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Op Ed

Ars Technica - Can SteamOS drag the PC game industry over to Linux?
Today, Valve said we should watch for "announcements in the coming weeks about all the AAA titles coming natively to SteamOS in 2014." There is one AAA announcement in particular, though, that would be bigger than all the others combined. It could instantly get millions of gamers to seriously consider making the jump (or at least adding on) a Linux-based OS for their gaming needs. That announcement would be a SteamOS-exclusive version of Half-Life 3 (or, somehow, if another Valve sequel or franchise with HL3-levels of buzz).

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26. Re: Op Ed Sep 25, 2013, 09:30 RollinThundr
 
LittleMe wrote on Sep 24, 2013, 12:50:
Or maybe this will show that Valve/Steam/Gabe aren't up to the task of moving us off Windows. Is he ready to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to do it? I doubt it. I know that yesterday I said that if anyone could, Steam might do it, but now I'm not so sure they will, especially cosnidering that they're trying to shoe-horn in the 'living room & tv experience' at the same time. The PC side of their business has succeeded so far while rejecting the TV & living gamepad room until recently.

Error: please connect your gamepad before launching steam! Remember this is a fucking living room! Nothing gets done here.

This. Not that I don't wish Valve to try new things. God knows it's not like they're releasing many actual games these days really. Trying to take on MS and Sony in the console space isn't going to be cheap.
 
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25. Re: Op Ed Sep 25, 2013, 02:02 Ant
 
jdreyer wrote on Sep 24, 2013, 15:00:
Verno wrote on Sep 24, 2013, 14:48:

It is free, read the announcement page. Free for consumers and OEMs.

Now if they made HL3 free on Steam OS, you'd see people adopt it on droves.
It reminds me id Software's release qtest for Linux, Mac, and then Windows.
 
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24. Re: Op Ed Sep 24, 2013, 19:35 Nate
 
Think Valve is just trying to compete with the new consoles. Severely underprice them on hardware costs and game prices. Try to cause some havok/alternatives.  
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23. Re: Op Ed Sep 24, 2013, 16:42 Cutter
 
No they can't. Unless they're making a complete OS and can guarantee Linux compatibility with ever new game out there it ain't gonna' happen. Mainstream Linux will likely always remain a pipe dream.

 
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22. Re: Op Ed Sep 24, 2013, 15:00 jdreyer
 
Verno wrote on Sep 24, 2013, 14:48:

It is free, read the announcement page. Free for consumers and OEMs.

Now if they made HL3 free on Steam OS, you'd see people adopt it on droves.
 
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21. Re: Op Ed Sep 24, 2013, 14:48 Verno
 
InBlack wrote on Sep 24, 2013, 14:47:

Well in that case I would be fully prepared to have a dual boot system. Win 7 with Steam installed, and a Steam OS for those Steam games that will likely be supported on it. (I assume OpenGL). Now the big thing in my opinion is pricing. Steam OS should, like Steam and Android remain completely free, anything else would be suicide at this point.

It is free, read the announcement page. Free for consumers and OEMs.
 
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20. Re: Op Ed Sep 24, 2013, 14:47 InBlack
 
Verno wrote on Sep 24, 2013, 13:12:
InBlack wrote on Sep 24, 2013, 13:07:
Agreed. I think they should remain focused on what they do best. PC. They should give us an alternative to Windows where we need one. On the PC.

They are doing that, SteamOS isn't restricted to a gamepad in the living room. It's going to be a freely available OS that can be customized, redistributed and installed on OEM machines. This isn't just about the living room, they are actually building out Steam as a total platform. They aren't giving up anything to do it either, Steam will still work and function as it has in the past so if this doesn't float your boat then you can safely ignore it.

Given all of the crap going on with Microsoft and its frequent neglect of the Windows platform (particularly with regards to gaming) is it any surprise that someone else wants to make a competitive OS that has a strong focus on gaming? Plus all of the usual apps that have been ported to Linux will likely run too I bet.

I'm not ready to just dump Windows and install this just yet but it's an exciting development given all of the issues in the desktop market these days.

Well in that case I would be fully prepared to have a dual boot system. Win 7 with Steam installed, and a Steam OS for those Steam games that will likely be supported on it. (I assume OpenGL). Now the big thing in my opinion is pricing. Steam OS should, like Steam and Android remain completely free, anything else would be suicide at this point.
 
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19. Re: Op Ed Sep 24, 2013, 14:42 Verno
 
jdreyer wrote on Sep 24, 2013, 13:44:
Yeah, MS is totally dropping the ball. They had a chance with Games for Windows, which they did nothing with. Don't they understand that they sell 10s of millions of copies of windows just b/c people want to play games?

