Beta

SteamOS Will Be Available For Download On December 13

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the year-of-linux-on-the-steambox dept.

Operating Systems 211

sfcrazy writes "Valve Software, creator of Half-Life and Left 4 Dead, has announced that SteamOS will be available for public download on December 13. That's the day when the company will start shipping Steam Machines and Steam Controllers to the 300 selected beta participants. The company said, 'SteamOS will be made available when the prototype hardware ships. It will be downloadable by individual users and commercial OEMs. (But unless you're an intrepid Linux hacker already, we're going to recommend that you wait until later in 2014 to try it out.)"

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How wfell wiill trhiss rutn ipn ao VsM?t (5, Funny)

jeek (37349) | about a year ago | (#45665081)

Kind of want to try this in Virtualbox.

Re: How wfell wiill trhiss rutn ipn ao VsM?t (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45665163)

Haha, encrypted "first post"

Re: How wfell wiill trhiss rutn ipn ao VsM?t (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45665191)

Haha, encrypted "first post"

- Ruku

Re:How wfell wiill trhiss rutn ipn ao VsM?t (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45666757)

You want an OS that is based on DRM?

Re:How wfell wiill trhiss rutn ipn ao VsM?t (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45668089)

You want an OS that is based on DRM?

You have a good point there; I have no idea why anyone would want that. I guess for playing video games it is probably better to just run Mac, Windows, or use any of the current video game consoles where at least I know I am free.

GNOME? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#45665115)

Are they providing a sensible version of GNOME? I very want to shuck Ubuntu, and this would let me have my Steam games *and* a usable desktop system.

(I know there are GNOME alternatives, but I'm hoping for the easy way out.)

Re:GNOME? (2)

Daniel Hoffmann (2902427) | about a year ago | (#45665353)

Mint comes with multiple window managers, personally I like cinnamon. But anyway you can install it yourself on your ubuntu box, it is easy.

Re:GNOME? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45666353)

you can install those desktop environments in other distros and not have to reinstall your OS every 6-8 months to keep up with the latest release like you do with mint.

Re:GNOME? (5, Informative)

GreatDrok (684119) | about a year ago | (#45665371)

"Are they providing a sensible version of GNOME? I very want to shuck Ubuntu, and this would let me have my Steam games *and* a usable desktop system."

This isn't the Linux you're looking for. This is stripped down and intended to run Steam in Big Picture mode all the time. No desktop at all. The standard Steam client on a Linux system is what you're looking for.

Personally, I shy away from the bleeding edge Linux systems and stick with CentOS.

Re:GNOME? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45665813)

"Personally, I shy away from X and stick with Z."

everyone has an opinion. ::yawn::

Re: GNOME? (1)

Blind Fett (3460929) | about a year ago | (#45666513)

Centos or any RHEL equivalent is good or just download kernel and build system how ever you like Arch is a nice start point for diy Linux build.

Re:GNOME? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45667311)

I see no purpose for this distro. My applications require a DESKTOP environment. Why limit user’s options? This is like MacOS only running iTunes or Windows only able to run Office. It makes no sense.

Re:GNOME? (3, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#45667347)

I see no purpose for this distro. My applications require a DESKTOP environment. Why limit user’s options?

Because this is Valve's game console.

Just like my Xbmc front end boots into Xbmc, and not a desktop. Xbmc is all it's meant to do.

Re:GNOME? (1)

Jartan (219704) | about a year ago | (#45667883)

This is stripped down and intended to run Steam in Big Picture mode all the time. No desktop at all.

Do you have a source on this? Steam sells apps so this sounds unlikely.

Re:GNOME? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45667887)

Do you have any citation for the claim that it will not have a desktop environment other than Steam in Big Picture mode? That certainly is not something I have seen claimed by Valve or anyone else.

Re:GNOME? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45665561)

Try MATE or Cinnamon. MATE isn't as pretty as Cinnamon, but it sure is responsive and light even on really low-end hardware (using it on an old netbook now with no issues).

Both are forks of GNOME 2.

Re:GNOME? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45667605)

Gnome 2 was massive amounts of bloat. XFCE of LXDE are both worlds faster. The fact that the new stuff is worse doesn't make gnome "light and responsive"

Re:GNOME? (2)

Sudline (1552111) | about a year ago | (#45668421)

Cinnamon is a fork of Gnome Shell/ Gnome 3

Re:GNOME? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45666647)

I haven't used Debian-based distros since I found the Arch Way, but I'm pretty sure installing whatever WM you want is a simple matter of aptitude install something, where something you can find with a single aptitude search for gnome.

