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Valve Announces Hardware Beta Test For 'Steam Machine'

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the get-it-while-it's-hot dept.

Hardware 271

Valve's second major living-room-gaming announcement landed today: they have produced a prototype model of their first "Steam Machine." They've made 300 units, and they'll be sending the machines to users in a very limited beta test. Valve hastens to add that this device isn't the only Steam-focused hardware: "Entertainment is not a one-size-fits-all world. We want you to be able to choose the hardware that makes sense for you, so we are working with multiple partners to bring a variety of Steam gaming machines to market during 2014, all of them running SteamOS." They haven't released specs, but they guaranteed the prototypes will ship this year. They explicitly permit using it in any way — swapping parts, changing the OS, installing any software, etc. "The specific machine we're testing is designed for users who want the most control possible over their hardware. Other boxes will optimize for size, price, quietness, or other factors."

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271 comments

An open system (4, Informative)

crashcy (2839507) | about 6 months ago | (#44950075)

From the Questions section, they say you can hack it as you like, change the OS, change the hardware, and that the SteamOS source code will be available.

Re:An open system (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44950161)

Yea a totally open system that lets you shovel money into Valve's DRM. Good times, good times...

Re:An open system (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 6 months ago | (#44950213)

I can already do that now. Just run Steam on the same kind of hardware that this thing is likely to be built with.

Re:An open system (4, Insightful)

Wookact (2804191) | about 6 months ago | (#44950215)

This argument holds no water. Steam's DRM has not cause anyone I know any issues playing their games. In fact they have even loosened control even more to allow you to share your games.

I only hate DRM that keeps me from what I paid for. Steam's DRM has not done any such thing. If you want to complain about DRM, please target GFWL, Ubisoft, and EA.

Re:An open system (2)

crashcy (2839507) | about 6 months ago | (#44950289)

This is how I feel. I hate intrusive DRM. And I'm not a person that bitches about it and then shovels money at the companies that screw over their customers. I have not bought Diablo 3, SimCity, any Ubisoft game, any GFWL game, or any other (non-multiplayer) game that requires 100% online. But I have no trouble with Steam, because it has never once caused me any inconvenience. I have not been without internet for more than a day in the past decade, so it's once-a-week check-in isn't an issue for me.
I guess I'd like the ability to resell games, but not really, cause I never sold my old boxed games. I never know when the mood will strike to play something five years later.

Re: An open system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44950623)

LOL. If you knew how steam worked you'd find occurrences of DRM layered on top of more DRM. If anyone believes this nonsense hype then let me remind you that you are living in a world of fantasy and make believe. this isn't the world of narnia where you can pay with broken dreams.

Re: An open system (2)

guru42101 (851700) | about 6 months ago | (#44950953)

I have seen this, but that is generally the developer's choice, not Valve's. For example the Steam version of BioShock 2 has an additional layer of GFWL. Ubisoft and EA games tend to have their standard DRM as well. The actual Steam DRM is painless.

Re:An open system (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#44950721)

It keeps you from reselling what you paid for.

Re:An open system (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44950767)

And allows them to sell you copies of once AAA games for sub-$10.

Re:An open system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44950859)

Ebay and Craigslist let you do this too. Amazing!

Re:An open system (3, Interesting)

Cwix (1671282) | about 6 months ago | (#44951051)

And if they ship you a damaged install disc, or a cd key that they have released online so it has been marked as pirated. I'll stick to Steam. I realize there are downsides, but from my POV the upsides outweigh them.

Re:An open system (5, Insightful)

dj245 (732906) | about 6 months ago | (#44950817)

It keeps you from reselling what you paid for.

It also allows me to download the game any number of times, long after I would have lost a disk or lost a CD-check key. They also have huge sales on AAA games with discounts you generally will not find in retail stores. Steam has advantages and disadvantages. For a lot of people the disadvantages are not important.

Gamestop gives pennies on the dollar and I can't be bothered to sell used goods $10 at a time on Craigslist, including fielding emails and calls, arranging to meet the person, haggling, etc. If you sell used games on Ebay, you'll have nothing left after fees and shipping. For some people that much hassle for $10 might be worth it, but for a lot of people it is not.

