Linux First version of SteamOS to be released Friday

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by roadbloc, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009

    I'm certainly going to be trying this out.
  2. malman89 macrumors 68000

    May 29, 2011
    I'll pass until 2014 when the real Steam Machines come out as I don't do Linux.

    Really intrigued by a dual boot SteamOS/Windows gaming console/machine/computer all in one. Digital Storm showed off their $1,500 dual boot model today. Little rich for my blood. Give me something solid between $700-1,000 and I'm sold. Just a SteamOS console for $400-600 probably is not for me.
  3. Pakaku macrumors 68000


    Aug 29, 2009
    I still don't understand the point of SteamOS... but that's probably because I already have an operating system to play games on.
  4. Washac macrumors 68020


    Jul 2, 2006
  5. 50548 Guest

    Apr 17, 2005
    Currently in Switzerland
    Ditto here. "Pointless" is the word that comes to mind.

    At least BeOS was a lot more promising than that.
  6. malman89, Dec 13, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013

    malman89 macrumors 68000

    May 29, 2011
    Thanks for your insightful addition to the conversation. I'm not against SteamOS, I (along with the vast majority of the world) just don't use regular Linux as their operating system.

    I look forward with great anticipation for Steam Machines. If executed well at the right price point, it's going to be my next gaming machine and next gen console in one. I've put off building a gaming rig just for these.
  7. Dirtyharry50 macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2012
    It will be interesting to watch how this plays out over time. For me personally my needs are already met nicely by my iMac and Playstation consoles. I don't see Valve bringing anything to the table here that would make me want to change the way I'm enjoying my entertainment already. It's not like there's any lack of it that a Steam Machine would help me with.

    Maybe I am misunderstanding Valve's grand plan here or something but I see this as simply another console that may or may not meet with market acceptance and success. The only thing that strikes me as being a distinguishing quality of this machine so far is the potential for it to bring titles for PC only, such as many strategy games, into the living room for those who prefer to play there. There's something to be said for that too but for me that isn't enough to justify the expense of an additional system.

    I do worry a little that this may be an attempt by Valve to hijack the PC gaming market but that might be stretching things and I really have to wonder how much chance of success that has. Steam is huge though so maybe they can pull it off. I guess we'll see.
  8. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    I can only see steam os as a benefit (for now).
    People that want a PC for gaming does not need to pay for a windows license.
    It will possibly speed up the OpenGL development, which will benefit mac users in the long run.
    It will possibly force devs to make multi platform games, which would also help mac users.
  9. luffytubby macrumors 6502a


    Jan 22, 2008
    You're welcome. Had not been for my awesome NDT quote, then you would not have elaborated on that annoyingly vague statemente. So clap yourself on the shoulder on that one, chap:)
  10. deadwulfe macrumors 6502a


    Feb 18, 2010
    An open platform providing creatives with the ability distribute their content for play on retail or home built gaming boxes using a simplified version of a generally consumer-intimidating OS tailored to gaming and game developers?

    I see a point and like cluthz, I think this goes outside of the box.
  11. Solomani macrumors 68040


    Sep 25, 2012
    Alberto, Canado
    It's exactly what I'd be tempted to buy. It's equivalent to a PS4 or Xbone console, except that instead of the typical console games I'd have access to the thousands of Steam games already available.

    But for that price, Steam should least "bundle" approx. $100 worth of games. If they merely said "here is the $500 Steam box with a single controller, now we expect you to start paying hundreds of dollars of downloadable PC games which you may or may not have already paid for in the past"…. then no thanks.
  12. Dirtyharry50 macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2012
    That is a little different than I was seeing it and a very good point. I wasn't really thinking about the idea of my entire Steam library being accessible in the living room which for me amounts to a large collection of games. I guess the key thing here is going to be, will all my existing non-linux games work somehow? And also very importantly, how well is controller support for games that were not released with support for controllers going to work. Just how good is that Steam controller, how well will it work? How comfortable will it be to adapt to and play anything with?

    The answers to those questions I think will have a lot to do with how well the Steambox is accepted early on at least. I'm sure it will be embraced by the Linux crowd of gamers, not the Steambox necessarily but the SteamOS itself and may bring more PC users to a Linux that is friendly and built for gaming.

    It may turn out to be a really amazing thing if Valve manages over time to transition Windows gaming to Linux gaming that works well on a PC or a Steambox in the living room. Considering what this might mean in terms of future game development on Linux and using OpenGL there I'd assume it could turn out very nicely for Mac gamers as well with more native games to choose from, perhaps in time a lot more.
  13. old-mac-man macrumors regular

    Dec 29, 2012
    I can see the point of an OS that is considerably cheaper than Windows.
  14. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    Well, it's free. So yeah, it'll be cheaper.

    What people here don't understand is that this could be the one best chance to break Window's hegemony on PC games. No, it won't have every single Windows game available. There are tons of games that will never be backported that'll always remain on Windows and nowhere else. But if Valve can drum up 3rd party support, then it could potentially match the PC, PS4 and Xbox360 for AAA releases, and start building it's own library to compete from there on out. It'll become a viable choice, rather than merely potential.

    The one thing it's currently lacking is a good, solid hook. Even if it's got all the latest and greatest games, that alone won't cause people to abandon their consoles and PCs and flock towards it. It needs something more than just the same games you can get somewhere else. It won't be a Half-Life 3 exclusive or any of their other games. They've already gone on record saying they won't tie any of their titles to one platform. I have a feeling Valve knows this, so we'll probably see....something. Though what that is, no one knows.