Re:GNOME? (2)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year ago | (#45667451)

You know you can just use a 'sensible version of GNOME' on Ubuntu if you want right? It's really easy [ubuntugeek.com] .

Electric demons in love (5, Insightful)

crioca (1394491) | about a year ago | (#45665123)

There's been a lot of hype and misconceptions about SteamOS within the gaming community especially. SteamOS isn't a desktop OS, it's a console OS and needs to be understood as such. It won't be a whole lot of use unless you're planning to set up a PC for use as a console.

Re:Electric demons in love (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45665221)

just wait for a modified distribution of it.

Re:Electric demons in love (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45665407)

Or install Steam on whatever Linux distribution you want...

Re:Electric demons in love (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#45667321)

exactly.

if you already have a linux distro that runs steam then you have zero incentive to install SteamOS.

Re:Electric demons in love (1)

Dega704 (1454673) | about a year ago | (#45665245)

Indeed. People really ought to look at it as a gaming equivalent of XBMC or something along those lines.

Re:Electric demons in love (5, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#45665301)

It's more like XBMC with gaming..and apps, cause it will stream all your media and play steam games.

Re:Electric demons in love (3, Insightful)

Dega704 (1454673) | about a year ago | (#45665391)

Hence why I plan to replace XBMC with it eventually. I can't wait to see what it matures into.

Re:Electric demons in love (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45665469)

"It's more like XBMC with gaming..and apps"

Apps? SteamOS is dead. Apps are worthless.

Unless you meant to say applications...

Applications and apps are the same thing (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45666637)

Applications were called apps for short long before iOS 2 introduced the App Store. See, for example, Unleashing the Killer App by Downes and Mui [amazon.com] , first published in 2000.

Re:Electric demons in love (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45665631)

It's more like XBMC with gaming..and apps, cause it will stream all your media and play steam games.

Now if it had Blackjack and Hookers, they would be on to something.

Make your own blackjack and hookers (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45666533)

You can always make your casino sim and your fishing sim and try to get them greenlit

Re:Electric demons in love (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about a year ago | (#45666677)

It's more like XBMC with gaming..and apps, cause it will stream all your media and play steam games.

Now if it had Blackjack and Hookers, they would be on to something.

In fact, just never mind about the games.

Re:Electric demons in love (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45667413)

XBMC can launch apps and games too. I use XBMC on my HTPC to run emulators.

Indeed. The thing is... (1)

Svartalf (2997) | about a year ago | (#45665255)

...if you're doing Linux gamedev or are already using Steam on Linux...you may well be ready for that.

Me?

BRING IT

Re:Indeed. The thing is... (2)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about a year ago | (#45665639)

...if you're doing Linux gamedev or are already using Steam on Linux...you may well be ready for that.

Me?

BRING IT

If you're serious about gaming on Linux, you're probably already doing that, actually... with a standard system. Unless you weren't actually planning on hooking it up to a TV in the first place (I wasn't).

I can state, for example, that my USB XBoX controller works perfectly on Linux, and is supported by all but one or two of the games I have bought on Steam for Linux. It also works in Steam itself, for Big Picture mode. I also know for a fact that the HDMI out on my desktop/gaming system supports audio and 1080p to the TV. From there it's really trivial to set a desktop up to automatically login and launch Steam at startup, to launch Steam in Big Picture mode, and put it on a TV.

Re:Indeed. The thing is... (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45666703)

I also know for a fact that the HDMI out on my desktop/gaming system supports audio and 1080p to the TV. From there it's really trivial to set a desktop up [...] and put it on a TV.

I've said this on Slashdot for years. But often, I've been told that the majority are unwilling to build or buy a second computer to dedicate to the TV. Whether computers that ship with SteamOS will change this is still unknown, but OUYA (an Android/Linux-based game console) hasn't made much of a dent.

Re:Indeed. The thing is... (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45666969)

If you use a normal PC, nothing but inertia prevents the system from dual booting steamos and the desktop of your choice.

If anything, running steamos beside a desktop linux with a shared /home would offer a great many perks.

