SteamOS is the First of Valve's Three Big Reveals

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dgrmouse

I'm pleased and relieved that the MaxPC consensus seems to be in line with my own thoughts at this point instead of the Valve fanboyism so dominant everywhere else.

Steam and the other game distribution platforms already take way too many liberties on host systems, and the Steam OS promises to absolutely hand the device over to the game devs and publishers. I'm looking for ways to isolate software developers from my core resources, not bring them deeper in.

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Ashton2091

Interesting point of view. I never thought of it that way.

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Carlidan

I have... steam is just another company just like Microsoft. They might not do it now, but don't think if they could, they wouldn't.

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EKRboi

I have a windows installation solely for gaming. I am ALL for any work that really brings mainstream gaming to Linux. Not wine hacks.. but real native linux gaming. I have toyed with a couple of steams linux games that I have in my steam collection and they have a lot of work to do. I am all for OpenGL but from what I have seen it still cannot hold a candle to the visuals being pushed with DX11/windows. With the lack of available titles on steam/linux my only real testbed is Serious Sam 3 which not only had higher (read: nearly double) framerates with DX/windows, it simply looks better than with OGL/Linux. The sooner they can close this gap the better.

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MageSTYK

With Valve revealing the 'PC Master Race' Super weapon to wage wars. Microsoft and Sony had no choice but to raise the threat level to DEFCON 3.

Wednesday when Valve reveals 'Steam BOX' the threat level will rise to DEFCON 2.
Folks! expect possible announcements from MS & Sony to ease up the Nuclear Tensions, Valve is creating.

However, on Friday. It will be too late for DEFCON 1.
Valve will unleash on them(and to the World) 'Half-Life 3' will be included with SteamBOX.

This Last Shot is the equivalent of a Peter North load to the face.

Too much,Too quick, and Blinding.

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castrator86

You. You win the internet.

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jgottberg

Peter North? Is that a boxer?

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PCLinuxguy

nope. Peter North is an adult film 'star'

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jgottberg

lol, thanks for the clarification... Had no idea but I'll take your word for it. I'm not about to do my due diligence and research it. lol

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PCLinuxguy

I made that "mistake" once a few years back. my then girlfriend stumbled across him and liked what she saw (leaving it at that). needless to say she.. informed me.

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jgottberg

Too funny!! :)

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Obsidian

There are certainly some HUGE hurdles this must overcome.

First; the SteamOS has to be able to play EVERY game on Steam ... E.V.E.R.Y game, no exceptions, no waiting time before it's functional on the specialized OS.

Second; all games will have to work more efficiently than on the Windows 7 platform that most PC gamers use. This shouldn't be horribly difficult, as Linux is more efficient in general. The platform better not be slow.

Third; SteamOS needs outstanding driver support for graphics cards, and input devices. Oculus Rift, game pads, flight sticks, steering wheels, mice, specialized keyboards, multi-monitor displays --- this will be vital to the long-term viability of the platform.

Fourth; A secure web browser.

With these things in place I'd build a system dedicated to this as soon as possible.

Icing on the cake would be support for Netflix, Amazon (movies), DVR functionality and support for TV recording cards, streaming audio server ... and a bunch of other "nice to have" features.

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wumpus

Every game?
I doubt that. More likely all that SteamOS needs to get right is some reasonbly transparent means to boot into SteamOS from windows (and leave all data on the windows filesystem. Note that this will only work for some time before windows 8.2 is released soley to have an incompatible filesystem).

I wouldn't worry about the periphials. I've had more problems over the years trying to install oddball/ancient stuff to windows than Linux. Things might work with windows, but only *one version of windows*. Stuff that works with linux keeps working with linux. Most of the issues with graphics hardware stem around distributions with a "pro-GPL" agenda that don't want the unfree binary blobs contaminating the system. A distribution built around a DRM platform won't have that issue.

