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Valve announces SteamOS, is Linux-based, free & coming soon

Monday, 23rd September 2013 18:00 GMT By Dave Cook

Valve has announced a new, Linux-based operating system called SteamOS. It is said to run on any living room hardware. Get the details here.

The first of three announcements, Steam OS was revealed here.

A post from Valve reads, “As we’ve been working on bringing Steam to the living room, we’ve come to the conclusion that the environment best suited to delivering value to customers is an operating system built around Steam itself. SteamOS combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen. It will be available soon as a free stand-alone operating system for living room machines.”

The SteamOS page states that users will no longer have to give up their library when switching device, as the operating system is designed to run on “any living room machine.” This is possible through cloud streaming that starts with SteamOS and streams content to any living-room device. This applies to both PC and Mac games stored in your Steam library.

Valve’s post continues, “In SteamOS, we have achieved significant performance increases in graphics processing, and we’re now targeting audio performance and reductions in input latency at the operating system level. Game developers are already taking advantage of these gains as they target SteamOS for their new releases.”

It’s not just games however, as Valve is now working with media content providers across music, TV and movies to bring streamed content to SteamOS. It will also support family sharing, where players can take turns sampling the same library and earn their own achievements via family sharing.

It has been labelled a “cooperating system”, and a “collaborative many-to-many entertainment platform.” Content creators are said to be able to communicate with customers directly using the OS, and in turn users can replace any part of their software or hardware they want.

Valve confirmed that announcements are inbound across the “coming weeks” regarding the hundreds of games already being primed to support SteamOS natively in 2014. The full Steam catalogue of over 3,000 titles can also be streamed from a device – a PC or laptop for example – running the operating system.

Steam Workshop will remain, and in-game chat, clan support, game groups, cloud storage and best of all, it’s all free.

The second SteamOS announcement is coming in 47 hours at the time of writing.

The announcement follows Gabe Newell’s appearance at Linuxcon 2013, during which he said that these three announcements would be coming. During the event, Newell said Valve was looking to the more open platform of Linux as the future of gaming, as “none of the propriety closed platforms are going to be able to provide,” a grand unification between “mobile, the living room, and the desktop.”

“Next week we’re going to be rolling out more information about how we get there and what are the hardware opportunities that we see for bringing Linux into the living room and potentially pointing further down the road to how we can get it even more unified with mobile,” he said.

Blimey. What do you make of all this then?

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125 Comments

  1. redwood

    fffuck!!!! one more os to worry about … gaming goes to hell.. and takes my wallet with it.

    #1 10 months ago
  2. Mike W

    It’s free bro

    #2 10 months ago
  3. Hybridpsycho

    Considering how terrible their coding is on steam I wouldn’t trust valve with an OS :/

    #3 10 months ago
  4. redwood

    @2 I know..but there will probably be a hardware coming too.. than it will have exclusives too.. and than i will be buying that for those exclusives :(

    #4 10 months ago
  5. Lengendaryboss

    @1
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvObIj7MKXY

    #5 10 months ago
  6. worntreads

    I can dig it. It’s about time someone decided to get serious about using linux for games. I wonder if this is a rebranded Ubuntu (kinda like Mint) or if they built the distro from the ground up. Definitely looking forward to hearing more about this.

    #6 10 months ago
  7. Hcw87

    Needs hardware, or this is the biggest overhyped crap ever.

    You can allready plug your TV into your PC, this won’t change anything, except doing it wirelessly.

    #7 10 months ago
  8. deathm00n

    @7 You are clearly mistaken. Do you know how much of the processor and RAM Windows uses? If they created a OS with games in mind, the perfomance will get so much better

    #8 10 months ago
  9. G1GAHURTZ

    Is it always online?

    #9 10 months ago
  10. Sherif Saed

    Shit just got real.

    #10 10 months ago
  11. redwood

    so like… I will have to switch oS to play games?

    #11 10 months ago
  12. deathm00n

    @12 Yeah, that’s the problem. But since it’s linux based I’m pretty sure you can use GRUB(or any other OS selector) with it. For people who don’t know what it is, it’s simply a screen before the startup of the OS in wich you can select between multiple OS installed on diferent partitions of you HDD

    #12 10 months ago
  13. Panthro

    @12 no, the OS will be optional… If you dont want the OS, steam will most likely remain the same without it.

    #13 10 months ago
  14. Rockin a Jack D

    X1/PS4 are fucked. Confirmed.

    #14 10 months ago
  15. redwood

    @14 than why do I want this? if ps3 could run xbox360 games than why would i get an xbox 360? if windows have all the steamOS games than what’s it real value? the “unification of the bedroom and desktop space” is probably coming to windows too

    #15 10 months ago
  16. redwood

    NOT being a troll here.. but I think valve probably has some big plans it is not sharing right now.

    #16 10 months ago
  17. deathm00n

    @16 Read my comment @9.

    #17 10 months ago
  18. Sanwiches

    @redwood You want it cause it’s the best option you have for gaming. There are improvements over playing on Windows, I’d guess. Yo.

    #18 10 months ago
  19. Mike W

    Is Linux any good?

    #19 10 months ago
  20. deathm00n

    Just try to press ctrl+shift+esc right now and tell me how much processor and ram power windows is using without anything heavy running. And this is the answer why this, in theory, can change PC gaming

    #20 10 months ago
  21. G1GAHURTZ

    For me, the insurmountable problem that this idea has is input method.

    How am I going to use a m/kb on my sofa?

    Will I be stuck playing dumbed down games with a console controller?

    Might as well just buy a console, then…

    #21 10 months ago
  22. redwood

    @18 yeah I red that.. but I am not so sure if the big games will take that advantage..windows has the larger market share so most of the dev will focus on that and steam os will just a get a port.