Re:An open system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44950909)

It suddenly occurs to me that I've never re-sold a game before. Maybe I should look into this Steam thing.

Re:An open system (1)

Cwix (1671282) | about 6 months ago | (#44950981)

I've never wanted to resell my games. I actually think people that do are a little bit odd, but you may feel free to purchase the disc version from your local box store or Amazon. You can then resell that one. I will continue to snap up 6 month old games for 75% off through Steam though.

Re:An open system (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 6 months ago | (#44951497)

No. The disc version of a steam game is little more than a steam key and a blob to save you some downloading time.

It is no more resellable than buying it on steam.

Re:An open system (1)

B1oodAnge1 (1485419) | about 6 months ago | (#44951147)

Technically, I suppose I didn't buy the game, I just bought the right to download it and play it on any computer I want without ever needing to find or fix a disc.

Not saying it isn't a trade off, I would love to be able to resell my games, however, for me and many hundreds of thousands of gamers it is a system that adds value rather than subtracting it like every other DRM system out there.

Re:An open system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44950733)

For those who haven't actually looked into Steam's DRM, I suggest you look it up for yourself. It's easy to bash all DRM everywhere, but the fact of the matter is that Steam offers DRM solutions, but does not have one single DRM solution for everything that is released through Steam. It's up to the developers/publishers that put games on Steam to pick how strict the DRM system is, and it's essentially a sliding scale from 'no DRM' to 'can only be installed on a set number of machines DRM'.

At the same time, Steam and Valve are very supportive of instances where things go wrong and you need to recover one of your installs. Sometimes HDDs fail, and when that happens you'll be losing 1 install on anything that has a limited number of allowed installs.

Also, Steam allows you to play offline, unless the game you're playing requires online capability.

It really is a good compromise between giving customers what they pay for, and helping prevent piracy.

Re:An open system (1)

slaker (53818) | about 6 months ago | (#44951627)

Steam has an offline mode, but games can only be accessed if you at least occasionally authenticate with Steam. How often is occasionally? Well, in my mind, any number of times more than "the day that the game was purchased" is too many, but I know that if someone's internet connection is down and they haven't authenticated with the Steam client in the last couple months, games won't start.

As far as I can tell, "Offline Model" just stops all the non-authentication aspects of the Steam client, like the built-in chat service, but games that need to authenticate still need to do so occasionally. The last time I gave Steam a chance, I tried to play Dragon Age: Origins while my internet connection was down and found that despite the fact that I was "offline" and had logged in to the game client sometime before I lost my internet connection, the game wouldn't load.

And that was the point where I said fuck it, I'll just buy everything else from GoG or get it from Pirate Release groups.

Re:An open system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44950771)

I only hate DRM that keeps me from what I paid for. Steam's DRM has not done any such thing.

Steam is, if you must have DRM, one of the less intrusive. And it is great that it hasn't interfered with YOU, and probably even most people for that matter.

However, I work in a remote location and stay there for 3 to 4 weeks at a time. In my off-shift time, I game. Little else to do until I go home. (I do far more gaming there than at home.)

Offline mode works for the most part, but it has given me trouble in the past. It has required me to get back online to get into offline mode again. And then I am screwed. No Steam games for the remainder of my time at work, sometimes weeks. Worse, in the winter, I am sometimes not able to work due to weather, so I need to have something to occupy my time for the entire day! Even when Steam works fine, I am always in fear that something will go wrong and I will be stuck.

I do bring some non-Steam games to be on the safe side. Any game requiring the internet to play does not get played by me. I buy far fewer games these days because of that crap.

Re:An open system (2)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 6 months ago | (#44950399)

Of all the DRM out there, Steam is both the least intrusive, and the best run. Gabe has done a very good job of keeping the DRM out of your way. Yes, it is a software rental (with very long terms) but is rental always bad? I rent cars and hotel rooms too...

Re: An open system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44950677)

it's not intrusive compared to what? all DRM is intrusive.