Just pick a default, and roll with it. When you want the other, just press one of the arrow keys on the grub(or whatever loader you like best) menu, then press enter.

The purpose of steamos is not to replace the desktop; it is to replace a dedicated windows install, that exists only to play games on, but still eats up ginormous amounts of disk, requires constant mothering to protect it from malware, and does not play well with chained bootloaders.

A stripped down linux for games only, akin to a console grade OS, would eat up considerably less disk than a windows partition, would not require the MS tax, would benefit (theoretically) from the improved securty *nix offers, and as a bonus could use the same data volume for /home as the desktop distro it dual boots beside.

I play windows games with Wine on my Mint running i7 in the living room all the time. If I could keep my linux desktop more or less "clean" from wine and other library clutter, i'd be totally down with it. Having a maintained distro specifically for that purpose makes keeping it running well an easier task.

Yes, inertia, literally (3, Funny)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45667093)

If you use a normal PC, nothing but inertia prevents the system from dual booting steamos and the desktop of your choice.

And it is inertia that makes it so inconvenient. I mean this literally [wikipedia.org] : a desktop computer at rest stays at rest unless acted on by an outside force, such as by being carried into another room. Most people don't want to have to move a desktop computer from the desk to the TV to play a game and then move it back to surf the web.

my Mint running i7 in the living room

You happen to have your computer desk in your living room. Not everybody else does. Some people keep the computer desk in another room in order to preserve some level of peace and quiet.

Re: Yes, inertia, literally (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45667327)

No silly, I don't even use a desk.

I have it hooked to the TV, have it hooked to the 4.1 surround system, and basically treat it like a game console as far as switching between it and the tv's tuner is concerned.

Just use a wireless keyboard and mouse stuck to a with a tether, and a wireless game controller, and it's golden. Use a keyboard that has soft power, and its even sexier. [bestbuy.com]

The issue, is the idea that a desktop grade pc should be underneath a desk, and not discretely tucked away near an entertainment center.

I don't know about you, but I use a desk all day at work, and when I want to use a computer on "me time", I prefer the recliner.

Use of PC and TV simultaneously (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45667495)

and when I want to use a computer on "me time", I prefer the recliner.

I want to agree with you. For a while, I ran my PC through an HDTV and put the keyboard on a tray table. But if your family's primary PC uses the living room TV as its monitor, then you can't watch TV while your kids are doing typed homework.

Re:Use of PC and TV simultaneously (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45667595)

Options:

1) living room TV == no computer attached, Man-cave TV == computer attached.
2) kids get weak assed netbooks for doing homework on. (Yes billy, I KNOW it can barely run libre office. That's intentional.)
3) stay single.

The intended demographic for something like SteamOS is "gaming den". You don't normally have kids doing homework in a room filled with game consoles and game discs. It just doesn't work. :)

Re:Use of PC and TV simultaneously (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45667687)

kids get weak assed netbooks

I thought computer makers discontinued those [slashdot.org] in favor of tablets and Ultrabook laptops a year ago.

Re: Use of PC and TV simultaneously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45667781)

C'mon tepples, you should know better than to believe FUD stories.

Especially since you can still buy the things, now, a whole year later.
look, it's an endangered species! [amazon.com]

I spent all of about 4 minutes looking. All it means is that production of that form factor isn't manstream. That's not surprising, because the need for a purposefully crippled laptop is a niche market to behin with. Thankfully it is a niche that many workplaces have a need for. We have 3 such netbooks on carts running PCDemis for use with mobile Romer CMM arms for instance. There's also the potential in educational settings and the like. The mainstream wants their devices to play candy crush, and play 1080p videos off youtube. The niche buyers DON'T want the device to do that, for many differing reasons. ;)

Used is more than "desu" spelled backward (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45667845)

Thankfully [the netbook] is a niche that many workplaces have a need for

Thank you for finding that Toshiba netbook. I'm glad to know that more than just a minority of hardcore geeks have a use for an ultraportable 10" laptop like the Dell Inspiron mini 1012 that I'm typing this comment on, even if it does compromise CPU power. And no, I don't have a problem running LibreOffice on Xubuntu on this netbook. But what worries me on that page is the word "Used". What happens once all the still-working used netbooks on Amazon are bought up?

Re: Used is more than "desu" spelled backward (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45667873)

True, but amazon is also a mainstream internet market.