    #22 10 months ago
  23. Dave Cook

    This is potentially huge and game-changing. No joke. I’ve longed for a consolidated platform where I can take my library anywhere without painfully long migration or save retrieval and so on.

    Colour me excited as all hell.

    #23 10 months ago
  24. deathm00n

    @22 It’s not written anywhere that you can’t use it without a TV. It’s a OS, pretty sure you can use with any computer anywhere

    #24 10 months ago
  25. Jastrick

    The OS won’t run all your steam games (not even close). Windows-native games are still windows-native. If you read the press release, any Windows-native games must be streamed to the OS via Wi-Fi from ANOTHER PC. Only about 184 Steam games are Linux-Native right now. There’s about 3000+ Windows-native ones. Hope you enjoy Lag in the majority of your games (and having multiple gaming PCs)

    #25 10 months ago
  26. Panthro

    @14

    I dont know, unless they start bringing out Steam OS exclusive games (which they will) I doubt everybody will switch right away.

    I think the Steam OS is just going to give PC gamers a dedicated OS for games which will improve performance and probably be a better all round experience in terms of the GUI…

    And how Windows is apparently going to become a locked platform to give MS more money their may just be a space for a free OS to take over.

    #26 10 months ago
  27. Sanwiches

    @22 I can see myself playing The Witcher 3 with all the pretty graphics the PC have, but with a controller cuz I hate playing action games with m/k

    #27 10 months ago
  28. pcbros

    Quoted straight from Steampowered.com, these are my biggest highlights:

    “You can play all your Windows and Mac games on your SteamOS machine, too. Just turn on your existing computer and run Steam as you always have – then your SteamOS machine can stream those games over your home network straight to your TV!”

    So much for the worry that we wouldn’t be able to play our Windows library on a Steambox.

    And it’s acting like a Vita TV, I had a feeling that was going to happen.

    “Watch for announcements in the coming weeks about all the AAA titles coming natively to SteamOS in 2014.”

    This is going to be key.

    “SteamOS will be available soon as a free download for users and as a freely licensable operating system for manufacturers.”

    So it seems that companies like HP, Toshiba and Samsung can make Steamboxes. Great news!

    “In SteamOS, we have achieved significant performance increases in graphics processing, and we’re now targeting audio performance and reductions in input latency at the operating system level.”

    Games run better on SteamOS. Nice :)

    #28 10 months ago
  29. deathm00n

    @23 It’s not developer related, every computer will have it’s perfomance extended as there will be not as much background processing happening. That’s the reason why consoles lasts so much time, they have their own OS so even 6 years old hardware performs well enough.

    #29 10 months ago
  30. Panthro

    @21

    About 1.2gb of my 8gb RAM

    CPU usage is at 2%

    I dont see your point in that, But a dedicated OS is the way to move forward, I just don’t want to lose all the windows compatible games and programs.

    When it comes out I will inevitably jump ship over to the steam OS entirely as a risk just because of loyalty to steam and trust that they wont fuck me over.

    #30 10 months ago
  31. Sanwiches

    Valve is not a bunch of dumbasses, they are the best of the best and I’m sure they will succeed in what they’re doing, which is offering gamers the best experience possible.

    I think I can finally see myself enjoying games on PC that aren’t RTS.

    #31 10 months ago
  32. Xbone

    &29 Half Life 3 confirmed to be steamOS exclusive.

    #32 10 months ago
  33. DSB

    Huge huge stuff.

    I’m a little worried by the fact that they’re talking about it as a delivery system. If it isn’t open, then it’s a bust in my opinion. It’ll be the same shit you get on every other console.

    @29 Hopefully they won’t have to be native though. That would really restrict it quite a lot.

    #33 10 months ago
  34. darkshale

    This is fantastic for PC gaming. After hearing Gabe talk about Windows 8 and closed box gaming I predicted this would be coming. People said I was crazy and I responded “yes but so is Gabe”.

    #34 10 months ago
  35. G1GAHURTZ

    @25:

    Maybe, but this OS isn’t designed for desktop PCs, according to Valve. It’s designed for the living room.

    “A post from Valve reads, “As we’ve been working on bringing Steam to the living room, we’ve come to the conclusion that the environment best suited to delivering value to customers is an operating system built around Steam itself. SteamOS combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen. It will be available soon as a free stand-alone operating system for living room machines.””

    #35 10 months ago
  36. DSB

    @36 Livingroom PC? That’s really been the whole point from the beginning.

    #36 10 months ago
  37. Sanwiches

    @36 I don’t know man, Linux can run on PCs, so why not?

    #37 10 months ago
  38. pcbros

    Now if my current Windows PC runs my Steam games poorly, I take it my Steambox will stream that poor performance?

    EDIT: Hopefully Steam can eventually go the onLive route with it’s streaming and allow game streaming without having a Windows PC turned on.

    #38 10 months ago
  39. Sanwiches

    @39 Yes, of course. I would think that streaming puts some latency in there too. Encoding/decoding that stuff.

    #39 10 months ago
  40. antraxsuicide

    @39 Sounds right to me. Can’t say I’m happy about this announcement. It’s just so…. dull. Wanna play the 3000+ Windows games on your Steam OS? Get another PC and then stream the content. That’s not a solution.

    #40 10 months ago
  41. DSB

    @40 For sure. But they’d have to do it, wouldn’t they? Take advantage of smart TVs.

    I think it’s intended as a tack-on, more than the main event.

    @41 I think you’re kidding yourself if you think there won’t be a hardware follow-up to this. There’s no way Valve can drop this as the first announcement, and then follow it with a series of lesser ones.

    #41 10 months ago
  42. G1GAHURTZ

    Well, they’re going for the living room, so it has do be designed for simple controls…

    That’s all I’m thinking.

    So if I’m a PC gamer, why dumb down my desktop control method, when I’m obviously happier on a desktop.

