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#1 Posted by Flacracker (1395 posts) -

I keep seeing this argument that there are no games for Linux so nobody will use it and that since nobody uses it then nobody will make games for it. I honestly don't get it. This is like saying nobody will buy a PS4 or XONE because they dont have many games. Their launch lineups are dismal. But people will still put their money and faith into those consoles. They will sell and games will be made. Lets look at the launch lineup for SteamOS. I am assuming that all current Linux games now on steam will be supported. Go to Steam. There are currently 184 games for Linux including Dota 2, Europa Universalis IV, Gone Home, Kerbal Space Program, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs the list goes on. Sounds a lot better than a PS4 to me. There are 6.5 million unique users on Steam every day. That is many potential users for the new SteamOS

Now why does nobody currently use Linux then if it has these games? Because it has never been pushed. I can see Valve releasing releasing Half Life 3 exclusively or at a discount to entice people to switch. Any sort of exclusives that Valve can get for the platform will help it to grow, just as it is for the consoles. Also, Valve is claiming performance gains which is another attractive feature as is being able to stream games around the home.

Am I completely wrong?

#2 Posted by Aetheldod (3344 posts) -

I would switch to Steam OS if my PC needs are met (a video editing program, a image manipulator program , a writing program, something like Itunes/windows media and a web browser) so im open to the possibility. So yeah this looks interesting , but I still will get a PS4 (for those japanes games that dont get PC releases like Metal Gear etc.)

#3 Posted by Andorski (5114 posts) -

Console players will get the PS4 and XBONE if they want to continue playing console games. If you are already a PC player, then you have a machine that will play games already on Steam and will come out on Steam (and Origin and any other DD platform). So why move to having whatever hardware (Steambox) that will run SteamOS? Valve has franchises that could push people to get their hardware if they went exclusive, but how many people fall into the category of non-PC gamers that want to play Valve games?

You can make the argument that console gamers moving from the PS3/360 have an incentive to getting Steambox instead of PS4/XBONE, but I think that is a harder transition to make. If you been playing on PSN or Xbox Live, then you already have your profile, achievements/trophies, friends list, etc. SteamOS will obviously have the larger backlog of games, but chances are that people have played the PC games that were multiplatform on PS2/PS3/Xbox/360. There are still the PC exclusives, but if those people weren't inclined to get into PC gaming when those games are new, they might not have any interest to play them now.

#4 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3642 posts) -

Part of the reason I like PC is because of the legacy. I can play almost any PC game on my modern PC. If I switch to Linux, I miss out on a lot of that.

#5 Posted by mlarrabee (2764 posts) -

Console developers have sales numbers for consoles, and projected sales numbers before that.

Linux developers have nothing. Gamers and developers have no pressing reason to move from their current platform to Linux. Sure, 184 Steam games currently run on Linux. All the rest, along with those 184, run on Windows, so why would most people switch? This current group of gamers isn't going to move over without a darn good reason, and the (over)reaction to Windows 8 isn't enough of one.

I've used several different distros of Linux at different times, and I've always returned to Windows and Mac. Because, while I like the open nature of Linux, the software just isn't there, and because of that, I'm not there, and because of that, developers aren't there, and because of that, software isn't there.

People aren't switching to Linux because of Audacity and Inkscape, because those are available on their current platform. They won't switch for games either, for the same reason.

#6 Posted by bigjeffrey (4176 posts) -

Its Linux with a different name, nice try Newell.

#7 Posted by Marokai (2640 posts) -

What gets me about this announcement is that it seems completely pointless in and of itself. Perhaps Linux could become a meaningful gaming platform years in the future, but right now? If you're a console gamer, this isn't for you. If you're deep into PC gaming already, you don't need this. If you're a non-gamer, nothing about this makes you want it. The in-the-front admission that you basically will be using this primarily as a streaming mechanism to your TV, on secondary hardware, from your primary hardware, is the most convoluted and baffling product pitch I've ever heard of.

