Steam Box Catch-All

MannishBoy wrote:

Valve says they aren't making a console, just contracting hardware to test the 10 ft interface they've been working on.

For what it's worth, the specs on the hardware they built (if you follow the links to the Kotaku article and the reports on a Valve employee building up a test machine) are pretty close to a high-end 2011 Mac Mini and I don't think there's any other big-name vendors like HP or Dell which make consumer machines in that form factor. So they pretty much have to go DIY for testing different configurations.

EDIT: Linkified.

MannishBoy wrote:

Now they just have those new Alienwares.

Yeah, and that also matches the specs thrown around by The Verge and tweeted by Greg Coomer. I could see Alienware talking to Steam about a big picture mode if they had the x51 on the drawing board to see if they could do a special Steam UI, or vice versa. Simpler explanation is that we've got a nice zeitgeist moment here.

Time to restart the speculation.

Valve's Electronics Engineer job posting[/url]]For years, Valve has been all about writing software that provides great gameplay experiences. Now we’re developing hardware to enhance those experiences, and you can be a key part of making that happen. Join our highly motivated team that’s doing hardware design, prototyping, testing, and production across a wide range of platforms. We’re not talking about me-too mice and gamepads here – help us invent whole new gaming experiences.

Of course this could just be for the biometrics stuff they said they've been working on.

"whole new gaming experiences" says biometrics (or something else) more than 'steambox' to me.

Yup, that's what I thought at first too. You wouldn't hire an EE to put existing circuit boards into a box. That's more of an IT guy thing.

Just heard that Tim Cook has been spotted, visiting Valve. Could be interesting. (On the TNT Podcast)

There's also this (the one and only blog on that site), which points to wearable computers, and stresses almost in big capital letters that it's just R+D.

It's got to be biometrics. I was talking about this back in 1999. Surprised it's taken this long to get going.

People have been talking about fusion power since the 40's and that still hasn't happened

I wonder how many companies do 'off the wall' R+D now to see what works, but don't get the public scrutiny that Valve do. Microsoft research would be the only other one I can think of, and even then within the games sphere they acquired the kinect tech and formed it into a games application.

Video game/Apple 'journalism' at it's finest - Tim Cook never visited Valve

Scratched wrote:

Video game/Apple 'journalism' at it's finest - Tim Cook never visited Valve

So you're telling me Valve isn't making a console for Steve Job's ghost to play?

Sigh.

Scratched wrote:

Video game/Apple 'journalism' at it's finest - Tim Cook never visited Valve

The tech press has become so devoid of journalism (especially when it comes to Apple), it's pathetic. How did no one think to contact Valve and at least get a "no comment" out of them before printing this story and more importantly, before every tech site pressed the CMS equivalent of the retweet button on it? Doesn't seem to matter what field it is anymore, you've got to put in real effort to find proper journalism.

Parallax Abstraction wrote:

The tech press has become so devoid of journalism (especially when it comes to Apple), it's pathetic. How did no one think to contact Valve and at least get a "no comment" out of them before printing this story and more importantly, before every tech site pressed the CMS equivalent of the retweet button on it? Doesn't seem to matter what field it is anymore, you've got to put in real effort to find proper journalism.

This is why I usually try and follow the links to the source of the story (if possible). The internet is designed for sharing which is why there's a massive echo chamber effect at play. It also doesn't help that a lot of places are fueled by ad revenue which I think encourages "post-first, fact-check later" behavior. However, I don't think I've seen any real data on how much money sites get from ad revenue so that perception is entirely debatable.

EDIT: Even if Tim Cook was actually spotted on the Valve premises, it doesn't mean anything from a hardware perspective. He could've just been there to discuss improving Mac support or any number of other topics. Really a silly rumor for people to get excited about.

shoptroll wrote:

EDIT: Even if Tim Cook was actually spotted on the Valve premises, it doesn't mean anything from a hardware perspective. He could've just been there to discuss improving Mac support or any number of other topics. Really a silly rumor for people to get excited about.

My first thought was discussion on how to somehow boost gaming on Macs via some kind of App Store integration.

While unlikely, it would still be more plausible than a console.

I don't think this deserves its own thread, so this one will have to do.

Steam Coming To Linux

MeatMan wrote:

Steam Coming To Linux

Clearly the apocalypse is nigh.

I'll start to believe it when it's from someone other than Phoronix. They've cried wolf so many times on the steam-linux front. That said, the screenshots do seem to show L4D on linux, although it would surprise me more if Valve didn't at least try that internally. It seems they're committed to multi-platform compatibility, adding another one besides Mac/360/PS3.

The million dollar question is whether it bears fruit. If Valve do release steam and their games on linux, how much benefit does it bring to developers. It would be interesting to get actual data on how big the linux gaming market is, the best numbers we have so far is the humble bundle, and that's just ticking a box rather than real world 'X people are playing on Y platform'.

Scratched wrote:

The million dollar question is whether it bears fruit. If Valve do release steam and their games on linux, how much benefit does it bring to developers. It would be interesting to get actual data on how big the linux gaming market is, the best numbers we have so far is the humble bundle, and that's just ticking a box rather than real world 'X people are playing on Y platform'.

