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Valve Confirms Linux-based Steam Box

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January 7, 2013 11:09:34 PM

Please bring PC gamers a decent wireless pad that doesn't cost a load or take old school AA batteries.
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13
January 7, 2013 11:14:54 PM

Very interested in seeing how this helps Linux with gaming compatibility. Will be watching this closely.
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January 7, 2013 11:25:22 PM

A steam box is possibly the dumbest idea i've ever heard of. Dear lord what are you doing valve?
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January 7, 2013 11:30:20 PM

This could be the tipping point Linux needs in order to be a full fledged gaming specialized OS at least in Valve's Linux distribution and implementation.

Windows is so generalized and multipurpose, but very proprietary and not designed so much with modular aspect in mind for standard users which I think somewhat takes away from achieving some of it's performance potential.

With better developer support it's my belief Linux could certainly be a better gaming OS environment due to the fact it's not proprietary and is open source and as such can be tweaked and tuned accordingly to users individual needs, but without all the bundled excess fluff a proprietary OS like Windows or Mac for example includes.

It would also probably benefit developers too because I imagine ports from Android would be relatively simple compared to Windows or Mac based ports since it's based off Linux in the first place.
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January 7, 2013 11:35:11 PM

The biggest issue with Linux still is that there are no distros that are really friendly to end users. Somebody needs to make one where you never really need to go to the command prompt in order to do any common task that needs to be done in Linux. Then it can be considered ready for prime time.
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January 7, 2013 11:43:30 PM

I know Gabe Newell has said they already have a new Engine developed they are just waiting for games to roll it out on, you would have to think Half-life 3, counter strike..etc will be used to push the new system?
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January 7, 2013 11:48:17 PM

twelch82The biggest issue with Linux still is that there are no distros that are really friendly to end users. Somebody needs to make one where you never really need to go to the command prompt in order to do any common task that needs to be done in Linux. Then it can be considered ready for prime time.
Honestly I think a lot of that is probably just due to the fact people are much more familiarized and user savvy when it comes to Windows.

I blame workplaces and school systems for not teaching kids how to operate Linux the same way they do for Mac and Windows.

I imagine adoption rates would probably skyrocket if that were to happen because it would no longer seem so foreign and since a broader user base would understand how it works there would be a lot less self learning involved as well when you do need help with something.
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January 7, 2013 11:48:45 PM

^^^ Bogus - I would never leave my system to play H3 on a linux based console - unless I had too.
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January 7, 2013 11:53:43 PM

Do you think Valve should give out the latest Source engine and dev tools free to developers who want to develop for the box?
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January 8, 2013 12:18:01 AM

article"the hardware lab has some secret projects that will be released in 2013. We have a good grop of electronic- and mechanics-engineers and we are glad to build some really cool things."

*crosses fingers*
please be a portal gun!
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7
January 8, 2013 12:20:34 AM

I really think Valve are misreading the market. They don't seem to understand the console market and PC market are too very separate sets of users, a steam box won't be competing with windows 8, it will be competing with the WiiU/XboxXXX/PSX and that will be a far harder sell.
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a b 5 Linux
January 8, 2013 12:23:20 AM

twelch82The biggest issue with Linux still is that there are no distros that are really friendly to end users.


Well then it's on par with the OS that comes with every new PC at the moment isn't it ;) 
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January 8, 2013 12:34:08 AM

The truly has the potential to increase gaming on Linux and taking a chunk (albeit small) out of a Windows dominated PC market.
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January 8, 2013 12:46:04 AM

I can't wait for Steam to come to Linux, that will be reason enough for me to finally leave Windows. As a gamer, this has been the main thing holding me back. I'm very interested in Arch Linux.

By the way, does anyone think there will be desktop Linux distribution specialized for Steam?
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January 8, 2013 12:48:32 AM

gravewaxI really think Valve are misreading the market. They don't seem to understand the console market and PC market are too very separate sets of users, a steam box won't be competing with windows 8, it will be competing with the WiiU/XboxXXX/PSX and that will be a far harder sell.


