Steam - It's Not Just for Windows and Macs Anymore

boogle wrote:
Add in some wine support for some of those windows only games and I just may switch.

I would love this. Maybe some sort of integration with PlayOnLinux. Not likely, but it would be cool.

Lets dream together *Legion*.

May I join in on your dream?

Sparhawk wrote:
[How to] Login to Steam Big Picture Mode in Ubuntu
IMAGE(http://cloudfront.omgubuntu.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/steamlogin.jpg)

Ubuntu gamers wanting to get right to action with Steam can now do so straight from the login screen.

Steam-login runs nothing but Steam’s Big Picture Mode. No fuss, no frills, just Steam.

Is there even the SLIGHTEST bit of doubt that Valve is going to release a console or at the very least a "spec definition" for manufacturers?

parallaxview wrote:
Sparhawk wrote:
[How to] Login to Steam Big Picture Mode in Ubuntu
IMAGE(http://cloudfront.omgubuntu.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/steamlogin.jpg)

Ubuntu gamers wanting to get right to action with Steam can now do so straight from the login screen.

Steam-login runs nothing but Steam’s Big Picture Mode. No fuss, no frills, just Steam.

Is there even the SLIGHTEST bit of doubt that Valve is going to release a console or at the very least a "spec definition" for manufacturers?

How have you come to this conclusion?

SixteenBlue wrote:
parallaxview wrote:
Is there even the SLIGHTEST bit of doubt that Valve is going to release a console or at the very least a "spec definition" for manufacturers?

How have you come to this conclusion?

I don't know if Valve are going to do it, but I'd wouldn't say it seems outside the realm of possibility, or if Valve don't do it then anyone could come up with a "2013 Steambox spec". The other thing about it is you're not thinking fourth dimensionally enough, PC gaming now is windows oriented, but give it 5 years and things could start to swing around, and I'm sure not needing to pay a license fee to MS is tempting (see the early history of netbooks).

You could do the same thing now on windows by running "steam.exe -steambox" at startup, but it's not quite as elegant, although you're probably trading off a free OS versus game compatibility at this point.

A Steambox makes no sense. Would it have to run EVERY game on Steam?

A target spec machine (which is very different from a Steam machine) would require sign off by major developers to actually target that spec, which would be incredibly difficult to pull off since there's really not a lot of upside to it and it requires competing companies to work together.

Either way, I didn't say it wasn't outside the realm of possibility. I was responding to the idea that there isn't even the SLIGHTEST doubt. You basically flipped the hyperbole.

Edit: Let me put this way. Big Picture mode and Steam on Ubuntu are evidence that Valve is NOT making a console or anything similar. They're taking what they already do and expanding into new markets. They're not creating anything new.

SixteenBlue wrote:
A Steambox makes no sense. Would it have to run EVERY game on Steam?

A target spec machine (which is very different from a Steam machine) would require sign off by major developers to actually target that spec, which would be incredibly difficult to pull off since there's really not a lot of upside to it and it requires competing companies to work together.

Either way, I didn't say it wasn't outside the realm of possibility. I was responding to the idea that there isn't even the SLIGHTEST doubt. You basically flipped the hyperbole.

Edit: Let me put this way. Big Picture mode and Steam on Ubuntu are evidence that Valve is NOT making a console or anything similar. They're taking what they already do and expanding into new markets. They're not creating anything new.

Think what you will but with the rise of app stores in both Windows and Mac Valve knows that it needs another option where it is still the walled garden. I doubt they will call it a console, but I am sure they will have a Valve rig of some sort and would not be surprised if they set it up android style to allow manufacturers to get in the game.

parallaxview wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
A Steambox makes no sense. Would it have to run EVERY game on Steam?

A target spec machine (which is very different from a Steam machine) would require sign off by major developers to actually target that spec, which would be incredibly difficult to pull off since there's really not a lot of upside to it and it requires competing companies to work together.

Either way, I didn't say it wasn't outside the realm of possibility. I was responding to the idea that there isn't even the SLIGHTEST doubt. You basically flipped the hyperbole.

Edit: Let me put this way. Big Picture mode and Steam on Ubuntu are evidence that Valve is NOT making a console or anything similar. They're taking what they already do and expanding into new markets. They're not creating anything new.

