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Author Topic: Steam Announcements 2013 Edition [1. SteamOS, 2. Steam Machines , 3. Controller]  (Read 14780 times)
schild
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on: September 23, 2013, 12:34:06 PM

0. Announcement Page: http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/
1. Announcement 1 - Steam OS: http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/SteamOS/
2. Announcement 2 - Steam Machines: http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/SteamMachines/
3. Announcement 3 - Controller: http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/SteamController/
I haven't read it. So my comment is "I bet it will look nice."
« Last Edit: September 27, 2013, 12:30:58 PM by schild »
Lucas
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Reply #1 on: September 23, 2013, 12:39:05 PM

That's it, Football Manager on my couch, on my TV: why should I go outside anymore and seek the company of other human beings?

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Reply #2 on: September 23, 2013, 12:43:13 PM

I'm guessing I'm just not the target audience for this, but if I already have a Windows HTPC with an ok video card connected to my TV that I can play games on, I don't see the point of this or what it does for me.

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Reply #3 on: September 23, 2013, 12:59:01 PM

 finally, I can stream my pc games to my tv with added latency and play them with a controller, as god intended

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Bunk
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Reply #4 on: September 23, 2013, 01:00:12 PM

I've got my tv hooked up to my pc, but using it is a bit of a pain. I have to switch audio output first, since my pc station isn't lined up with my tv's surround system. Now I have a wireless kb and mouse for the tv, but to use that to launch stuff I have to swap the main desktop over to the tv which is a pain, so instead I have to get up, pick the game I want to run from my pc, then go back to the tv (or occasionally, I lean over the couch using the mouse, trying to pinpoint the icon I want from ten feet away). Plus, if the game is running fullscreen, I have to switch desktops anyways, which always makes a mess of my icons.

Yea, I know there are lots of ways I could get around these issues, but having a separate "console" for pc games would definitely be the easiest one. So yea, I guess I'm the market. Plus I'd way rather have a console that ran all my games well and keep my computer for photoshop and general web stuff. Assuming they build this box with the ever changing demands on pc hardware in mind. If its just a static system like the XBox that won't be able to run new games 18 months after I buy it, then my interest will wane.

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schild
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Reply #5 on: September 23, 2013, 01:03:54 PM

It's a good time to do this. Windows 8 isn't good for the gamer and Apple has no actual business in the living room, not like this. The lines between office and living room are getting blurred, and Outside of the core productivity suite of Office - Valve owns the distribution channel from maker to user. Unlike Microsoft which still relies on outside sales to have things installed on their OS. Besides, Valve owns the hearts and minds of gamers. Microsoft owns DirectX and everyone effectively hates them.

This isn't a killing blow in any way for Microsoft. But it is a smooth move for Steam to position themselves to sort of eject both Microsoft and Apple from the living room before they even got there.

The XBox One being a stillborn baby helps too.
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Reply #6 on: September 23, 2013, 01:06:59 PM

I can't really imagine the big publishers hopping on the SteamOS bandwagon as far as native support goes. Indie devs might get into this so long as Valve continues to treat them well with their cut.

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schild
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Reply #7 on: September 23, 2013, 01:30:58 PM

There are what? 4 "big" publishers left?

EA
Activision

uh

uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

What the fuck happened to gaming when I blinked?
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Reply #8 on: September 23, 2013, 01:44:07 PM

So is this basically trying to be like Android but instead of mobile gaming it's focused on traditional gaming?

Also, hundreds of games currently:

http://store.steampowered.com/browse/linux/
Sky
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Reply #9 on: September 23, 2013, 01:50:33 PM

Obligatory "Since 2003" post.

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Reply #10 on: September 23, 2013, 01:54:13 PM

I can't really imagine the big publishers hopping on the SteamOS bandwagon as far as native support goes. Indie devs might get into this so long as Valve continues to treat them well with their cut.