Now, trying to do an Apple-style walled garden, they're just pissing people off. A very large percentage of people are on PCs BECAUSE it's the anti-Apple. Change the rules, MS, and don't be surprised when half the team pick up their balls and go home when someone down the street starts building a new one.

Exactly. In Gabe's own words:

“We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well. It’s a hedging strategy. I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space. I think we’ll lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs, who will exit the market. I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people. If that’s true, then it will be good to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality.”

It's hard to argue he's wrong so far. Windows 8 has received a tepid response at best and OEMs continue reporting no growth in its targeted markets for ultrabooks and tablets, areas Windows 8 was supposed to ignite sales. Worse yet they continue to experience downturn in the desktop PC and laptop segments. The niche of enthusiasts who support things like Steam are very profitable but that core can't support the entire market. That's why many manufacturers are trying to repurpose themselves to make mobile parts and flash storage. The market is going to shrink and that's just the immediate future, who knows what happen 5 years out. Maybe Microsoft's next dictator is even crazier than Steve Ballmer, haha who knows at this point.

I wouldn't want to base my entire business model on a competitor staying afloat when they keep pissing on consumers and fumbling their initiatives. Not hard to see what Valve is thinking that a backup plan would be a good idea.

This comment was edited on Sep 24, 2013, 14:50.
 
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18. Re: Op Ed Sep 24, 2013, 14:17 LittleMe
 
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Sep 24, 2013, 13:52:
However, the second part of that quote is laughable; even if Valve was actually working on HL3, there is no way they'd make it Linux/SteamOS exclusive, that kills me that somebody actually wrote that. :D

Yeah that was a painful laugh, at Ars. They are now pulling shit out of thin air..? Thankfully the first few comments address this wild speculation.
 
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17. Re: Op Ed Sep 24, 2013, 13:59 Redmask
 
Imagine 6 or 7 years from now when Windows 9, 10, and Windows Zune all suck, Microsoft has all software locked into an iTunes-esque app store and all of your porn is sent directly to the NSA for review. Running Windows 7 is now impossible without piracy and Tom Cruise is dispatched to arrest you on the possibility that you might commit such crimes in the future.

Seriously though, Gaben feels like Windows' days are numbered. Maybe not tomorrow, or next year, or the next two years, but he's laying the foundation for what he believes will come next.
 
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16. Re: Op Ed Sep 24, 2013, 13:52 MoreLuckThanSkill
 
I sure as hell HOPE SteamOS can convince the game industry to start supporting Linux, the future of Windows looks pretty bleak. What's the state of OpenGL these days, anyone? DirectX is going to be a problem for a long time if there still is no viable alternative.

However, the second part of that quote is laughable; even if Valve was actually working on HL3, there is no way they'd make it Linux/SteamOS exclusive, that kills me that somebody actually wrote that.


 
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15. Re: Op Ed Sep 24, 2013, 13:44 jdreyer
 
Yeah, MS is totally dropping the ball. They had a chance with Games for Windows, which they did nothing with. Don't they understand that they sell 10s of millions of copies of windows just b/c people want to play games?

Now, trying to do an Apple-style walled garden, they're just pissing people off. A very large percentage of people are on PCs BECAUSE it's the anti-Apple. Change the rules, MS, and don't be surprised when half the team pick up their balls and go home when someone down the street starts building a new one.
 
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14. Re: Op Ed Sep 24, 2013, 13:29 gilly775
 
Well, if the streaming from your Windows PC option in the SteamOS works well, this could really be big.

I have always said I would ditch Windows on my primary PC if my Steam games could work. Going forward, I hope this is a good sign.
 
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13. Re: Op Ed Sep 24, 2013, 13:12 Verno
 
InBlack wrote on Sep 24, 2013, 13:07:
Agreed. I think they should remain focused on what they do best. PC. They should give us an alternative to Windows where we need one. On the PC.

They are doing that, SteamOS isn't restricted to a gamepad in the living room. It's going to be a freely available OS that can be customized, redistributed and installed on OEM machines. This isn't just about the living room, they are actually building out Steam as a total platform. They aren't giving up anything to do it either, Steam will still work and function as it has in the past so if this doesn't float your boat then you can safely ignore it.

Given all of the crap going on with Microsoft and its frequent neglect of the Windows platform (particularly with regards to gaming) is it any surprise that someone else wants to make a competitive OS that has a strong focus on gaming? Plus all of the usual apps that have been ported to Linux will likely run too I bet.

I'm not ready to just dump Windows and install this just yet but it's an exciting development given all of the issues in the desktop market these days.

This comment was edited on Sep 24, 2013, 13:19.
 
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12. Re: Op Ed Sep 24, 2013, 13:07 The Half Elf
 
Then again, Steam originally was designed to be a high speed internet pipeline that couldn't get enough backing and became the piece of software we know now.