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John Pombrio

Boy, not a chance. Linux has woeful support for peripherals, throw another new version on and it will only be worse. About the only computer that will work the new OS will be Valve's own box and probably not much else.

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jbitzer

Linux is platform agnostic. With Steam's push behind it, I don't see the compatibility problems, as Valve doesn't usually half ass things. It says right in the press release that it will be free to use forever, did anyone else read the steam press release?

It will be compatible with all systems, peripherals and systems are completely different, Linux runs on almost everything.

I don't see Valve not getting behind manufacturers to iron out the minor incompatibilities once it launches.

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vrmlbasic

The phrase that you are seeking is "platform independent". "platform agnostic" is not a synonym for "platform independent" and it never will be.

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jgottberg

Seems like a pretty ambitious initiative to me. Since there already seems to be a driver gap for Linux, I would imagine they would need to specify what hardware is "SteamOS Certified" or something to that effect. At that point, a SteamOS PC might as well be a console.

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vrmlbasic

Great. More stratification in the gaming world. The consoles are _finally_ using PC-compatible hardware and now Valve has to throw a wrench into the mix by announcing that they're going to make their own OS, an OS which doesn't look to be DirectX compatible.

How long before Steam only runs on Steam OS?

Does anyone else remember when Valve actually made games? Time for Steam and Valve to go away.

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PCLinuxguy

so if games don't work with DirectX, then all gaming is dead. Wow, real brains you've got there buddy. Incase you've not noticed, Consoles use the OpenGL drivers that Linux uses, with DX being more of a Windows only feature. Heck even the xbox doesn't use it. If they do then it's might be DX5 at best.

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jbitzer

Yeah, right. Steam is keeping PC gaming alive. And L4D 2 isn't that old.

Valve still makes games.

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castrator86

DotA 2?
Alien Swarm?
Portal 2?

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vrmlbasic

Valve either enslaved indie developers who had a quirky idea for those games (eg:portal 1, portal 2) and/or ripped off an existing idea (dota 2). To me, browbeating some indies into giving up their idea for a game and slapping some million-dollar polish on those ideas isn't "making a game".

That's what M$ & Apple are ragged on for doing.

Portal 2 was also based on the ancient Source engine. That's more than half a decade old and it shows.

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jbitzer

Well, enjoy battefield of duty 7 in the new shiny engine that lets you get called racial slurs in stunning HD.

Different strokes I guess.

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Gutter96

I'm kind of excited for this. I have no problems with Windows 8 or 7. They are both fine as far as an OS goes. But the fact is I don't NEED Windows for anything but gaming. I can do all my other stuff on Mac OS or Linux just fine. If Valve can pull this off it will truly be an awesome feat! Imagine an upgradable "console" that has the power of a PC, with a full featured OS, access to Valve's library of games! Color me interested...

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John Pombrio

I don't get it. I run Windows (7 presently, 8 in the next couple of weeks) for my HTPC and use the plain old desktop interface. If I can read the folders text OK, I can run just about anything I want and use USB extension cords for 5.1 headset. Cordless mouse and keyboard.
Movies and music are a folder and a click away and I get use all the codecs.
I can run any game including all of the Steam games by just clicking on them. Why on earth do I need a special Linux OS to do what I can do already plus oh so much more than just Steam?

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Renegade Knight

You don't need it. However there is no Metro version of Steam. That's Microsoft's playground. If in windows 9 they cut off Desktop support then we all have a choice. Enjoy our legacy steam until we upgrade. Then go Windows Gaming, or Steam Gaming.

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JosephColt

There will be a desktop in Windows 9, Windows 10 will be cloud based.

Linux is over-hyped, it's not that good compared to Windows.

Only good point you make is there will be a place to evacuate too with Linux if MS ruins Windows.

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NotYetRated

I could totally use something like this. I presently have a dedicated gaming machine in a spare bedroom, and some small low power machines in other bedrooms and in my living room.