Think what you will but with the rise of app stores in both Windows and Mac Valve knows that it needs another option where it is still the walled garden. I doubt they will call it a console, but I am sure they will have a Valve rig of some sort and would not be surprised if they set it up android style to allow manufacturers to get in the game.

That other option is Steam on Linux. It's not even a theory, they've said Steam on Linux is because of Windows 8. They're very open about these kinds of things.

Scratched wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
parallaxview wrote:
Is there even the SLIGHTEST bit of doubt that Valve is going to release a console or at the very least a "spec definition" for manufacturers?

How have you come to this conclusion?

I don't know if Valve are going to do it, but I'd wouldn't say it seems outside the realm of possibility, or if Valve don't do it then anyone could come up with a "2013 Steambox spec".

A fairly likely option would be to come up with something analogous to the Windows Experience Index style of rating systems. Valve would use that as a friendlier way of displaying system requirements for games in their store, and hardware manufacturers could put that number on the spec sheet when their product is marketed to a gaming audience.

psoplayer wrote:
Scratched wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
parallaxview wrote:
Is there even the SLIGHTEST bit of doubt that Valve is going to release a console or at the very least a "spec definition" for manufacturers?

How have you come to this conclusion?

I don't know if Valve are going to do it, but I'd wouldn't say it seems outside the realm of possibility, or if Valve don't do it then anyone could come up with a "2013 Steambox spec".

A fairly likely option would be to come up with something analogous to the Windows Experience Index style of rating systems. Valve would use that as a friendlier way of displaying system requirements for games in their store, and hardware manufacturers could put that number on the spec sheet when their product is marketed to a gaming audience.

I don't really see any benefit to that. There are so many aspects to requirements you can't really use a single index (even if you use the Windows method of reporting the lowest number).

The best information the user could have is exactly what the requirements are and exactly what they already have. The latter is probably what trips up a less informed user. A button on a game's Steam page that evaluates your hardware and tells you if you can run the game would be nice though.

The problem I see is that Valve are too, hmmmm "current state of PC gaming" where they leave a lot of that stuff up to individual developers to sort out. They don't seem to have any interest in becoming any kind of central authority on anything, and that's good and bad in various ways already noted. I agree a "tell me how my PC will run this game" button would be good, but I doubt it would happen beyond crude matching your hardware against the published system requirements, because someone somewhere will get annoyed when the prediction isn't good enough for them.

I don't really see much deviation from the current situation though, where all over the place you see the boilerplate budget/mainstream/top-of-the-line specs, where you'll be able to put together a PC from those specs and be able to run a certain range of games to a certain performance level.

Why would Valve want to be a central authority? What would be the benefit for them there?

Precisely, there's little personal gain there that they haven't already seen with steam. The benefits would come from essentially doing what console certification does, which is more for the platform's benefit, but probably also to the open PC's platform detriment.

The best way I can see Valve handling any kind of standardisation is with a light touch, to suggest things or draw up a spec/requirements list and hope people follow it. There's a whole load of things they could do, I'm thinking of stuff like automated performance profiling by everyone who runs a game and using the data, but I don't think they can do everything. They don't have a magic wand to fix all the problems with PC gaming and probably would cause more harm than good if they, or anyone else trying on their behalf, did.

I suppose the best to hope for is the development of things that can assist in minimising the downsides.

SixteenBlue wrote:
Why would Valve want to be a central authority? What would be the benefit for them there?

It isn't that they would want to be the authority per-say, but in order for their walled garden business to stay viable they need to have an offering that can compete. If they stay with just being a gaming platform a console would make sense as it would be a vehicle that they would be sure was not beholden to a separate company's OS. Simply moving to Linux will not solve the problem. There are not enough users on linux. But using linux as a base for your living room play makes a lot of sense.

parallaxview wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
Why would Valve want to be a central authority? What would be the benefit for them there?

It isn't that they would want to be the authority per-say, but in order for their walled garden business to stay viable they need to have an offering that can compete. If they stay with just being a gaming platform a console would make sense as it would be a vehicle that they would be sure was not beholden to a separate company's OS. Simply moving to Linux will not solve the problem. There are not enough users on linux. But using linux as a base for your living room play makes a lot of sense.