That being said, with as much gaming as I do on my PC, until everything in my library (or at least AAA titles) run on Linux, I have no interest in it (and granted I've not used it as well).
 
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11. Re: Op Ed Sep 24, 2013, 13:07 InBlack
 
LittleMe wrote on Sep 24, 2013, 12:50:
Or maybe this will show that Valve/Steam/Gabe aren't up to the task of moving us off Windows. Is he ready to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to do it? I doubt it. I know that yesterday I said that if anyone could, Steam might do it, but now I'm not so sure they will, especially cosnidering that they're trying to shoe-horn in the 'living room & tv experience' at the same time. The PC side of their business has succeeded so far while rejecting the TV & living gamepad room until recently.

Error: please connect your gamepad before launching steam! Remember this is a fucking living room! Nothing gets done here.

Agreed. I think they should remain focused on what they do best. PC. They should give us an alternative to Windows where we need one. On the PC.
 
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10. Re: Op Ed Sep 24, 2013, 13:06 InBlack
 
Verno wrote on Sep 24, 2013, 10:03:
I think Valve is pretty smart and usually ahead of their competitors on industry trends (F2P, DD, comunity features, etc) so if they see some value in attempting this then there is probably a market there. I don't like it but desktop gaming is very much a niche market these days and while I think it will always be around in some form they definitely need to adapt to thrive going forward.

The other day I actually sat down and took stock of what I use my desktop at home for and its usually web, gaming and little else that wouldn't be served on a different platform. Plus since this is for the living room it would just save me money on HTPC OS licenses there.

While I will applaud Valve's effort, I doubt that they will see much success for simply one reason. They are not breaking any new ground. With digital distribution they were the literaly the first ones to break new ground, at least with regards to digital games distribtion.

This comment was edited on Sep 24, 2013, 14:43.
 
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9. Re: Op Ed Sep 24, 2013, 12:50 LittleMe
 
Or maybe this will show that Valve/Steam/Gabe aren't up to the task of moving us off Windows. Is he ready to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to do it? I doubt it. I know that yesterday I said that if anyone could, Steam might do it, but now I'm not so sure they will, especially cosnidering that they're trying to shoe-horn in the 'living room & tv experience' at the same time. The PC side of their business has succeeded so far while rejecting the TV & living gamepad room until recently.

Error: please connect your gamepad before launching steam! Remember this is a fucking living room! Nothing gets done here.
 
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8. Re: Op Ed Sep 24, 2013, 12:07 dj LiTh
 
Can SteamOS drag the PC game industry over to Linux?

Sure...just turn on your windows pc!
 
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7. Re: Op Ed Sep 24, 2013, 11:00 Jivaro
 
Verno wrote on Sep 24, 2013, 10:03:
I think Valve is pretty smart and usually ahead of their competitors on industry trends (F2P, DD, community features, etc) so if they see some value in attempting this then there is probably a market there. I don't like it but desktop gaming is very much a popular niche market these days and while I think it will always be around in some form they definitely need to adapt to thrive going forward.

The other day I actually sat down and took stock of what I use my desktop at home for and its usually web, gaming and little else that wouldn't be served on a different platform. Plus since this is for the living room it would just save me money on HTPC OS licenses there.

Right now I have a second machine setup with Linux specifically for gaming. It basically uses Steam and DOSBOX (or something similar) for everything "gaming" I want to do. A month or so ago my primary gaming rig was offline for about a week for some repairs/upgrades. I don't remember there ever being a moment during that week where I thought to myself "damn, I wish I was on the other rig right now" when it came to using my browser, office productivity software, checking my email, etc. The Linux box was more than capable of doing those menial tasks, and it was keeping up with my gaming as well. (aside from the titles that don't offer Linux versions)

The week without Windows taught me that my whole Linux experiment, which is how I refer to the second box since previous to it's being built I had never used a Linux OS, has been very much a success. If it weren't for gaming I would probably not use Windows again as I have no reason too. More importantly, my family is on-board. Linux wasn't too complicated (which is the mainstream perception of it) and they didn't run into limitations that affected them.

I am not even looking for a reason to get rid of my consoles, which is how I think a lot of people are approaching the concept of SteamOS. I have always owned at least one console per generation, if not more. I am looking at it from the angle of getting rid of my Windows based PC eventually. The whole thing could fall flat, but I am personally really jazzed to give it a go and see how things progress. My own personal opinion is that Valve has been awesome for PC gaming over the last decade+ and if they think this an avenue worth cruising, I am willing to give it a shot and see what exactly they see in it. Microsoft in my opinion has been absolutely crappy for gaming, particularly PC gaming, and as such I am less motivated to continue to give them money or use their solutions.
 
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