I'm sure it's an easier sell to the smaller shops than the big guys, but the reality is porting to Linux (especially in a constrained environment where you don't need to worry about random slashdot-neckbeard-gentoo-look-i-compiled-my-os-from-source! silliness) is not terribly hard these days and Valve has done a lot in the last year or so to make it easier (hermetic build environment in their steam-on-linux-sdk, leaning on GPU vendors to get drivers updated and bugs fixed, etc).  I suspect that soon you'll be able to target their sdk and easily build for Windows, OSX, and SteamOS which is pretty convenient, and I suspect they're working with the middleware companies to make that even more seamless for people building on top of existing middleware/engines.

When you look at just how few launch titles there are for PS4 and Xbone (and how at least for me the indie titles seem more interesting than the AAA snorefests), you start to think that bootstrapping the livingroom with SteamOS / SteamBox might not be to bad.  Valve's got 300ish Linux titles in Steam right now?  If they get an OEM or two signed up to ship reasonably priced plug-and-play boxes and get a couple impressive looking launch titles lined up, I don't think they're going to be in a bad place.
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Reply #11 on: September 23, 2013, 02:12:03 PM

I still don't know why I would want this over a dedicated PC running Windows connected to my home theater. Will I get the SteamOS version of a game when I buy the Windows version, because I sure as shit am still buying the Windows version to run on my laptop when I have to spend the weekend at the in-laws and they just want to watch reruns of Duck Dynasty.

Have you tried the internet? It's made out of millions of people missing the point of everything and then getting angry about it
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Reply #12 on: September 23, 2013, 02:28:52 PM

If you've already got a dedicated PC hooked up, no need for it.

They're taking aim at people who might buy an Xbone or PS4 or don't have gaming in the living room yet.

You always get all versions of a game on Steam -- you never buy "the windows version" or "the linux version" -- you just buy the game and it runs on all the supported platforms.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 02:52:51 PM by Quinton »
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Reply #13 on: September 23, 2013, 02:29:01 PM

If you buy it on Steam, why would you need to buy different versions?

Edit: beaten! Also spelling.

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Reply #14 on: September 23, 2013, 02:37:33 PM

If you buy it on Steam, why would you need to buy different versions?

Edit: beaten! Also spelling.

Steam allows you to play Mac, Linux or Windwos versions regardless of which one you buy.

Also, this doesn't matter because the point of the streaming is that you can play your PC games on your TV without a dedicated PC already hooked up to your TV.  Just buy a cheap pc, install steamOS on it, and viola (theoretically).

I wonder how closely Valve is working with NVidia (I imagine quite a lot, if for no other reasons then to make linux drivers stop sucking) and if so I wonder if this is one of the core reasons behind the NVidia Shield (cause I can't honestly think of any other reason why anyone thinks SHIELD is a good idea).
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Reply #15 on: September 23, 2013, 02:39:37 PM

You get always get all versions of a game on Steam -- you never buy "the windows version" or "the linux version" -- you just buy the game and it runs on all the supported platforms.

Well duh - I should have known this.

Have you tried the internet? It's made out of millions of people missing the point of everything and then getting angry about it
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Reply #16 on: September 23, 2013, 02:53:54 PM

I wonder how closely Valve is working with NVidia (I imagine quite a lot, if for no other reasons then to make linux drivers stop sucking) and if so I wonder if this is one of the core reasons behind the NVidia Shield (cause I can't honestly think of any other reason why anyone thinks SHIELD is a good idea).

They've already said they're working very closely with nvidia, amd, and intel on GPU support.

I'm not sure there's any reason SHIELD is a good idea, though ^^
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Reply #17 on: September 23, 2013, 05:20:16 PM


Their own linux distribution, not unexpected. That will let them select the best of drivers, present a unified target for developers and incorporate binary drivers from Nvidia and ATI because they're so secretive. The streaming is a nice way to have some presence for those games that haven't yet been ported or have powerful PC's.

I hope they'll offer any OS improvements back to Linux, but given the way Valve works I would be surprised if that is not the case.

It's a very interesting move, could even work because there's some advantages to the hardware and software guys buying in to a more open platform. But they tend to be pretty sluggish and recalcitrant about trying something different so I could imagine it get tepid support. Unless Valve have been doing a lot of work behind the scenes.