Valve has been successfully because they solved a problem as well as filling a need. Digital Distribution and DRM (of sorts)

I'm not sure that when you seperate out the problem/need from the existing largest platform around (PC) and create a whole new platform (Valve Console) I'm not sure I continue to connect the dots.

Why would I need a Valve console? I've got plenty of those already and I have no idea really what a Valve console would offer over existing consoles. Valve alone doesn't have the IP's really to sway enough gamers away from abandoning their other consoles...And is the market going to expand significantly enough to embrace a fourth console?

TheGameguru wrote:

Valve has been successfully because they solved a problem as well as filling a need. Digital Distribution and DRM (of sorts)

I'm not sure that when you seperate out the problem/need from the existing largest platform around (PC) and create a whole new platform (Valve Console) I'm not sure I continue to connect the dots.

Why would I need a Valve console? I've got plenty of those already and I have no idea really what a Valve console would offer over existing consoles. Valve alone doesn't have the IP's really to sway enough gamers away from abandoning their other consoles...And is the market going to expand significantly enough to embrace a fourth console?

With the latest batch of operating systems the need will be filled externally to valve, and while it may be able to hold on as a portal for "gamers" it will slowly die by attrition. The writing is on the wall, either find a way to broaden your audience or accept that you are going to become an increasingly niche player over the years to come.

You're aware of how fast steam is growing?

Scratched wrote:
You're aware of how fast steam is growing?

Are you aware of how fast the Itunes store is growing?

If Valve does it right, I think there might be room for a 'console' from them. Specified hardware, with specified drivers, all open and easily hackable if you want, but easily returnable to stock configuration in some way. Extra cool points would be awarded if they'd release the specs and let you build something yourself, but they might not want to deal with the support issues that way. (I suppose they could release the distro they use, but unsupported; use it on your own hardware if you want, but if it breaks, you keep the pieces.)

Audio strikes me as one of the possible issues, and possibly joysticks. I have no idea what the Linux software stack looks like for game controllers.

OpenGL is really good on Linux, especially with the NVidia drivers, so that part of the solution should be really easy, run fast, and look fantastic.

parallaxview wrote:
Scratched wrote:
You're aware of how fast steam is growing?

Are you aware of how fast the Itunes store is growing?

That's why you think Steam is screwed? Because of iPad apps?

Malor wrote:
If Valve does it right, I think there might be room for a 'console' from them. Specified hardware, with specified drivers, all open and easily hackable if you want, but easily returnable to stock configuration in some way. Extra cool points would be awarded if they'd release the specs and let you build something yourself, but they might not want to deal with the support issues that way. (I suppose they could release the distro they use, but unsupported; use it on your own hardware if you want, but if it breaks, you keep the pieces.)

Audio strikes me as one of the possible issues, and possibly joysticks. I have no idea what the Linux software stack looks like for game controllers.

OpenGL is really good on Linux, especially with the NVidia drivers, so that part of the solution should be really easy, run fast, and look fantastic.

Who benefits from this? Console gamers? They already have consoles. PC gamers? They just get dumbed down games (from a technological perspective). Developers? Yeah, less fragmentation but again they can just develop for consoles so they basically get the benefit of consoles without the upside of PCs (being able to push the tech harder). Valve? They've now limited what games can run on Steam even more. Less income.

No one wins from this scenario. Why would there be room for a PC console when there already are consoles and most people think the Sony ones are failing?

Is it because this new console would be open? Except you'd still have to go through Valve so it's not really open, so again, no one wins.

This all just strikes me as speculation for the sake of speculation.

parallaxview wrote:
Scratched wrote:
You're aware of how fast steam is growing?

Are you aware of how fast the Itunes store is growing?

Holy crap, I never thought of this before; this means MS will never ever close off future Windows-MS isn't aware that PC gaming still exists (that's hyperbole btw) but they'll sure as hell lose a lot of customers who can no longer access all the stuff they bought.
Unless Apple and MS make a monumental deal somehow...ah crap. How can we get these two to hate each other a lot?

I'd like to see some OEM experiment with steamboxes of some description (I guess the chance of apple doing it is zero), with a linux flavour some time in the future when it's ready and supported, rather than the "Are valve turning into a hardware company?" speculation.

