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Nvidia Played a Part in SteamOS Development

By - Source: Nvidia | B 31 comments

Nvidia helped Valve Software port its library of games over to SteamOS, reduce controller latency and more.

Nvidia posted a new blog on Wednesday talking about Valve Software's invasion of the living room. The update wasn't the streaming tech announcement the supposed Valve employee claimed would be released during AMD's event in Hawaii, but rather shows how enthusiastic the company is over the Steam Machines initiative and the company's involvement in the SteamOS development process.

"Engineers from Valve and Nvidia have spent a lot of time collaborating on a common goal for SteamOS," writes Nvidia's Mark Smith. "To deliver an open-platform gaming experience with superior performance and uncompromising visuals directly on the big screen."

He said that Nvidia engineers embedded at Valve Software collaborated on improving driver performance for OpenGL and optimizing performance on Nvidia GPUs. He pointed to Nvidia's launch of the GeForce R310 drivers for Linux back in November 2012 that doubled the performance and reduced loading times for Linux-based games running on GeForce GTX 600 Series GPUs and lower, and Valve's Steam client.

He also pointed to this PDF, stating that Nvidia helped Valve port its content library to SteamOS. This 90 page document covers topics like why port to Linux in the first place, the problems of moving from Windows to Linux, using different types of OpenGL, and so on. Nvidia also helped Valve tune SteamOS to lower latencies between the controller and on-screen action.

"The collaboration makes sense as both companies strongly believe in the importance of open-platform innovation, and both companies are committed to providing gamers with a cutting-edge visual experience," Smith said.

SteamOS was announced on Monday, a new Linux-based operating system specifically tuned for gaming machines. The OS will be free to download and use, and can be installed on any x86 system. SteamOS will also be the default platform for Steam Machines provided by hardware partners, but like any PC, owners will have the freedom to install whatever operating system they want.

"SteamOS is built around the already familiar Steam and is a version of Linux," he said. "But it's enhanced for gaming — and for gaming on the big screen in particular. Combined with the fact they're giving it away to users, and hardware providers, for free, SteamOS has the potential to usher in a new era for gaming in the living room."

"This means that anyone can build hardware and software for use in the living room, on an operating system designed to be lightweight, extensible and optimized for gaming. Suffice to say, we here at NVIDIA are very excited!" he added.

The final piece of the Valve puzzle will be revealed on Friday. We already know what that will be, and it's not Source 2 as the supposed Valve employee suggested.

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  • 10 Hide
    Nilo BP , September 25, 2013 7:36 PM
    This is a bit puzzling. AMD is listed on the Steam store page as one of their "partners". Either Nvidia is pulling a stunt, or partnership ain't all it's cracked up to be.
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    meowmix44 , September 25, 2013 7:19 PM
    noooooooooooo! Its gonna ruin it fo rAMD cards :(  NVIDIA has some tricks up their sleeve!
  • 7 Hide
    clutchc , September 25, 2013 7:21 PM
    I doubt it will ruin anything for AMD card users. $team has no desire to ruin their experience for anybody.
  • 5 Hide
    Darkk , September 25, 2013 7:23 PM
    Video performance in linux always behind other OS. Glad to see Nvidia stepping in to help address that. Going to guess in exchange for that kind of help for Steam is advertisement on the platform. I wonder if ATI-AMD will do the same?

    I love ATI cards but linux video drivers always give me stability issues. I've heard it's the same issue for both companies.
  • 10 Hide
    Nilo BP , September 25, 2013 7:36 PM
    This is a bit puzzling. AMD is listed on the Steam store page as one of their "partners". Either Nvidia is pulling a stunt, or partnership ain't all it's cracked up to be.
  • 1 Hide
    Grandmastersexsay , September 25, 2013 7:37 PM
    "To deliver an open-platform gaming experience with superior performance and uncompromising visuals directly on the big screen."

    Open-platform? Like a PC, but less open.
  • 2 Hide
    lpedraja2002 , September 25, 2013 7:53 PM
    Haha love the last bit in the article:
    "The final piece of the Valve puzzle will be revealed on Friday. We already know what that will be, and it's not Source 2 as the supposed Valve employee suggested."