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Reply #18 on: September 23, 2013, 05:52:58 PM

It'll be interesting to see how streamlined whatever they do is.  They could start with debian, ubuntu, etc as a base and just not include a lot of the standard packages, substitute in their preferred solution for video drivers, low latency audio, etc, or they could go much more custom.
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Reply #19 on: September 23, 2013, 06:23:26 PM


There's no reason not to start with an established distribution (I believe it's Ubuntu 12.04) to get the free work that went into assembling and testing that distribution.

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Reply #20 on: September 23, 2013, 06:27:11 PM

It depends what you're building.  You also pick up a lot of baggage that you may or may not want, more moving parts to worry about when you merge up to newer versions, etc, and potential performance issues depending how well-behaved all the default background cruft is.
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Reply #21 on: September 23, 2013, 06:29:41 PM

It's funny, I keep thinking "pfffff this is ridiculous, they have no chances to make it. It's just silly... really? Yeah, you just come up with a new OS and a controller and you think it is that simple, haha I mean, a new console, in this market? And Valve? Hahaha cmon, guys... cmon.......... guys? Uhmmm... uhrr... ............................ ........................... hm....... ..........

....wow."

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Reply #22 on: September 23, 2013, 06:38:43 PM

Unless everyone is planning on suddenly dropping DirectX I imagine WINE is going to be getting a shitload of paid contributors.

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Reply #23 on: September 23, 2013, 06:49:31 PM

You always get all versions of a game on Steam -- you never buy "the windows version" or "the linux version" -- you just buy the game and it runs on all the supported platforms.

Not always, I think it's publisher prerogative.  Call of Duty: Black Ops has a Windows version and a separate, full price (usually) Mac version.

Hopefully that remains the exception to the rule.  But I think publishers do at least have the option to screw everyone on this, they just haven't yet (mostly).
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Reply #24 on: September 23, 2013, 07:04:07 PM

It's funny, I keep thinking "pfffff this is ridiculous, they have no chances to make it. It's just silly... really? Yeah, you just come up with a new OS and a controller and you think it is that simple, haha I mean, a new console, in this market? And Valve? Hahaha cmon, guys... cmon.......... guys? Uhmmm... uhrr... ............................ ........................... hm....... ..........

....wow."

It's really not that complicated.  It's not simple and there are a lot of fiddly details, but the hardest parts are actually in the infrastructure (store, sales, online bits, handling publishing/distribution agreements and logistics, etc) which Valve has been doing forever.  Steam has been running on Linux for a goodly while now, they've been getting the process of porting/supporting games on Linux down, and putting together a system that's "minimal linux distro + steam" is not rocket science by a long shot.  "New OS" sounds far scarier than it needs to.  The kernel and base bits are well-proven, and if they want they can throw out 90% of the stuff on top of that to keep stuff simple.

Market-wise you have PC OEMs who are seeing the PC market shrinking and are interested in having new areas to expand to -- give them a no-cost-to-you ready-to-deploy platform and let them go compete with Microsoft and Sony for the living room.

Really the hardest part of this is getting the content deals and Valve has been building a content ecosystem for years now.  They've probably got the best shot of anyone to enter this space -- I'd give them better odds than Apple even, because they strike me as less no-compromise and more pragmatic about getting stuff ported to steam-on-linux than I suspect Apple would be about a livingroom platform.
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Reply #25 on: September 23, 2013, 07:06:13 PM

Unless everyone is planning on suddenly dropping DirectX I imagine WINE is going to be getting a shitload of paid contributors.

That's the beauty of Valve's strategy.  Get the install base so for right now linux users can play PC games (even though they need a Windows PC to do it).  Use that install base (which is there although how big is debatable) to convince developers to develop games that work on Linux (which isn't that huge of a deal once drivers aren't shitty, since any game that wants to work on consoles generally has to have a non-DX version anyways).