I think Valve is on the right track. If you look at it full fledged PCs are starting to become a niche market. Take a device with open low cost hardware, a free fully developed OS, and add the functionality people need. If Valve ads HTPC and light Office capability to this thing it could really take off. Steam already syncs to the cloud and across systems so they're more than halfway there. Remember Valve was a game developer and then decided to venture into the realm of digital distribution where it competed with the likes of Microsoft, EA, Activision, and others. People said they would fail. Guess what, they're one of the largest distributors around.
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January 8, 2013 12:56:51 AM

twelch82The biggest issue with Linux still is that there are no distros that are really friendly to end users. Somebody needs to make one where you never really need to go to the command prompt in order to do any common task that needs to be done in Linux. Then it can be considered ready for prime time.

Ubuntu and Mint, maybe? You don't need console at all.
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January 8, 2013 1:05:41 AM

Quote:
Very interested in seeing how this helps Linux with gaming compatibility. Will be watching this closely.


Quote:
This could be the tipping point Linux needs in order to be a full fledged gaming specialized OS at least in Valve's Linux distribution and implementation.


ugh...

playstation 2 and 3 are technically linux boxes as well....

how exactly is this supposed to "help linux"?

The problem with linux historically is the lack of high quality drivers. This has gotten better but I doubt this or any other console with solve this basic need.
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January 8, 2013 1:18:39 AM

maztyPlease bring PC gamers a decent wireless pad that doesn't cost a load or take old school AA batteries.


Any controller that doesn't take AA batteries is not truly wireless. Until such time as a controller is developed that charges through a charging pad extremely quickly, AA batteries will still be the best option.

I personally hate Lithium Ion batteries and all their predecessors. They take forever to charge and don't last as long as a pair of AAs. Their only unique benefit is that they can be built into whatever shape people need them, which can also be a detriment given the proprietary nature of technology.

If it runs out of charge, you have to plug it in to something, which tethers you to that something. If a AA battery dies you just have to swap it out, which takes all of two minutes.
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January 8, 2013 1:47:34 AM

bpislifeugh...playstation 2 and 3 are technically linux boxes as well....how exactly is this supposed to "help linux"? The problem with linux historically is the lack of high quality drivers. This has gotten better but I doubt this or any other console with solve this basic need.

it should help linux by being an open sourced os. PS3 may be some linux distro, but its incompatible to our x86 pcs and the OS isnt distributed openly. at least, I hope the OS is open and x86 compatible.
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January 8, 2013 1:54:48 AM

gravewaxI really think Valve are misreading the market. They don't seem to understand the console market and PC market are too very separate sets of users, a steam box won't be competing with windows 8, it will be competing with the WiiU/XboxXXX/PSX and that will be a far harder sell.


What do you think the point is? The PC and console scenes are not as divided as they used to be before XBox came out. Linux is the obvious choice just for price concerns, they want to have a box priced at console levels. I'm sure the enthusiasts here will cry at Valve for betraying their trust or whatever, but get over it. The console market has a lot of customers so devs prefer to make games for it. This could entice more devs to build directly for the Steam platform instead of just porting console titles towards it. It could also lead to more console players buying from Steam instead of other console ecosystems, leading to a stronger PC economy.

There's a lot of companies trying to force their way into the console scene now though. They're going to learn it isn't that easy to compete, just like Atari, Panasonic, Philips, and many others have learned.
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January 8, 2013 2:11:06 AM

after some thought making another comment:

steam has said this will be a pc and a console, but it wont be a pc and console at the same time. this brings me to believe that theyre really working on an OS. and they are working on an x86 console apart, probably non upgradable. the OS may be distributed openly like steam is.
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January 8, 2013 2:18:27 AM

maztyPlease bring PC gamers a decent wireless pad that doesn't cost a load or take old school AA batteries.
I like AA batteries. You can take them out and pop the rechargeable ones in a charger while you use other ones. In a bind, you can get a pair just about anywhere
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January 8, 2013 3:24:38 AM

Dumb, dumb, dumb...

What's the POINT?

If the Steam box ran on Windows 8 and had at least an HD7770 graphics then they could just LINK the entire menu from the Start Screen.

