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Valve Confirms Linux-based Steam Box

By - Source: NeoGAF | B 61 comments

Steam Box is coming... and will be Linux-based.

Gabe Newell's already expressed his less-than-positive sentiments on the Windows 8 ecosystem. So it's really not much of a surprise that the Steam Box, Valve's own take on the game console, is going to be Linux-based.

According to Valve electronics engineer Ben Krasnow, who hosted a talk at a conference in December, Valve's got quite a few things to reveal in the coming years. Besides confirming the existence of the Steam Box and that it's going to be based on Linux—making it a lot more clear as to why Valve's taken such an interest in Linux recently, such as porting Steam to Ubuntu.

Besides the Steam Box, Krasnow teases that "the hardware lab has some secret projects that will be released in 2013. We have a good gro[u]p of electronic- and mechanics-engineers and we are glad to build some really cool things."

German tech website Golem.de, which attended the conference, speculated that the Steam Box's release could come as early as GDC in March, allowing Valve the benefit of an early announcement before Sony and Microsoft's revealing of Orbis and Durango, respectively. However, a E3 2013 announcement in June is possible as well, though this would mean that Valve would be announcing a console along a slurry of other big news for the gaming industry.

 

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Top Comments
  • 21 Hide
    3Ball , January 7, 2013 11:14 PM
    Very interested in seeing how this helps Linux with gaming compatibility. Will be watching this closely.
  • 15 Hide
    gravewax , January 8, 2013 12:20 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.
  • 13 Hide
    mazty , January 7, 2013 11:09 PM
    Please bring PC gamers a decent wireless pad that doesn't cost a load or take old school AA batteries.
Other Comments
  • 13 Hide
    mazty , January 7, 2013 11:09 PM
    Please bring PC gamers a decent wireless pad that doesn't cost a load or take old school AA batteries.
  • 21 Hide
    3Ball , January 7, 2013 11:14 PM
    Very interested in seeing how this helps Linux with gaming compatibility. Will be watching this closely.
  • 8 Hide
    knowom , January 7, 2013 11:30 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.
  • 10 Hide
    twelch82 , January 7, 2013 11:35 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.
  • 2 Hide
    fonzy , January 7, 2013 11:43 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?
  • 0 Hide
    knowom , January 7, 2013 11:48 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.
  • -2 Hide
    zloginet , January 7, 2013 11:48 PM
    ^^^ Bogus - I would never leave my system to play H3 on a linux based console - unless I had too.
  • 2 Hide
    aggroboy , January 7, 2013 11:53 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?
  • 7 Hide
    CaedenV , January 8, 2013 12:18 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!
  • 15 Hide
    gravewax , January 8, 2013 12:20 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.
  • -5 Hide
    randomizer , January 8, 2013 12:23 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 ;) 
  • 2 Hide
    COLGeek , January 8, 2013 12:34 AM
    The truly has the potential to increase gaming on Linux and taking a chunk (albeit small) out of a Windows dominated PC market.
  • 1 Hide
    sublime2k , January 8, 2013 12:46 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?
  • 2 Hide
    ddpruitt , January 8, 2013 12:48 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.


    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.
  • 5 Hide
    sublime2k , January 8, 2013 12:56 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.
  • 6 Hide
    bpislife , January 8, 2013 1:05 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.
  • 2 Hide
    guardianangel42 , January 8, 2013 1:18 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.
  • 1 Hide
    bustapr , January 8, 2013 1:47 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.
  • -1 Hide
    kinggraves , January 8, 2013 1:54 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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