Re:An open system (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 6 months ago | (#44950469)

As opposed to an open system that does NOT allow you to buy games through steam? It sounds like you'll be able to buy things through other sytems, say Origin, GOG, et cetera. You can put games you've bought through other services into steam, and they say you can do whatever you want with them. So you have no cause to think that it will be locked into steam.

Also, news flash, most people are not theologically opposed to DRM! Most people accept DRM if it doesn't cause problems most of the time! If you have problems with Steam's specific DRM, that's one thing, but if it's simply "STEAM IS DRM THEREFORE STEAM IS AN ABOMINATION BEFORE GOD!" then you are a moron, and I'm happy that you're missing out on so many games.

Re:An open system (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 6 months ago | (#44950423)

From what I can see, they WANT folks to hack it. They see the value in an active community hacking the box. (Unlike Sony) This feels so strange... :)

Re:An open system (3, Informative)

crashcy (2839507) | about 6 months ago | (#44950563)

Valve has a long history of finding value in community creations. Most of their biggest games started out as mods. So it makes sense that they would want to keep up this concept of seeing what the users can come up with.

Re:An open system (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 6 months ago | (#44951499)

I'm going to hack mine to allow permanent offline play of my games, without it ever needing to check in with the Valve server gain. Gabe says its okay, right?

A truly useful gaming appliance (1)

TheloniousCoward (2941425) | about 6 months ago | (#44950089)

Fine, but will it clean my carpet?

Re:A truly useful gaming appliance (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44950119)

when you clean my cum off your chin

Re:A truly useful gaming appliance (1)

Spottywot (1910658) | about 6 months ago | (#44950229)

Why though does it need to be a Steam Box if it's really just a PC with SteamOS on it? Could I set up a Steam Box shop myself, or would Valve only let licenced vendors sell em? My guess is it would be fine. Which reminds me, I better go play the Half life episodes which I never got round to playing. Half Life 3 must be just round the corner.

Re:A truly useful gaming appliance (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 6 months ago | (#44950263)

I think the idea here is that you might be able to do that, but most people would not be able to do that.

Valve can't count to 3 so do not hold your breath.

Re:A truly useful gaming appliance (2)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 6 months ago | (#44950481)

Why though does it need to be a Steam Box if it's really just a PC with SteamOS on it?

It doesn't. You can have it right now with Ubuntu and the Steam Client in "Big Picture" mode. But by making a specific hardware spec, there are some massive economies of scale. And by letting us hack it, they get even more economies of scale. (More reasons to by it than just games) And the more boxes out there, the more games they sell. And the more games they sell, the more game developers they attract.

Re:A truly useful gaming appliance (1)

Falkentyne (760418) | about 6 months ago | (#44950827)

Could I set up a Steam Box shop myself, or would Valve only let licenced vendors sell em? My guess is it would be fine.

I totally read it wrong before but yes - looks like you'll have to license it if you want to sell it with hardware but it's free to do that:

From the website: http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/SteamOS/
SteamOS will be available soon as a free download for users and as a freely licensable operating system for manufacturers. Stay tuned in the coming days for more information.

Re:A truly useful gaming appliance (4, Insightful)

lordofthechia (598872) | about 6 months ago | (#44951375)

One word: Convenience.

How many people have bought Rokus or Tivos when they could just hook up a PC to their TV, install the right hardware, install the right software (Browser, Silverlight, MythTV) and get the same thing? Convenience.

The lack of convenience is what has been driving people away from PC gaming to the consoles. Why mess with drivers, OS updates, incompatibilities, updating your anti-virus, etc when you can just plop a game disk into your playstation or xbox and just enjoy the game.

Now if you already have a PC with steam installed, then you're not the main targeted demographic for SteamOS and/or the Steam Machines. Valve is (rightfully so) looking at all the peoples with wads of cash beating on the doors of Sony and Microsoft and asking themselves "What can we do to bring these people back to PC gaming?"

So now the consumers have another choice. The easy to use XBOX, Playstation, or pre-configured and ready to go Steam Machine by (Dell, Gateway, Alienware, HP). Just take it home, plug it into your tv, insert credit card, acquire games.