I think that's a better use of money than pouring money into WINE, which while is a nifty project will always be behind and buggy.
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Reply #26 on: September 23, 2013, 07:11:08 PM

With more games being multi-platform, platforms like Unity and microsoft being distracted I think the DirectX "lock" might be weaker than ever.

There's minimal market for linux users playing Windows games. Because there's an increasing number of linux games and we can dual boot. That's not the target market. It's too small anyway.

It's a reaction to the "post-PC" world where the biggest computer is a tablet / phablet or small laptop and the serious games . digital media all happen on the console attached to the nice TV. Microsoft wants this to happen and the PC market has no play in that future. HTPC machines are way too complex and expensive to compete with consoles for the mainstream. The steamOS plus reference design box gives the hardware vendors and PC software developers a chance to decide if they're going to compete.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 07:14:23 PM by Kageru »

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Reply #27 on: September 23, 2013, 07:22:54 PM

Well Valve is also investing heavily in improving tooling for development and deployment on Linux.  They've done some ports involving a library that implements D3D in terms of OpenGL (and ended up being better-performing for some games even with the additional layer!) and have been working on getting their own and other folks' middleware running well on Linux.

As pricing on hardware gets more and more competitive, cost of the OS becomes a larger and larger factor -- having an OS option that lets you play in a space but does not cost you per-unit is a big win (see interest in Android, ChromeOS, etc).

I look at SteamOS as a Valve strategic play the same way Android is for Google -- ensuring there's a platform out there that they can deploy apps and content on in the "post-pc" world -- if the Microsofts, Apples, or Sonys of the world end up owning the next space the way Microsoft owned desktop computing for the 90s, the possibility of simply being locked out of the new ecosystem entirely is pretty scary.
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Reply #28 on: September 23, 2013, 07:30:35 PM

Late to the thread, but:

The lines between office and living room are getting blurred

You don't have children. awesome, for real

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Reply #29 on: September 23, 2013, 07:44:14 PM

Late to the thread, but:

The lines between office and living room are getting blurred

You don't have children. awesome, for real

The interns seem to get younger every year!
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Reply #30 on: September 23, 2013, 09:25:53 PM

I'm sure my question will be answered by the inevitable steam box but I also wonder how they expect to actually get people to convert.

Actual home desktop linux users are rarer than the white buffalo, if you're on a Mac you're wasting perfectly good overpriced hardware if you're not using OSX, and if you're on windows you're pretty much set.

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Reply #31 on: September 23, 2013, 09:33:06 PM

Yeah, if this thing does well at all, it's going to be on new hardware people buy or build for it.  If people already have a machine and an OS running on it they've probably got some non-steam/games/content use case that would argue for just sticking with what they've already got.  I'm hoping they can get enough traction that it becomes an alternative to upgrading the gaming PC to windows 8 (or 9 or whatever) someday, but that'd be a ways out.
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Reply #32 on: September 23, 2013, 09:50:19 PM

I'm sure my question will be answered by the inevitable steam box but I also wonder how they expect to actually get people to convert.

Actual home desktop linux users are rarer than the white buffalo, if you're on a Mac you're wasting perfectly good overpriced hardware if you're not using OSX, and if you're on windows you're pretty much set.

Why would they even try? Those platforms already run steam. They want a shot at the "no-PC" / living-room market.

Oh, and it's this sort of article that provides one window into the future of the PC market.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 10:39:45 PM by Kageru »

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Reply #33 on: September 23, 2013, 10:00:58 PM

I'm hoping this works out in case Windows 9 doesn't, but I have no intention of buying one any time soon as my Win7 PC works fine.

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Reply #34 on: September 24, 2013, 11:28:21 AM

There are what? 4 "big" publishers left?

EA
Activision

uh

uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

What the fuck happened to gaming when I blinked?

Ubisoft is the only other "big" one there, and I am using that term loosely. There just aren't any BIG ONES left that don't already publish their own console.

I'm interested to see where this goes. Valve has earned a lot of leeway with Steam so they have plenty of rope to hang themselves with. So long as this doesn't fuck up my Steam sales, it's all good.

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