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  (Source: Polygon)
New "console" is expected to run Linux, play Windows-compatible games

For PC gamers who love Linux, but are loathe to give up their games that run on Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows operating system, Valve Corp. thinks it has the solution.  That solution, the "Steam Box", is expected to be announced at a special event on Monday after months of rumors and anticipation.

Rare staffing changes at Valve may have delayed the console, but it appears to be finally ready, much to the joy of eager gamers.

I. Steam Box Strikes Another Blow to Limping Windows Hegemony

At a LinuxCon 2013 keynote, sometimes "CEO" Gabe Newell (Valve employees have no official job titles, although Mr. Newell -- a company cofounder, performs most of the typical functions of a company's CEO) told the audience than next week his company would reveal, "the hardware opportunities we see for bringing Linux into the living room."


And today a launch page with a countdown timer went live.  The countdown points to a Monday unveil and a 2014 ship date for the console with the title:

The Steam Universe is Expanding in 2014

Steam Coundown

The page states:

Last year, we shipped a software feature called Big Picture, a user-interface tailored for televisions and gamepads.
This year we’ve been working on even more ways to connect the dots for customers who want Steam in the living-room.
Soon, we’ll be adding you to our design process, so that you can help us shape the future of Steam.

Reportedly the Linux-based box will be fully compatible with most Windows OS games of the past and present without any complicated custom fiddling.  It is unclear what Linux distribution the console will run, but we should soon find out.  

II. Steam Box Runs Linux -- Could it be a Chrome Box?

Google Inc.'s (GOOG) hot Chrome OS is one potential possibility.  At the 2013 Intel Developer Forum multiple companies showed off Chrome OS laptops (Chromebooks) and desktop machines (Chrome Boxes).  The Steam Box may prove to be the ultimate Chrome Box, with gaming geared modifications to the operating system to provide smooth compatibility with x86 Windows games.

Google Chrome Logo
The Steam Box could be a ChromeBox. [Image Source: Google]

If not Chrome OS, it's likely that Valve will have adopted and modified another popular Linux distribution, such as Canonical's Ubuntu or Mint OS.

Valve's decision to use Linux for its upcoming console, rather than Microsoft's Windows 8/8.1, is a sign of the companies' weakening relationship.  While Valve remains loyal to its customers -- including Windows gamers -- Gabe Newell publicly attacked Microsoft's decision to limit third party app stores like Steam in Windows 8.

The decision is also somewhat a testament to the weakening position of Windows in general.  At the 2013 Intel Developer Forum, Androids -- the mascots of Google Inc.'s (GOOG) industry-leading mobile Linux distribution -- danced outside the convention center in Intel Corp. (INTC) garb.  Intel, long so closely aligned with Microsoft Windows than customers dubbed the pair "Wintel", took a number of subtle jabs at Microsoft during talks and keynotes, while emphasizing a growing number of Android and Chrome OS solutions.

Microsoft is still the world's most used desktop and laptop operating system, but its grip on the market appears to be weakening after Google's stellar Chrome OS and Android successes, along with the chilly reception of Windows 8.

II. Three Steam Boxes Planned?

As for the onboard hardware, Valve may look to use content streamed from Windows servers for its initial implementation, allowing the Steam Box itself to feature minimal hardware in its initial build.  Such a scheme would not be unheard of -- Microsoft's own upcoming Xbox One offers developers the ability to offload processing to the cloud.  Other companies like OnLive have offered streamed, virtualized Windows desktop environments for iOS devices.

In a January interview with The Verge, Gabe Newell described the plan for "good", "better", and "best" hardware solutions, stating:

The way we sort of think of it is sort of "Good, Better," or "Best." So, Good are like these very low-cost streaming solutions that you’re going to see that are using Miracast or Grid. I think we’re talking about in-home solutions where you've got low latency. "Better" is to have a dedicated CPU and GPU and that’s the one that’s going to be controlled. Not because our goal is to control it; it’s been surprisingly difficult when we say to people "don't put an optical media drive in there" and they put an optical media drive in there and you're like "that makes it hotter, that makes it more expensive, and it makes the box bigger." Go ahead. You can always sell the Best box, and those are just whatever those guys want to manufacture. [Valve's position is]: let's build a thing that’s quiet and focuses on high performance and appropriate form factors.