    How can they bring the main control method to the sofa without turning everything into big buttons and radial menus?

    #42 10 months ago
  43. deathm00n

    @39 I guess so, but if you install the StemOS your Windows PC instead, the games will run better. That’s my guess. The downside as people stated above is wich games are going to be SteamOS native.

    #43 10 months ago
  44. Sanwiches

    @41 They are preparing for future games, buddy. If you really want your Windows games on TV, plug it on your PC and use the Big Picture mode. It’s not hard, and the solution is already available.

    #44 10 months ago
  45. Dragon246

    All well and good, but can someone tell me WHY will ANY hardware manufacturer put SteamOS on their devices and essentially give Steam and major portion of software revenue?
    Oh, and before anyone says “ANDROID”, bear in mind its backed by Google and had very little in terms of united competition, plus it saved the mobile manufacturers the trouble of making an OS.

    Cant see why anyone will put this over Windows, Android or any other competition in their hardware.

    The concept is good though, however it remains to be seen how many supporters it garner.

    And open? Sounds goooood to pirates. Just look at Android.

    #45 10 months ago
  46. DSB

    @43 That’s very black and white, isn’t it though? I mean I’m sitting at a desk with a monster rig, but I don’t mind playing games with a gamepad.

    I don’t insist on using keyboard and mouse even though they’re handy.

    Big buttons and radial menus are the name of the game, they’re already doing that with Big Picture Mode, but I honestly don’t think it’s a major hassle to sit with a wireless keyboard and mouse in a sofa.

    You do the same thing with a gaming laptop. The only real problem is finding a solid surface for the mouse.

    But obviously the livingroom favors the gamepad, no doubt about that.

    @46 Because they don’t have an OS. Right now hardware manufacturers are passing on an extra expense of what? 120-140 bucks for Windows 8 is the going rate isn’t it?

    This is an extra expense of 0 dollars, which means your hardware just became a lot more affordable for everyone.

    #46 10 months ago
  47. pcbros

    I think the Steambox will be a Vita TV. Meant as an addition to your PC and not a PC replacement.

    @43 – No dumbing down of the control method. I don’t see why you couldn’t use a keyboard and mouse (wireless would be best). It’s just designed for a controller.

    #47 10 months ago
  48. Dragon246

    @47,
    Is 120$ the OEM Windows price?

    And oh yeah, Linux, Unix, DOS and maaaany more OSes are also free.Why is still Windows unrivaled?
    I am very inclined to think SteamOS will join those above mentioned things.

    #48 10 months ago
  49. runbmp

    This doesn’t mean much for the PS4 as its system is linux based and is dependent on Open GL.

    For the Xbox One and PC however… different foreseeable future.

    This takes away directX 11 proprietary API that is used on PC and XBOX and makes the games less dependent on MS.

    Its going to make the games designed on Open GL that much more flexible to switch platforms or go multiplatform.

    Its a good thing, MS really is dumping its desktop PC gaming market… One that Valve clearly dominates.

    Good on steam for doing it, I can’t wait to start building gaming consoles for friends who I can finally play with regardless if they prefer consoles or pc. ( technical reasons, comfort level, ect )

    #49 10 months ago
  50. DSB

    @49 Because it does everything. If you buy Windows everything is ready right out of the box, with Linux you have to mod your OS to keep up. Until now.

    I don’t know about OEM, but most of the companies selling gaming PCs today offer an “optional” purchase of Windows 8, which is essentially just passing the buck to you.

    #50 10 months ago
  51. G1GAHURTZ

    Yeah… Would be very interesting if the second announcement was a new control method…

    #51 10 months ago
  52. pcbros

    @46 – “Cant see why anyone will put this over Windows, Android or any other competition in their hardware.”

    It’s designed as a gaming device. Not a PC replacement. From my perspective, I’m predicting the Steambox will sell for under $300. Probably even under $200.

    This will be a PC extention.

    “And open? Sounds goooood to pirates. Just look at Android.”

    If I can get my emulators on it, I’d be happy :)

    @49 – “And oh yeah, Linux, Unix, DOS and maaaany more OSes are also free”

    Yeah but no one has developed a solid gaming platform around any of these. That’s the big difference.

    #52 10 months ago
  53. DuckOfDestiny

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Valve are currently getting developers to port their games to this OS, or are offering to have their own team to do it, like the GoG team does with porting older games to modern Operating Systems.

    Steam are quite good at getting developers to add new Steam features to games that are years old, heck I remember a time when there were only ten or so games that would track your playing time. I trust Valve of all people to do this right.

    Waiting to see the support they’re going to get for hardware though. Maybe Valve will be crazy enough to push support for new and emerging technology like Apple, rather than sitting around and waiting for the market to catch up with that technology.

    Also interesting to see the features that the OS will offer, things like taking advantage of multiple monitor set-ups, gaming gear, supported drivers for peripherals or perhaps native Oculus Rift support etc.

    #53 10 months ago
  54. DSB

    It has to support non-native games though. That’s a dealbreaker from where I’m sitting.

    I’m not gonna bother with a SteamOS that plays 60%-70% of the games out there

    #54 10 months ago
  55. pcbros

    I’m starting to think the next announcement will be about the games. Either that or the Steambox itself.

    #55 10 months ago
  56. Dave Cook

    @56 I think the next one is hardware then announcement three is games (COME ON HALF-LIFE 3)

    #56 10 months ago
  57. DSB

    @57 Spot on. There’s gotta be hardware coming. It wouldn’t make any sense to put this out if there wasn’t.

    Who cares about HL3 at this point though? This is potentially so much bigger than that :P

    #57 10 months ago
  58. pcbros

    @55 – But yet people will buy a console that doesn’t support even 60% – 70% of the last generation’s library?

    I bought a PS3 and lost all my PS1/PS2 games. I had to BUY them again to play them.