PORTING CONFUSION:
Game ports will be very few. Since you can NOT use Microsoft's DirectX and have to essentially REWRITE that stuff (and have permission from the developer) there's no feasible way to do this.

HDTV:
This is NOT a desktop PC. It's designed to sit where a gaming console sits and compete with the consoles.

So, Gabe wants someone to buy a device that's nowhere near as good as the new XBOX/PS4 with limited games? Come on, I just saw a PS3 for $200 that could play game, BluRay, Netflix...

NVIDIA's new portable "Shield" device runs Android and can also stream your computer's (GTX6xx graphics) games through it to the screen or to an HDTV.

The STEAM BOX is a completely POINTLESS device that I wouldn't use if you gave it to me for free.
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January 8, 2013 3:55:36 AM

Make sure the spec is exceed PS4/Xbox 720. And steam box spec get updated every 1-2years. I so want these 2 console die.
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January 8, 2013 4:19:53 AM

TomfreakMake sure the spec is exceed PS4/Xbox 720. And steam box spec get updated every 1-2years. I so want these 2 console die.

The only thing that would die with that is Valve, the console market is VERY price sensitive so the box has to be very cheap and last a long time. upgrades every 1-2 years would be instant death, the box would need to be sub $400 and last a minimum of 4-5 years to be able to even begin to compete and get developer support.
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January 8, 2013 4:31:45 AM

3BallVery interested in seeing how this helps Linux with gaming compatibility. Will be watching this closely.

Valve does everything right , don't worry
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January 8, 2013 4:42:30 AM

I wonder if the Steam box is using a Valve-modified Linux distro, OR if it's using a specific version of Ubuntu? If it's using Ubuntu, this would be great. It would hopefully mean a lot better driver support, for whatever hardware the Steam box will be using. I wonder who's their primary allies, Intel AMD or Nvidia?
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January 8, 2013 5:08:51 AM

chimera201Valve does everything right , don't worry


Ever played TF2 in the last 3 years?
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January 8, 2013 5:09:05 AM

And what GAMES will it run?

How can you justify a games console that runs only a FEW games? (Linux ports)

Unless they magically make MOST games work it's dumb (and WINE has been trying to do that for years). Again, dumb, dumb, dumb...
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January 8, 2013 5:23:37 AM

knowomHonestly I think a lot of that is probably just due to the fact people are much more familiarized and user savvy when it comes to Windows. I blame workplaces and school systems for not teaching kids how to operate Linux the same way they do for Mac and Windows.I imagine adoption rates would probably skyrocket if that were to happen because it would no longer seem so foreign and since a broader user base would understand how it works there would be a lot less self learning involved as well when you do need help with something.

But console/terminal is going a step backwards.... Every time I was *forced* to do something in terminal on Ubuntu/Mint I kept feeling like "Ugh.. is this 1985?"
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January 8, 2013 5:29:44 AM

photonboy said:
And what GAMES will it run?

How can you justify a games console that runs only a FEW games? (Linux ports)

Unless they magically make MOST games work it's dumb (and WINE has been trying to do that for years). Again, dumb, dumb, dumb...
\

Uhm, if they're building this thing, don't you think they would take a little more time to make sure that their games, at least, work, perfectly again? You know, like Half Life 2, the game that put PC gaming back on the map?

madjimms said:
But console/terminal is going a step backwards.... Every time I was *forced* to do something in terminal on Ubuntu/Mint I kept feeling like "Ugh.. is this 1985?"
There's a reason it stuck around, though - yes it's got a learning curve, but it's faster than navigating a complicated GUI. What I imagine Valve would do is create a UI, however, that's similar to Steam. That way the base users aren't lost, and it keeps them from modifying things they shouldn't - while making sure the power users will be able to tinker.