The countdown page features three dots, with only the first one active with the countdown timer to Monday.  The Verge has speculated these dots line up with the different configurations Mr. Newell discussed.

Polygon has shown off one alleged hardware configuration from Xi3 Corp., a maker of small, stylish modular computers:

Steam Box

SteamBox back
A reported Steam Box prototype [Image Source: Polygon]

It's unknown whether this will be one of the final Steam Boxes.

Aside from software and the box's general hardware, one last feature to point out is the inclusiion of the aforementioned Miracast wireless display technology.  Valve has partnered with Miracast to including this technology in the Steam Box -- which will allow it to connect to multiple televisions all around your house, or even to use select mobile devices as a second screen.

Sources: Valve, Gabe Newell on YouTube



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Closed platform
By inighthawki on 9/20/2013 3:58:45 PM , Rating: 4
Does it strike anyone else as odd that Valve is pushing so hard for "Open Platforms," doing things like investing heavily into Linux gaming, and talking about how these are both the future of gaming, yet they then own and operate one of the world's largest closed and proprietary digital distribution applications in the world, and completely control the content that is exposed through it?

Sounds more like they are just investing into a possibly untapped market and using buzzwords like "Open" to attract the people who typically make up this market. Because last I checked, Windows is the majority platform for gaming by a large margin, and is also a completely and 100% open platform that anyone can develop and ship their games on.




RE: Closed platform
By hpglow on 9/20/2013 4:27:14 PM , Rating: 3
When do you have to make "open" software to hand out money to open projects. I'm sure the recipients of the money were upset. Not everyone is an open source snob. Steam didn't get to be number 1 by making poor decisions. You can believe in open source and still be in a position where it doesn't work for your own software or your investors won't allow it. Being an armchair quarterback is free and easy building a multi-billion dollar company takes time and work.


RE: Closed platform
By inighthawki on 9/20/2013 4:42:53 PM , Rating: 3
If you watch Gabe Newell's LinuxCon speech about Linux and the future of gaming, you'll see what I mean. He is very adamant that nothing good can come from a closed environment, and complains about Apple's app store, but then ignores their own closed platform. I just think it seems weird is all, maybe a bit hypocritical.


RE: Closed platform
By Guspaz on 9/20/2013 7:39:23 PM , Rating: 2
Steam has evolved over time from a closed system into a more open one, and Valve has discussed in the past their plans to open it further.

You have to keep in mind that Steam evolved from a platform that was purely for delivering first-party games; there was no need for openness because it was just a glorified auto-update mechanism for their own stuff. Over time it evolved into a platform that other developers could sell their stuff on.

One of the early things that opened up was the ability to have some degree of integration with external games; today, that's represented as being able to have Steam list, launch, and overlay functionality on top of non-steam games. More recently has been Greenlight, which opens a big chunk of the game selection process. Valve is still a bottleneck as a final arbiter there, but has said that they do plan to eventually step out of this role and have the community itself do the final approval on the games; at that point, the platform (as it relates to getting games on steam) will be fully open.

They've moved in that direction in other areas as well. There's the whole item economy aspect to things, for example, which is entirely community driven. Newell has also discussed his desire to move the management of the Steam storefront itself to communities, by giving users themselves the ability to curate their own storefront, separating the wheat from the chaff.

So, is Steam entirely open today? No. They are, however, cautiously moving in that direction. Simply opening the floodgates without the infrastructure and convention in place to manage that process would be a disaster.


