Valve Wants to Make PC a Better Entertainment Platform

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pyromanicadeluxe

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Every time I have my doubts about the SteamBox I just think to my self, has valve ever done anything poorly? or ever failed at anything? Oh and Killerclick, you sound like a retard.
 

ojas

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To everyone who's trying to explain what SteamOS and Steam Machines will be, i commend you for your patience.

killerclick, you've really not understood the point nor are you trying to. Keep Calm and Research.
 

draxssab

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First, stop calling it Steambox, Valve alredy said it's called Steam Machine.

Second, why the heck did nobody seems to understand this simple fact:
You own a PC, install Steam OS (even as dual boot) = it's now a fricn' Steam Machine!
Hell, Valve said than even a MAC will be able to become a Steam Machine (it's all a PC inside, you know)

You do not even have to buy anything if you already own a PC, because the OS is open source and free. It's your good'ol PC but with a new, free functionality, that's it.

You will already have all of your Steam games with Linux support available on SteamOS. Yes, probably many games today will not be playable, but that's why Valve is pushing Linux into the gaming industry for future games. For the others, boot on Windows you probably already have.

As it's Linux, you will be able to install ANY Linux software already existing, it means that it will (arguably) do anything Wndows can do.

The point is just to give options other than windows, and for free, for gaming PCs.
Steam Machine is "mold" a machine fits in, not a dedicated device.
 

thechief73

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Wow, all these negative comments just scream two things, both of which are very very saddening.

1. I am going to post comments about things I know absolutely nothing about, and I am also too lazy to do ANY research at all before I post said comments.

2. Intelligence is becoming scarce.

Both of which I am not going to bother to correct for you, but I commend those who have tried too.

I hope Valve finds success beyond their and our wildest dreams.
 

killerclick

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Oh, I understand perfectly, it's just that you guys want to believe in this so badly, you don't see it for what it is - attempt by Valve to spin off into the console business and gradually phase out PC gaming.
 

stevejnb

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First, MS dropped the term "Metro," officially, over a year ago, yet you can't go into a thread about Windows 8 without that term being plastered all over the place concerning the blocky Windows 8 UI. Why do I get the feeling you don't care if someone calls it Metro, so long as it's clear what they're talking about?

Second, I think most people understand that the Steam OS is just that - an OS, and for PCs. The thing is, Steam Machines are something that Valve is making and marketing. Saying that a PC becomes a "steam machine" when you install the SeamOS - isn't that like saying that a PC becomes a Windows machine as soon as you install Windows on it? Or a Linux machine when you install Linux on it? Usually we just call them PC's running Linux/Windows/etc. Since Steam is actually making specific PC's running SteamOS that they are calling Steam Machines - and I will continue to call Steam Boxes, so nyah - why the special treatment for a machine running SteamOS?




Options - and free ones - were there before. There are plenty of stable, supported, readily and freely available Linux builds that any developer could make a game for at any time. The choices have been there for a while. The thing is, this choice is going to fragment PC gaming between multiple OS platforms and put the onus on developers to spend more money porting it between Windows, consoles, and SteamOS if they actually want it to reach anyone.

Don't get me wrong, I think options are good, and I actually expect SteamOS to pick up over a few years and actually become a respectable platform. Out the gate though, it's going to do nothing but fragment a unified PC gaming more, up developer costs for more porting, and create a PC gaming platform which is truly under the control of one company.

Some of you - and I'm looking at you chief - are using blanket statements about the ignorance of people making "negative comments" and not adding a damned thing to the conversation. To me, that suggests you've just sucked down a few gallons of Valve's kool-aid and want to show your unilateral support for something that has some downsides whether you want to admit it or not. Fill your boots - I've been reading about SteamOS and the Steamboxes since the initial announcement, and I see it being a mixed thing. Though I make no claims to know everything, I do not speak from stark ignorance, and I look forward to people pointing out why I'm wrong. If you aren't willing to do so, and instead just cast blanket insults, you're part of the problem, and in no way part of a solution.