Already have the PC hardware? Get SteamOS and install it (or dual boot with your favorite OS) to get a similar experience. Want to leave the gaming rig upstairs while you chill on the couch? Get a smaller Steam Machine and stream your workhorse to your TV.

Their slogan should be: "Shh... No tears, only games"

Re: A truly useful gaming appliance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44951679)

Exactly that's why I buy consoles. I spend all day with a computer and when I get home to play, I don't want all the hassle.
VALVE, give me a plug&play computer with Linux and I'm sold.
Also, I would like to see more AAA's made for Linux, and when publishers see millions of potential customers with a Steam machine at home, they'll do. Hell, in 5 years we might only see Windows computers in the office.

Just like Google with Android (1)

lordofthechia (598872) | about 6 months ago | (#44950117)

So SteamOS will tread where Google (with Android) has before. Deliver a bridge to your content in the form of a streamlined OS. This is really going to give the common folk a console like experience (pick a game and play) while enjoying the benefits of gaming on a PC (upgrade ability, mods, better game prices).

Hopefully folks will be more agreeable to downloading their games and this will succeed where the Phantom failed [wikipedia.org] !

Re:Just like Google with Android (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 6 months ago | (#44950151)

The phantom never even shipped anything, so it might not be fair to compare it. Steam already has a lot of users for their PC product so this should be easier.

Add in netflix and I will highly consider one.

Re:Just like Google with Android (4, Insightful)

Lithdren (605362) | about 6 months ago | (#44950227)

The OS is open source. If you want Netfix, you can add it yourself if you're motivated enough.

Otherwise, just make a large enough demand and the company themselves will put one out im sure. I view this thing as a gamechanger, a console system that is upgradeable like a PC? Geez I might even consider one.

Re:Just like Google with Android (3, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 6 months ago | (#44950233)

Netflix is not opensource. So porting it is not possible. I could use the wine stuff, but that has performance issues.

Neflix is owned by someone who sat/sits on MS's board and seems to have no interest in proper linux support.

Re:Just like Google with Android (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 6 months ago | (#44950505)

Netflix is not opensource. So porting it is not possible. I could use the wine stuff, but that has performance issues.

Neflix is owned by someone who sat/sits on MS's board and seems to have no interest in proper linux support.

And this is why I just renewed Amazon Prime. Love that streaming on Linux.

Not True (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44950553)

I run NetFlix on my Tivo and PS3, both of which have parts commonality with Linux/Unix so the only reason you might not be able to run NetFlix on Linux is that the Studios that license content to NetFlix want some assurances that their content won't go leaking all over the internet because you can't control the end point machines with DRM. It has nothing to do with MS and everything to do with getting studios to license titles.

It's the same reason Cablecards don't run on Linux.

But go on with your Anti-MS screed.

Re:Not True (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 6 months ago | (#44950579)

Not Anti-MS anti the guy who runs netflix.

HDCP is cracked, this means you can record from the Tivo or the PS3 just fine.

Re:Not True (1)

hirschma (187820) | about 6 months ago | (#44950811)

HDCP is cracked, this means you can record from the Tivo or the PS3 just fine.

Some helpful links? I'd love to record from those devices.

Re:Not True (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 6 months ago | (#44950991)

Googling "record ps3 gameplay hdmi" seems to return a lot of hits.

I don't plan to do that, I merely wanted to point out that if HDCP is good enough then so is nothing.

Re:Not True (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44950741)

As Valve has demonstrated, there's nothing preventing a DRM scheme from working on Linux.

But go on with your Pro-MS screed.

Re:Not True (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44950861)

Valve is the market maker, like iTunes, it has more leverage with people that want to sell content.

NetFlix doesn't have that kind of leverage with studios. Not Pro-MS, just anti-conspiracy.

What you get paid to sit on a board probably doesn't compare to your salary for running NetFlix, so self interest says if there is a market for NetFlix Linux support NetFlix would provide it.

Re:Not True (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44950901)

Hate replying to myself, but there were Google Execs on Apple's board, so obviously they'd never do anything to compete with the iPhone, right?