RE: Closed platform
By Da W on 9/22/2013 9:35:14 AM , Rating: 2
Is there another meaningful online game distribution Platform? no.
Is there competition? no.
Can you buy a boxed game on a DISC and play it without being logged to steam? less and less.
Will there be a competitor to steam on steam boxes? no.
Will there be a competitor to steam on Windows? yes it might. Microsoft itslef may be one, which is why the fat bastard Valve CEO is angry in the first place.

I will live with my livetiles thank you. I can choose my CPU-GPU-RAM i put in it. I have 2 controlers. May have a kinnect for Windows. 90% of console games will be ported. I will still play blizzard's games.


RE: Closed platform
By Reclaimer77 on 9/20/13, Rating: -1
RE: Closed platform
By inighthawki on 9/20/2013 8:12:10 PM , Rating: 2
No, Windows is not a closed platform, it is only closed SOURCE. Open vs closed platform means something very different, and has nothing to do with open vs closed source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_platform

Steam is a closed platform because only Valve has control over the content that is published. This is the same as the app store on iOS and the stores on Win8 and OSX, which are also closed platforms/environments. The win32 desktop is 100% open.


RE: Closed platform
By Reclaimer77 on 9/21/2013 3:47:43 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Steam is a closed platform because only Valve has control over the content that is published.


That's, conveniently, a pretty generic and broad-based definition you're using. It's not that simple.

That's like saying Wal-Mart isn't open to the public because they control what products are on the shelves...

quote:
This is the same as the app store on iOS


Oh hell no, now I know you're off base big time.

quote:
The win32 desktop is 100% open.


Here you're comparing apples to oranges. You can't compare an app store to an entire OS. If you were even remotely interested in being objective, you would have to compare Steam to Microsoft's Modern Windows Store. Oh hmmm, what do we have here? Microsoft has control over the content that's is published there!


RE: Closed platform
By inighthawki on 9/21/2013 5:39:42 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's, conveniently, a pretty generic and broad-based definition you're using. It's not that simple. That's like saying Wal-Mart isn't open to the public because they control what products are on the shelves...

It is that simple, and that example doesn't make much sense at all, because that is exactly what it would mean. Walmart would NOT be considered an open store, else anyone could just sell their own stuff on Walmart's shelves.

quote:
Oh hell no, now I know you're off base big time.

From the perspective of the sales model, yes it is identical. Apps are submitted to Valve to be approved to sell on the steam store. The store sells that product with a DRM licensing scheme provided through their store. In the same way, Apple approves requests to sell apps on the app store, and they ahve similar DRM and licensing schemes for apps purchased and downloaded from their store. If you believe otherwise, please cite a specific example of why they would NOT be considered equals other than "now I know you're off base big time." That is not actually an argument.

quote:
Here you're comparing apples to oranges. You can't compare an app store to an entire OS. If you were even remotely interested in being objective, you would have to compare Steam to Microsoft's Modern Windows Store. Oh hmmm, what do we have here? Microsoft has control over the content that's is published there!

When I mentioned Win32 desktop, I was simply referring to programming anything in the desktop environment, which can be compiled, distributed and run completely independently with no contract or licensing from microsoft. It is 100% open and Microsoft has no say in whether your app can be run or not. As for the windows 8 store, I do not disagree. It is equally comparable to both steam and the iPhone's app store. I never claimed it wasn't, and if you re-read my posts, you will see I never tried to use it as an argument. So why do you try to make it sound like I did? I didn't mention the modern components of Windows at all. I mentioned desktop apps as an example of an open platform. The app store was just a more convenient and well known example, and it also happened to be mentioned directly in Gabe's speech.


RE: Closed platform
By Reclaimer77 on 9/21/2013 1:09:02 PM , Rating: 2
Again, I don't see how it's applicable to compare Steam to Windows. Steam isn't an operating system environment, it just runs on top of whatever OS. Which is why:

quote:
I never claimed it wasn't, and if you re-read my posts, you will see I never tried to use it as an argument. So why do you try to make it sound like I did?