PS - Killer is obviously pretty biased against the whole SteamOS thing. Don't count anything I've said as a defense of him.
 


The other points are up for debate and could go either way, but this one... absolutely not.

It's a lot, LOT better than an hdmi cable. Why?

Because you could have your gaming PC in an upstairs office and a den a floor below and across the house - how in the world would an hdmi cable be practical there?

Also, how exactly do you plan on controlling the pretty things on the screen? USB extension cables running through your walls next to your hdmi cable? :p

(...actually, somebody's probably done that, but hey.)

The biggest advantage, really the only large advantage, I can see from Steam OS is that it lets you use your pre-existing computer as a workhorse for graphics, while working as a hub for your controllers, audio, ect.

As in my example, it's perfect for what I've got - I already have a gaming pc (that triple boots windows 8, 7, and linux mint), and I already have an HTPC (with XMBC and win7 for remote desktop.) I can install Steam OS for free, and stream games to the small, low-powered HTPC, and game when it wouldn't otherwise be remotely feasible to do so.
 

killerclick

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Hm, my router only supports 54Mbps. Probably not enough for streaming.

So how much will you have to pay for a device that does this? Is that amount more practical than running a couple of cables (HDMI & USB with a wireless kb/mouse/controller dongle) along your existing cable TV cable...

IF being able to stream games to your living room is an actual widespread problem and not something that 1% of gamers (the triple-booting kind) actually need?

What if kids play in the living room and you need to work on something on your PC? Won't the game slow things down for you? Will you have to yell at the kids to stop playing until you finish work? What if you have to reboot your PC for updates? Game over?

Valve's console is poorly thought out and I predict it will be a failure in terms of market adoption. Most people who want to play in the living room already have consoles and will buy Xbone or PS4 for exclusives.
 

killerclick

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Also, you guys remind me of the Metro fanboys who were calling me an idiot for correctly predicting the spectacular failure of Windows 8 and Surface tablets.
Just because you're enthusiastic about something and like a company doesn't mean all their ideas are viable.

A Steam Machine without a Windows gaming-capable PC will be pretty much useless (limited to Linux games available on Steam). That alone limits its potential user base significantly (to existing PC gamers) who want to stream their games to the living room but don't have or want an Xbox or PS.

Then you have the cost of a Steam Machine compared to a cost of say Xbone or PS4. You'll be saving $100-$200 at best on a device that can only play Linux games or stream from your PC.

The only usage case for a Steam Machine is being able to stream games from your computer to your living room, and only when you don't need that computer and you don't have to reboot it - so your kids streaming games from your PC while you work will be problematic.

It's a poorly thought out idea and I think it will not gain traction.
 

draxssab

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@stevejnb
I see that we are in (almost) perfect agreement, only just not said in the same words.
And your comparison about "Metro" is good, this kind of thing just tickle my punctilious side:\

And what forbid a PC to be a Windows machine AND a Steam machine at the same time? I just wanted to point (again) to some that do not understand this, that in the end of the line, no matter the OS, it will still be a PC.

I know that Valve want to market their machines, but I wanted to point that it's not an OBLIGATION to buy one if you already owns a gaming capable PC. It will just give options for other people that does not.
Also, other manufacturers will also have the right to sell SteamOS capable machines, like Alienware.

I also agree that there is already plenty of Linux distributions that have a good gaming potential (just looking at the last Ubuntu...), but the whole problem that already plagued Linux is the large number of distributions, that confuses many. The role of Valve in this ; as i see it; is to guide game developpers toward one, gaming optimised distribution to move and facilitate the transition for them and ensuring things that are lacking in most distribution, like marketing. Even EA showed interest into developping Linux support now.