    EDIT: Were you refering to the Steambox not playing the your existing Steam Windows games? If I misunderstood your comment, ignore the above post :)

    #58 10 months ago
  59. DrDamn

    So it is a Linux box which will support games natively & stream stuff from your PC which is running windows. Totally called it in the other thread /smug ;)

    Initially that’s just going to get a subset of the PC crowd who want to stream their PC stuff to the living room though isn’t it? It’s not really taking much market share from X1/PS4 unless you already have a decent gaming PC. If it gains/has enough traction for the native stuff then it gets interesting.

    #59 10 months ago
  60. Joe Musashi

    I barely use Steam but have been a member for many years. I mainly use it to redeem offers and stuff. I have a dedicated gaming PC which outputs to my gaming TV – so when “Big Screen Mode” made some headlines I was somewhat bemused.

    Likewise, for me, I can’t see the added benefit this announcement brings.

    However, I do have a little front-room PC. A tiny Acer box that acts as my Plex Client machine. So it could be fun to experiment. But if I had to lose Plex for this then, no contest, Plex wins.

    It’s an interesting play for the front-room. It sounds mostly like a streaming solution rather than something that’s directly processing installed, locally hosted data. I’m not sure I see the overlap in current gaming setups all that much right now. Just like how Steam hasn’t been the only way of playing PC games on a PC.

    I suppose the later announcements may give greater clarity.

    I guess it’s hard for me to get excited about this ‘solution’ when my existing solution works so well. For others though, I’m sure it’s great news.

    JM

    #60 10 months ago
  61. DrDamn

    @59
    All PS3s play PS1 games don’t they?

    #61 10 months ago
  62. DSB

    @59 Hah, touché. But there’s no way this is purely aimed at console gamers though.

    Steam has what, 50 million users or something like that, and they obviously want some of those to come along as well.

    And those users are used to backwards compatability. If I want to play a game from 1993, I’ll play a game from 1993 :P

    #62 10 months ago
  63. fearmonkey

    I think it’s exciting, I hope Valve can wow us on this, even if takes time.

    I disliked Steam at first and years later I love it, I hope they can do that with SteamOS.

    #63 10 months ago
  64. pcbros

    @60 – Well if games like BF4 receive a native SteamOS release and it runs better on the Steambox, then I can see how it might take a little from the console market.

    Now that I think about it, this thing can’t be too cheap. It needs to be able to run high-end SteamOS games well.

    @62 – Don’t you have to buy them and play them through emulation?

    #64 10 months ago
  65. Panthro

    The steam OS logo kinda looks like a female egg cell, female has the letter E in it, E turned backwards kinda looks like 3.

    HL3 Confirmed.

    #65 10 months ago
  66. Dave Cook

    @66 +1

    #66 10 months ago
  67. Panthro

    FEMALE EGG CELL
    - http://eivf.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/human-egg-cells.jpg

    STEAM OS LOGO – http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/

    #67 10 months ago
  68. pcbros

    @63 – I’d love to have my whole collection on it too. Let’s hope they eventually find a better way than streaming from another running PC.

    I’m thinking they will join onLive (or create their own) and stream your library through da cwoud!

    Either that or find a way to emulate (which I’m assuming would lead to legal issues) the games.

    Because I highly doubt they will port so many games to SteamOS, unless they round up big team.

    #68 10 months ago
  69. Dave Cook

    Oh wait, I think I have it.

    The first logo on the announce page is a circle = the SteamOS logo.

    The second is a circle in a box = SteamOS box

    The third is two circles with a plus sign connecting the = the cooperative collaboration between SteamOS users Valve’s post mentioned.

    Thoughts?

    #69 10 months ago
  70. DrDamn

    @65
    It’s a much better value proposition if you already have the gaming PC though. The native spec wouldn’t need to be big. What is going to convince EA to do a native version though? They already do PS3/PS4/360/X1/PC. Why add more to support a rival commercial platform to Origin?

    No all PS3s support PS1 games, just bung a disc in.

    #70 10 months ago
  71. pcbros

    @70 – Nice observation!

    1st – Circle = SteamOS logo
    2nd – Box = Steambox / Circle inside = SteamOS running inside the Steambox
    3rd – Circle + Circle = SteamOS + Games

    I differ on the 3rd one… seeing how it’s announcements, it has to be games :) If not people will question the Steambox.

    @71 – But they said they are working with developers to bring their games natively to SteamOS.

    “Watch for announcements in the coming weeks about all the AAA titles coming natively to SteamOS in 2014. “

    If the hardware inside the Steambox is cheap, it will choke trying to run those AAA titles.

    That’s my opinion…

    #71 10 months ago
  72. Virginityrocks

    I wonder if such an “open platform” would support GOG or Origin.

    #72 10 months ago
  73. pcbros

    SteamOS brings together two things I really like (Linux and PC gaming) and attempts to make it accessible to a large number of users. Kudos to Vavle! :D

    I’ve always liked Linux (since before Ubuntu became so popular). I appreciate the effort from the community to provide an OS that was free and replaced Windows. If you have kept up with the Linux community, it’s like the indies of the operating system world. Really exciting. I always try to push Linux on users who don’t need Windows exclusive software.

    Second, PC gaming needed a kick in the pants.

    #73 10 months ago
  74. NeoSquall

    @73 If the games are on Steam, they’ll be supported. Don’t be silly.

    Anyway, as I said to Dave in a rather long tweets sequence, IMHO there’s no use for a Steam “Box”, Valve can easily put its OS on any HTPC or mini PC already available and make it work.