I brought up the Windows Store. And no, I never tried to make it "sound" like you were making that argument. I'M telling you that comparing Steam to Windows is biased, they are two dissimilar platforms. You have to compare Steam to the Windows Store! Do you have a major reading comprehension problem or something?

quote:
When I mentioned Win32 desktop, I was simply referring to programming anything in the desktop environment, which can be compiled, distributed and run completely independently with no contract or licensing from microsoft. It is 100% open and Microsoft has no say in whether your app can be run or not.


Well again, Valve has no "desktop environment" to compare to Windows. However they DO give all of their software and developer tools out for free. And you can even use these to distribute/sell games, software, and mods outside of Steam. Is that not "open" to you?

I get that your original OP was intended to make Valve appear to be hypocritical, but I don't think it's that simple. I think you were more interested in getting a dig in than having a real discussion about this.

Also Gabe's statements are about where they are going, not where they've been. Unless you have all the details about the inner workings of this "Steambox", you cannot possibly say if it's going to be open or closed.


RE: Closed platform
By inighthawki on 9/21/2013 2:51:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'M telling you that comparing Steam to Windows is biased, they are two dissimilar platforms. You have to compare Steam to the Windows Store! Do you have a major reading comprehension problem or something?

No, you can compare it to any platform you want. Windows is a desktop OS, and it is an open environment. This is what an open environment IS. You are asking me to force a comparison between only closed environments. Steam is directly comparable to things like the app store and the windows store, because they are all closed. Windows desktop is an open environment. Just because it doesn't have some distribution mechanism or behave identically doesn't change that.

quote:
Well again, Valve has no "desktop environment" to compare to Windows. However they DO give all of their software and developer tools out for free. And you can even use these to distribute/sell games, software, and mods outside of Steam. Is that not "open" to you?

Absolutely that is open. Any game which gives out tools to create software and mods and has no restriction on distribution, meaning anyone can publish their content at any time, is an open environment.

quote:
Also Gabe's statements are about where they are going, not where they've been. Unless you have all the details about the inner workings of this "Steambox", you cannot possibly say if it's going to be open or closed.

You're right, I don't know where they're going, and I don't know anything about the steambox, and I have no idea how it'll work. I was simply commenting about steam as it is today.


RE: Closed platform
By TakinYourPoints on 9/23/2013 3:58:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Oh hell no, now I know you're off base big time.


It is absolutely the same thing. Steam, iOS App Store, WP8/RT Store are the same idea. Sell software to users that are tied to an account. Steam is actually the most restrictive of the three and on average pays out less than the 70% that Apple/Microsoft/Google do to developers.

On top of that, it is also the hardest to get software through. They are trying to address this problem by automating approvals with Greenlight, but it still doesn't work as well as something like the App Store where they throw manpower to approve more apps.

Valve doesn't approve nearly the volume that other stores do, which in some cases locks out totally worthy games for longer than its non-DRM counterparts do.


RE: Closed platform
By rsmech on 9/21/2013 2:09:45 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like ms has rules to. Don't share source code. But I guess you don't like their rules so it doesn't apply.


RE: Closed platform
By rsmech on 9/22/2013 3:25:50 AM , Rating: 2
Do you work for google? I think I remember a similar question being asked of Tony.

Maybe I missed something but were you the first to bring windows into the discussion? Why windows bash even when its not been part of the discussion. Since you like the Android platform so much I would expect you to defend it but always bringing up windows. Your the one who keeps bringing oranges to the apple argument. It's like Tony 2.0


RE: Closed platform
By Cheesew1z69 on 9/22/2013 7:58:31 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's like Tony 2.0
He certainly is no Tony 2.0...


RE: Closed platform
By TakinYourPoints on 9/23/13, Rating: 0
RE: Closed platform
By Cheesew1z69 on 9/23/2013 8:08:46 AM , Rating: 2
Cool story bro....


RE: Closed platform
By Wolfpup on 9/23/2013 2:35:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, it is ironic.


