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Valve announces SteamOS

Valve announces SteamOS

SteamOS will be a free download and will be available soon.

Valve has unveiled its own operating system as the company's next step in bringing the Steam experience to the living room.

SteamOS will be able to run many games natively but will also be able to stream Steam games from a PC or Mac already in the house.

The Linux-based system will also launch with additional Steam features targeted specifically for living room operation, including access to music, television and film, the previously mentioned family sharing mode and options to have parental controls over which titles are viewable on a Steam library.

'Steam is not a one-way content broadcast channel, it's a collaborative many-to-many entertainment platform, in which each participant is a multiplier of the experience for everyone else,' reads the SteamOS announcement. 'With SteamOS, "openness" means that the hardware industry can iterate in the living room at a much faster pace than they've been able to.'

SteamOS will be a free download for users and will also be freely licensable for manufacturers. Valve do not have an official release date, but do state that it will available "soon".

Valve has been talking about Linux systems as an alternative to Windows since debates raged about Windows 8's closed system and Valve has been encouraging developers to port titles over to Linux for some time now.

SteamOS follows other attempts for Valve to break into the living room, most notably Big Picture mode which debuted last December. Big Picture mode not only dealt with larger screen resolutions, but also an input system that was more friendly to a control pad rather than a mouse and keyboard.

38 Comments

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Hustler 24th September 2013, 10:54 Quote
Seems like Bit Tech operates on its own version of 'Valve Time'.

It's only taken you 16hrs or so to report it....:)
deathtaker27 24th September 2013, 10:59 Quote
but do state that it will available "soon".

Should be here in a few years then ... speaking of which, WHERE IS HALF LIFE 3 ;)
proxess 24th September 2013, 11:58 Quote
The Gabe has spoken. All hail The Gabe.
Corky42 24th September 2013, 12:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxess
The Gabe has spoken. All hail The Gabe.
;)

http://i.imgur.com/jnCbp.jpg
thogil 24th September 2013, 13:08 Quote
Quote:
...since debates raged about Windows 8's closed system...

Steam works just fine on Windows 8, as does everything else I did on 7. No idea what people are talking about here.
maverik-sg1 24th September 2013, 13:13 Quote
Well this could be a move that sees Steam PC's, Phones, Tablets and TV's and offer one unified open source OS - Hope it's all going to be 64bit too.

With the exception of console ports - the disruptive entry into the OS market may cause a headache for developers though, especially the ones that only cater for directx systems?

Interesting to see how this progresses and how others react - Microsoft need to be nimble here, before they become the next big firm to follow Blackberry in the consumer market.
Corky42 24th September 2013, 14:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by thogil
Steam works just fine on Windows 8, as does everything else I did on 7. No idea what people are talking about here.

The reason people say its a closed system is because afaik it is, if you can download modern UI software from somewhere else other than Microsoft please feel free to enlighten people.

At present you can still run software not designed with the modern UI in mind if you don't mind being dropped back to the desktop. But i think everyone can see the direction Microsoft is heading with its app store.
Deders 24th September 2013, 15:18 Quote
So are they using DirectX? will there be special SteamOS drivers for DirectX/PhysX etc?
schmidtbag 24th September 2013, 15:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by thogil
Steam works just fine on Windows 8, as does everything else I did on 7. No idea what people are talking about here.

The main problem with Windows 8, much like all products of MS, is it's very anticompetitive. In this case, Steam. Maybe not deliberately, I'm not sure, but Windows 8 having it's own "app store" and gaming section drives attention away from steam and there's very little Valve can do about it.

You could argue Apple did the same thing, but the difference there is Apple had an app store long before steam was ported to Mac, and Apple's app store had very few good games up until around the same time Steam came along for mac.
teppic 24th September 2013, 15:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deders
So are they using DirectX? will there be special SteamOS drivers for DirectX/PhysX etc?


No, they're using OpenGL in ported games. I think PhysX is supported under Linux.
schmidtbag 24th September 2013, 15:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by teppic
No, they're using OpenGL in ported games. I think PhysX is supported under Linux.

I'm not sure if linux supports GPU physx (it does support CPU physx).

The strange thing is linux has CUDA support, and GPU PhysX is basically just a variant of CUDA for a specific purpose.
teppic 24th September 2013, 15:56 Quote
I'm not certain if PhysX is GPU accelerated either - but if not, it's surely going to be added before SteamOS comes out.
Corky42 24th September 2013, 15:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deders
So are they using DirectX? will there be special SteamOS drivers for DirectX/PhysX etc?
DirectX / Direct3D is Microsoft's proprietary API, so cant be used by other people without their permission.