I'm not a PC gamer, but would like to have some way to play a lot of PC games when I have the means to do so. Nothing about this alone helps me do that. The idea of a standalone Steambox doesn't do that either, since it would come with this OS that does nothing for me except play an extremely limited catalogue of Linux games; most of which are low fidelity enough I could run them on a dirt cheap Windows PC anyway. And a streaming device? Does me no good without a baller-ass gaming PC to stream from in the first place.

Gabe and Valve may think they're going to destroy the way gaming audiences have formed over the last decades with these announcements, but they do nothing for me, and nothing for anyone already into PC gaming, unless your response to this announcement was "OMG VALVE YES I WILL FOLLOW VALVE TO THE END OF THE EARTH." This doesn't seem like it disrupts much at all right now. Years from now? We'll see how things have shaped up by then. But no one who isn't already sold on anything Valve releases except an extremely tiny niche could really be meaningfully affected by this.

#8 Posted by Flacracker (1395 posts) -

I think there will be a Windows vs. Linux battle coming amongst PC users just has there are consoles battles. Windows has the majority of PC gamers now but maybe there might be some parallels between it and the PS2 vs. Gamecube/Xbox. Sony obviously had the majority of console gamers at a point but this gen they lost that position.

Though there is one worrying that think could decide this battle. It seems like Valve is pushing SteamOS as a living room experience, controller based most likely. So unless there is a desktop version I will be hesitant to use it.

Also, remember that Valve forced people into steam with Half Life 2. Now it is pretty much the entire PC gaming market. They will do the same with SteamOS.

#9 Posted by believer258 (11063 posts) -

At least one part of the reason that I don't think it will do amazingly well is the fact that it doesn't natively run all PC games. It runs a select few and you have to stream everything else from an honest to God PC. Which still sounds like a cool idea (I can stream games to my laptop? Cool!) but I don't think that anyone will use it who isn't already a computer nerd or geek or whatever.

#10 Posted by RuthLoose (740 posts) -

Here's my guess:

Friday's announcement Half-Life 3 release date - Linux platform only.

Gabe Newell 1 > Internet 0.

#11 Posted by Ares42 (2448 posts) -

The success of the SteamOS will live or die on it's non-gaming utility. If it can't compete with Windows on that front the only people who would consider using it are people who are ok running 2 OS's on their computer, which is pretty much a non-existing market. What really puzzles me about this whole thing is that they decided to make just an OS, not a box. A box is something you can sell to people (just like a console), but getting people to install a different OS on their computer... That barrier to entry is probably way too convoluted for most people.

#12 Posted by villainy (511 posts) -

Part of the reason I like PC is because of the legacy. I can play almost any PC game on my modern PC. If I switch to Linux, I miss out on a lot of that.

If you're looking for legacy you'll probably have better luck running old Windows games in Linux under WINE than in Windows 7/8. If you're going back to DOS well... DOSBox didn't start as a Windows application...

I agree native Linux support is weak for modern games which is why Valve has put so much emphasis on their streaming solution. I'd love to ditch Windows completely but as it stands SteamOS isn't the answer for me. If they can gain a toehold with their growing Linux offerings and the streaming then who knows? I'm definitely looking forward to the next announcements

#13 Edited by Marokai (2640 posts) -

@believer258: This is what I'm having difficulty comprehending. How do you sell this as some sort of Steambox device to someone who isn't just a super-techie with more money than sense? The outright admission that, if you want to play anything not on Linux, you need to have a separate gaming PC, then makes having a Steambox a completely unnecessary thing. It just leaves me scratching my head. You're basically admitting that the device you're trying to sell is pointless and has almost no need to exist, but please buy it anyway, because Valve.

Pushing Linux as a powerful gaming platform makes more sense in just releasing a straight-up Linux based gaming console with Steam compatibility to compete with other consoles and increase developer attention on Linux over time. Instead, we've ended up with the ChromeOS of gaming.