I do not see SteamOS as the perfect solution for PC gaming. It has it's flaws, but i think it's an idea that got potential.
I just hope it won't get stuck into THAT other problem :
http://xkcd.com/927/
 

clonazepam

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I don't see this gaining anywhere near enough market share to compel companies to spend more time and money to make quality games for linux.

Walmart's a big name. Didn't they try to sell inexpensive linux PCs to their customers? How'd that go? Valve/Steam are not nearly as popular. Everyone's going to buy up the new consoles, and the old consoles, for gaming, long before they ever consider this. Yes, when the new consoles arrive, the old consoles will continue selling and enjoy a much larger share of the market than Valve's offering. How could anyone expect the suits to throw more money at developing for Windows PC, current consoles, old consoles, and then oh yeah, well let's do linux too. It's just not going to happen.

This comment isn't about what I want, or how I feel about a steam box, but just trying to guess at what's actually going to happen.

Thankfully, Valve's overall success won't hinge on the success of this. I doubt there will be any AAA titles, you know, the big sellers ($$$ makes things happen), appearing for SteamOS, so you'll be left with Indie titles that won't run any better or worse from Windows to SteamOS, so for most people (most being the world that can afford a PC, not Tom's readers), it'll be quickly dismissed.
 

ZolaIII

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Steam OS is fully grown Linux that is optimized for gaming purposes bat it can run anything that Linux can.
& this days that's almost anything all do you won't have choice you have on Windows. On the other hand you will have solid programs that cost you mostly 0$.
Steam box is nothing more then packed recommended PC hardware & controller in fancy casing.
Why is a PS4 good thing because it brings good optimized AMDs GPUs driver's to BSD.
Why are consoles good for PC gaming? Because they are closed hardware platforms that have commitment to last. That basically means that you will be able to play all ported titles with similar hardware.
If one title is ported to other platform chances are that it will better support original input control system.
Steam OS & box success is closely tied to success of PS4 because it will be easy to port BSD OGL titles to Linux & most titles will be available on PS4.
Worst thing for gaming is proprietary DX api (& only thing keeping Windows alive).
Why do we need steam OS? Well because it will change tide from DX to OGL & possible new open apis. If tide changes then many big players like hardware manufacturers & software development firms will see interest in Linux development because this will sell they products. This will globally speed up tech progress (in games & everything else IT based). Bat this is only possible if you embrace Linux as a platform of your choice!
& don't think that this will wipe out Microsoft after all Billy have great share of Red Hat & Red Hat boy's are some of best Linux development contributors.
 

Svnryn

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Why do you guys struggle to wrap your heads around this concept? You seriously want to do spreadsheets and photoshop on the TV in your livingroom when you already do that on your windows PC at work/your desk? That's absolutely stupid. However, I don't blame you guys for having a hard time wrapping your heads around this, as Valve keep claiming this to be a PC.

For years Windows has been the defacto OS for PC gaming with no serious alternative. Valve is trying to change that and offer a OS with the sole purpose of gaming/entertainment, whether that be in your living room with dedicated boxes (for those who want to plug and play or enthusiasts who rather build their own) or at the desk your PC currently sits. Those of you already doing PC gaming, keep on doing what you're doing.

Now do you get it? For years Windows has told you that PC gaming has to be done at a desk with a mouse and keyboard and there's been hardly any innovation there aside from hardware. Valve has said enough and want to try and show people that, you're not just bound to your desk, keyboard, mouse and Windows as the only means to game on a PC. Continue doing photoshop and spreadsheets on your Windows PC and use Steam OS for a better gaming experience without all the bloat and background processes of Windows. And don't you worry PC elitist grunts, you can still use that keyboard and mouse wherever you choose to game. The choice is yours. Choices are good, Microsoft fanboys. Free your mind of the Microsoft shackles.

I myself am looking forward to where this is going both as a console and PC gamer. I like gaming in my living room, but console input and hardware leave me wanting more. My gaming PC is great, but I seriously don't want to sit at my desk while hunched over staring at another monitor while I just did that for eight hours at the office. This sort of thing is perfect for me. If it's not for you, like I said, that's cool - keep doing what you're doing.
 