Eventually, about the only places you will find netbook class systems will be in industry-focused sale offerings, since the general public is by-and-large not interested in such things.

Toshiba is likely to continue making low-powered devices, but perhaps not at the 200$ price point. Take for instance, their "military grade" toughbook line. (Not the consumer line; I mean the ones intended for use inside hummers and police cars.)

You get the added bonus of getting one that can be dropped off a 1 story building that way. Not 200$, but still netbook classification in terms of horsepower and battery life.

Re: Used is more than "desu" spelled backward (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45667913)

panasonic, my bad [panasonic.com]

Again, not 200$, but servicing a niche market that won't be going away any time soon. Not the prettiest devices, but they aren't built to be pretty. Go for their "semi-rugged" offerings for that. These re made to literally be bullet proof.

Re:Use of PC and TV simultaneously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45667947)

Family PC? I think I just fell into a time warp to the 1990s... Apparently the average teenager in the UK has 3-6 digital devices (as in, their OWN). So what is this family PC you speak of anyway?

Re:Yes, inertia, literally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45667551)

because PC living room gaming isnt that advantageous. sure i could come up with reasons and anecdotes where it *is* advantageous but they obviously dont apply broadly which explains why most people dont have gaming pcs in their living room or move gaming pcs into their living rooms. steamos doesnt make the proposition any sweeter in fact with the new generation of consoles being more indie-friendly the steambox is even less appealing.

Re:Indeed. The thing is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45667929)

Buy a computer to dedicate to the TV? The only reason I HAVE a TV is to have a bigger monitor for my already existing computer... Why else would anyone own a TV in 2013 anyway? To pay $100+ a month to cable companies for a pathetic selection of material to watch (interspersed with commercials every 5 minutes)?

Though, thinking about it now, if one WERE to still be paying for cable, I see how dropping a few hundred bucks on an extra computer would be out of the question...if you're lucky, after paying the average cable bill, you can also feed your kids...

Re:Indeed. The thing is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45666795)

If you're serious about gaming on linux, you recompiled the kernel with a scheduler more suitable for gaming. Do you think one scheduler is equally good for smart phones, desktop users, gamers, and servers? Steam OS kernel is probably better tuned than your distro's kernel.

Re:Electric demons in love (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45666881)

Linux plays well with other linux bootable volumes.
There is nothing except inertia preventing me from running my minty fresh desktop, and the public beta steambox distro on the same box.

Or is a grub2 loader option too difficult to handle? Seriously.

The point isn't to replace the desktop functionality; it's to replace the win32/64 partition for playing games. Win32/64 is MUCH less friendly about the MBR than another linux is. If you do your partitioning right, you can have the steamOS partition on its own tiny ext4 volume, and keep your data volume between desktop and game centric environments. (Admittedly, the risks of having FS issues increases a bit, but we assume you aren't a child here.)

Hurrah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45665131)

I can't wait to not install it!!!

Desktop Linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45665219)

Gaming on Linux, FINALLY! ...If you're already an 'intrepid Linux hacker'.

just like always. rofl.

Re:Desktop Linux! (1)

Svartalf (2997) | about a year ago | (#45665269)

Heh... There's levels of "intrepid Linux hacker"... Some go where angels fear to tread, after all... >;-D

Re: Desktop Linux! (5, Funny)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about a year ago | (#45665999)

And as soon as Gentoo finishes compiling they'll post their responses.

Re: Desktop Linux! (2)

nemasu (1766860) | about a year ago | (#45666455)

Gentoo?! Bah, real Linux hackers roll their own from source.

Fuck Valve (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45665247)

I cry and despare how even the Linux community has stopped questioning the fact that they're so willing to sign up to a service that can change the ToS on a whim and has DRM which potentially deny access to the games you purchased (either through a mistake on Valve's end, or simply due to a big in the client or bad connection issues, or even through Valve's demise). No-one questions DRM and just accepts it instead of fighting back.

The fact the Linux community is so welcome to this shows that I have no-one left to associate with in Linux anymore. I feel so alone in attempting to resist the trend to authenticated accounts as opposed to just fucking making publishers of AAA games not have DRM in the first place.

Re:Fuck Valve (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#45665369)

lighten up, it's just for games. who cares if a fun game runs on even a closed source console or whatever? they pull the plug on thing in a couple years, so what?