How will Windows based games be compatible?
By tviceman on 9/20/2013 5:37:19 PM , Rating: 3
The article says "Reportedly the Linux-based box will be fully compatible with most Windows OS games of the past and present without any complicated custom fiddling."

I've heard of and know the basics of WINE, but if Valve developed something competent that could intercept and translate directx instructions, wouldn't such a program with that level of distribution be potentially illegal?




By ClownPuncher on 9/20/2013 6:31:26 PM , Rating: 3
Possibly, and it would come with a performance hit, likely in terms of frame latency.


By FastEddieLB on 9/22/2013 12:15:19 AM , Rating: 2
Sure, if they hijacked/reverse engineered Microsoft's source code. On the other hand, if they built it from the ground up, nothing illegal about it.


By TakinYourPoints on 9/23/2013 3:53:54 AM , Rating: 2
There is no evidence that this is happening, it is completely pulled out of thin air. I would be blown away if they got a universal brain-dead-simple WINE wrapper working with the entire Windows library.

Typical of this site, lots and lots of conjecture with a healthy side of bias


By polishvendetta on 9/20/2013 4:07:41 PM , Rating: 5
Can the author of this article please explain how the announcement of a future product that has no specs is decreasing the sales of Windows games?

And then please explain your sources that makes you belive Windows has lost market share in the gaming area?

Until this takes atleast 1% of world wide game sales this is vaporware.




By GulWestfale on 9/20/2013 4:46:44 PM , Rating: 3
you just wait until the phantom is launched...


Why Valve is doing this
By TakinYourPoints on 9/23/2013 4:04:37 AM , Rating: 5
1) It takes years at best to develop platforms
2) The desktop market is in steady decline
3) Even laptop sales are slowing
4) Sales of closed platform alternatives such as iOS and Android devices are increasing every year
5) Steam cannot exist on the App Store, Google Play, WinRT, or any other closed ecosystem
6) Valve, as we know it, is contingent on Steam being successful
7) Steam cannot be successful if 1) through 5) are true
8) Valve must foster a platform it can exist on

This is all about hedging against if Windows ends up shutting out third party closed-platforms like Steam. It doesn't matter if it takes years for this to be true or doesn't come true at all, Valve needs to lay the groundwork right now.

They did the same thing with Steam, a platform people laughed at and even hated that took five years to even begin realizing its potential.

If they don't get shut out of the desktop, great, and if they do then Linux is their get-out-of-jail-free card.




Perspective
By augiem on 9/20/2013 9:25:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Microsoft is still the world's most used desktop and laptop operating system, but its grip on the market appears to be weakening after Google's stellar Chrome OS and Android successes, along with the chilly reception of Windows 8.


So Chrome OS is doing "stellar" and Windows 8 is "chilly"...

From the article you linked:
"[Chrome OS] they accounted for nearly 5 percent of PC sales last quarter (1 in every 20 PCs sold)."

So what's on the other 95% of PC's sold I wonder? (OSX and Windows 8 mainly).

Laugh.




RE: Perspective
By geekman1024 on 9/22/2013 1:51:21 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Laugh.


No no no! In the Internet, you don't say "Laugh.".

You say "LOLz" or "ROFL".

Welcome to the Internet.


Interesting future of gaming...
By techxx on 9/20/2013 3:45:15 PM , Rating: 3
Lead the way, Gabe!




steam + xbmc + chrome os = win!
By Yofa on 9/20/2013 4:06:27 PM , Rating: 2
put steam and xbmc on a chromebox and i'll dump my ouya faster than a cheating girlfriend with an sti.




By troysavary on 9/20/2013 5:40:47 PM , Rating: 2
The rallying cry of the anti-MS crowd for the last two decades.

You think MS is even the least bit worried about Newell and his crying over the Windows Store?




