Monday, September 23rd 2013

Valve Announces Steam OS

People looking forward to the big "Steambox" announcement were met by an anticlimax. Valve announced its own operating system for PC gamers, which turns any PC into a "Steambox." Simply named Steam OS, the operating system is a highly modified Debian Linux stripped to bare, with all its non-essentials tossed out, and proprietary multimedia CODECs added, along with fonts, runtime environments, and in-built drivers for popular GPU, sound card, and gaming-peripheral brands. In essence, there's everything in the operating system for PC gamers, and then some.

Steam diversified from distributing PC games to non-gaming PC software, and Valve plans to take that further by doing groundwork for its very own living room content-delivery platform to compete with the likes of Xbox One. Since Steam OS can be deployed onto x86-based PCs as tiny as an Intel NUC, it stands more than a half chance. Its baby-steps are taken with In-home Streaming, a feature that lets you stream content off a PC or Mac in your house. You can share games in your account with others in your family, and close friends, using the recently-announced Family Sharing feature. You get content-blocking features and restricted-accounts. You also get media-player software that lets you organize and play back music and videos in most open- and proprietary formats. You should be able to install popular web-browsers like Google Chrome. Steam OS is competitively priced against Windows 8.1 and OS X 10.9, at $0. Did we tell you that some of its icons look like companion cubes? Just kidding.
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88 Comments on Valve Announces Steam OS

#1
v12dock
I have been wanting to use Linux as my primary OS for so long, thank you Valve.
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#2
_Zod_
by: Mathragh
Got any sources?:)
Sources for which statement?

http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/SteamOS/
"Users can alter or replace any part of the software or hardware they want."

The Kernel is Linux which is GPL'd so anything they do to it is also GPL'd, but I doubt Valve is touching the Kernel. It is almost certainly not going to be a Linux distro from the ground up, they will most likely be using some existing distro as a basis due to time constraints. Maybe at some point they will have rolled their own like Android but I doubt it.
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#3
Prima.Vera
If only the game coders would start to code the games for OpenGL instead of Direct3D, then I think Windows 8 would go to early retirement...
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#4
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
by: Fourstaff
If you code for OpenGL you wouldn't face DirectX :D
Virtually all AAA games on Windows presently use DirectX. Even games that are coded for more than Windows (Mac OS X/Linux) the Windows release still almost always uses DirectX excepting iD Software (John Carmack loves himself OpenGL).
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#5
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: Prima.Vera
If only the game coders would start to code the games for OpenGL instead of Direct3D, then I think Windows 8 would go to early retirement...
No. Not until Windows 9 comes anyway (which likely will be like Windows 8 but more). So just no.

If you're talking about Windows in general, no again. Sales would likely drop, but it won't dissapear.
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#6
RCoon
Gaming Moderator
Steam can do what it likes with this Linux OS. Only indie games are going to be developed for this linux based OS. Every other big developer is going to make games primarily for consoles, then port to PC. A very select few will ever make it to Linux debian(steamOS).
This is just a statement. It's like shaving your butt cheeks in WalMart because Best Buy wouldnt let you do it there.
Only HTPC's will see this SteamOS, anyone with high end enthusiast hardware worth 2K or more isnt going to install SteamOS and limit themselves to what they can do with said hardware. People should accept this for what it is. A free platform for indie developers with low budgets. This isnt some kind of Windows killer because Gabe has beef with Windows 8.
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#7
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Yup. If I ever get around to making an HTPC, I would try Steam OS on it before buying Windows.
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#9
Dos101
Any word on when this'll be available to download?
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#10
erek
by: Mathragh
Yay. another closed platform!


While it sounds great, being based on Linux and all, I hope people wont forget this is essentially an attempt to wall off all competition.