#14 Edited by jsnyder82 (688 posts) -

If it can run just like a regular PC, then maybe. But I just don't see the point of this if all it's going to do is make a few select games run better. Especially since Windows already runs all of these games.

#15 Posted by Captain_Felafel (1522 posts) -

Windows is an inevitable sinking ship. Valve launching their own OS isn't about converting players today, but it's about future-proofing for when they need to jump ship down the road.

#16 Posted by Andorski (5114 posts) -

I think there will be a Windows vs. Linux battle coming amongst PC users just has there are consoles battles. Windows has the majority of PC gamers now but maybe there might be some parallels between it and the PS2 vs. Gamecube/Xbox. Sony obviously had the majority of console gamers at a point but this gen they lost that position.

Though there is one worrying that think could decide this battle. It seems like Valve is pushing SteamOS as a living room experience, controller based most likely. So unless there is a desktop version I will be hesitant to use it.

Also, remember that Valve forced people into steam with Half Life 2. Now it is pretty much the entire PC gaming market. They will do the same with SteamOS.

PC players didn't have a prior game client to move from nor did Steam cost anything. All Valve did was get people to download free software, and even that transition wasn't easy. People for the first couple of years complained about having to download and update a single program. Conversely, SteamOS - while free - will need pre-built hardware from Valve or a rig made by the user to run. So what is the incentive to do that? Most PC players I know who want to play Steam in the living room have already found a way to do that, either by building another PC to use exclusively in the living room or getting an extra long HDMI cable to run into the living room TV. Circumventing those options by having a Steambox in the living room could be enticing, depending on how cheap the device is.

As an OS that will run games natively, I don't see how SteamOS would compete with Windows. PC gamers have had the choice to game on Linux rather than Windows for years now, but the vast majority haven't made the switch. Also, one of the reasons why PC gamers like their platform is because of the extra functionality that PCs have. Can SteamOS be used for work/productivity? Can iPhone/iPad users have iTunes installed? What about Chrome, Firefox, VLC, Photoshop, etc.? If Valve is trying to set this up as a rival desktop OS, they are going to fail badly.

#17 Posted by believer258 (11063 posts) -

@marokai said:

@believer258: This is what I'm having difficulty comprehending. How do you sell this as some sort of Steambox device to someone who isn't just a super-techie with more money than sense? The outright admission that, if you want to play anything not on Linux, you need to have a separate gaming PC, then makes having a Steambox a completely unnecessary thing. It just leaves me scratching my head. You're basically admitting that the device you're trying to sell is pointless and has almost no need to exist, but please buy it anyway, because Valve.

Pushing Linux as a powerful gaming platform makes more sense in just releasing a straight-up Linux based gaming console with Steam compatibility to compete with other consoles and increase developer attention on Linux over time. Instead, we've ended up with the ChromeOS of gaming.

Or, rather, how do you sell the Steambox to someone like me who already has a good gaming PC and a good enough laptop when you're making the OS available on its own? Presumably, I'll be able to dual-boot Windows and SteamOS, and then I'll essentially have a gaming PC that I can play anywhere in my house. Why should I buy a Steambox? Why should anyone with an interest in a Steambox buy one when most of them either are or could easily get themselves into my position?

#18 Edited by GrantHeaslip (1363 posts) -

Unless it's got must-play exclusives, SteamOS is nothing like a console. Why would anyone run SteamOS and restrict themselves to a tiny subset of the games available on Windows? The onus is on Valve here to bite the bullet and make huge SteamOS exclusives to validate the platform, and I'm not sure it would even make sense for them considering they've been getting deep into free-to-play, and free-to-play requires a high volume of low-investment players. Nobody besides Valve is going to develop the kind of exclusive games you need to establish a platform.

It also remains to be seen if non-indies think Linux support is worth the development overhead and inevitable support nightmares. If I were an EA or Ubisoft, I'd assume the kind of Linux user who would want to play a high-profile PC game probably dual-boots Windows anyway. Does Linux support expand their market, or just further segment it?