I think it brings a big amount of value to developers. The Humble Bundle numbers suggest that Mac and Linux users are more willing to pay more for their games which makes them attractive for Steam who would get a small cut of that money. The numbers there also suggest that the Linux users are a bigger number than the Mac users. If Valve decided to bite the bullet and add Mac support, then why not Linux as well?

Also, there's been chatter about Valve improving their indie developer relations in the near future. This would probably go a long way toward that, especially with a lot of the games on the Humble Bundle also released on Steam that gives them a nice start pool of games they can offer through the service in addition to their titles.

Then you also have existing source ports from id and Epic for their older titles that could be deployed through Steam. So you're easily looking at what.... 25-50 or so titles they could have in the initial wave of games?

Scratched wrote:

I'll start to believe it when it's from someone other than Phoronix.

I saw someone in the comments section at RPS say something similar. I don't know anything about Phoronix, but I trust RPS (until they give me a reason not to), meaning I trust that they spent at least a little time verifying the story before posting it.

That said, I could see Gabe wanting to get Steam on Linux to extend their gaming domination on computers.

MeatMan wrote:

I saw someone in the comments section at RPS say something similar. I don't know anything about Phoronix, but I trust RPS (until they give me a reason not to), meaning I trust that they spent at least a little time verifying the story before posting it.

The story sources to Phoronix who have run articles about this in the past (I think there was some Linux references found in the original Mac client code a couple years ago?). This is a pretty convincing article, and there's been job listings suggesting they were hiring Linux developers so I think it's less a question of "are they doing?" now.

I think RPS was mostly posting it so people would stop emailing them about it

IMAGE(http://s3.amazonaws.com/theoatmeal-img/comics/state_web_spring/valve.jpg)

shoptroll wrote:

I think it brings a big amount of value to developers. The Humble Bundle numbers suggest that Mac and Linux users are more willing to pay more for their games which makes them attractive for Steam who would get a small cut of that money. The numbers there also suggest that the Linux users are a bigger number than the Mac users. If Valve decided to bite the bullet and add Mac support, then why not Linux as well?

There's two problems I see with the humble bundle numbers. Firstly as I said, it's just ticking a box on a form, the other is that you can't exactly charge more for a linux version if you're going to do something like steam-play, especially if you were looking to promote linux.

It'll be interesting to see what happens in the real world if/when valve offer linux support. At this point I wouldn't put bet either way on 'The year of linux gaming' (or the year of the linux desktop) as I just don't know. I haven't seen good concrete evidence from other sources (Desura, etc.) that linux is really, really popular, I'm not sure how many people are only on windows for the gaming, or on linux but with an appetite for games, will windows still be 'the place to be gaming' for broad support, how many companies will now do linux ports, and so on.

It's the kind of questions that'll need a few years to answer anyway.

Scratched wrote:

There's two problems I see with the humble bundle numbers. Firstly as I said, it's just ticking a box on a form, the other is that you can't exactly charge more for a linux version if you're going to do something like steam-play, especially if you were looking to promote linux.

No, but it does indicate there's demand from that segment.

It'll be interesting to see what happens in the real world if/when valve offer linux support. At this point I wouldn't put bet either way on 'The year of linux gaming' (or the year of the linux desktop) as I just don't know. I haven't seen good concrete evidence from other sources (Desura, etc.) that linux is really, really popular, I'm not sure how many people are only on windows for the gaming, or on linux but with an appetite for games, will windows still be 'the place to be gaming' for broad support, how many companies will now do linux ports, and so on.

I doubt it's going to change much actually. Apple didn't magically overtake PC because Valve offered Steam support. It might encourage smaller developers to offer Linux ports (like the Humble Bundle has done), but with most games running on DirectX I doubt we're going to see much native Linux porting from AAA unless more games offer an OpenGL mode out of the box.

All other things being equal, the only difference I can see being made is that developers who do make linux ports will have higher visibility rather than having to sell them on their own site. As for the rest I'm sure we'll see a few ports done in the same way that some mac ports are, the windows version inside a wrapper (like cider, although that's for mac).

Scratched wrote:

All other things being equal, the only difference I can see being made is that developers who do make linux ports will have higher visibility rather than having to sell them on their own site.

From pretty much every interview I've heard or read with indie devs, getting on Steam equates to a massive increase in sales compared to other distribution methods.

Hmmmm, but then again, how many of them will just sell the windows version.

Time will tell I guess.

If and when most of the game I play, play under Linux, then Windows is out and never to come back...
So am really rooting for this to happen!

Linux is something I keep an eye on, but I keep coming up against the fact that I'm already established on windows for how I do things. Regarding gaming, something that I've considered is getting a processor with IO MMU virtualisation (rather than an unlocked chip, as currently it's either/or) which would allow a linux host/windows guest virtualised OS direct access to hardware, hopefully making it seamless in terms of performance

Not sure if this is the best place to put this but since we were talking about Linux Steam builds I guess this is unofficially the Steam Catch-All?

Remote game installs feature currently in beta

Welcome to the future everyone. Shalalm baskur!