    However it all turns out, failure or success, it's gonna be an interesting thing to watch.
  15. bkar89 macrumors regular


    Jul 27, 2012
    I hope Steam OS becomes a success, just because it'll give OpenGL more focus.
    But Linux as platform is not for me either. But the idea of a gaming OS is quite intriguing!
  16. roadbloc thread starter macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    For the PC gamers who want to build their own consoles for the living room, it is far from pointless. It is bringing the openness and the power of the PC to the console platform.
  17. blesscheese macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2010
    Central CA
    Agreed. There is nothing inherently special about Windows for gaming. It just happened (accidentally) to be the platform that more people bought, so more games were developed for it, more graphics drivers written for it, etc.

    If Valve can use the SteamOS to deliver a better value/experience for developers & gamers, that would be a huge win for everybody. While M$ does support gaming on the PC, the real focus (as of more recently) has been on the XBox series of consoles, and not the PC or PC gamer.
  18. lunaoso macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2012
    Boston, MA
    That's actually a really good idea. Package all of the Valve games along with it. HL, HL2, Portal, Portal 2, maybe some TF2 stuff... That'd be a good selling point.


    Plus if we see a remote play feature, building a sub-$300 i3 box would be tempting for many people.
  19. malman89 macrumors 68000

    May 29, 2011
    Obviously Steam has got a variety of partners in line before hand, but I wonder if the glut of mediums for developers - Windows, OS X, Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, Linux, and your mobile flavors - might limit growth at first.

    I think once the 360 and PS3 get out of the way, that could help significantly.

    Indeed. Really excited for CES.
  20. iMacFarlane macrumors 65816


    Apr 5, 2012
    Adrift in a sea of possibilities
    What I'm really hoping Valve does, is to incorporate some level of virtualization deep in the OS itself, something like Rosetta was for the PowerPC apps in OS X (before Apple decided that "less was more" and axed it).

    In that way, any DOS program could run, most likely in a DOSBox shell. Any Windows app could run, in some general purpose, highly tweaked wrapper. And of course, any native SteamOS program (linux) would run, well, natively.

    By doing this, they would ensure the success of their console. Hey gamers, here's a console that not only includes backwards compatibility, it celebrates it. Still got your old SimTower disk? Want to play that new indie game that's Windows only? Got a big GOG library? Have a ball, on us. And, oh yeah, your entire Steam library works out of the box, too.

    Do it, Valve.
  21. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    Not necessarily. Barring the MS platforms, they all use roughly the same APIs. Provided each platform offers a stable environment, all a developer would have to do is press a button to compile their game for it.

    That's what all the big middleware engines like Unity and the UDK do. You make your game, then tell it to produce an executable for either Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, or iOS. It requires a bit of extra Q&A to make sure it runs well on each platform, but it doesn't require everyone to rewrite their code from the ground up.
  22. edddeduck macrumors 68020


    Mar 26, 2004
    Only the Linux compatible ones. Windows games cannot run on SteamOS. You use a PC and the streaming tech to send your PC game to the TV via your SteamBox but thats not quite the same.
    At a rough guess you haven't worked in games development :) That's not a criticism your thoughts were similar to mine before I started my career in games in many ways...

    In theory most of what you say has some merit but in the years I have in gaming I have found the following to be true:

    1. The more complex or low level the API the more likely for platform specific issues. Performance which is a major issue with games can also rear its head. If you have the same API on two platforms but one is 400% slower with call "X" then you have to get creative ;)

    2. The APIs for some things are the same across all platforms however for other things like graphics they are wildly different. No PS3 game really uses OpenGL for anything for example even though people think it is an OpenGL console :)

    3. Press a button and compile for it will never work for anything outside of a scripted game that uses a pre written and untouched game engine.

    4. Unity is a simple iOS mobile standard game engine, you don't get the source code for the engine on the basic license and most people build a game within Unity frameworks which means the engine has already been built and tested and you are in effect developing data for that engine to run. In AAA games you also build all aspects of the engine mixing it all together with some of your own code. This means in the end the final engine is not 100% anything making the different platforms all subtly different to work with.

    5. Most games are super complex and not one of them uses middleware and game engines in their vanilla state, BioShock is a UDK (unreal Engine 3) game so is BioShock 2. The changes between those two games in the same series was quite a lot, hell even the modifications between the single player and multiplayer BioShock 2 engine was several weeks work to tweak and get drawing. Just because they use the same based middleware doesn't mean they haven't then modded the heck out of it to get it to do what they want for their game.

    6. We don't rewrite games from the ground up for the Mac but the devil is in the details and the last 10% is where you fine all the performance and fix the annoying glitches and stability issues. This is the bit you have to do for each platform. :)

    To summarise it's not all the work again by any stretch but it is still a large amount of work. Linux/SteamBox should be very little as they are basically the same OS.

    Hope that helps explain a few of the fun things you get to deal with in development. :)

  23. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    Please tell me again the advantage of the SteamOS? Is there a benefit for Mac or PC gaming as compared to cranking up the Steam Application? Thanks! :)
  24. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    The benefit is that Valve has access to the entire OS, allowing it to theoretically optimize it for games in ways it can't in windows, to create a truly gaming-centered OS.

    It will also allow cheaper Steam Machines (no Windows license to pay for, which will also
    remove Valve's dependency on Microsoft, assuming it's a success).
  25. irnchriz macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2005
    What you propose is something similar to a games console where the OS is built to the metal, this is not true in this case. It is a free OS slapped on top of a range of hardware.

    I hope it does well as it should increase the number of games available on the Mac steam client but I think that those buying steam boxes will end up installing windows for free powered by windows loader ;). Just like all of the linux net book purchasers did.

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