I did see a story on slashdot highlighting problems in the license for debian distribution of steam. It makes me wonder what other bumps in the road are coming up, and will need resolution. I'm thinking of things like stores not carrying steamworks games because it promotes a competing store (although now you've got stores in OSX and Win8 I guess that ship has sailed).

Scratched wrote:
I'd like to see some OEM experiment with steamboxes of some description (I guess the chance of apple doing it is zero), with a linux flavour some time in the future when it's ready and supported, rather than the "Are valve turning into a hardware company?" speculation.

I did see a story on slashdot highlighting problems in the license for debian distribution of steam. It makes me wonder what other bumps in the road are coming up, and will need resolution. I'm thinking of things like stores not carrying steamworks games because it promotes a competing store (although now you've got stores in OSX and Win8 I guess that ship has sailed).

I think my talk of a console may be a bit high, I think the OEM route is what they would like to go for. From a business perspective it makes sense as it would allow other hardware companies into the game market, it would allow valve to keep making steam relevant in an ever more competitive portal landscape, and it would allow consumers another choice.

I think the OS / Console route is the only way for steam to remain relevant in the long run (5 - 10 years from now) as it does not currently add anything that Microsoft or Apple are putting into place with their own stores. Valve has a great business right now and most of us are in their walled garden but each year new people are coming into the market place and steam is no longer the only game in town, it needs to find a way to get new users and not just hold on to what they have.

parallaxview wrote:
I think the OS / Console route is the only way for steam to remain relevant in the long run (5 - 10 years from now) as it does not currently add anything that Microsoft or Apple are putting into place with their own stores. Valve has a great business right now and most of us are in their walled garden but each year new people are coming into the market place and steam is no longer the only game in town, it needs to find a way to get new users and not just hold on to what they have.

This reads like "PC gaming is dying". Similarly, just as PC gaming doesn't die so long as people are making games for it, steam won't die so long as people are making PC games. I don't see a big exodus happening, because the competition isn't there, and even so, it's not 'one or the other' as it would be with a console, Sony or MS, but you can have multiple stores co-existing, and even reinforcing each other within the platform (someone running origin on PC may also be likely to run steam (and others), but they're both selling PC games, and the person running that system can look at both stores).

Thinking about it, going a "SteamOS" route, where it's steam and only steam on that box could be pretty damn stupid. It works for consoles because the manufacturer can absolutely control the ecosystem, and they can do things like selling the hardware at a loss for market penetration and pick it up later in game royalty fees. Trying to sell a box of PC hardware and run a division of the business based off the ~30% they make from game sales (and they couldn't charge any more on a steambox), and then either the windows 'tax' slice to MS or a free OS with a subset of the steam game library... I can't see a way to square that circle.

Microsoft doesn't have a walled garden either. I don't really want to rehash the Win 8 thread but the Win 8 desktop is 100% open. Nothing has changed.

I know when it is a dead horse so I am going to stop kicking, but when the day comes I will be back twirling my mustache and laughing manically.

/me does a cape flourish and departs out side door.

parallaxview wrote:
I know when it is a dead horse so I am going to stop kicking, but when the day comes I will be back twirling my mustache and laughing manically.

/me does a cape flourish and departs out side door.

Bookmarked with a note to read in 2 years.

Here's what I think.

I think anyone that thinks Valve is making Big Picture mode just for the limited number of geeks who have both the will and know-how to build a high performance gaming PC into an HTPC form factor is being naive.

The idea of the Steam Box, in one for or another, is almost certainly being discussed. Whether that's Linux powered or not, whether that's Valve built or OEM built, whether it's a single spec machine or an Android-like whatever-the-OEM-wants-to-build scenario, the course is unmistakably being charted in that general direction.

I think Valve would ideally like to be able to deliver something like this built on Linux, but I suspect they're not drawing up any firm plans until they see how the Linux thing goes. No doubt, though, they're thinking ahead and envisioning what could be. I don't expect that they're making their move now, but they're strategically placing some pieces.

Personally, my reaction to Big Picture mode was to spec out my own "Steam Box" and direct anyone wanting to buy me Christmas gifts to my NewEgg wish list. But I'm one of those geeks that can and wants to build it. But I think people like me are just the forefront, the beta testers of the implementation of Steam-from-the-couch.