If I could play some of my games in my living room, streamed from my main gaming PC, it would be quite awesome. Especially if latency is a non-issue. Not to mention, the OS is FREE. Windows is not.

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xRadeon

Very good point. I would like to try it out because I don't have a HTPC currently and if I could run this on something very small (if possible a Raspberry Pi, not likely though) it could be very fun.

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Bullwinkle J Moose

Raspberry Pahahahahahahaha

better water cool that bad boy

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Ashton2091

While this is exciting, and I hope it's very successful...I can't help but wonder, how exactly is windows 8 harming pc gaming? I ran windows 8 so that i would know the ends and outs of it to be able to support it for my customers. I gamed on it with no probs. games for windows live is dead (yay)...so...what's the prob? I'm genuinely asking. So if someone can explain that to me, that would be great.

NOTE: Im not saying I love windows 8. The start menu ruined it for me. it's clunky and annoying. I really just want to know.

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Bullwinkle J Moose

It's really for those who don't like paying an extortion fee to be locked into a system that creates it's own bugs just to be forced or herded into a perpetual upgrade cycle that continues to break what we already have just to sell us more crap that keeps us on this same tiring treadmill

Do you enjoy paying for a Government sponsored spyware platform?

Do you enjoy NOT having the ability to lock down your O.S. from outside threats?

Do you enjoy continually purchasing software that you already owned but is no longer compatible with the latest and greatest O.S. from Redmond?

Why not use a free and open source platform ?

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JosephColt

You're an idiot.

You can buy a copy of Windows and it will last you 5-6 years(100 dollars for that to much?) You're never forced.

Creates it's own bugs? Where, Windows 7 and 8 are stable and worked incredibly well.

They don't need an OS to spy on you, they can just access data from your ISP or other places.

Lock it from what, Malware? Only an idiot gets that, I have not had a virus/malware infection in years... you also think Linux won't be targeted?

What...?
There are so many good programs out there for free, you rarely need to buy software. All useful programs are updated and compatible with Windows 7/8. What, you expect to use some old crappy software from 10 years ago?

Why not use a free open source program? Compatibility, stability, support, faster, etc.

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Obsidian

Although it hasn't happened yet; Microsoft's goal is to have all software purchases go through their own storefront, the App Store that is built into Windows 8. This would not allow another storefront like Steam to exist on the platform, or, at the very least would be a built-in competitor to all Windows OS users. M$ wants their cut for EVERY game sold (not unlike Steam).

Microsoft has failed so miserably at "Live Gaming" on the PC that many PC gamers don't believe a single thing coming out of the MS Marketing team. Microsoft has millions to spend on R&D, and more time in the gaming world to come up with a compelling competitor to Steam but they don't, and haven't. They seem quite focused on the XBox platform for that and marginalizing PC gaming pretty heavily.

And about console gaming ...
Take a look to what Microsoft "WOULD" have implemented into the XBox and searches will reveal the horrifying gasps of the gaming community when some of the 'new' features were revealed early in the XBox hype-cycle. If M$ had their way, no one would ever be able to share a game, used games would have to be "reactivated" for an undetermined amount of money even after their purchase.

Steam (so far) seems to have gamers in mind ... well, and profit of course, they take their cut to be sure. Microsoft seems to have profit, control and power in mind, end users be damned. Well, unless those users rise up with pitchforks when some draconian feature is called out.

Windows 8 represents a move to a much more closed system, a system much like the iTunes store and the iOS. I firmly believe these systems have their place, but PC gaming isn't that venue.

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Ashton2091

Very well written response. Thanks. I do have a question though, is there evidence that Microsoft is wanting to have all games go through their store? or is it just rumor at this point? I must say, it seems a tad far fetched...but, anything could happen. I thought Microsoft not allowing users to disable 8's start screen was far fetched...but that's exactly what happened lol.

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Renegade Knight

The beauty of iOS, and Android is that Google and Apple get to sell Apps, Ads, and Content and take a cut for everthing sold to their market.

