Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Valve CEO Gabe Newell Teases Linux Steam Box

By - Source: via TechCrunch | B 41 comments

Valve CEO Gabe Newell has said that Linux is the future of gaming. Newell was speaking at LinuxCon, a Linux event run by the Linux Foundation and sponsored by Intel, IBM, Citrix, Qualcomm, Samsung, LSI, HP, and Suse as a keynote speaker and discussed the topic of Linux and gaming. A prominent figure in the PC gaming industry, Newell's company, Valve, released its Steam for Linux client in February of this year.

"It feels a bit funny coming here and telling you guys that Linux and open source are the future of gaming," Newell began. "Sort of like going to Rome and teaching Catholicism to the pope so bear with me," he added.

Perhaps more interestingly, though, Gabe went on to hint that the company would soon talk more about the opportunities for bringing Linux to the living room. He said we could expect to hear more about those plans next week.

"Actually next week we're going to be rolling out more information about how we get there and what are the hardware opportunities that we see for bringing Linux into the living room, and potentially pointing further down the road to how we can get it even more unified in mobile," he told attendees. 

The Steam Box was rumored to be Xi3 Corp's Piston machine, which we checked out at CES last January. However, Newell has since said Valve plans to offer a number of Steam Boxes, and even told the BBC in March that Steam Box prototypes would be available for testing within four months.
The summer has been here and gone, and we haven't seen any hardware. Will that change next week? Let's hope so!

Follow Jane McEntegart @JaneMcEntegart. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Discuss
Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the News comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

This thread is closed for comments
  • -2 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 18, 2013 4:13 AM
    VVVVVVVVVVVVAPOUWAREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 6 Hide
    toddybody , September 18, 2013 4:24 AM
    Gaming is the ONLY thing keeping me tethered to Windows. I would be over the moon to give MS the finger and move towards a more secure, open standard OS.
  • 0 Hide
    knightmike , September 18, 2013 4:29 AM
    Game Newell huh? Why not?
  • Display all 41 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    damianrobertjones , September 18, 2013 5:25 AM
    "Valve CEO Gabe Newell has said that Linux is the future of gaming" - Did he announce this before he knew about the Windows 8 store or after? Oh yeah, after. It's funny as Windows has been his cake and he's obviously annoyed at MS.

    P.s. @toddybody: "I would be over the moon to give MS the finger and move towards a more secure, open standard OS. " - I bet you're running Windows as full administrator. I'm amused when people complain about windows not being secure you run it WIDE open. Please, please, run as a standard user and see how safe it is!
  • 0 Hide
    Murissokah , September 18, 2013 5:32 AM
    While this is something to look foward to, one has to wonder how much of it is actually true. If you work for the largest gaming distribution company and that company is trying to expand into Linux, it is expected that you should create some fuss about it.

    Don't get me wrong, Linux gaming would be heaven, but we have to be realistic and keep in mind that current major game engines work with proprietary Microsoft libraries and even hardware manufacturers design video cards for them. It would require a complete change in scenario.

    Anyway, a slap in Microsoft's face is welcome, they need to get out of the comfort zone and realise they can't take their main business for granted.
  • 0 Hide
    Narrator , September 18, 2013 5:33 AM
    I have always been open to see new operating systems enter the fray. I currently use windows 8 and I dont have many complaints. However, I would not mind giving another OS a try, Especially when it comes to gamng.

    With that being Said, Make room for the Fanboys cause this might get ugly!!!
  • 0 Hide
    Lutfij , September 18, 2013 5:39 AM
    Yeah the article's great...with Game Newell. I had a good laugh at the horrendous proof reading going on.
  • -1 Hide
    Cy-Kill , September 18, 2013 5:46 AM
    Oh my, would you look at that, Tom's finally putting out an article around the same time as everyone else, instead of days up to a week later!
  • 0 Hide
    Narrator , September 18, 2013 6:04 AM
    Quote:
    Ultimately, Steam Box will be an utter failure...just like Chromebook was a failure. An "open source" operating system sounds exciting and supposedly promises so many things. LINUX is very powerful, I will admit that. However, it takes much more than just having a no cost powerful OS to drive things. Ultimately, a company needs to provide 100% reliable support. 3rd party driver updates are also always an issue. Less than 1% of all PC gamers use LINUX, so no, Steam Box is not the answer - even as a dedicated gaming console. I would like to see Steam eat their shoe; go ahead STEAM - drop PC and support only LINUX gaming systems and we'll see just how long your company survives when you lose 99% of your profit overnight... That's right. It isn't going to happen. Steam will suck it up and continue to do what they have been doing, and have been doing very well - providing an excellent and reliable WINDOWS OPERATING SYSTEM GAMING PLATFORM. Nuff said!