Re:Just like Google with Android (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 6 months ago | (#44950627)

Why is this a gamechanger? We already had a videogame playing system that was upgradeable like a PC. It's called "A PC."

Re:Just like Google with Android (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#44950753)

Because it's more then that.
It looks like their goal is for the consumer to stream anything they want.

Right now, getting thing streamed to the living room is a mish mash of technology.

One box that could stream everything I want regardless of container? that would be a game changer.

Re:Just like Google with Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44951553)

Because it's more, then that.

FTFY. But just to further clarify, it starts out as something better, and then somehow degrades into a PC?

Re:Just like Google with Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44951687)

One box that could stream everything I want regardless of container?

It's called a PC.

Re:Just like Google with Android (1)

lordofthechia (598872) | about 6 months ago | (#44950319)

> The phantom never even shipped anything, so it might not be fair to compare it.

True. Apparently they didn't have the content delivery side ironed out and investors may have been hesitant to pump more money into such an odd concept.

I'm just really stoked. This is such an awesome and smart move on Valve's part. Hopefully it will pay off for them like it did Google.

One huge bonus I could see really soon is more big box store PCs coming with proper video cards (or the better AMD APUs) instead of the crap integrated video they've been using while misdirecting the consumer with the "Gigs of Ram and Teras of Hard drive!"

Steam OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44950167)

Wake me when I can download it and check it out for myself. If it works better than ubuntu for my HTPC, I'm all for it, even if it's not a gaming rig (intel atom, nvidia ion).

All I know is Ubuntu seems to have issues with both sound and video, which I'd hope are the issues Valve is prioritizing (ubuntu doesn't seem to give a shit).

Proprietary on top of linux = no control for user (0, Troll)

rtkluttz (244325) | about 6 months ago | (#44950177)

I simply don't trust valve. They are currently the lesser of all evils but still evil nonetheless. Give me a gaming kernel replacement (kind of like the real time kernel) in a general purpose OS that I remain in control of and that doesn't spy on me and I'll be a cheerleader. But this thing will do all the same old same old such as spy on me, try to control what I can and can't do on my own machine, try to lock my content, impose artificial limits that I have to buy back etc. etc. etc.

Re:Proprietary on top of linux = no control for us (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 6 months ago | (#44950219)

The platform is open, you own the machine. You should be able to just move over the software or even copy their kernel. I really doubt they changed that at all.

Re:Proprietary on top of linux = no control for us (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44950305)

God. Your life must be awful.

Re:Proprietary on top of linux = no control for us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44950441)

Steam has announced that you are free to change the OS or hardware any way you want. How much more open can it get. Holy smokes, if it wasn't written by some basement dweller then it cant be trusted?

Re:Proprietary on top of linux = no control for us (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44950531)

Your content? Really? You've never owned the content. You've owned the physical layer and a license to use the content for more than a hundred years, but that's very different than owning the content. If you did, truly, own it, than you'd have the right to unlimited redistribution. Not in the last 300+ years of law.

Re:Proprietary on top of linux = no control for us (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44950887)

"You've never owned the content."

Criminal copyright laws don't need to be respected, anything you pay for you should own. The license for software was the biggest con in law going taking advantage of a tech illiterate population.

Re:Proprietary on top of linux = no control for us (5, Interesting)

Kelbear (870538) | about 6 months ago | (#44950667)

I do trust Valve, but the parent brings up an important point.

The difference between a PC and a console isn't hardware, it's about control. The hardware and interfaces will all change over time, but the real distinction is who gets to say what happens on the platform. For PCs, users control the environment. For consoles, a company is controlling the environment. There are benefits to users owning the environment, and benefits to a company controlling the environment.

The SteamMachine appears to be a weird hybrid between the two ends of the spectrum, and seems to be giving up the most significant advantages of both ends unless this starts to drive some major changes in game development.

Re:Proprietary on top of linux = no control for us (4, Insightful)

Asmodae (1155077) | about 6 months ago | (#44951193)

Think carefully about those statements. Here are some possible consequences of SteamMachine:

Failure - Status quo is maintained.