Re:Fuck You (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45666223)

they pull the plug on thing in a couple years, so what?

I had to double-check this when I read it. So people are now happy to buy disposable software that may not be able to be run when a company goes under? Is the concept of buying and keeping a program for life no longer sacrosanct? Sure, software can ultimately "die" due to being too old to run under a modern operating system, but virtual machines will extend that ability indefinitely. DRM-protected software has no such luxury.

I can't believe that people consider gaming to be in the disposable pile of software (which is interesting because even with cheap sales, it all can add up to be pretty expensive) given there's still plenty of old games which a lot of people still play (Deus Ex is 12 years old, Doom is 20). Apparently if it's a game, it doesn't matter that you paid money for it if it might fail later due to a politically-enforced limitation. Yeah who cares, they're just games. Doesn't matter that once the trend is set it'll continue for other, more important programs like, I dunno, Adobe's now subscription-only Photoshop and Creative Suite tools.

People really don't think about the future and long-term ramifications of things anymore it would seem. Must be a luxury in our fast-paced, time-poor society.

Re:Fuck You (1)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#45666519)

Except... pulling the plug in a couple of years would be corporate suicide.

Re:Fuck Valve (2)

Wookact (2804191) | about a year ago | (#45665373)

I cry and whine that no one cares that I don't like this and want it to go away

FTFY

Re:Fuck Valve (-1, Flamebait)

couchslug (175151) | about a year ago | (#45665607)

Gaming is kiddy shit (sorry) and it's naive to expect much idealism from from the core audience.

For Linux to reach a larger audience means catering to portions of that audience who just want free stuff.

Re:Fuck Valve (2)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#45665651)

Gaming is kiddy shit (sorry)

Good to see who the mature one is(n't) here.

Re:Fuck Valve (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year ago | (#45665915)

Sadly games these days do aim to either re-enact some previous hit, or target the sub-moronic gamer segment. Many are infected with pay-to-win and pay-to-play-the-whole-game (AKA DLC) models, which makes the experience more frustrating and less immersive. Those that are not infected with either of the micro-moneitzation schemes are still usually either a rehash of Doom, Tetris, or Super Mario Brothers.

The really interesting games, the ones that are time tested and / or not derivative, are usually found on the PC. I am thinking of games like Dwarf Fortress, Minecraft (not by bag but still interesting), Nethack, Toribash, and even classics like Freeciv or Star Control II (released for free as the Ur-Quan Masters) all of which have replayability and challenge far exceeding anything the big name studios are churning out. The main reason is that there appears to be a very limited market for a truly original, challenging, or involved game and this market is not pursued aggressively.

I started to replay Skyrim recently, but I have sort of trailed off, wondering why I should bother. I get tired of all the fake Nord accents, the endless fetch or kill quests, the silly dungeons, and the fact that it's just the same shit over and over again. This is the state of easily 99% of games, once you are hand-held through their little story the game loses all interest.

Sadly, all this has made me lose interest in almost all games, excepting the few I mentioned above. It's kiddie shit and moron fodder, with almost nothing for the thinking person in there any more.

Re:Fuck Valve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45666081)

Thanks, I wasn't aware that Freeciv wasn't derivative.

Re:Fuck Valve (1)

timmyf2371 (586051) | about a year ago | (#45666095)

You are confusing the Free Software community with the Linux community.

I'm quite sure the Free Software community still has your ideals and you will probably find some like minded individuals there. Over the past few years, the "Linux community" now includes millions of people who accept locked bootloaders as standard and install closed source apps from an app store whose goal is to collect as much information about them as possible.

Re:Fuck Valve (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about a year ago | (#45667101)

I've been using Linux a long time (15 years) and as my only desktop for the past 10 years. While I like and prefer the Freedom part, I much more prefer the stability, the free part, the plethora of apps that actually behave and just do what they are supposed to do, etc. IOW, I'd probably be a Mac user if you take monetary cost out of the calculation.

Gaming controllers (5, Informative)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#45665267)

I browse Linux commit logs every now and then and these days there are surprisingly many various game controller patches flowing in. Good.