    Since SteamOS will be free and open source, my guess their target will be any gaming jocks, Apple users and some daring TV hardware companies like Samsung and Panasonic, that would gladly take another shot at Sony by embedding SteamOS in their newest SmartTVs. Aside from these obvious targets, there might also be some actual gamers that will use SteamOS as intended, meaning as a console experience unbounded to the traditional “generation” cycle.
    As you can see, I haven’t mentioned any “device” because I think Valve isn’t aiming at a specific hardware setup, rather to which people might be interested in a game-oriented OS, because that’s the intended market for any OS.

    #74 10 months ago
  75. DSB

    Old Box: “Hi, I’m a gaming console”

    Steambox: “And I’m a Steambox”

    Old Box: “I play up to four apps at once, and if you pay me every month, you can even watch stuff on me that you’ve already paid for somewhere else”

    Steambox: “Bitch, please”

    #75 10 months ago
  76. Old MacDonald

    73: “I wonder if such an “open platform” would support GOG or Origin.”

    Yeah, well, first GOG and Origin have to support Linux.

    #76 10 months ago
  77. SplatteredHouse

    Given the impressive degree of backwards compatibility that’s still part of Windows, what would be the inclination to lose access to the majority of post ’95/xp titles?

    “The full Steam catalogue of over 3,000 titles can also be streamed from a device – a PC or laptop for example – running the operating system.” WTF?

    The source device needs to be running cowboyOS as well, to be able to use the stream functionality? Someone’s been talking to Microsoft about the way to market a new platform. What next for a piece of advice – “just call it OneBox…!” Sony haven’t been free of criticism over their proprietary aspirations either…
    (and, Valve have yet still to explain that Steambox concept, that Axle was it, that they got someone to make based around a miniPC bodyform, and then promptly and publicly DISOWNED the line, when it came time to launch the thing!)

    Go with what you know. I know “GabeN” as someone that runs a license business, that offers cracking discounts to consumers on games, provided they’re willing to use the platform he made (RELY on the platform he released) in order to PLAY them. I’m not trying to discount all the positives of Steam, but I do not know Valve, and neither do I consider their form as great, in the field of RUNNING ALL of the content/services.

    #77 10 months ago
  78. pcbros

    @76 – Free online gaming!

    I also like how any Steam game you buy, whether it was on a Mac, PC or Linux is available on all platforms (if the game supports it).

    And I’m pretty sure we can expect a MEGA Steam sale with the release of the SteamOS/Steambox! :D

    #78 10 months ago
  79. SplatteredHouse

    This is the complete opposite approach to gaming, as the kind of open future of non-DRM presented in practice, by GoG.

    #79 10 months ago
  80. Phoenixblight

    I had mentioned that this is what it would most likely be, that they would stream windows games to the device. I was surprised by going the OS route but it does make sense as you can just take it with you through a jump drive. Now the “steamBox” can be any device and there doesn’t need to be any specific hardware. I honestly don’t see a point as a power user. The only thing that will be interesting is the games and what triple A studios would get behind this as I can’t see EA, Activision, Ubisoft being bothered with this as that would mean porting the game not just for Windows,apple but now this linux OS which would remove all the things they have become accustomed to on the development side of things. All the middleware, directX, etc etc just for this one OS. This was rather dull and not exciting at all.

    #80 10 months ago
  81. Gekidami

    ^ Indeed. Though Valve could have announced a fart in the wind and PC fanboys would still be falling over themselves. Sorry but this whole thing is just nothing of interest, Joe Public wont give two shits about this, he’ll just stick to consoles or if ‘he’ does play PC games, Steam on his Windows OS.

    #81 10 months ago
  82. Panthro

    @82

    Sounding a bit cynical their.

    #82 10 months ago
  83. pcbros

    @81 – But aren’t all those companies having to adjust to port games to the XB1, PS4, iOS, Android, etc?

    If it means getting your game to a wider audience with potential profits, why not?

    @82 – Maybe but this could also be a turning point for PC gaming. I’m sure people questioned the Steam service when it was first announced.

    But let’s wait till the 2nd and 3rd announcement before we decide to trash it.

    #83 10 months ago
  84. Max Payne

    Just like Steam was only for people who actually had decent internet connection , Steam OS in begning will only use small number of people , but as time goes by…

    #84 10 months ago
  85. sleaker

    @80 – except GoG refuses to promote open-source development by rejecting prompts to make DoSBox game installations work out of the box on linux. GoG is one of the biggest hypocrites I’ve seen in the retail area, they consistently throw their competitors in a negative light, then turn around and engage in identical practices.

    #85 10 months ago
  86. Phoenixblight

    “port games to the XB1, PS4, iOS, Android, etc?”

    WHat crap are you smoking?

    iOS and ANdroid are easy to port most mobile games cost 50k to make in 6 months.

    Most developers don’t mess with Apple and if they do it tends to be a 6 months to a year til release? Why is that?

    Developing for windows based OS is easy as all games are developed on Windows machines and all the middleware products work with this in mind. EA, Activision, Ubisoft developing their own pipeline using Windows with windows in mind for PC and they all go with the lowest common denominator with their ports because they know the console variant is where all the money is and it will continue to be. They won’t be bother to invest vast sums of money to develop their own specialized workflow to make a SteamOS native game.

    The only way they will jump on to this OS is if the millions of Steam users all grab the steamOS and use it exclusively. I as a PC gamer and console gamer don’t see a point. I will not be assed to switch to an OS every time I want to play a game on the PC and I suspect the average joe won’t be either.

    #86 10 months ago
  87. Erthazus

    the death of consoles.
    Basically you can play games in any resolution, any FPS, any graphics you want with STEAM on your living room.
    The DEATH of any console.

    the fact that the system is unified and you can access any device you have at home for Steam. That is awesome.
    Now it only depends on what your hardware will be.

    If I want to play with 1080p and 60 FPS on my TV all the time I will use this, if I want a PC gaming I will use my PC with Steam. Simple as that.

    Now, you can play games in any resolution you want. Everything depends on your hardware.