Success (even moderate success) - LINUX Gains a huge user base dedicated to gaming. The calculus of game developers and publishers with regards to LINUX development and Linux ports does a complete 180. Native support for LINUX games becomes something publishers might actually consider as worthwhile instead of "WTF is LINUX?".

Success and Valve turns evil - Games will be made to natively support LINUX so they run on the Steam console hardware platform of the day. DRM can and will be circumvented as always, but now they'll run on LINUX instead of Windows.

Re:Proprietary on top of linux = no control for us (3, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 6 months ago | (#44950693)

The thing about discussing good vs evil, even "lesser of evils" is it necessarily separates things into black and white. This is not really useful for me in a world of greys. Is there a "good" alternative you know of? Because if not, then "the least of evils" should just be redefined as "good."

GOG and other DRM free sites are fine, but they're not really in the same category for most games.

Re:Proprietary on top of linux = no control for us (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#44950769)

Why not?

I will assume you trust the people who make you shoes, and shirt, and desk, and microwave and.. everything else in you house.

Re:Proprietary on top of linux = no control for us (1)

Ksevio (865461) | about 6 months ago | (#44950819)

Do you trust Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo more than Valve?

If you're looking for a living room game machine, you need to pick one of these - and 3 of the 4 lock down their hardware and software, while Valve's option is open source and works on different hardware setups.

Re:Proprietary on top of linux = no control for us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44951665)

>Valve's option is open source

LOL, yeah right. The OS will be open source. The Steam and DRM bits, not so much.

Re:Proprietary on top of linux = no control for us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44950821)

Do you have any evidence to backup your claims that the device will spy on you, control your actions, lock your content, and impose artificial limits? Please also expand upon what "etc. etc. etc." refers to.

Your post is nothing but FUD at this point.

Re:Proprietary on top of linux = no control for us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44950883)

Someone else who needs to RTFA. Insightful appears to mean less than it used to.

Re:Proprietary on top of linux = no control for us (4, Informative)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 6 months ago | (#44950985)

Give me a gaming kernel replacement (kind of like the real time kernel) in a general purpose OS that I remain in control of and that doesn't spy on me and I'll be a cheerleader. But this thing will do all the same old same old such as spy on me, try to control what I can and can't do on my own machine, try to lock my content, impose artificial limits that I have to buy back etc. etc. etc.

I don't see how any of the complaints you have apply to SteamOS or the Steam machines. In fact, they're giving you what you want. From Valve:

Will I be able to build my own box to run SteamOS?
Yes.

Can I hack this box? Run another OS? Change the hardware? Install my own software? Use it to build a robot?
Sure.

Can I download the OS to try it out?
You will be able to download it (including the source code, if you're into that) but not yet.

So, from what I can tell, they've taken a general purpose OS and fine-tuned some aspects of it for gaming, they're open sourcing it so that you can make your own hacks to it if you want, the hardware for this box will be general purpose stuff that you can hack on to your heart's content, and Valve has no history of engaging in the sorts of artificial limits that you're talking about.

Really, it sounds like your complaints are aimed at Steam (the app, not the OS) and its DRM, which is an entirely separate issue. I don't know why you started talking about kernels and other such things when the OS and machine are as near as I can tell exactly what you described that you wanted.

Re:Proprietary on top of linux = no control for us (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about 6 months ago | (#44951009)

Why would you even be concerned about this?

First, who the fuck are you? Ain't nobody got time to waste spying on you. I can honestly say that there is nothing going on in your life that anybody needs to worry or care about.

Second, its a game console. What are they really going to gleen by tapping into your gaming habits, are they going to figure out you need to be pushed more viagra ads?

Also yes, it's not something you control, its a game console. If you want control, buy a fucking shoebox and stuff it full of the hardware you want to use, end of story. Not everything has to be open. You're just bitching because you can't cheap out with a ~$400 console and make it into something you want it to be that would otherwise cost you more money.

Lastly, what is the alternative? If you are really afraid of "spying" then stay off the Internet and go back to gaming on the NES.

