SteamOS Uses Nvidia's Streaming Tech; Ref Design on Weds

A supposed Valve Software employee has jumped on popular site 4chan to spill the beans on what the company plans to reveal on Wednesday and Friday. Posting only as Anonymous, he also discusses why Valve chose to use Linux as the foundation, dishes out a few insults towards Microsoft, and talks about the platform's streaming feature. But take all of this with a grain of salt: it's easy to write fiction while under the anonymous umbrella.

For starters, as expected, Valve will supposedly reveal a reference design on Wednesday, not a complete out-of-the-box console. This design will be highly upgradable by the end user to that customers aren't locked into one hardware set for a near decade. Xi3 Corp could still be one of these partners, and maybe even Zotac and a few other barebones Mini PC providers, but the unnamed source indicates that the ideal form factor may not be quite that small.

"It will support all hardware. All CPUs, all GPUs -- from three generations ago at the oldest for Nvidia, two for AMD and all going forward," the unnamed employee claims. "The release design, however, will have a Nvidia GPU and an AMD CPU. It will use regular PC parts, however, there will be a certification program. We have to guarantee some sort of baseline performance – if there's analog out, then the audio must not crackle, PSUs that are small won't burn your house down, small cases without retarded branding, low latency wireless networking, etc. You are free to build an 800 pound glowing monstrosity if you wish, and it'll work, but that's not really what we want you to do. There will also be prebuilt and bundled solutions."

So that's part two of the reveal: a certification program for hardware builders looking to provide full solutions, and a reference design for the ideal "Steam Box". As revealed on Monday, Valve is also releasing the SteamOS platform not only for Valve partners for creating a complete package, but for PC gamers wanting to build their own Steam Box. He said that the reference design doesn't use Intel because the company wanted to be paid for its involvement while Valve in turn would be marketing Intel's hardware for free.

"[Nvidia] reached out to us and have been extremely cooperative," the employee said. "They even let us use their streaming tech – the one they showcase on the Shield (which is getting Steam integration, btw, as are all Tegra devices), even though we told them it would have to work on AMD cards. If you were wondering what Nvidia was unveiling soon that wasn't a video card, this is it. They're the first choice for Steam Box hardware. (We even set it up so that it rains on AMD's video card announcement, kek). Expect extremely good Linux drivers from them over the next few months. AMD is… hesitant to comment."

That's it for Wednesday. On Friday Valve will not reveal new Steam peripherals, but the Source 2 game engine. The employee said it won't have a line of DirectX in it (meaning it presumably supports only OpenGL), but will work on Linux, Windows and OS X – possibly even the PlayStation 4 in the future. There will also be a game possibly using this engine that will be bundled with Nvidia cards and redeemed on Steam Boxes.

The update also goes into how Linux is faster than a Windows platform, and how Microsoft is extremely lazy and greedy. We've already heard Gabe Newell thrash the Windows 8 platform, so it's no surprise hearing similar talk from supposed employees. Windows is the real cancer killing PC gaming, not consoles, he claims.

Naturally take all of the new Valve talk as simply rumor until Valve dishes out the official news on Wednesday and Friday. Cross your fingers the new Source 2 game is Half-Life 3!

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  • rolli59
    Anxiously waiting!
  • Amdlova
    We've already heard Gabe Newell thrash the Windows 8 platform, so it's no surprise hearing similar talk from supposed employees. Windows is the real cancer killing PC gaming, not consoles, he claims. (SO TRUE)
  • Teeroy32
    Give me Half Life 3 already, take my damn money, can't wait for Steam OS, makes me Glad I have an AMD cpu and an Nvidia card now( I know AMD will work too but I've had troubles installing Linux on an AMD gpu and BSOD from radeon driver updates just last year and I only use stable drivers), especially how games are starting to progress and use all 6 of my cpu cores, plus games will be coded for AMD chps in the next gen consoles it should only get better.
  • back_by_demand
    MS has not prevented anyone from releasing a game for Windows, unless it was a game made by them, if you want to shout a somebody for not releasing GTA V on PC (for example) you should direct your anger at Rockstar. You can argue the technical benefits of DX and OpenGL all day, but neither has prevented anyone from releasing games and seeing as Steam is the defacto PC gaming platform the only reason I see Valve knee jerk reacting is the assumption that Marketplace will supplant Steam as a games shop - Gabe really should calm down because it is making the natives nervous
  • CaptainTom
    This is interesting that AMD is "Hesitant" to support the SteamBox, and yet it is using an AMD CPU. Either way everyone wins since AMD GPU's will be able to stream!
  • Teeroy32
    Sorry double post some how, first time I've had this glitch.
  • JD88
    I'm not sure why because this is definitely a long shot by Valve, but this thing reeks of win.

    They need to secure a major hardware partner to really push it over the edge though. Someone like Asus perhaps who has the distribution power to make sure those cool reference boxes are sitting on shelves at Game Stop, Wal-Mart, and Best Buy right next to the xfail one and PS4.
  • godfather666
    What he says seems plausible... but then again, no real proof to convince us that he's a real Valve employee.
  • lpedraja2002
    Oh my god, if this turns out to be false I don't know if my nerves will take it. Seriously if this is false then Valve is an official troller for not saying anything about Half-Life 3. Oh pleas be true!!!!
  • Blessedman
    Of course windows is the cancer killing PC gaming. Why do they want competition from themselves? Why give a free platform to develop and release on when there is a TON of money to be made on the console side of things. So in the right perspective, the consoles/phones/tablets are driving M$ to kill the PC as we know it. I just think Ballmer and the M$ machine are too greedy to get what they should have been doing all along... GIVE the OS away for free and lock down development and charge a distribution/activation fee. Which is now what they are trying to do but it's killing the platform because you can't expect a good reaction from taking away free heroin from an addict!