#19 Edited by Hero_Swe (1083 posts) -

Unless Linux has such a huge performance gain that I say for instance get 60 FPS smooth on ArmA 3 with my first gen I7 and GTX 260 then yes, I would switch. But if not, then what's the point? I lose out on legacy support of old and awesome games and before any one says "Oh but you can emula-" shut the fuck up. I'd be draining more on my computer's resources to emulate windows to play old windows games than to just have a windows computer do it.

#20 Posted by PandaBear (1264 posts) -

Do you really keep seeing arguments about nobody using Linux and there being no games for it? Really?

The problem is people use their computers for more than games ... I use it for work most of the time. And as my current role expands I'm going to need a computer to a computer that can reliably run InDesign, so unless major companies, not just Valve, start supporting SteamOS I have no desire to dual boot or get a SteamOS only computer.

Consoles are simple. People like simple. PCs that can play games and run good ol' Windows are pretty popular too. The world doesn't need another OS... IMHO

#21 Posted by Andorski (5114 posts) -

Here's my guess:

Friday's announcement Half-Life 3 release date - Linux platform only.

Gabe Newell 1 > Internet 0.

People will them side-load SteamOS on their rigs, play the game, and then uninstall. No one game is worth having to change the entire way you use your computer.

#22 Posted by jgf (366 posts) -

I don't get it. Why would anyone switch? As long as there are no games exclusive to SteamOS there is no reason aside from an irrational dislike of windows. I can play all games that run on steam for linux also with my windows pc. Plus I can run all the other games that have not been ported, use origin, gow and the like. Moving to linux decreases the amount of games I can play. Why would I do such a thing?

#23 Posted by Pocky4Th3Win (126 posts) -

My 750+ Steam games say that SteamOS is pointless, the only thing that interests me is if I can stream my games from my gaming PC to a micro pc like the Raspberry Pi.

#24 Edited by gike987 (1721 posts) -

This is for playing games on you TV in your living room, very similar to how you would use a console. Is the concept of an operating system designed for this really that hard for people to grasp. You won't switch to it, it doesn't matter if you won't be able to use photoshop on it, the OS is for playing PC games on a TV either by streaming your games from your Desktop or by installing them if they have a compatible version.

It's very similar to how people already make PCs for things like XBMC to use in their living room.

#25 Posted by Andorski (5114 posts) -

@gike987 said:

This is for playing games on you TV in your living room, very similar to how you would use a console. Is the concept of an operating system designed for this really that hard for people to grasp. You won't switch to it, it doesn't matter if you won't be able to use photoshop on it, the OS it's for playing PC games on a TV either by streaming your games from your Desktop or by installing them if they have a compatible version.

It's very similar to how people already makes PCs for things like XBMC to use in their living room.

You don't need to create an OS to do that. If people want to create living room PCs then they can just use Big Picture Mode. The only sound argument I've heard for SteamOS to exist is from the possibility of Valve needing OS-level hardware control to make Win/Mac Steam streaming work efficiently.

#26 Posted by SSully (4060 posts) -

I am curious what they do with their hardware, because if it's cheap enough, I may get one instead of a new PC. My current PC set up is dated. It runs most modern well games good enough, but there is room to be desired. If valve offers something cheap and powerful enough I just might give it a whirl over a traditional PC.

#27 Posted by jsnyder82 (688 posts) -

@captain_felafel: Maybe in the far, far off future, yes. But it ain't sinking anytime soon.

#28 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

This sounds a lot like Onlive.

#29 Edited by GreggD (4450 posts) -
#30 Posted by Sargon (14 posts) -

This sounds a lot like Onlive.

Except that it is nothing like Onlive.