Windows RT is the same. Win Phone the Same. Microsoft and Apple both now have Stores on their desktop OSs.

Can't say Micrsoft is doing to do it. But they are poised and have introduced lock in in two different market segments.

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Bullwinkle J Moose

It is misdirected rumor at this point and irrelevant when looking at the bigger picture

Lets find out why Linux cannot implement their own version of secure boot on ALL compatible hardware to extort a fee from Microsoft every time somebody wants to boot a Windows Spyware Platform

Lets find out why you are not allowed to secure your own PC under Windows 7 and 8

Try allowing only firefox to access the Internet on Windows 8 RTM 90 day trial copy while blocking ALL Microsoft components from accessing the Internet

Does the trial copy activate all by itself even though you tried to block it from doing so while surfing with firefox?

Does it send personally identifiable information as you attempt to prevent it from doing so?

Can you even name all the components that access the Internet after all of your failed attempts to secure your PC?

Let's look at the big picture here

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Ashton2091

i'd rather focus on the question at hand

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Obsidian

I have nothing in the way of 100% proof of Microsoft internal OS and software strategy. It's sort of a loaded question right? Prove the unproven, which can't be done until it's upon us.

I really don't feel it's needed in this situation. Follow the money and the overall tech trend, everyone wants their own store and to sell as much stuff through that channel. In the case of Windows 8 the walled garden to the App Store was touted as a vetting/security feature in a similar way iTunes is. It's hard to entirely trust the heavy-handed nature MS has taken in so many other areas. Why wouldn't they attempt to abuse this delivery channel too?

This isn't to say SteamOS is all flowers and roses; Valve is creating their own Walled Garden for anyone who uses SteamOS. Get cloud, get store, get profit and customer loyalty - this seems to be the current tech company strategy.

Consumers might end up with 4 or 5 totally separated console-like software stores; could be good, could be bad. When looking into the future and predicting the outcome we have to look into the past for trending information. MS has not treated PC gamers very well. Valve has done ok, but they are beginning to run up against the 'console wars' that the next generation offerings from Sony and MS are about to release.

Ultimately we'll have to wait and see. I don't know that SteamOS will be all it's cracked up to be. If the game pool is limited then it's going to be a non-starter for so many of my PC gaming friends. If we take a look at what's being played on Steam right now ... DOTA 2 has a commanding lead over Team Fortress 2, Sid Meier's Civ V, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Football Manager 2013 ... but these are in the top 10 games played today. Will SteamOS support them all, and more? This should be interesting.

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Ashton2091

okay. here's the thing, i've been in the tech industry for a while. i've been providing it support to users for a good number of years now. reason i asked if there was any proof is bc i'm more of a, "i'll believe it when i see it", kind of guy. with that said, i absolutely get what you're saying. i'm all about competition...but yes...as you stated, steam could very well end up doing what they are crapping on ms for.

Here is my thought's....I think (again...just a thought), that it's been blown out of proportion. steam has a lot to gain from creating it's own OS. I think it's a media stunt to get those who hated win8 before it was released and those who will potentially not like it to get on the Linux wagon. not to say win8 is awesome...i ended up switching back to 7. worked with win8 so that i could provide support for customers. but, i'm not going to assume that ms will eventually have all games go through their store. if you think win8 was a big deal...if they cut off valve...that's a big hit to ms.

they may make lame choices as far as interface of win8, xbox (sharing and always on internet..which they backed down on), but they are not dumb enough (i hope not) to isolate steam. i think (again...think..just a thought lol) that valve is milking it so that they can have their own closed system. as u also stated...it could be good or bad...but, i don't think it's genuinely because of win8 and the app store. there is far more to valves decision than that.

just my thoughts. sorry for the all lower case. i'm too tired to hit the shift key with my pinky, which would take all of a sec....but still lol.