    I did not see where they mentioned dropping Windows, or did I miss something? Anyway, that of course would be a very bad choice. I think they are just trying to "put their eggs in more than one basket".

  • 1 Hide
    IAmVortigaunt , September 18, 2013 6:41 AM
    "Anyway, a slap in Microsoft's face is welcome, they need to get out of the comfort zone and realise they can't take their main business for granted. "

    Let me tell you, PC gamers are not their main business...
  • 0 Hide
    Philippe Leblanc , September 18, 2013 7:17 AM
    I'm really excited about this. I've always said that Linux would make an excellent platform for gaming and to see a company like Valve push this is fantastic. I think a lot of the skeptics about linux probably think of nexuiz or xonotic as the popular games on this platform and since those games look pretty dated, they feel Linux can't provide a cutting edge experience.

    Two problems have hindered cutting edge gaming on Linux: most advanced games rely on directx for one, and second graphics driver support. In this day and age, these problems have pretty much been adressed. Both amd and nvidia have good driver support for linux and if big players like valve throw their weight around, it will get even better. And directx can largely be replaced by opengl. Directx has a few features over opengl, but for the most part you can make some incredible looking games that are probably indistinguishable in quality from their directx counterparts if you use all of opengl's capabilities.

    For the most part, Linux can be lighter than windows in ressources, and that means more ressources can be dedicated to running games at higher performance. It's win-win situation for all.
  • 0 Hide
    vir_cotto , September 18, 2013 7:23 AM
    Excellent I hope this is true! The main reason I run windows is for gaming.
  • 1 Hide
    stevejnb , September 18, 2013 7:26 AM
    Meh, what ever happened to the days when we used to get excited about Valve actually making games rather than getting excited about their next exploit as digital game pimps?
  • 0 Hide
    JD88 , September 18, 2013 7:45 AM
    No one said anything about dropping PC support.

    Gabe just knows Windows is quickly losing the "it and it only" factor." I don't know how many people (including myself) have dropped Windows for everything other than for gaming. Ubuntu on the desktop and Chrome OS for on the road for a year and a half haven't looked back since.

    A large chunk of China will eventually change to Linux as their government is advocating for a change away from Microsoft. At this point, all Microsoft can hope for is to maintain a decent chunk of market share through enterprise and services just like they are smartly transitioning into. Their days as the only OS in town have come and gone. They only accelerated that process with Win 8.

    I'm not sure how Chrome OS is a failure. If I'm not mistaken, just about every OEM announced a new Chromebook just last week. Compared to how many Windows RT releases?

    Having said that, Windows has treated me fairly well (cant say the same for all MS products) over the years. I don't wish them any ill will, but it's just the changing of the times. There's just no need for a big overbloated OS like that in the mainstream consumer world.



  • 0 Hide
    vmem , September 18, 2013 7:51 AM
    Quote:
    Gaming is the ONLY thing keeping me tethered to Windows. I would be over the moon to give MS the finger and move towards a more secure, open standard OS.


    only problem with that is only a small fraction of the gamer community (like us here on Tom's) feel comfortable about using Linux. yeah yeah, I know it's nothing too different or complicated, but a large portion of game sales go to people that'd rather not change their OS. Of course, steam has a lot of data on their user-base, so I guess if Gabe feels like he can move the majority of his customers to Linux, then power to him.

