Gabe Newell is a hard guy to nail down for an interview, so when the Nerdist Podcast managed to snag an hour of his time, they had our complete attention. Sadly Half Life 3 wasn’t on the agenda, but several questions with regards to the company’s upcoming steam box were answered, including what they have in mind as an input device.
Xi3 generated a lot of buzz at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) over its Piston PC, a pint size computer that's based on the company's X7A system (both pictured in the thumbnail image), an honest-to-goodness modular computer. The form factor made a splash at last year's CES, and this time around, the question on everyone's mind is whether or not the Piston is Valve's Steam Box.
No, the world didn't end and thankfully so, as we're able to give you guys episode 193 of the No BS Podcast! Filling out the seats just in time for the Holidays are Editor Josh Norem, Online Managing Editor Jimmy Thang, Deputy Editor Gordon Mah Ung, and Editor-in-Chief Katherine Stevenson. This time around we discuss a wide variety of topics that include:
Gabe Newell confirms the company is working on hardware to compete with next generation consoles.
Valve is known for keeping their cards close to the vest, but every once and awhile, founder Gabe Newell opens up a bit. The legendary CEO was on hand at Friday night’s VGA awards, and confirmed during an interview with Kotaku that a Steam Box would go head to head with the next generation of consoles.
Valve today announced the public release of Big Picture, the 10-foot user interface (UI) that makes it easier for PC gamers to plop on the couch and play their catalog of titles on their big screen HDTV. To celebrate the public launch, more than thirty "controller-friendly" games will be on sale from now until December 10, some of which will be marked down by as much a 75 percent.
Linux fans are free to do the open-source shimmy today in celebration of Valve announcing the launch of a limited access Steam for Linux beta. Valve invited experienced Linux users to sign up for the closed beta in October and claims to have received over 60,000 responses in the first week alone. The first round of beta participants has already been selected, though more gamers will be added throughout the course of the beta, Valve says.
The talking heads at Valve continue to downplay the importance Windows plays in the future of PC gaming, pointing instead to Linux as an alternative in progress that's gaining steam (and Steam, for that matter). Serving as the latest indication that Valve has a growing affinity for Linux, software engineer Drew Bliss talked up the open source platform during a presentation at the Ubuntu Developer Summit.
A Linux port of Steam has been on the cards for a while now. Back in July, the Valve Linux team revealed in its inaugural blog post that it was working on getting a fully-featured Steam client up and running on Ubuntu 12.04. Apparently, that project has made enough progress for Valve to start looking for beta testers.
Gabe Newell now famously referred to Windows 8 as a "catastrophe for everyone in the PC space," which could work out great for Linux users. Based in part on fears that Microsoft will erect a walled garden around Windows 8 and lock out developers who don't want to play the Windows Store game, Valve has been hard at work trying to port Steam over to Linux, and the first beta run will kick off in October.