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NoGoN

"DOTA 2 has a commanding lead over Team Fortress 2, Sid Meier's Civ V, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Football Manager 2013 ... but these are in the top 10 games played today. Will SteamOS support them all, and more? This should be interesting."-------------------- Uhh dude come on man....If you would actually read about this and understand whats going on SteamOS is guranteed to run ANY game supported by linux. Dota2? CHECK TF2? CHECK im not going to look up the others but all Valve games support Windows/Linux/Mac with that said will this OS kill windows? Not at all and valve doesnt want to. Its a much cleaner simple way to have PC gaming on your TV. The game pool will be limited to all of linux unless they are gods and got windows games to work also (which I think is impossible) Im all for this and hope that Valve can stir up some stuff with MS to get them to keep us the gamers in mind.

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yammerpickle2

MS has put their console plans ahead of the PC for years. I would love it if Valve could develop a system where PC gamers dump MS bloat entirely. It would be a bonus if they could take a big bite out of the console market. I am worried about high end video drivers for multiple cards and monitors.

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SuperSATA

Hmmm... I don't know. When I read the headline, I was all like, "Whoa! A Steam OS? Now I won't have to submit to all of Microsoft's crap!"

But then when it got to the whole "living room" concept, I started to not know what to think. I game on my monitor with a mouse and keyboard and always will. I really hope that they aren't so focused on taking down the consoles and conquering the living room that they forget about their PC brethren. I hope the UI doesn't suck on a monitor.

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Gary1847

I have 2 steam accounts, because their software is incapable of differentiating between my standard copy of Skyrim and Skyrim legends, my wife is forced to have 2 accounts for the same reason and between us we have 8 copies of Skyrim, 4 standard and 4 legendary.
I have to set my steam software to offline and tell it to never download updates, because I am tired of loosing 200 plus hours of a game because of Steams updates hosing my game. This condition not only effects my Skyrim game but also affects my friends Medieval Total War as well. We have to keep copies of our games with folder structure and all, just as a fail safe, a scheme that we have had to use on numerous occasions. The bottom line is, they want us to trust them that their new wiz bang operating system is not going to have the same gremlins if not many, many more. Also forget about support, in 2 years they have never answered a support request.
Color me very skeptical!!

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jbitzer

I've never had steam break a copy of a game. MAybe you're just unlucky.

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misterz100

8 copies of Skyrim what?
Updates are made to fix the game most people want updates... especially a Bethesda game.

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Dexter243

I am a old school gamer started with a 486 and was even playing wolfinstine 3d on dads 286
and for the first time in a long time I am excited and looking forward for the chance to play with STeam os
I all ready have steam running in ubuntu and it works quite nicley

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KenLV

As long as they make it K.I.S.S. this could be huge. My one system is a dedicated gaming system (I do some surfing like right now, but that's about it) so if I can do it with out the bloat of Windows AND securely, great.

Their obvious target audience here is ALL (PC) gamers. While most of us tend to be on the "geekier" side, all gamers are NOT Linux fan-boys. i.e. we are not looking to poke around and tweak all the myriad of settings to get things to work. We just want it to work right out of the box. Run the games' setup programs and get to playing at maximum resolutions.

If they can pull that off, which thus far Linux based Steam gaming has NOT been able to do, there is a huge payoff - for US and THEM - over the horizon.

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stinger608

While I totally agree with you on all parts Ken, the problem that I see is in fact the graphics end of things. As you stated, "thus far Linux based Steam gaming has NOT been able to do......" Now as stated in the article the SteamOS is based on a Linux kernel so I have to wonder how the port over will work.

I have to agree with your idea on "keep it simple stupid" theory. It would also mean that the operating system would not take up a huge amount of space therefore leaving more room on a hard drive for games. It would also allow the user to purchase a small SSD drive also saving money for the end user.

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Paul_Lilly

Holy smokes, a rare stinger608 sighting -- welcome back, Dano!