1000 bucks for this?
By Cheesew1z69 on 9/20/2013 7:38:02 PM , Rating: 2
ROFL! No thanks!




hi
By lexi222 on 9/23/2013 1:52:31 PM , Rating: 2
Juliana. even though Bryan`s storry is incredible... on tuesday I bought a new Nissan GT-R: when I got my check for $8163 this - five weeks past and just a little over ten k this past-munth. it's by-far my favourite-work Ive had. I started this 10-months ago and right away began to bring in at least $78... per hour. go to this site .......... http://x.co/2PPTr




They lost me at Linux
By SpartanJet on 9/20/13, Rating: -1
RE: They lost me at Linux
By JasonMick (blog) on 9/20/2013 4:03:07 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Sorry but I'd want a windows system. They wont be getting my money.
I don't mean this as a knock on Windows and Microsoft, but I don't really get your comment or why you "need" Windows outside of a few work-specific scenarios.

Assuming it runs all Windows games and Office and if you're buying it for a gaming and/or non-Windows dev system, why?

I can see if you want a machine for developing for Windows or if it's a work machine and needs to run legacy software, but otherwise why dismiss the Steam Box if all your games will run on it?


RE: They lost me at Linux
By GulWestfale on 9/20/2013 4:44:51 PM , Rating: 2
i need office... on my PC. i don't care what OS my games play on. as long as this linux of theirs comes with an easy to use interface so the non-gamers/pc-ers can understand it, then i don't see the problem. remember, android is really just linux with a pretty face, and that's been doing rather well, wouldn't you say?


RE: They lost me at Linux
By FastEddieLB on 9/22/2013 12:21:01 AM , Rating: 2
Linux Mint comes with a remarkably user-friendly interface called Cinnamon and it comes pre-packaged with Libre Office, an open-source alternative to MS Office. Also available via the software center (which allows for one-click installation of programs) is Oracle's Open Office. The only thing that Linux doesn't have is OneNote, and if that's the thing holding you back I don't blame you, but if not, don't be scared of looking into Linux. You can even use a virtual machine or a live CD to try it out before you completely dismiss it as the antichrist of operating systems.


RE: They lost me at Linux
By troysavary on 9/20/2013 5:41:48 PM , Rating: 3
Because WINE emulation just doesn't cut it. Most games are not made for Linux, and I doubt Valve has the power by themselves to change that.


RE: They lost me at Linux
By Bubbacub on 9/21/2013 7:07:22 AM , Rating: 2
sorry but.....

wine is not an eumlator

p.s. office 2010 and almost all the games i want to play (admittedly i'm an old git that likes to play things like civ3 and panzer general 2) run rock solid under wine


RE: They lost me at Linux
By inighthawki on 9/20/2013 6:54:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
but otherwise why dismiss the Steam Box if all your games will run on it?

How exactly is it going to run "all" of my games? Last I checked, WINE could barely even run any DX11 titles, and still struggled with most DX9 apps.


RE: They lost me at Linux
By MooseMuffin on 9/20/2013 4:10:04 PM , Rating: 2
They're pitching it as a game console, not a computer. You'll never see anything except the game you're running or steam's big picture mode regardless of what OS its running.


RE: They lost me at Linux
By hpglow on 9/20/13, Rating: 0
RE: They lost me at Linux
By EnzoFX on 9/20/2013 4:17:03 PM , Rating: 3
For something that's meant for gaming, I think it's makes absolutely no sense to have a full-fledged, and fat ugly OS running on it. Secondly, I'm sure they'd rather not pay any licensing to MS, it's an avoidable cost. It simply needs to run the games, a stripped down, customized Linux makes complete sense, similar to what most hardware manufacturers do...


RE: They lost me at Linux
By inighthawki on 9/20/2013 5:15:47 PM , Rating: 1
One can look at it both ways. That license cost to Microsoft empowers users with a much larger and broader game library which would only enhance their sales figures, since more games would be available. They could easily swallow the cost of the license and make it up in sales via steam rather quickly. This is obviously not their goal, though. It's clear they want to push the Linux market, so that's what they went for.