    #87 10 months ago
  88. pcbros

    @87 – My point was that developers will not reject the Steambox because of it’s operating system.

    “Watch for announcements in the coming weeks about all the AAA titles coming natively to SteamOS in 2014.”

    I bet we will see Ubisoft and Activision on that list.

    “Developing for windows based OS is easy as all games are developed on Windows machines and all the middleware products work with this in mind.”

    It might be easier, but that doesn’t stop them from making games for the Wii U and PS4 which are NOT Windows based.

    “I will not be assed to switch to an OS every time I want to play a game on the PC”

    Switch to an OS? You buy a Steambox, choose a game and play in your living room. If you have a great Windows gaming rig hooked up to your TV, then you play on that. Where is the switching?

    #88 10 months ago
  89. Phoenixblight

    “Switch to an OS? You buy a Steambox, choose a game and play in your living room. If you have a great Windows gaming rig hooked up to your TV, then you play on that. Where is the switching?”

    I have no need to buy a specific device for this. None what so ever. They won’t be able to make a device for the same price as a PS4 or Xbox one as they don’t have the funds to provide to manufacturers to cut costs for buying bulk.

    The big announcement is this OS as it will be free and you can install it on any device. You can essentially make any laptop,PC, smart TV into a steambox. The steambox(if there is one) will be a cheap computer for the people that won’t be bothered with getting a PC.

    “It might be easier, but that doesn’t stop them from making games for the Wii U and PS4 which are NOT Windows based.”

    Fact: Console bring in money far more than the PC counterparts. Its why publishers and developers don’t go all out with PC ports. Also it is quite easy to develop on the PS4 just as easy as it is to develop for Windows. I know this first hand along with all the developers saying as much on gamebiz and gamasutra.

    #89 10 months ago
  90. CyberMarco

    @88 Please tell me what PC with a >500$ budget can play games at “any resolution you want”…

    On topic, this can be a great success or an epic fail. I wouldn’t mind Valve creating a dedicated gaming OS for PC gaming, needing less resources to run compared to Windows. But the problem is, will developers bother to create new tools for this purpose?

    Also, me as a PC/console gamer, why would I need a SteamBox? To be able to stream my “Windows OS” games from my PC to SteamBox sitting in the living room? If that’s it, then it should cost less than 100$. If it’ll create a more development-friendly, less resource-hogging gaming machine then it all depends on the pricing.

    #90 10 months ago
  91. Diingo

    Steam OS could someday become an actual Linux distro to compete with Ubuntu.

    #91 10 months ago
  92. DSB

    I don’t see how there’s any way that Valve can make this a success unless they have windows titles running efficiently on SteamOS.

    That’ll take it from gamechanger to niche app.

    @91 That pretty much sums up the hardware woes. I don’t think there’s any risk of Valve delivering a high end PC for chump change, but I think it would be strange if they didn’t deliver some mid-range hardware at a competitive price.

    NeoSquall @75 sums it up pretty well. The streaming aspect is a given with smart TVs becoming standard, but it would be weird if they simply took a chance on the market accomodating them by putting out the boxes they need.

    There has to be a hardware deal hidden somewhere, otherwise this makes precious little sense. I’m guessing the Piston was dropped because it came in way over what any average joe would be willing to give for one.

    #92 10 months ago
  93. pcbros

    @90 – Ok good for you but not everyone owns a decent gaming rig hooked up to their television.

    So I take it you must think the Sony Vita TV is a waste as well?

    “They won’t be able to make a device for the same price as a PS4 or Xbox one as they don’t have the funds to provide to manufacturers to cut costs for buying bulk.”

    The SteamOS can be licensed to other manufacturers (I can see Alienware making Steamboxes). Second, even if the Steambox is more expensive than a Xbox One, it could provide a better value long term.

    Free online gaming alone will save gamers $50 a year.

    But just because you personally don’t have a need for the SteamOS or Steambox, why shoot it down?

    #93 10 months ago
  94. DSB

    @94 You won’t be able to sell a Steambox for much more than an Xbox One. It’s already a new brand, so you really need to give people something they’ve never seen before.

    The next announcements are gonna be interesting to say the least. But price is absolutely king.

    People aren’t sensible. They want to see a low pricetag now, not later on.

    #94 10 months ago
  95. Phoenixblight

    @94

    HP,Dell, PC manufacturers won’t be making steam boxes what they may do is include the SteamOS. You seem to think the SteamBox is a specialized device its not. It will be exactly like the original Xbox where they just take PC parts and put it in a box. Thats it. The OS is the core of Valve’s plan. Hardware that utilize it will be small fry and niche.

    #95 10 months ago
  96. Erthazus

    The thing that is great about Steam OS that you have a choice with the hardware.

    You can buy any hardware you need or want. You can upgrade it or forget about it. It will be interesting to see how this thing will sell hardware.

    and WHAT CONSOLE CAN LAUNCH DOTA2 ON THEIR TV? THERE IS NONE SO FUCK YOU. Yeeeah! : D

    #96 10 months ago
  97. SplatteredHouse

    All the currently competitive consoles are aligning themselves to a PC-like architecture, so if there are ports to SteamOS then how will they behave. Is it just another sku for weary publishers to port to, or, do they have to build specifically for SteamOS?

    Does it have any existing Middleware compatibility, or are Valve asking publishers to have their developers reinvent the wheel absurdly late on in this cycle?

    #97 10 months ago
  98. Old MacDonald

    Assuming this isn’t just some POS, then I don’t see why it can’t be successful among hardware producers. It’s an OS tailor made for games and media, it has the built in ability to stream games from your PC, it will be free to license and it’ll have netflix and all that. So why would anyone in their right mind make a TV box with Android for instance when this exists? (aka Valve just killed the Ouya)

    #98 10 months ago
  99. Erthazus

    Can you transfer everything you bought from previous gen XBL and PSN to the next?

