SteamOS: “if it were some other random company I would be pseudo-scornful,” says Carmack

Saturday, 19 October 2013 20:34 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

During Nvidia’s Montreal conference, id Software and Oculus Rift man John Carmak said during the Q&A portion of a panel that if it has been “some other random” company other than Valve to come out and announce SteamOS and Steam Box, he would have been “pseudo-scornful” of the move.


Answering a question posed by PCgamesN
, Carmack said since “it’s Valve,” he’s not so skeptical despite the struggle which might occur moving things over to Linux.

“Valve approached id at the very beginning of Steam asking about launch title status for Doom 3,” said Carmack. “And we basically said, ‘Are you crazy? It would be nuts to tie yourself to this little notional digital distribution platform’ but, clearly, Valve have played a good, strong long game.

“I’m afraid that I might be at that same point right now where I’m like ‘making your own console OS? Are you crazy?’ Maybe ten years from now they’re going to look like they’ve made billions of profits again with it.

“It still seems a little bit dicey to me, getting everything moved over to Linux, pushing from that side of things, but given their track record I’m a little hesitant to… if it were some other random company I would be pseudo-scornful but it’s Valve so I’m not.”

Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games, added that at present, there’s “a lot of fear from the major publishers and developers,” in regards to being tied down to platforms controlled by Microsoft and Sony, or others.

“Absolute control over certification is scary and their control of econgress rules out possibilities where we would like to have direct relationships with our customers and they prevent it,” said Sweeney. “The possibility of Steam Box as a real, genuinely open platform based on Linux with multiple manufacturers that’s jump-started by Valve but isn’t absolutely controlled by Valve in the same way that Microsoft and Sony control their platform is very interesting.

“It’ll also go a long way to steering the console manufacturers into pursuing an enlightened path.”

Johan Andersson, technical Director of Frostbite at EA DICE, also agreed with Sweeney and Carmack that it’s too soon deduce whether Valve’s venture will be successful or not, but none of them would deny the tech’s potential to “completely change the game industry’s landscape.”

A video of the panel is below and the Valve discussion takes place around the 30 minute mark.

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