Apparently NVidia are working on GPU Physx.
Quote:
because of the wide variety of Linux distributions we still have a lot of work and testing to do.
Valve has been working with NVidia on improving their drivers, so i think its a safe bet to say this may include the GPU Physx used on SOS.
Snips 24th September 2013, 17:19 Quote
I would rather they just concentrate on HL3 as they don't need their own OS to be honest. Couldn't think of a bigger waste of time and effort for no one to use it.
d_stilgar 24th September 2013, 18:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
I would rather they just concentrate on HL3 as they don't need their own OS to be honest. Couldn't think of a bigger waste of time and effort for no one to use it.

Maybe you aren't going to use it, but myself and others hope that this will be the ideal OS for an HTPC. Right now I have XBMC installed on a Win7 machine and launch Steam Big Picture mode when I want to game.

I would rather launch XBMC via SteamOS, or better yet, have SteamOS include my movie and music library itself so that I'm not launching another program at all.
schmidtbag 24th September 2013, 18:33 Quote
In case any of you haven't realized already, this OS is eventually going to be intended for the Steam console. I'm guessing this OS is just a way of "beta-testing" to kink out the bugs before the console is actually released. That way, when the console is officially released, it won't be too buggy.

As for GPU physx for linux, supposing it doesn't already exist, I personally don't expect it will come any time soon. While nvidia has the best GPU drivers for linux, it wouldn't surprise me if Valve doesn't use them for their own console due to price and nvidia's tendencies to not "play nice with others". Right around the time Valve officially announced linux support for Steam, AMD has suddenly been pulling themselves together with open source drivers.
Stanley Tweedle 24th September 2013, 18:34 Quote
The world's first freely available gaming optimised OS... Sure it's linux but if Valve have optimised it then that's not a bad thing. I just wonder how many years before we see Battlefield on steam linux.... Linux has a poor track record for AAA title gaming so gabe has quite a task ahead turning it around.
teppic 24th September 2013, 18:37 Quote
AMD has put a lot of effort in very recently. I think it may be because they realise manufacturers will want to launch APU based small PCs with SteamOS. When Steam for Linux for entered beta, nvidia made quite a lot of driver changes. As things stand the AMD drivers aren't good enough -- that obviously would change before the Steambox is launched whether it has an AMD GPU or not.
teppic 24th September 2013, 18:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanley Tweedle
The world's first freely available gaming optimised OS... Sure it's linux but if Valve have optimised it then that's not a bad thing. I just wonder how many years before we see Battlefield on steam linux.... Linux has a poor track record for AAA title gaming so gabe has quite a task ahead turning it around.

Because there's been no real demand for it. Valve has just create a massive market.
schmidtbag 24th September 2013, 18:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by teppic
Because there's been no real demand for it. Valve has just create a massive market.

That and the fact that GPU drivers for the longest time have been sub-par. Today, intel's open source drivers are just barely behind windows, nvidia's closed source drivers are overall on par (sometimes better than windows), AMD's open source drivers are very usable and are improving every month, and AMD's catalyst drivers are fine if you have a very specific setup. Nvidia's open source drivers are basically unusable for gaming.
Corky42 24th September 2013, 18:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by teppic
Because there's been no real demand for it. Valve has just create a massive market.

Indeed, and they do say "Watch for announcements in the coming weeks about all the AAA titles coming natively to SteamOS in 2014. Access the full Steam catalog of nearly 3000 games and desktop software titles via in-home streaming."

All they need to do is get the SB price right, if its more expensive than next gen consoles people wont see the reason to buy one. The question is can OEM's make a box able to play most games for around £450 ?
Boorach 24th September 2013, 19:25 Quote
I'm not interested in the steambox itself but would be interesred in building my own htpc to run SteamOS. Wonder if a mini-ITX build utilising one of the next gen AMD APU's would be powerful enough?
[PUNK] crompers 24th September 2013, 20:19 Quote
Depend on the games you want to run. Will be enough for streaming from your rig without doubt
Instagib 24th September 2013, 23:37 Quote
If steam want massive adoption of their new os all they have to do is make HL3 a SteamOS exclusive then sit back and hope the servers don't crash.....
teppic 25th September 2013, 00:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Instagib
If steam want massive adoption of their new os all they have to do is make HL3 a SteamOS exclusive then sit back and hope the servers don't crash.....

I wouldn't be surprised at all if they do that, assuming HL3 is announced this week to come at the same time as SteamOS/Steambox. I bet at the very least they'll offer it up for beta testing early on SteamOS.
Corky42 25th September 2013, 01:22 Quote
Valve don't want massive adoption of SOS, they want to change to console market into a more open environment both in software and hardware terms. The current console market is entirely proprietary and Windows is heading down the same road. Its why Gabe Newell called Windows 8 "a catastrophe" and said Microsoft's new operating system will make people "rage quit computing."