Houndsteeth

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Valve could turn SteamOS into a major development platform if they wanted to. It would require them to conglomerate many toolchains and bring synergy to those disparate pieces into a cohesive IDE, but the potential reward would be most future major titles developed on their platform and then ported to all the other major gaming platforms. It doesn't hurt to be the first native port...
 

SirTrollsALot

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Its all comes down to Promotion... The specs of the steam machine could be meh to fantastic... But if there is no money in marketing and promoting it on TV and the web like Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo... Well who cares about it... I doubt will see a Superbowl commercial promoting this... You understand yet Valve?
 

SirTrollsALot

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Its all comes down to Promotion... The specs of the steam machine could be meh to fantastic... But if there is no money in marketing and promoting it on TV and the web like Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo... Well who cares about it... I doubt will see a Superbowl commercial promoting this... You understand yet Valve?
 

koga73

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I'll be downloading and installing SteamOS on my HTPC as soon as it is released. I am in NEED of Steam OS. I have no cable tv, only internet. No consoles only PCs. The primary device in my living room is an HTPC with Windows 8.1 which works fairly well... but 8.1 was not designed with an HTPC in mind as Steam OS is.

Steam OS will provide me with a simpler interface for everything I already use including internet access (unlike roku, xbox) for Hulu, Netflix, Aereo, etc, the ability to play blu-ray discs, run plex, and something I can't currently do on my HTPC.. play games! (technically I could play games but not easy using a keyboard and mouse on the couch).
 

baddad

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I'm coming to the realization that steam only cares about about getting your money and after that your on your own if there's a problem. For instance I got RE6 from them it hasn't worked since I got it, steam says it's Capcoms problem and Capcom wont respond, so I'm left $40 piece of crap. Tried to buy a DLC for Borderlands 2 turned down my credit card, called bank, bank says it's them, email stem support as I did for the game that doesn't work no response again. I think I'm going to start buying off the shelf.
 

stevejnb

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This, in my mind, is a post that is loaded with grand generalizations, assumptions, and outright misinformation.

First off:

"You seriously want to do spreadsheets and photoshop on the TV in your livingroom when you already do that on your windows PC at work/your desk?"

Uh... Yeah. Why the heck not? Why limit myself to sitting cramped in a desk when I can lounge in my arm chair while doing research and papers? I've been running a Windows machine plugged in to my main TV living room since 2006 with wireless mice and keyboards, or even one of the *many* controller options that have been available for PCs - and yes, Windows PCs - since the 90's. When I realized I could do this in 2006 I felt stupid that it had taken me so long to realize that this had been easily possible for years already. Again, where do you get this boneheaded idea that Windows PCs are in any way tied to a desk, or have been in the past decade? Big monitors and TVs with at *least* VGA ports have been around for well over a decade along with wireless mice, keyboards, and controllers for the PC. Were you expecting someone to send you a memo telling you that this option has been there for a long time now?

Second:

"For years Windows has told you that PC gaming has to be done at a desk with a mouse and keyboard and there's been hardly any innovation there aside from hardware. Valve has said enough and want to try and show people that, you're not just bound to your desk, keyboard, mouse and Windows as the only means to game on a PC."

What? No "Windows" hasn't. MS even had a very well designed line of controllers for PC games in the mid 90's to early 2000's, the Sidewinder line. For decades, a quite wide array of PC games have supported controllers and any developer who wanted to make a controller based PC game was welcome to. Windows may not be an open platform as far as access to the source code goes, but realistically, any damned piece of hardware or software or whatever any company wanted to be made could be made for it without in any way consulting Microsoft.