Edit: ofc this post is mostly a rant, but I felt some counterbalance was needed:p
it's completely open source, what are you talking about closed?
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#11
erek
by: Fourstaff
If you code for OpenGL you wouldn't face DirectX :D
by: Prima.Vera
If only the game coders would start to code the games for OpenGL instead of Direct3D, then I think Windows 8 would go to early retirement...
Most big companies use their own engines or license an engine and don't usually code for OpenGL or DirectX directly. A lot of it is scripting in a particular language like UnrealScript, Java/JavaScript, and or C#, and etc. If the engine supports compiling to Linux as a target then you are in luck.
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#12
Gavin
by: RCoon
Steam can do what it likes with this Linux OS. Only indie games are going to be developed for this linux based OS. Every other big developer is going to make games primarily for consoles, then port to PC. A very select few will ever make it to Linux debian(steamOS).
This is just a statement. It's like shaving your butt cheeks in WalMart because Best Buy wouldnt let you do it there.
Only HTPC's will see this SteamOS, anyone with high end enthusiast hardware worth 2K or more isnt going to install SteamOS and limit themselves to what they can do with said hardware. People should accept this for what it is. A free platform for indie developers with low budgets. This isnt some kind of Windows killer because Gabe has beef with Windows 8.
Watch for announcements in the coming weeks about all the AAA titles coming natively to SteamOS in 2014.
Straight from the Steam annoucement
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#13
Octavean
I think the real issue here is that Linux hasn't taken over the world or taken it by storm and that is for a very good reason. I don't think SteamOS will change this and why should it?
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#15
phanbuey
by: Octavean
I think the real issue here is that Linux hasn't taken over the world or taken it by storm and that is for a very good reason. I don't think SteamOS will change this and why should it?
The reason for that is many of the killer apps that people are using are windows based, and linux has traditionally been a pain in the ass to use.

However, now that windows 8 managed somehow to be even a bigger pain in the ass to use than even linux, and gaming (which in itself is a huge reason people spend $$ on pcs) is moving to linux, that allows for a viable competing OS for a gaming rig. And people who want the best bang for the buck would much rather use the money that they saved on a windows license for additional gear.

So no - it wont change the world, but it will definitely give linux the boost in popularity and quality that it needs to compete with Windows Pho er.. Windows 8.
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#16
_JP_
by: Crap Daddy
Question is why would I turn my PC in a steambox?
Question is, do you have to turn your PC into a steambox? Y/N
Also, dual boot.
by: Crap Daddy
And, no Battlefield 4.
It's not going to be released on steam anyway.
Again, dual boot.
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#17
Crap Daddy
by: _JP_
Question is, do you have to turn your PC into a steambox? Y/N
Also, dual boot.

It's not going to be released on steam anyway.
Again, dual boot.
Why dual boot when Windows is doing the same as steamos and it's already installed? Just for fun? I see this os strictly for a new build dedicated to entertainment. But what would you say that if at some point steam will only be available on steamos or it will become steamos and you'll have to run a machine with this os to access your games? Is it too much of a conspiracy?
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#18
Fourstaff
by: Octavean
I think the real issue here is that Linux hasn't taken over the world or taken it by storm and that is for a very good reason. I don't think SteamOS will change this and why should it?
There is a lack of a synchronised push away from Windows, and Linux is quite fragmented in terms of both updates and support. I don't think SteamOS will change this either, but we need an alternative for PC gaming instead of relying on Windows (and DirectX by extension).
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#19
Solidstate89
It'd be great if the Steam client could also provide streaming capabilities. I already have an HTPC in my living room, and it would be really neat to play some of the games installed on my desktop on the TV.

But I'll be damned if I'm installing a new OS just to fucking do it.
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#20
MxPhenom 216
Corsair Fanboy
Steam OS + Steambox + Half Life 3 bundled with said Steambox would be awesome.
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#21
XNine
CaseLabs Rep
And how many games on Steam can even work under this new platform, given that any large developer is going to code for Direct X and not OpenGL?

Dual boot is nice and all, but people prefer a unified experience. Linux is great and all, except, you know, no support for apps that are worth a damn in the first place. Great server, great base, but let's face it, Linux never has and probably never will replace Windows/Mac OS.

Should it happen, though, I will eat my words. Probably with green chili and cheese. Like a breakfast burrito.
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#22
BiggieShady
by: XNine
... any large developer is going to code for Direct X and not OpenGL
Nah, they license game engine that has both OpenGL and DirectX renderer, and since most of the game logic is in scripts rather in native code and shaders are recycled all the time, deploying for different platforms is relatively easy this way - most of the job is already done by engine developers.
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#23
XNine
CaseLabs Rep
by: BiggieShady
Nah, they license game engine that has both OpenGL and DirectX renderer, and since most of the game logic is in scripts rather in native code and shaders are recycled all the time, deploying for different platforms is relatively easy this way - most of the job is already done by engine developers.
If that's the case, I also like bacon in my burritos.... :laugh:
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#24
erocker
I hope they make driver support easy-ish to do with this O/S. Heck, it's going on my HTPC the moment it's realeased!
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