#31 Edited by RenegadeSaint (1477 posts) -

A few quick thoughts: If we treat the SteamOS as a new, living-room based console, it actually makes a lot of sense. Valve is almost certainly recruiting developers (or working in-house) to port Steam-supported games to Linux. As such, all they need to do is provide a free copy of that port to those who already own the Windows/Mac version and they've got an immense "launch lineup" that the consumer already owns. This is better than the backwards compatibility of prior consoles since these games presumably look, and potentially play, better than when originally released.

If they select the games wisely, the average Steam Sale/Humble Bundle customer will already own a substantial portion of these games. This would allow new buyers to bring home a console with hundreds of games ready to go. Throw in Half-Life 3 at some point (this is more of a long shot than the ports, in my opinion) and the fact that PCs just haven't made it into most consumers' living rooms and you've got a recipe for success and rapid adoption.

#32 Posted by StudsMcKewl (52 posts) -

Sharpen dem knives.

#33 Posted by Demoskinos (13910 posts) -

I'll keep gaming on Windows thanks and then I can have access to all couple thousand games on steam old and new and won't have to worry about "if someone makes a linux version"

#34 Edited by tourgen (4257 posts) -

At the very least it will make Microsoft fight. I guess it's a battle over who can lock down the software distribution channels first. I'd prefer to have even more people in the ring fighting it out.

#35 Edited by sadsadsad (69 posts) -

Here's my guess:

Friday's announcement Half-Life 3 release date - Linux platform only.

Gabe Newell 1 > Internet 0.

Free on the Linux platform is more likely.

#36 Edited by Butano (1686 posts) -

Eh...somewhat mixed about it. The remote play sounds kinda interesting, but I don't think we're at that point where we can get latency down to unnoticeable levels quite yet. With that said, I don't think I would ever use it for gaming, per se, but if it runs better than Ubuntu and has the same customizability of it, I *might* switch over to it and make it my programming OS (cause it's still technically Linux). Otherwise, my Windows desktop plays games just fine.

#37 Edited by Hunter5024 (5187 posts) -

Kind of pointless to speculate about this, because we only have one third of the relevant news.

#38 Posted by Pocky4Th3Win (126 posts) -

@sargon said:

@the_laughing_man said:

This sounds a lot like Onlive.

Except that it is nothing like Onlive.

Actually its similar to OnLive but with your own games within your home. Yes you will be able to play some games natively through SteamOS but most likely the biggest use will come from streaming your library to a SteamOS Box.

#39 Posted by StarvingGamer (7582 posts) -

Until it becomes easier to play all PC games on SteamOS than on Windows, I see no reason to switch.

#40 Posted by personandstuff (70 posts) -

Depends how you mean switch and how you mean "made for it." I doubt anytime soon it will be common practice to have main computer running SteamOS exclusive. And I doubt there will be too many Steam OS exclusive games. But I could see a substantial number of people dual booting and a substantial number of games being developed to work best under Steam OS. How well it does depends on how Steam handles drivers and peripherals. I stopped using ubuntu pretty quick when I realized I would my wireless adapter, mouse and keyboard had no linux support. If steam can get it so that when you plug something in it has a decent chance of working, or maybe just have a controller do everything, and find a solution for dual booting that doesn't involve fucking around with a crappy bootloader then this might just work.

#41 Edited by Rick_Fingers (524 posts) -

You guys know you can dual boot, right?

#42 Edited by Ares42 (2448 posts) -

@gike987 said:

This is for playing games on you TV in your living room, very similar to how you would use a console. Is the concept of an operating system designed for this really that hard for people to grasp. You won't switch to it, it doesn't matter if you won't be able to use photoshop on it, the OS is for playing PC games on a TV either by streaming your games from your Desktop or by installing them if they have a compatible version.

It's very similar to how people already make PCs for things like XBMC to use in their living room.

But you can already do that with a normal computer, and do plenty of other stuff. If you're hooking a computer up to your TV, why limit yourself to only playing games on it ? I'm sitting in front of my TV right now, browsing and posting on this forum. No other device (that I've tried) comes even close to being able to deliver the same quality of service for browsing internet on my TV.