    However, let's be realistic, the various hardware companies already have hiccups keeping up with Windows updates and what not. do we think they'll really spend money on supporting all Linux distros? NO!. the only way for this to work is if Steam made their own gaming oriented OS based on Linux. now I can already see enthusiasts complaining about security, privacy, limited freedom, yada yada yada, about this approach lol
  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , September 18, 2013 8:02 AM
    Quote:
    Ubuntu on the desktop and Chrome OS for on the road for a year and a half haven't looked back since.


    Actually, I've been curious about something for a while but haven't been willing to take the time to jump in and test it out. A few years ago prior to Skydrive really coming into its own I tried Google docs and generally liked it but eventually stopped using it because of one major factor - the inability to edit .doc files and save as .doc files to Google docs. I was happy enough to use gdocs myself but it became a colossal pain trying to do the format shuffle sending documents to people who were MS Office users. Have they added an ability to use actual .doc files in Google documents yet, or are you still more or less tied to the gdoc format?
  • 0 Hide
    boogalooelectric , September 18, 2013 8:15 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Gaming is the ONLY thing keeping me tethered to Windows. I would be over the moon to give MS the finger and move towards a more secure, open standard OS.


    only problem with that is only a small fraction of the gamer community (like us here on Tom's) feel comfortable about using Linux. yeah yeah, I know it's nothing too different or complicated, but a large portion of game sales go to people that'd rather not change their OS. Of course, steam has a lot of data on their user-base, so I guess if Gabe feels like he can move the majority of his customers to Linux, then power to him.


    Actually if people are forced to use Linux they can and will, even the noobiest of noobs will. Case in point my wife works for a doctor who hates Microsoft and has complained about them for years. He finally had enough I guess because when two of the other women who work in his office had systems crash (some blue screen apparently) he reloaded them with Ubuntu, since the applications they use are primarily web based. And aside from a little moaning from the women who are using these systems, they are working just great and they are getting their work done.

    No this isn't gaming, but it proves that even the noob women who know basically how to turn a computer on and thats about it can learn to use linux.
  • 0 Hide
    JD88 , September 18, 2013 8:25 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Ubuntu on the desktop and Chrome OS for on the road for a year and a half haven't looked back since.


    Actually, I've been curious about something for a while but haven't been willing to take the time to jump in and test it out. A few years ago prior to Skydrive really coming into its own I tried Google docs and generally liked it but eventually stopped using it because of one major factor - the inability to edit .doc files and save as .doc files to Google docs. I was happy enough to use gdocs myself but it became a colossal pain trying to do the format shuffle sending documents to people who were MS Office users. Have they added an ability to use actual .doc files in Google documents yet, or are you still more or less tied to the gdoc format?


    It's something Google has been working on since they purchased Quick Office. Currently, a Chromebook is able to do this. I can open a .doc or .docx directly from my drive and it opens into an editor mode. Press save and it saves it. No conversion necessary. This ability is not yet present on any other platform that I am aware of. It might be somehow available in the flags of Chrome beta version I'm not sure. I tested it using some documents that had heavy formatting from MS word such as tables, heading adjustments, color adjustments, etc. They compatibility was impressive. It all looked about the same from what I could tell. Sometimes that stuff gets lost when using the conversion method. I typically just type everything in a new Google Doc but sometimes someone sends me a .docx that needs to be edited slightly and for that it comes in handy. My understanding is that Google plans to implement this into all forms of Docs in the near future.
  • 0 Hide
    JoseRIII_Ace , September 18, 2013 8:44 AM
    Quote:

    do we think they'll really spend money on supporting all Linux distros? NO!.


    Wat.
    Most Distros are POSIX Compliant
    The Linux Standard base exists for this very reason of distro compatibility.
    The File Hierarchy Standard exists.
    Or if you're really that insistent, a .run binary can pretty much run off of any distro.

    Not supporting Distros=/=cannot play steam games. A mere 5 minutes on Youtube and you can see that Gentoo, Slackware, Arch, Fedora, EVEN FreeBSD(Which is not even Linux) have steam clients(and games) running, despite the fact that none are "officially" supported. The whole point of community effort.
  • 0 Hide
    lpedraja2002 , September 18, 2013 9:02 AM
    The only teasing I want to hear from Gabe is Half-Life 3.
Display more comments