    No. You can’t!

    With SteamOS – You can. You bought it. Play where you want and how you want with any hardware you want.

    #99 10 months ago
  100. Hcw87

    Can it play Xbox One/PS4 exclusive games?

    Nope, so we’ll still be buying next gen consoles.

    #100 10 months ago
  101. DSB

    @98 I’m pretty sure the idea is that if it works for PC, it’ll work for SteamOS. At least I certainly hope that’s the case.

    Obviously that would be more than slightly hard to do for their software engineers, but I’m hoping.

    My main concern is whether Valve will just make another walled garden. That would pretty much invalidate all the talk that lead us to this point. I would be greatly disappointed by that.

    A “console” (platform, whatever) that actually left itself open to competition would be a sight to see.

    #101 10 months ago
  102. pcbros

    @95 – Value and games are king. If price was the most important thing, then the Wii U is in position to own the next-generation.

    @96 – If they make PCs with the SteamOS, they are essentially making “Steamboxes”. You build a computer with the Mac OS, and you get an Apple computer. Nothing special about Apple’s hardware.

    If Valve just releases an OS, then what’s the game plan? Hope people replace their existing OS with the SteamOS? Hope people build a gaming PC and install the SteamOS? Doesn’t seem like it would be much of a success.

    While the OS is a big part, the hardware side will also be important. They need to get the SteamOS into people’s hands, not just tech-junkies (like me) who love installing different operating systems.

    This thing has to be attractive to the average person (or at the very least, the average Steam user). If not, why invest so much time and money into this “masterplan”?

    #102 10 months ago
  103. CyberMarco

    @Erth

    “The thing that is great about Steam OS that you have a choice with the hardware.”

    Ehm, yeah because you can’t do that already!

    Also you didn’t answer my question, can you play a game at “any resolution you want” with a budget PC?

    Also you can’t find any FF/MGS/KH blah blah blah on PC, so fuck you! :P

    “Can you transfer everything you bought from previous gen XBL and PSN to the next?”

    And what does it have to do with my question?

    @pcbros, as I said earlier a dedicated gaming OS would be a killer for me, if they could manage to deliver a machine for 500$ or less, with upgradeable components and with Steam OS making an AAA game on mid-high settings @60FPS look the same as a 800$+ windows machine then sure as hell I’m in.

    But it’s a long stretch I suppose.

    #103 10 months ago
  104. DSB

    @103 The Wii U isn’t directly competing with the PS4 and Xbox One though, it’s not a “core” game console.

    #104 10 months ago
  105. pcbros

    @104 – Each platform has their pros and cons. But I think Valve is trying to make the PC a true competing platform.

    The average person sees PC gaming as something only people with $2K rigs can do or something very complicated to deal with (errors, installs, patches, etc).

    Steam was a big step in the right direction. The SteamOS and Steambox are the next steps.

    @105 – Whether it competes or not, developers still makes games for it. And it’s install base isn’t exactly impressive. So if they make games for the Wii U, why not make games for the SteamOS?

    #105 10 months ago
  106. Phoenixblight

    “If Valve just releases an OS, then what’s the game plan? Hope people replace their existing OS with the SteamOS? Hope people build a gaming PC and install the SteamOS? Doesn’t seem like it would be much of a success.”

    You have never used Linux have you? You would dual boot it, just like some people do with macs or windows. Thats what you will have to do since this OS will be available to all to download and use there is no point for anyone to get a specific device that has SteamOS only. As I said you can grab a netbox for couple hundred, format it and install SteamOS place near the TV, jobs done. You could do the same thing with a mini PC and upgrade the parts as you see fit.

    #106 10 months ago
  107. DSB

    @106 Well, the Wii is a pretty bad example. You had an install base of what? 105 million on paper. Most third party titles didn’t even break 2 million.

    It was pretty incredible to see. The only third party games that sold more than 2 million was stuff like Just Dance and Zumba Fitness.

    It was absurd.

    Hopefully developers won’t have to accomodate SteamOS specifically. I’m really hoping it’ll play Windows games too. Otherwise it’s a bust.

    #107 10 months ago
  108. pcbros

    @107 – I have used Linux (Fedora, Ubuntu, MintLinux, Suse, etc). But not sure what that has to do with dual booting. But if you have a Windows gaming PC, why dual boot with SteamOS? Seems pointless. Stick with Windows.

    “as I said you can grab a netbox for couple hundred format it and install SteamOS place near the TV, jobs done.”

    Great, you built your first Steambox! But that cheap box might not handle AAA games.

    @108 – Developers have to treat the SteamOS like developing for Linux. No way to make Windows games run natively on a Linux-based SteamOS. Atleast, not that I can see.

    #108 10 months ago
  109. Phoenixblight

    @109

    Nor will Valves version especially for 300$. You would be dreaming.

    There is no way Valve will be able to get a device that plays all the games PS4 and Xbox One will for 300$ or even 500$. None. Valve doesn’t have that kind of freedom. They don’t have the money that Sony and MS put into next gen. They will have to buy all the parts a la carte and assemble them.

    #109 10 months ago
  110. pcbros

    @110 – I think if the Steambox is supposed to run AAA games well, you’d be looking at a $600 range retail price (that’s my guess).

    But price means nothing without first seeing the hardware, the features, and the games.

    By this weekend, we should have a clear picture of that this is all about. Till then, no sense trashing something we know little about.

    #110 10 months ago
  111. monkeygourmet

    @110

    I’m not really asking for a to and fro, but something is clearly happening and been in planning stages for some time in the ‘valve’ camp.

    I don’t think they would be completely misjudged in their concept (whatever that is), but you seem to have already decided what it is and why it won’t work…?

    I don’t quite understand the attitude, especially from someone in the industry? Surely this is exciting and Valve must be confident enough to make moves just as the 2 big players are about to launch?