Re:Gaming controllers (1)

emj (15659) | about a year ago | (#45665649)

Yes... e.g. the accelerometers in laptops are considered as a joystick, the reason for this is not clear to me,

Re:Gaming controllers (3, Informative)

WrecklessSandwich (1000139) | about a year ago | (#45665715)

Doesn't make sense for a laptop, but it's a common paradigm on mobile devices. There's flight sims etc. for Android/iOS where you steer by tilting your device like a little kid making racecar noises.

Re:Gaming controllers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45667177)

It has something to do with the accelerometres in the hard drives that are used for shutdown protection. Phoronix was talking about it, they were using their external HD as a joystick.

but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45665515)

can you run windows on it?

Re:but (1)

occasional_dabbler (1735162) | about a year ago | (#45665815)

oh well done! +1 funny (I wasted my mod points today)

Let's build our own SteamMachines (5, Interesting)

Dekonega (1606763) | about a year ago | (#45665647)

The beta is U.S. Only, and that's a shame. I was hoping for the world wide beta test. But I guess they had their reasons. But at least the SteamOS will be downloadable so I can build my own device. I probably won't be investing too much time or money into it. If I buy Antec ISK300-150 and make a ~400€ AMD APU powered indie game device it would probably serve its duty well (and afterwards be a nice tiny server box). You people can probably recommend something better if this idea seems bad. Or share suggestions for others to read.

Re:Let's build our own SteamMachines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45665803)

Why not get yourself a new midrange graphics card for your Linux box and just install the desktop Steam client?
It's what I did and I've been playing nice games for months now; works great.

HDMI and USB through the wall (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#45666597)

Why not get yourself a new midrange graphics card for your Linux box and just install the desktop Steam client?

Because it's not always convenient to run long HDMI cables and a bunch of USB hubs from the computer desk through a wall to the TV. Or because one's existing Linux box is a laptop or small-form-factor desktop that doesn't take graphics cards.

Re:HDMI and USB through the wall (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45668087)

Because it's not always convenient to run long HDMI cables and a bunch of USB hubs from the computer desk through a wall to the TV. Or because one's existing Linux box is a laptop or small-form-factor desktop that doesn't take graphics cards.

so you get a big monitor for you pc, or even a TV as a primary or secondary monitor. for the $400 you spend on buying another PC you get a pretty decent HDTV. this idea that the living room is the only place where the tv is and that the only computer is some shared family desktop that lives in the study is so antiquated, that may have been true in the 90s but times changed (and they changed quite a while ago) when PCs (and the variety of other computing devices) got so damn cheap.

Re:Let's build our own SteamMachines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45665939)

If you've never shipped an electronic device to customers, there are a lot of regulatory compliance issues you have to contend with. In the US, you'll have to deal with the FCC (even if you're not using wireless), and possibly UL. Pretty much every country has its own compliance hurdles you have to deal with (Europe has CE). If you support wireless, you need to be aware of region restrictions (not all WiFi channels are legal in all jurisdictions). Since they're only shipping 300 of the machines, they probably didn't see a reason to send out half that number for compliance testing.

Re:Let's build our own SteamMachines (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45666295)

The beta is U.S. Only, and that's a shame. I was hoping for the world wide beta test.

Which is a bit of a shitter given they made a big hype about a worldwide beta test, then got people all over the world to agree to a contract in advance (421,843 people went through this expecting to be eligible for selection). I'd be less annoyed right now if they'd just said "US only" and not led us on a wild goose chase.

Re:Let's build our own SteamMachines (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | about a year ago | (#45666561)

If you have a laptop I would try it out on it first before sinking money in. Laptops normally have HDMI and if you have a wired xbox 360 controller you are set.

Re:Let's build our own SteamMachines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45666633)

I have an Antec ISK300-150 and an AMD A10-5700 with 8GB RAM and it runs very well for such a tiny (and quiet) PC. Skyrim in 720P (max res for my Vizio 37" TV) at Ultra detail (with the official high-res texture pack). I've currently got Windows 7 Professional x64, but I'm very excited to see if SteamOS has any performance bump behind it.

Western Digital Scorpio Black 500 GB @ 7200 RPM
MSI FM2-A75IA-E53 Mainboard
AMD A10-5700 (I went with the 5700 for the 65w TDP)
Kingston HyperX 8 GB DDR3 12800
Panasonic UJ240 6x Blu-ray Burner
Cheap knockoff Xbox 360 Wireless Receiver

Re:Let's build our own SteamMachines (1)

ProzacPatient (915544) | about a year ago | (#45667271)

The beta is U.S. Only, and that's a shame.