RE: They lost me at Linux
By EnzoFX on 9/20/2013 5:56:27 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah. I think they want to be in control, they want to start defining so they are always in full control. They do not want to just be a Windows "promoter". They are clearly not seeking to just get Steam to run, and hope you run what's available. They want to move the entire platform forward. This is a big picture move, no pun intended lol. They will have more freedom with Linux, etc. etc.


RE: They lost me at Linux
By Motoman on 9/20/2013 5:21:14 PM , Rating: 1
The only benefit to Windows over Linux for a gaming system is game software support. Obviously only a tiny fraction of the world's popular PC games are available natively on Linux.

But if they port all the games to run natively on Linux...then who cares?

It's a game console. It's not an HTPC...or really a PC in any sense of the word. So unless you want to start arguing that the PS4 needs to be running Windows, you have no argument to make.


RE: They lost me at Linux
By ClownPuncher on 9/20/2013 6:30:08 PM , Rating: 2
Do you understand how big of a task it is to "port" all of the games to Linux?


RE: They lost me at Linux
By ResStellarum on 9/20/2013 10:47:47 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Do you understand how big of a task it is to "port" all of the games to Linux?


Most new games coming out these days are multiplatform by default. Valve has already ported the Source engine, along with Half Life, Portal, LFD2, Team Fortress, and others to GNU/Linux.

The Steambox is a great idea, because, just like the Xbox, PS, etc, Game developers will start targeting it, which means all those games will automatically run on the Linux desktop too. That's a compelling reason to develop for it.

There's no need to be binary compatible with Windows any more using things like WINE. We get real Linux games now thanks to Valve.

It's funny how people are commenting that they expect the whole catalogue of Windows games to be available from day one. When the Xbone and PS4 come out, they won't automatically run every Windows PC game either, but I don't see anyone complaining. That's because new games coming out will support them, just like they will the Steambox. It will be a complete non-issue in time.


RE: They lost me at Linux
By Piiman on 9/21/2013 1:54:31 PM , Rating: 2
"
There's no need to be binary compatible with Windows any more using things like WINE. We get real Linux games now thanks to Valve."

Only if it sells, BIG.


RE: They lost me at Linux
By Bubbacub on 9/21/2013 7:16:16 AM , Rating: 2
its a big deal but not as big as it would have been before the consoles became the target hardware for 99% of developers.

direct x is the main thing keeping pc gaming on windows.

all game developers have an open gl like render pathway (for ps3 porting) given the way in which most pc's have much more rendering power than an xbox 360/ps3 even a quick dirty inefficient port would run smmothly.

valve could also offer developers a rebate on the cut they have to pay to valve if they offer a linux client as a way of encouraging such ports.

other mechanisms for getting a quick linux port include packaging wine into the build e.g. the eve online linux client (now discontued) was the wintel code packaged into wine - it ran with a double click and no hassles.


RE: They lost me at Linux
By Motoman on 9/21/2013 9:02:17 AM , Rating: 2
Yup. Do you understand that they're actually doing it?


RE: They lost me at Linux
By ClownPuncher on 9/23/2013 1:48:35 PM , Rating: 2
No, they aren't. They are allowing streaming from Windows PC's to Steambox for all games that don't play well with compatibility layers.


RE: They lost me at Linux
By Motoman on 9/25/2013 1:04:33 PM , Rating: 2
It appears that that may be true...in which case I call shenanigans.


RE: They lost me at Linux
By ppardee on 9/24/2013 5:04:03 PM , Rating: 2
You wouldn't expect Steam to port the games, but if the original game was programmed well, it isn't that big of a deal. The direct interaction with the OS and DirectX should be pretty well abstracted and you'd simply have to write a new provider for the OS-specific methods and graphics API calls. Shouldn't take more than a 100 man-hours of work per game to code and test (assuming they're doing TDD, but what fools wouldn't be doing TDD??) The ROI on something like that is pretty good if it's a fairly new game since you've opened up a whole new market.

If the game was programmed poorly, yeah, you're screwt.


"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)














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