS" instead.

Hurr hurr, Andy Shandy, I'm in the threads, stealing your jokes!

I think the steam box should give all notifications as Glados.... Like when you boot to desktop "Oh it is you... again..."

I think I need to dual boot my Gaming laptop also. I said to myself- nei! I promised that I will never go linux until I need to (Because my expensive applications for work aren't supported or support any form of linux).
Also the idea of using command line to find things took my taste away. (I know they have desktops but all the linux freaks say that the command line is better)
But if this turns out well and 80% of steam games work on it then I will go for it properly on gaming laptop and just get myself a better and newer workhorse.

The in-home streaming sounds great (if works as advertised). I tried to set something similar myself, but without much success. If Steam will finally allow me to do this, it'll change the way I play games.

Also, you're not a soothsayer. SteamOS is much more game-oriented than Windows, and it's fully possible it'll eclipse Windows in use by gamers.

The only way it would eclipse Windows is if developers start creating games for it, their seems to be a fallacy amongst the majority that if Valve makes it they will come, variants of Linux and it's ilk that can run games have been about for a good amount of time and their are still hardly any major developers using it or for that matter dual releasing on Windows alongside Linux.

MS don't charge for developers to create games on their OS, the tools and development kits for DX are out there, free to download and use and more importantly they are well developed, so given that the vast majority of the titles that use Steam will still require a Windows powered PC running to work, alongside the fact that which ever way you slice it the OS Steam will be releasing will still be new and subject to all the issues and development that goes with a new OS combined with the fact that after ten years Steam itself is still one of the slowest, bloat filled nonsense gaming clients that you can get, where exactly in all this is the proven skill set that Valve have got the chops to take on the Windows gaming market yet alone making it so big that they will force developers away from Windows to their own OS?

The real question is now that Valve have announced this, what are the reactions from the people who actually develop games? Have any big names come forward and expressed even the slightest interest? I haven't found anything yet.

In SteamOS, we have achieved significant performance increases in graphics processing, and we're now targeting audio performance and reductions in input latency at the operating system level. Game developers are already taking advantage of these gains as they target SteamOS for their new releases.

If this is legit then my body is ready. THE FUTURE IS HERE!

It'll be nice when I don't have to pay the Windows tax a few years from now just to run some programs and games that are only on Windows. And this is beautiful timing given Steve Balmer's recent comment that "Google is a monopoly" even though 90% of computers sold run Windows and come stock with Microsoft programs and services that users have to actively choose to replace all that garbage with Google products. Its just plain poetic that Balmer is one of the first big names to basically admit that Microsoft is on their way out

Doom972:
The in-home streaming sounds great (if works as advertised). I tried to set something similar myself, but without much success. If Steam will finally allow me to do this, it'll change the way I play games.

I imagine it would work pretty well over ethernet, maybe not so much with wireless. No doubt they will not be using something inefficient like the VNC method of remote display. I'm sure they will use the same technique programs like FRAPS and Dxtory use to capture game output - hooking the D3D present function directly, then intercepting the rendered output straight to a framebuffer. At this point it can be compressed in real-time (no problem for modern PCs even at 1080p if using the right codec) and tunneled out over the LAN. This could work pretty well.

That also opens up the possibility to use weaker laptops as a client as well, in case you don't feel like sitting at your PC desk to play something. Hell, even dinky little netbooks with a single core Atom could handle this easily. (Not that I'd have a lot of fun gaming on my netbook)

I was actually writing my own software to do this recently to play modern games on an old Pentium 4 I currently use to play movies on my TV. I never finished and polished it, but the basics were functional. (Not remote input, I only had the output streaming going) It was actually relatively easy to do.

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