Re:Proprietary on top of linux = no control for us (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 6 months ago | (#44951317)

Give me a gaming kernel replacement (kind of like the real time kernel) in a general purpose OS that I remain in control of and that doesn't spy on me and I'll be a cheerleader.

Then use Ubuntu and the Steam Client. That is essentially what this is, but without the GP desktop.

Same thing, different day. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 6 months ago | (#44950179)

This looks like this will just be a low profile PC tailored to gaming and Linux. In other words, it will pretty much be another variation on the ION nettops that some of us have already been using for quite some time now.

It will be nice to get some fresh blood in this area. If the kit is reasonably priced, some of us might just buy it for our own purposes.

Second announcement (4, Funny)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 6 months ago | (#44950309)

Valve's second major living-room-gaming announcement...

...so we're done now, I guess. Next they'll move on to a pair of kitchen-gaming announcements, and maybe a hallway-outside-the-living-room-gaming announcement just to keep the hype up, but interest will wane, anyway... until the upstairs-bedroom-by-the-window-gaming announcement, which will bring back hopes for a third living-room-gaming announcement, and Valve will see the pressure, and release a backyard-gaming announcement.

Re:Second announcement (1)

game kid (805301) | about 6 months ago | (#44950443)

I'm still waiting on the bathroom-gaming announcement. "Turn your tired old mirrored medicine-cabinet door into the place to smash headcrabs, sap sentries, make headshots, dock your Kerbals' spacecraft, and maybe even brush your teeth."

Please remove (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44950435)

Any code committed by the NSA and bye bye Microsoft. Prepare for pain.

Re:Please remove (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 6 months ago | (#44951397)

Seriously. With the shutdown of Games for Windows Live, confusion over the future of DirectX, and the implosion of the Xbox One's launch, it seems as if Microsoft is simply giving up on the gaming space. Considering, "...but can it play GAME_X" is the most common response many of us get from people when suggesting they consider an alternative to running Windows at home, this sort of thing may very well relegate Windows to the business world exclusively, thus fracturing the home OS market between Windows, Mac, flavors of Linux, and mobile devices.

SteamOS has the potential to convert a lot of people who otherwise wouldn't have looked at Linux into Linux users. And if there's a decent installed base, you can bet that developers will start porting their apps to it (which Steam is already conveniently capable of delivering), or would start porting the necessary libraries to it, which would, in turn, lead to an overall increase in Linux development (and likely Mac development too, given that the developmental hop from Linux to Mac or vice versa is generally a lot simpler than from Windows to either).

For someone like me, who uses a Mac at home but has been intending to put together a dedicated (Windows) gaming rig for awhile, this seems like it might be the way to go in another year or two, though I'll need to wait and see whether or not the AAA titles really do get developed for it.

Just give me access to the OS. (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | about 6 months ago | (#44950453)

I'm looking to build a new HTPC. I have decided I was going to build a system powerful enough to do linux gaming and run plex on my TV. Just give me steamOS and I'll gladly use it (as long as I can still do my media center applications aka plex or something equivalent that works with my roku box).

Re:Just give me access to the OS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44950813)

... which they have already said they will. And the source too.

R
T
F
A

Re:Just give me access to the OS. (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | about 6 months ago | (#44951309)

I know they said they will, but just do it already.

Re:Just give me access to the OS. (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about 6 months ago | (#44951549)

You want a half-finished, buggy and untested Linux distro with bad driver support? Why?

Give them a chance to finish developing it first. Software development takes time. If I understand it correctly, this Steam OS is just going to be a Linux distro configured to run the Steam for Linux programme on startup, possibly with a few other bits of software and config in support. If you want it so badly that you're willing to put up with a half-finished

Bye bye Ouya (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44950533)

We hardly knew yea.

this has all been done before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44950843)

Microsoft tried with their Multimedia PC specs in the mid 90's.
The problem is that demand and gaming specs evolved so quickly away from them a suitable baseline only lasted a couple years if that.
And now again with Valve, I don't think the base specs will last very long. People in the PC industry don't like a fixed target.