    I think we need the other 2 parts of the puzzle before complaining with ifs and buts.

    Edit:

    Half Life 3, Portal 3 & Left for Dead 3 timed exclusives would prob shift a few boxes :)

    #111 10 months ago
  112. Phoenixblight

    @112

    Because I don’t understand how people are putting this on a pedestal and claiming its the second coming of christ. Its not not even close. I also have experience with game development and manufacturing so I am putting my 2 cents in as is most people. I was pretty accurate with what they had to do only I didn’t see them making an OS open for all devices.

    Valve has a lot of money for 200 employees and businesses like that do a lot of experiments because they can not all of them are good ventures. Google does it all the time infact they just jumped into the healthcare industry.

    “@110 – I think if the Steambox is supposed to run AAA games well, you’d be looking at a $600 range retail price (that’s my guess).”

    If that was the case they would have stayed with Piston but they dropped them.

    #112 10 months ago
  113. monkeygourmet

    “Because I don’t understand how people are putting this on a pedestal and claiming its the second coming of christ. Its not not even close. ”

    Hardly anyone has done that in this thread. To be honest, the majority seem to tilt towards a negative first impression. Even PCBros is just hypothesising by the looks of it.

    #113 10 months ago
  114. Phoenixblight

    @114

    no PCBros has been putting on a pedestal as others have maybe not in this thread but in all related to the SteamBox.

    Also who are you to tell me what I should or shouldn’t do. I am doing the same thing as anyone else here.

    #114 10 months ago
  115. DSB

    @109 If SteamOS is subject to the same old limitations of Linux, then it’s dead in the water.

    Either Valve find a way to make it work seamlessly with modern games, or they’ve lost already.

    Nobody’s gonna take Linux seriously in its current state. Unless SteamOS bridges the gap, it’s done.

    I’m guessing they must have found a way to do it though, otherwise this announcement seems kinda dumb.

    #115 10 months ago
  116. worntreads

    wouldn’t it be something if valve made a failproof compatibility layer with directx and xinput (and all the other proprietary microsoft stuff)? Even fi they didn’t, I’m having so much fun with the games from the humblebundles that I hardly play anything else. Most of those are available on steam for linux now, too. This brings up a question…what does the living room control scheme for FTL look like?

    I’m expecting a source2 announcment sometime this week as well. Steambox on Wed., source 2, games, and incredible easy mod integration on Friday. How about it?

    #116 10 months ago
  117. pcbros

    @113 – “Because I don’t understand how people are putting this on a pedestal and claiming its the second coming of christ. Its not not even close.”

    @115 – “no PCBros has been putting on a pedestal as others have”

    I’m personally excited (but then again I was also excited about EVERY console launch). I like technology and I enjoy seeing new products roll out. I happen to love PC gaming (Steam), so this news is especially exciting for me. Doesn’t mean I’m putting it on a pedestal. I’m sure you are excited about the PS4/XB1…

    I just like contributing to articles with personal opinions and predictions.

    You on the other hand, have been actively trashing this, even before any information was revealed. So which is worse, to be excited about a new product announcement or to shoot it down before it’s even announced?

    @116 – I don’t think SteamOS is just Linux with a Steam logo. I’m sure Valve has custmized it.

    #117 10 months ago
  118. Phoenixblight

    @118

    Shoot it down because I can be pleasantly surprised where you are building it to epic proportions and more than likely going to be shot down. I am also more informed in these things so its quite easy to see where the flaws lie.

    #118 10 months ago
  119. fkid

    Are you guys joking?! I read every comment and NONE of you seemed to notice that the SteamOS will allow for streaming games to play from a PC to the TV? It seems like most of you didn’t even scroll down the announcement page about the OS. Dear lord, we’re in trouble. A typical scenario may be, user A has an awesome gaming rig in one room, while he has a big screen TV on another floor, but he wants to game on that TV with a controller and using his current Steam library. Enter, the SteamOS with whatever hardware you want (as you have streaming).

    That aside, the OS will be optimized (as they mentioned) for titles to run better (graphics/audio drivers, latency reduction etc.) than on equivalent (as in cost vs. performance) PCs for developers that build their games to run on it. It also makes it simpler and easier (with potential financial incentive) for developers to create a Linux based port of their PC titles with a stable, single Linux-based SteamOS to focus on. Surely, it’s sensible to realize this isn’t some sort of epic, life-changing announcement, but we still have 2 more big updates left. Oh, and it’s free! Hold your horses before making sweeping judgements. And learn how to read!

    #119 10 months ago
  120. SplatteredHouse

    “I’m expecting a source2 announcment sometime this week as well. ”

    Oh? So, that means we’ll be finding out another new title for Valve’s old faves. Introducing: Counter Strike – Go Source! In which you play one of a crack team of militant PAs, that aren’t prepared to take “out of stock” for an answer.

    #120 10 months ago
  121. pcbros

    @119 – “Shoot it down because I can be pleasantly surprised where you are building it to epic proportions and more than likely going to be shot down.”

    Where do I build it up to epic proportions? Please quote…

    “I am also more informed in these things so its quite easy to see where the flaws lie.”

    You have no idea what my background is or probably anybody else’s. So how do you know you are more informed?

    Either way, I’m not going to get into a personal argument. I respect your opinion, I just don’t agree with it.

    In the meantime, I’ll be waiting for announcement #2! :D

    #121 10 months ago
  122. pcbros

    @120 – I mentioned the streaming feature in comment #29 :P

    #122 10 months ago
  123. Kabby

    Let the dog see the rabbit.

    #123 10 months ago
  124. Dave Cook

    @124 Let the Cornnish see the pastie.

    #124 10 months ago
  125. Pitts

    A fine excuse to build a new PC.

    #125 10 months ago

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