#43 Posted by Mcfart (1429 posts) -

No. It'll be just like the Vita where no one will buy it, and thus no one will develop games for it, but it needs games for people to buy it.

Valve can put their first party games there, but they aren't Nintendo. HL3 and LFD3 won't be enough of a system seller to offset the loss of sales from removing these from PCS/consoles.

#44 Posted by personandstuff (70 posts) -

Here is my dream scenario. You want to launch Steam OS. Open steam, click a button and it restarts the computer and autoboots to SteamOS. To get out of it, click a button and it restarts and autoboots to Windows. I think once you get into making sure you have a wired keyboard connected and select the right option in ten seconds you lose a significant portion of the casual market.

#45 Posted by Barrock (3525 posts) -

I love Valve. I love Steam. I have zero interest in switching OSes.

#46 Posted by crithon (2592 posts) -

I want to test this on a laptop, one of those laptops that's about 3 to 4 years old that are almost dead. I'd love to see how much powerful steam os could perform to a some what dead laptop. My cousin swears on linux, so it's not completely alien to me.

I just think the biggest problem is really how many overlays steam games have. A small indie game like Droid Assault boots up this strange window rebuilding all the files every single time it loads ups. There's so many weird overlay in steam games, all asking for emails and accounts and not just ubisoft or EA, even the smallest indie is tracking your data with something. Which again limits that sense of scope Steam OS is trying to aim for.

#47 Posted by ajamafalous (11592 posts) -

I guess they should've done a better job revealing details about what exactly SteamOS is, because skimming through this thread I see a few different assumptions (and ones that differ from mine, too).

I was under the impression that SteamOS was simply a Linux distro that I could potentially install and dual-boot on my already-existing PC, as well as being the OS that will run on whatever the SteamBox ends up being. Is the first part not the case?

#48 Posted by geirr (2386 posts) -

Will not.

#49 Posted by Arabes (332 posts) -

Depends how you mean switch and how you mean "made for it." I doubt anytime soon it will be common practice to have main computer running SteamOS exclusive. And I doubt there will be too many Steam OS exclusive games. But I could see a substantial number of people dual booting and a substantial number of games being developed to work best under Steam OS. How well it does depends on how Steam handles drivers and peripherals. I stopped using ubuntu pretty quick when I realized I would my wireless adapter, mouse and keyboard had no linux support. If steam can get it so that when you plug something in it has a decent chance of working, or maybe just have a controller do everything, and find a solution for dual booting that doesn't involve fucking around with a crappy bootloader then this might just work.

This is about the only rational post in this entire thread. Most of the other threads just seem to be people shouting about things they don't understand and making wild assumptions. It's almost like I'm on the internet or something :) You don't have to pick one or the other, you can have both. Dual booting is a great idea if steam OS delivers on the performance boost. Windows is a shitty OS. It's my favourite, but it's not very good. There's code in there going back almost 20 years, it's cumbersome and slow and badly optimised. If Valve deliver a more nimble OS (which wouldn't be hard considering they can afford to me focused solely on games), have a huge suite of drivers natively available (very important) and are able to run the games on it (I have no idea what the porting process is like) then they will do well.

You also have to remember that they are playing the long game here. No one could have seen where they were going with steam when came out with HL2. MS is directionless with their OS at the moment, they are trying to standardise it across all platforms which is a bad idea, Win8 was a fucking debacle for them, Office 365 is a piss poor mess that can't compete with the likes of google docs (I just rolled Office 365 out for my company, it's incredibly poorly designed from both a UI and functionality perspective and they charge decent money for it) and their tablets aren't great. I think Valve will roll this out, see how it plays out over the next 5 to 10 years. If it does well they could supplant a lot of the pc gaming market and if it doesn't, they have the cash to take the hit. It's a smart move.

#50 Posted by AlexanderSheen (4680 posts) -

I wouldn't change right when it comes out but maybe in a couple of years after its release... maybe. It's gonna be interesting to see how this thing will go.

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