Valve is going to try it again under the guise of being "linux linux linux" but if you think they're going to let you mod the box and have it still be supported, you'll be smoking something wonderful.
I'm very happy good gaming is coming to linux, just don't think this box will be anything other than a closed platform that you'll have to upgrade in 2 years.

Re:this has all been done before (1)

guru42101 (851700) | about 6 months ago | (#44951007)

Fortunately today the hardware requirements are significantly more stable. I used a dell slimline that I had purchased used from my employer as a media center for 5 years with no problems. I'd still be using it today but after moving I do not have any cabinet space for it. The only real limiting factor on it was the fact it was a slimline and video card options are limited. But I reasonably played WoW, GW2, Minecraft, and WAR on it when I didn't want to play on my real PC at my desk.

Re:this has all been done before (1)

Iceykitsune (1059892) | about 6 months ago | (#44951059)

In recent years the "spec race" has slowed down due to the fagt that the consoles are using pc hardware, which gives devs a minumum spec they NEED the game to run at if they want to have a console version.

Where Have I Seen This Before? (1)

ewhac (5844) | about 6 months ago | (#44951031)

This sounds curiously like the model that the 3DO console was supposed to embody 20 years ago (well, 20 years minus ten days or so). In fact, I'm having trouble identifying any significant differences from it.

The idea as presented was to create a common reference platform and get multiple HW vendors to build to the spec and compete on price, like they all were doing with VCRs at the time. The 3DO Company itself wouldn't build anything, getting its money from per-disc royalties ($3/copy). Ultimately, three manufacturers put out 3DO-compatible machines -- Matsushita (Panasonic), LG (nee Goldstar), and Sanyo.

However, the 3DO console famously released at a staggering $700 (1993) and, despite several price drops, never really lost the stigma of being, "too expensive." As a consequence, the installed base never really took off to the same degree as Nintendo and Sega (Sony's Playstation didn't exist back then). As such, 3DO started publishing its own games, and doubled the per-disc fees. Still not enough. 3DO eventually shed all of its platform development talent and become another game development house until it died around 2003.

It'll be interesting to see if Newell can succeed where Hawkins failed.

Re:Where Have I Seen This Before? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#44951267)

Newell can succeed in anything, he's too big to fail

Re:Where Have I Seen This Before? (1)

FreonTrip (694097) | about 6 months ago | (#44951371)

Technology and economies of scale have come a very, very long way from the 3DO. From what I've seen and heard I wouldn't bet against it, and I'd certainly place better odds on it than the 3DO.

Man, that Doom port sucked.

Re:Where Have I Seen This Before? (0)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 6 months ago | (#44951377)

That's what I've been saying over the past Valve stories that it's 3D0 all over again, but Slashdot is PC gamer centric and a good portion (especially the Europeans) don't know jack about consoles. PC Gamers also love steam because they're "cheap bastards" who spent so much money on hardware they don't have money for games, so they play LoL, or TF2, or de_dust only games in CS to the exclusion of anything else.

And suppose they pull it off, then some shiny obsessed PC gamer is going to whine when the SteamOS games are developed to support the base models rather than his $2500 upgraded steambox and that the cheap models are "holding gaming back" just like they complain about the PS3 and 360 today.

And they'll whine when the games are optimized for a dual analog gamepad for Big screen mode, because they have their Steambox connected to a 27" monitor on a desk instead of a TV in the living room.

Friday (1)

h4x0t (1245872) | about 6 months ago | (#44951387)

Next announcement on friday... 09/27/2013.

Nine-Twenty-Seven
All divisible by three
Half-Life Three confirmed

Haiku confirmed. 2013 is divisible by 3 as well... but I couldn't fit it in verse.

Perhaps they should have some console gamers Beta (0)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 6 months ago | (#44951439)

Basically the Beta is limited to those who basically play only PC games, since as of now Steam is PC only. But this thing is intended to be "console-y" so perhaps they should test it, not on PC gamers, but on actual console gamers. That is, if they want to sell this thing to console gamers at all...by their statements about upgradeable hardware....I think not.

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