What really bothered me was that I wanted to be part of the beta (I seem to participate in lots of beta stuff) but unfortunately to be considered you had to play a game for 10 minutes with a controller or something like that to get the Steam badge that would throw you in the candidate pool.

Unfortunately I did not have a controller that I could get to work with my PC and I couldn't get the PS3 controller I had on hand to communicate with my PC.

So I'm kinda bummed out about that.

Wait? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45665677)

It'll be just as dead as HalfLife 3 by 2014.
 
Unless you really want to pony up for another console there is zero reason to ever run this garbage. Take whatever OS you like and run Steam. The game selection will be just as good on any of the big 3 platforms and you won't be tied into hardware that will doubtlessly be more expensive than buying a rig from NewEgg.

Re:Wait? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#45665993)

I guess SteamOS would still work better if you want a "10-foot user interface", i.e. a simple to use living room gaming OS.

Re:Wait? (2)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#45668079)

I think the idea is basically to start freeing the entertainment PC industry from Microsoft's clutches, especially as the trend towards "App stores", centrally DRMed software, and hardware lockdown is making it's way to the PC - both Microsoft and Apple are moving that way, and that puts Valve at a distinct disadvantage as an app store, why go to them when your OS vendor has their store built in to the GUI? So instead they package their own OS streamlined specifically for gaming. After all last I heard Valve isn't looking to sell "Steam Boxes", they're giving the existing PC vendors a new sales front on the PC market - a label they can slap on the box telling consumers they can expect a certain kind of predictable experience, like "Windows Inside" except probably with less vendor expense beyond probably certifying that their boxes conform to certain conditions - i.e. all hardware is compatible and working drivers preconfigured, etc. Maybe even some standardized benchmarking.

So - just want a gaming rig? Go ahead and buy a prebuilt Windows PC if you like. Or buy a "Steam Box" labeled PC instead, which works just as well without adding a "Microsoft Tax" to your purchase price, and quite possibly comes in a considerably more stylish case and is probably much quieter than most PCs as well - after all it's targeted at the living room, not the office. As an added bonus the Steam Box will probably perform better than the same hardware running Windows. After all a stripped-down gaming-focused OS is going to have a lot less of the uneeded (for gaming) general-purpose overhead that Windows has. And that's going to be worth a lot, both at the low end where every frame counts, and at the high end where people are paying hundreds of dollars in premiums for hardware that only gives them a couple percentage points extra performance.

Will it cost more? Maybe. But maybe not. There is likely going to be some unavoidable extra overhead for the tighter thermal and acoustic requirements, not to mention any "bling factor" on the case, but that should be at least partly offset by the lack of a Windows license. And it's in both Valve's and the hardware vendors interest to keep prices competitive with Windows PC - after all Microsoft's stranglehold on the consumer OS market puts them in a position to engage in "unilateral negotiation" with hardware vendors, grabbing a larger slice of the profit margins than they would in a free market.

And let's face it - a lot of these consoles are going to be bought for kids by parents /grandparents/etc, and which are they going to rather buy - the locked down " strictly a toy" Playstation/Xbox/etc, or the slightly more expensive unsubsidized Steam Box that can become a real PC at the flip of a switch, because it is after all basically a standardized PC in a nicer box. In fact I truly hope Valve integrates a graceful multi-boot option directly into their normal boot routine. Or perhaps even better a full desktop environment that runs as a "game". Whatever allows people to gracefully access the flexible power of the box they have sitting there instead of having to get a whole separate box that's basically another version of the same thing just with a different OS and standard controllers.

Netflix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45665741)

I fear I already know the answer to this but by chance is there a Netflix app?

I'm there!!! (3, Insightful)

BLToday (1777712) | about a year ago | (#45666279)

No, seriously. I can totally justify spending around $350 for a HTPC with gaming to experiment with. Cheaper than my wife's purse.
$150 - AMD A10-6800K (with mobo over at Microcenter). Yes, I know Intel is faster and it's not the fastest GPU either but for $150 it's hard to beat the combo.
$80 - 8GB of RAM
$100 - 3TB hard drive
and I have a bunch of old ATX cases and power supply.

It's Linux, if I don't like it I can always put something else on like Mint.