The whole reason for SOS and the expected SB is to recreate the open platform that PC's have historically been known for, where the user is free to create there own content for games, mod the software and hardware should they wish.

http://caas.raptr.com/valves-newell-shares-his-vision-for-steams-user-focused-future/
Quote:
Newell believes that Steam needs to give even more control to its users and developers. By doing so, the platform will become more customizable, allowing it to better serve the needs of the entire community.

Many major company's are trying to exert greater control over their systems in the form of proprietary system, Apple and Microsoft's apps stores, Sony and Microsoft licensing on consoles. This stifles innovation, limits content, cost more, slows the pace of change, to name just some of the disadvantages.
Fracture 25th September 2013, 09:19 Quote
I think the more the merrier, having options is always a good thing. Probably won't be for me though... The only reason why consoles/living room gaming interest me in the slightest is due to their exclusive titles.
impar 25th September 2013, 11:10 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
SteamOS: could Valve's game console challenge Windows?
The Steam Box should have Microsoft worried
...
Valve alone has the ability to produce some of the most hotly anticipated video game sequels in the industry. Half-Life 3, Portal 3, Team Fortress 3, Left 4 Dead 3, and an eventual DOTA 3 are all in the cards, and Valve could make any or all of them exclusive to SteamOS in order to generate a Linux install base large enough to attract other developers. The strategy worked once before: Steam itself was actually a derided program when it first debuted, but gamers installed it in droves once Half-Life 2 made it a requirement.
...
http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/24/4766874/valve-steam-os-threatens-windows
Corky42 25th September 2013, 11:23 Quote
It not only what games Valve can release, it the whole eco system of not having to wait ages for your games to be patched, the massive amount of user created content, cheaper games, free games, as Newell said you cant compete with your users when it comes to content.

http://www.penny-arcade.com/report/article/gabe-newell-claims-users-have-defeated-valve-created-content-and-thats-a-go
Quote:
Newell brought up the example of user-generated content: “In Team Fortress 2, the community itself makes 10 times as much content as we do,” he said. “We have people who are making $500,000 a year selling things in the workshop.”
teppic 25th September 2013, 16:50 Quote
I agree that Valve wants to change things - but they need to make an impact and get the user base first. If everybody carries on with Steam on Windows it won't change a thing. By making some games exclusive to SteamOS/Steam on Linux - at least for a while - they can get that.
d_stilgar 25th September 2013, 18:57 Quote
2nd Announcement is Steam Machines.

http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/SteamMachines/

Beta signup is open now. I can't wait to see what the hardware looks like. In beta it will probably just be a box with the software pre-installed, but who knows, maybe it will be more like the final product.
Corky42 25th September 2013, 19:54 Quote
Quote:
Beginning in 2014, there will be multiple SteamOS machines to choose from, made by different manufacturers.

Does that mean OEM's have already signed up to make Steambox's ?
If so that answers the question of what Valve was doing at CES 2013, schmoozing with OEM's.
It should be interesting to see what boxes they come up with.
Nexxo 25th September 2013, 19:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
The reason people say its a closed system is because afaik it is, if you can download modern UI software from somewhere else other than Microsoft please feel free to enlighten people.

At present you can still run software not designed with the modern UI in mind if you don't mind being dropped back to the desktop. But i think everyone can see the direction Microsoft is heading with its app store.

Actually you can side-load Modern apps. Pandora did it as a proof of concept.
Nexxo 25th September 2013, 20:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!
Quote:
SteamOS: could Valve's game console challenge Windows?
The Steam Box should have Microsoft worried
...
Valve alone has the ability to produce some of the most hotly anticipated video game sequels in the industry. Half-Life 3, Portal 3, Team Fortress 3, Left 4 Dead 3, and an eventual DOTA 3 are all in the cards, and Valve could make any or all of them exclusive to SteamOS in order to generate a Linux install base large enough to attract other developers. The strategy worked once before: Steam itself was actually a derided program when it first debuted, but gamers installed it in droves once Half-Life 2 made it a requirement.
...
http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/24/47...eatens-windows

Not going to happen. The guy who wrote that obviously doesn't understand Microsoft's income stream, which is 65% enterprise to start with. As for Windows on home PCs: most people don't use them for games; that's what they have consoles for. That's why they're switching to tablets. A Steambox could challenge Xbox, possibly, but only in the indie games market. And most people will simply end up buying both consoles.
VipersGratitude 25th September 2013, 21:56 Quote
Here's some wild speculation for you...