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Anonymous
January 8, 2013 6:05:12 AM

I think this may help me move to linux in a couple of years, probably when I get a new PC
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January 8, 2013 6:25:38 AM

i like linux, i liked HL1 but i didn't like HL2 or any of the source games it spawned. The feel of the games was always a bit dare i say consoley? Now with the news of the steam box it all makes sense!

i would like to see Gabe vs Linus in sort of HL DM.
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January 8, 2013 6:35:45 AM

gravewaxThe only thing that would die with that is Valve, the console market is VERY price sensitive so the box has to be very cheap and last a long time. upgrades every 1-2 years would be instant death, the box would need to be sub $400 and last a minimum of 4-5 years to be able to even begin to compete and get developer support.
With backward compatibility across at 3 generation ie steambox no3. could run steambox 1 games, that wouldnt be any trouble
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January 8, 2013 6:43:59 AM

The biggest problem for Linux gaming is: Microsoft DirectX. According to game devs it's superior to OpenGL. On top of it, Linux market at the moment being 1-3% vs the rest being windows, doesn't really stimulate Linux compatible gaming.

Now, with SteamBox, it really depends on what they are up to. If Valve will head towards standardization, graphic engines that support Linux, I'm very excited.

But if they choose to go M$/Sony way with "yet another console", ouch.
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January 8, 2013 7:34:36 AM

TomfreakWith backward compatibility across at 3 generation ie steambox no3. could run steambox 1 games, that wouldnt be any trouble

OF course it would be trouble, the reason consoles are so attractive to studios is the fixed target, they know if it works on one ps3 fine then it will work on all ps3's, if it works on one 360 then it will work on all, this gives them an exact spec and performance to target for every single player. once you start fragmenting the user base with differing hardware levels you are back to PC type gaming which means either forced upgrade cycles or the new upgraded console getting no support as all the games are targeting the lowest common denominator.
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January 8, 2013 8:08:06 AM

Was somewhere reading that Valve have created translation from DirectX11 to OpenGL and that it works very well, but I am more intrested to see, what will Microsoft do about it, can't they sue someone for doing it?
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January 8, 2013 8:21:37 AM

If only they could make something that makes all the know-nothing console users appreciate, accept, and drool over the PC as the pre-eminant gaming platform. Very simple, just include the "low, med, high" or just low and high, setting somewhere on the console menu, locked into "low" with a message saying for high they need a PC. Or even plugging it into a PC after the console and boom, it plays the same game at PC settings.

Yeah, I'm dreaming. Oh well.
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January 8, 2013 8:21:49 AM

buckcmEver played TF2 in the last 3 years?

I wouldn't say what they're doing with TF2 is right, but it's not wrong either.

Crash, bug and balance fixes are always welcome, but Valve is making too much money off of microtransactions to care about that. That's the part I mind.

All things considered, TF2 is still incredibly fun and not pay to win.
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January 8, 2013 8:25:58 AM

I think the steambox will allow certain upgrades. mainly The gpu and hdd's.

From a GPU pov i'd imagine Valve will sign a deal with AMD or Nvidia and a propriety connection will be used or some sort of firmware code which will only allow Valve authorized GPUs to be used in conjunction with the mobo. This will be handy for the devs as they'll be able to code for both base spec and high spec steambox's.

the question is though will they go mobile or desktop components. My money is on mobile to keep the box smaller and more living room friendly....think Mac Mini.
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January 8, 2013 8:49:43 AM

It is time for Windows to die especially after Windows 8 release which is an insult for IQ.
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January 8, 2013 9:44:50 AM

gravewaxOF course it would be trouble, the reason consoles are so attractive to studios is the fixed target, they know if it works on one ps3 fine then it will work on all ps3's, if it works on one 360 then it will work on all, this gives them an exact spec and performance to target for every single player. once you start fragmenting the user base with differing hardware levels you are back to PC type gaming which means either forced upgrade cycles or the new upgraded console getting no support as all the games are targeting the lowest common denominator.


On consoles the devs get away with things like blurry textures, low polygon, poor shading ect as the system can't handle more anyway. A gaming grade PC have about 10x stronger 3d performance (up to 15x if your in the higher end) than the xbox 360 and that makes it harder to get away with the gfx wise poor console quality - THAT is why the developers love the current consoler - Make a by PC standards poor gfx game and still get loved and it sell well!