Re:I'm there!!! (2)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#45666721)

Pft filthly lies. Everyone knows that it costs $4000 to build a gaming rig. /console fanboys

Re:I'm there!!! (0)

aiadot (3055455) | about a year ago | (#45667697)

No offense but that "rig" is hardly a gaming one. As a PC and console gamer, spending more less than 800~1000 dollars on a gaming PC, specially if you're only gaming on a PC, feels like you're building a machine that with the worse of both worlds: The lack of power of consoles with the larger form factor and extra maintenance/knowhow/work required for a pc. Let alone the fact you won't be able to play many PC games at their full glory nor will enjoy any of the console exclusives. Unless you have a very limited and specific taste in non-demanding games and don't care how crappy a standard desktop PC looks in the TV rack, it's not really a good option.

Re:I'm there!!! (4, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#45668439)

No offense but that "rig" is hardly a gaming one. As a PC and console gamer, spending more less than 800~1000 dollars on a gaming PC, specially if you're only gaming on a PC, feels like you're building a machine that with the worse of both worlds

Yeah you should just stop right about now. Here's some fun facts, a 3 year top of the line PC is more powerful than the current generation of consoles. My 2 year old PC, which I build for $600 was ranked 3rd fastest in the world in the Phenom II X4 965/560ti category with WHQL drivers for roughly two weeks, without any baseline tweaks. I haven't benched out my current one, but that one ran me right around $500. And with that $500, I'm playing at 1080p, getting a nice steady 40-60fps, on a AMD X6 FX-6300 w/ Sapphire 7950.

Now, if you're dropping $800-1k on something, and not beating the current generation of consoles you are: Buying from the wrong places, or live in a part of the world with massive import tariffs.

Re:I'm there!!! (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about a year ago | (#45668015)

Most of the PC enthusiast/gaming magazines have what they call their "baseline" or "minimal" machines at around the $1300 level.

So yes, while there are guys who claim they game on a $600 machine, they're probably not playing at the high settings that most PC gamers claim are the reason to play on the PC in the first place.

Besides, for $1300 you can buy a PS3 and $1000 worth of games. I've often made the joke that PC gamers play their LoL and de_dust over and over because they spent so much on their hardware that they have no money for games.

Re:I'm there!!! (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#45668119)

Most of the PC enthusiast/gaming magazines have what they call their "baseline" or "minimal" machines at around the $1300 level.

Spending $1300 to build a 'minimal' gaming machine. Ha-ha. You're funny.

Re:I'm there!!! (2)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#45668417)

Most of the PC enthusiast/gaming magazines have what they call their "baseline" or "minimal" machines at around the $1300 level.

Try about half of that. Or right around the cost of the "next gen" consoles, and will still be more powerful.

Re:I'm there!!! (1)

skine (1524819) | about a year ago | (#45666985)

Personally, I've been saving parts from old computers I've built for years with the intention of building a HTPC.

Using this year's Christmas presents, I'll finally have enough parts to build one. So, for me, Valve has perfect timing.

Firday the 13th? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#45666331)

Did they pick that out or did it just fall that way.

Re:Firday the 13th? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45666471)

Its my friggin birthday thats why they picked it.

Why go with anything Steam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45667679)

Valve's Steam OS/etc. is the epitome of DRM ridden software on the market... I do not see why anyone in their right would want to continue funding these people by buying games on their platforms.

They legally shouldn't even be calling it "buying games" on Steam... you're buying LICENSES only.

Go with GOG.com or even Origin as you would get a hell of a lot better customer services, refunds, and you wouldn't be buying licenses but the actual games themselves, at least in the case of GOG.

Re:Why go with anything Steam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45667751)

"Origin".....all credibility lost right there.

Steam is the 9000 lb elephant in the room for good reason. Gabe jokes aside, I won't even bother to list why.

Re:Why go with anything Steam? (1)

ledow (319597) | about a year ago | (#45668355)

Hates Steam for DRM. Recommends Origin. Hahahahaha....

And after 8 hours of downloading, downloading patches, downloading more patches and then constantly downloading over 8Gb for one game that I never got installed (freebie with an indie bundle) I gave up. Never seen such a shoddy, bitty interface and download structure (not to mention speed).

I have several big games on Origin that I've redeemed from bundles, etc. and I honestly don't care enough to install it again.

Steam OS? Not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45667759)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROX-r_kHPks

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