I just noticed that HL2, Ep1 & Ep2 all received a small update through Steam. It has been a long time since I've seen any of them get updated. They are, after all, 6-7 yr old single player games.

It makes me wonder - why now? Is it a way of testing engine improvements in the wild without minimum disruption to their multi-player revenue streams?

Around a year ago Gabe said he was waiting for a game to roll [Source Engine 2] out with - Given the recent Steam OS announcement and pending Steam box announcement I can't help but hope they're following the tried and tested model of shipping a new platform with a must-have game.
Corky42 25th September 2013, 23:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Actually you can side-load Modern apps. Pandora did it as a proof of concept.

Side loading apps is intended for developers and businesses with internal apps.

My original statement wasn't if you could run a Metro app not from Microsoft, it was if you can download metro apps from somewhere other than the Microsoft store. And besides even if you can it is obvious this is not what Microsoft wants as they wouldn't get their %30 cut of every app sold.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Not going to happen. The guy who wrote that obviously doesn't understand Microsoft's income stream, which is 65% enterprise to start with. As for Windows on home PCs: most people don't use them for games; that's what they have consoles for. That's why they're switching to tablets. A Steambox could challenge Xbox, possibly, but only in the indie games market. And most people will simply end up buying both consoles.

If most people don't use PC's for games why has Steam seen a year on year growth of over %76 despite year on year unit declines in PC sales ? If anything people are switching to PC's for gaming as they find out its a more desirable platform to play games on.

Game Over? Why Video-Game-Console Sales Are Plummeting
Quote:
When announcing its quarterly earnings last month, Microsoft said its Xbox-division revenue dropped 29%. At Sony, lower PlayStation 3 and PSP sales were responsible for a 15% drop in revenue
Quote:
There’s less demand for the physical games these days too. According to research company NPD Group, game sales fell from a little over $11 billion in 2011 to less than $9 billion last year.
Nexxo 26th September 2013, 08:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Side loading apps is intended for developers and businesses with internal apps.

My original statement wasn't if you could run a Metro app not from Microsoft, it was if you can download metro apps from somewhere other than the Microsoft store. And besides even if you can it is obvious this is not what Microsoft wants as they wouldn't get their %30 cut of every app sold.
Regardless of intentions, you can visit a website, click on a download link, install a program that is Metro.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
If most people don't use PC's for games why has Steam seen a year on year growth of over %76 despite year on year unit declines in PC sales ? If anything people are switching to PC's for gaming as they find out its a more desirable platform to play games on.

Game Over? Why Video-Game-Console Sales Are Plummeting

Because the only PCs that are left in the home environment are those of gamers. So proportionally that share grows while the overall number shrinks. We are still talking about a relatively small number, though, compared to Enterprise computing.

Meanwhile both Microsoft and Sony are about to launch new consoles, which may affect sales of current models adversely. But the article you link to particularly blames the move to mobile gaming on tablets and smartphones for the slump in physical console games. QED.

In any case: good thing all around. Steam is awesome (I wish it would be allowed a portal on Windows RT; if I was Microsoft I would be courting them fiercely) and Microsoft has been moved to revamp its own games division, which cannot be a bad thing.
Corky42 26th September 2013, 09:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Regardless of intentions, you can visit a website, click on a download link, install a program that is Metro.
That's one program in beta! The intention of the industry as a whole is to exert more control, more licensing, more hoops to jump through, less user input, less modding, basically moving away from the openness that made people choose a PC over a Mac.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Because the only PCs that are left in the home environment are those of gamers. So proportionally that share grows while the overall number shrinks. We are still talking about a relatively small number, though, compared to Enterprise computing.
Leaving the enterprise market aside as SOS and SB isn't intended to challenge enterprise OS's
I wouldn't call a market of over 50Mil relatively small in numbers, the steam user base is similar in size to the XBOX (afaik)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Meanwhile both Microsoft and Sony are about to launch new consoles, which may affect sales of current models adversely. But the article you link to particularly blames the move to mobile gaming on tablets and smartphones for the slump in physical console games. QED.
Yup new consoles are due out so it maybe affecting sales, and the article does say about the move to mobile gaming. But even tablet sales are in decline i would prefer to be in a growing market such as Steam than a declining market.

Either way you and i cant see into the future, i wish we could :)

My point is the whole devices market, PC's, Mobile, Consoles, etc, etc is more fluid than it has probably ever been.
And i don't think taking choice and control away from the user is good business practice, when a new device comes out that lets people do what you cant or wont let them do, they will drop your product for one that does.
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