You make it sound like Microsoft told the PC gaming community "Ok, here is the way things are. Gaming is done in a desk, with a mouse and a keyboard, and if you argue we'll put you out of business." In reality, MS has more or less said "here is Windows. Make any game you want, any control scheme you want, and any peripheral you want, for it." People have been open to build and sell *whatever they want* for Windows, but you're making it sound like MS has been exercising veto power on what developers could do on the platform. Again, utter poppycock.

You know what's ironic about all this though? SteamOS may be an open source platform, but there isn't anything remotely open about Steam itself. If you want to get a game actually running on Steam, you need Valve's approval and to subject your game to their brand of DRM. My concern with SteamOS is this... Can you run games off of Steam on it? Will Valve allow for major game distribution on it that doesn't filter through Steam? Before you answer, I've asked this question across several forums and done a lot of reading to try and find an answer and so far, none is forthcoming. Since Steam is itself all about control and DRM - literally, that's what Steam itself is - isn't there a very real chance that SteamOS will be a platform that will do precisely what so many people worried MS was trying to do with Games for Windows Live? That being, control exactly what content can be released on their platform?
 
 



This, to me, feels like trolling. A steam machine is just a computer - you can put windows on it and play ALL your steam games, no problem. You presume that even when it is streaming, you can't use the computer and that computers will suddenly have to reboot all the time. Neither of those is true, at least not for someone with a gaming computer - i.e. the people who would be interested in the streaming aspect.

But anyways, there's no need for you to antagonize people - all valve is doing is releasing a very neat piece of software... for free, a controller that, who knows, could be very cool... and that works with windows as well, and a program designed to have a little marketing oomph behind it to get teenage console fanboys to realize that there's something better out there.
 

killerclick

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So, you could stream games to the living room right now for $20 by running a couple of cables (HDMI+USB hub) along the network cable?





So, it's $0 but what do you get for $0? An OS that can play only Linux games as well as your existing HTPC hardware allows (do you have a Linux distro on your HTPC already? if not, why not?) and the ability to stream games from another part of the house, which would make your gaming machine pretty much unusable for work during that time (again, just run a HDMI cable and USB hub alongside your network cable and you won't even need your HTPC for gaming). If you really needed to stream games from another part of your house, you would have done it already.




Doesn't sound even close to a typical usage scenario, which is why I said that Steam OS will be a failure in terms of market adoption. The number of people who use their PC for gaming intersected with the number of people who don't have or want consoles intersected with the number of people who want to have games in their living room. For Steam OS to take off, it will need a lot of users
 

killerclick

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Yes, the Metro fans said the same thing when I predicted the demise of the Surface Pro they were rubbing up against six months before it was released.




Once you put Windows on it, it's no longer a Steam Machine, it's a Windows machine that you had spend time to install Windows on.





Not all the time, but sometimes. Most people could run a USB hub and a HDMI cable to their TV and stream games right now, so Steam OS will allow you to do the same thing via Wifi instead (if you don't have the standard 54mbps wifi).




Teenage console fanboys won't even look at this. They play games on their consoles and use a laptop for other things. This is Valve trying to pull PC gamers into the living room, and it's poorly thought out and it will fail. Sorry if that antagonizes anybody - maybe you should look at Steam OS reviews on some other sites and see the downsides of that "very neat piece of software". From Engadget:

As far as passing judgment on the Steam Machine prototype that Valve built, that seems both needless (considering you can't buy it) and pointless (only 300 of you are getting them, and this one isn't representative of the entire batch). Needless to say, you could build a pretty powerful PC using the internals Valve was running on the box we used.

The operating system, however, is another story entirely. Without even base level support for media playback, streaming options (Netflix, Hulu, etc.), and a relatively limited list of games supported natively, it's very clearly early days for SteamOS (Valve says it's in active talks with streaming companies, and working with a variety of developers to develop their games for SteamOS). At this point, though, it's hard to consider music/TV/movies one of the "pillars" of Valve's operating system, and we haven't seen game streaming in action.
 
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