    Good to know but still the second announcement on the leak turned out to be true. Valve made 3 announcements, revealed every 3 days, on the 9th month of the year 2013 and 9/3 = 3 so If the last announcement isn't half-life 3 they are worse trolls than EA.
  • 6 Hide
    sykozis , September 25, 2013 8:01 PM
    NVidia believes in "the importance of open-platform innovation"....yet they don't really believe in open source or open standards. If NVidia actually believed in open-platform innovation, PhysX wouldn't require CUDA, but instead would be OpenCL based.
  • 2 Hide
    wiinippongamer , September 25, 2013 8:45 PM
    AMD driver support is a joke outside of windows. Nvidia's has much better linux drivers and also BSD/Solaris drivers for years; so It's fair to say they support the advancement of open OSs
  • 2 Hide
    fonzy , September 25, 2013 8:46 PM
    "The final piece of the Valve puzzle will be revealed on Friday. We already know what that will be, and it's not Source 2 as the supposed Valve employee suggested."

    If you already know then why don't you just tell us!
  • 2 Hide
    smeezekitty , September 25, 2013 8:53 PM
    Quote:

    AMD driver support is a joke outside of windows. Nvidia's has much better linux drivers and also BSD/Solaris drivers for years; so It's fair to say they support the advancement of open OSs

    BOTH have garbage support in Linux.
  • -1 Hide
    cityuser , September 25, 2013 8:58 PM
    bad to amd again, nvidia must impose some bad micro code inside the OS so that the performance of AMD component fall behind.
    before nvidia enter the industry, such bad behavior did not occur.
  • -4 Hide
    DiaSin , September 25, 2013 9:24 PM
    Unless someone manages to hack DirectX into SteamOS I will not bother. Not having DX means I would not be able to play 90%+ of the games I have on steam. I will not install an OS that locks me out of 100+ of my games.
  • -3 Hide
    bryonhowley , September 25, 2013 10:27 PM
    Unless SteamOS can play every one of my 300 Steam games then it will not be for me. The last time I tried Linux Steam I had something like 6 games out of over 250 that could be installed. Even OS X had only 66 but that is atleast better than Linux.

    When my games can be played on Linux with out the use of Wine I might give it a try but until then it is of no use. I wish they would get Half-Life Episode 3 out instead of this crap.
  • 2 Hide
    icemunk , September 26, 2013 3:36 AM
    Nvidia's trying to get in on this one, since AMD owns the console market right now.
  • 1 Hide
    cemerian , September 26, 2013 3:41 AM
    Quote:
    Video performance in linux always behind other OS. Glad to see Nvidia stepping in to help address that. Going to guess in exchange for that kind of help for Steam is advertisement on the platform. I wonder if ATI-AMD will do the same?

    I love ATI cards but linux video drivers always give me stability issues. I've heard it's the same issue for both companies.

    No, its mostly runs great on nvidia cards(they have been supporting linux a lot), while amd dont have any working drivers for most linux builds, a firend is in coding and programming he was working with blender on linux and just because he bought ati card he could no longer do it in linux and he had to instal it on windows
  • 2 Hide
    Bill Reinhardt , September 26, 2013 5:27 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Video performance in linux always behind other OS. Glad to see Nvidia stepping in to help address that. Going to guess in exchange for that kind of help for Steam is advertisement on the platform. I wonder if ATI-AMD will do the same?

    I love ATI cards but linux video drivers always give me stability issues. I've heard it's the same issue for both companies.

    No, its mostly runs great on nvidia cards(they have been supporting linux a lot), while amd dont have any working drivers for most linux builds, a firend is in coding and programming he was working with blender on linux and just because he bought ati card he could no longer do it in linux and he had to instal it on windows


    http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/18/linus-torvalds-nvidia-linux/
  • 0 Hide
    vir_cotto , September 26, 2013 7:23 AM
    My PC is ready.
  • 2 Hide
    heero yuy , September 26, 2013 8:42 AM
    oh NVidia is doing things to do with Linux now valve is pushing it?
    what a surprise...
    lets hope they don't put something in it to screw with AMD users because I wouldn't put it past NVidia to do something like that
  • 0 Hide
    BulkZerker , September 26, 2013 9:45 AM
    "This means that anyone can build hardware and software for use in the living room, on an operating system designed to be lightweight, extensible and optimized for gaming. Suffice to say, we here at NVIDIA are very excited! Cause we screwed the pooch with Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony!"
  • 0 Hide
    ddpruitt , September 26, 2013 9:48 AM
    As someone who has to deal with Linux drivers on a variety machines I can say say with some certainty about the evolution of the drivers. nVidia started with good drivers early and for the last few years has had garbage driver support for Linux. The situation only improved once they started developing the SteamBox. AMD's started off horribly but has over the last few years AMD's had decent support but it's always behind the Windows versions. My guess is that nVidia has done all that they're going to do to keep they're Linux drivers up to date.

    The major complaint people have is that nVidia opensources more of their driver code than AMD, that doesn't have anything to do with the quality of the code.
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