Take for instance the unreal engine that many game developers choose, it have support for insane scaling without too much hassle but do they use it? Nah, they take the lazy path of the consoles. So the argument about scaling is way weaker than the argument of laziness/profit.
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January 8, 2013 9:47:47 AM

Windows 8 isn't any worse than Windows 7 for gaming. I'm starting to believe that Gaben holds some terrible grudge against MS from his days spent there.
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January 8, 2013 10:30:13 AM

twelch82The biggest issue with Linux still is that there are no distros that are really friendly to end users. Somebody needs to make one where you never really need to go to the command prompt in order to do any common task that needs to be done in Linux. Then it can be considered ready for prime time.


Look at Zorin Linux OS. You dont actually need to go to the command prompt.
The only reason enthusiasts often use the terminal is the same reason they hate Windows 8. Things can be done much faster with a keyboard only (with shortcuts and such) compared to people who need to stop and move a cursor or finger to the correct position before executing a command. Its no step backwards, and in fact, when you improve in your use of the computer, its a step forward.
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January 8, 2013 11:15:07 AM

rantocOn consoles the devs get away with things like blurry textures, low polygon, poor shading ect as the system can't handle more anyway. A gaming grade PC have about 10x stronger 3d performance (up to 15x if your in the higher end) than the xbox 360 and that makes it harder to get away with the gfx wise poor console quality - THAT is why the developers love the current consoler - Make a by PC standards poor gfx game and still get loved and it sell well!Take for instance the unreal engine that many game developers choose, it have support for insane scaling without too much hassle but do they use it? Nah, they take the lazy path of the consoles. So the argument about scaling is way weaker than the argument of laziness/profit.



Yes PC is much much stronger, BUT that is only because our consoles are here for way too long time, they should have died in like 2010. But main reason of consoles is that they are fixed, one system for all, you make for xbox 360 1 game, you can run it on every xbox 360. Now if you get modular console, people will be forced to buy constant upgrades just to run new game and that will make nightmare for devs because they will have to create game for x100 diferent specs, else they will loose lot of customers, who will refuse to upgrade.

And, I would like to see what hardware do such sized box has, does it even have decent GPU?
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January 8, 2013 11:40:43 AM

What about existing Steam user's large collection of games? 99% depend on DirectX

What about the API? How is this to be addressed? DirectX and Nvidia and ATI. Nvidia historically has not been as forthcoming with driver support for the Linux community.

What about this DX11 to OpenGL thing? Will this have the same performance? Whill this API be complete will full ATI and Nvidia driver support and be 100% compatible with my entire Steam game collection (187 titles)?

Don't get me wrong, I am all for Linux succeeding on this front, but I think Windows just has to strong a foothold. I hope I am wrong.

Skyrim for linux? Nexusmod for linux? Farcry 3, The Witcher 2, Borderlands 2, Dota2, LOL, Guild Wars 2... I haven't played with Wine in a while, but will this be part of Valve's solution? And maybe tested automatic profiles built-into-the-Steam-client for many of the games out there? Maybe a hybrid of the DX11-OGL and Wine config manager?

The best thing I like about Linux is that if you need it to do something you can just build and compile it or look for someone who has where as in Windows, it's more like, there's nothing you can do about that, it ends at this DLL's call.
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January 8, 2013 11:44:09 AM

christarpA steam box is possibly the dumbest idea i've ever heard of. Dear lord what are you doing valve?


That's because you lack vision. Steam which was the first is the most successful digital distribution service to date and you aren't the least bit curious to see if they can pull of their own console. Especially after Sony pulled that patent crap with one disk per owner crap. Get with the program dude, this is innovation.
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January 8, 2013 12:02:58 PM

doesn't the success of the Steam system as a console/terminal depend on it
doing something DIFFERENT - NEW ?
how about a mesh WiFi router base to the gaming network.
you'd connect locally via WiFi as far as the signal goes to
play with your bros and buds without needing an ISP connect.
no bandwidth cap issues
no ISP censorship
no government black box snooping.
i think it has a lot of appeal under the game level and makes
the product unique in many ways.
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!