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Valve's Big Picture Could Be a Linux Game Console 272

Posted by timothy
from the speculative-fiction dept.
Penurious Penguin writes that "a hopeful article at The Verge persuasively suggests that through Valve, Linux could soon become a formidable contender in the gaming arena, capable of holding its own against such giants as Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and the Wii. With 50 million users, a growing Linux team, a caboodle of interesting experiments ('Steam Box' hardware baselines, etc.) and a strong conviction that more-open platforms are the way, Valve may actually see it through."
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Valve's Big Picture Could Be a Linux Game Console

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  • Re:Piracy (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 17, 2012 @09:23PM (#42016155)

    You are completely missing who is doing this.

    Valve's major money maker is Steam, already the largest digital games publisher/marketplace. They already have DRM in place that many people on the PC platform find to be a fair compromise of ability and annoyance. The game developers you want Valve to sell to have already bought into Steam!

  • Re:Piracy (Score:4, Informative)

    by symbolset (646467) * on Saturday November 17, 2012 @09:25PM (#42016175) Homepage Journal
    Steam is already on Windows and that can be considered 'open' too, since you are referencing console lockdown. It is not perfect but it seems to be working well enough.
  • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Informative)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Saturday November 17, 2012 @10:26PM (#42016485) Homepage

    That's not entirely true. Windows CE code was available, but developers basically didn't use it much. cnet covered this [cnet.com] at the time of launch, and in the end only around 50 games used it (out of over 700 created).

    One of the Japanese launch titles, Sega Rally 2, used Windows CE, and it had a very inconsistent framerate. I believe the game was later re-released as a "native" game, which may have been the version released to the US. You can still fine some sites [segagagadomain.com] that mention some [dreamcast-scene.com] of the problems [ex.org].

  • by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki@gmail . c om> on Saturday November 17, 2012 @11:38PM (#42016789) Homepage

    How is it trolling to ask a question that any developer who's going to give serious consideration to this platform is going to ask?

    Because /. has a very strong group think mentality these days as the number of technically minded people on the site has shifted away, leaving it a shell of it's former self. In turn, that leaves the fanboi's and trolls who disagree out for blood modding down anything they disagree with.

  • Re:Steam? (Score:5, Informative)

    by gman003 (1693318) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @01:57AM (#42017247)

    People still use Steam?

    As of this second, three million, two hundred and fifty-four thousand, seven hundred and seventy-three Steam users are online. They've peaked over five million. So yes, a lot of people "still" use Steam.

    Always late with patches.

    Can you give a citation there? I've never noticed them be particularly late to patch a game - in fact, they seem to do so faster than PSN/XBox Live. It probably does vary quite a bit depending on the game, though.

    Their wrapper often breaks games or adds instability.

    Another citation, if you would, please? I've only noticed that (rarely) with the Steam Overlay, which is easily disabled (both globally and on a per-game basis). And even then, all it did for me was kick me off some BF2 servers as a "cheat".

    Customer service is non-existent.

    While I haven't personally ever needed to speak to them, the reputation of Steam's customer service seems to have improved greatly over the years. I know back around 2006 or so they had a horrible reputation, but it's been years since I heard any complaints (a sharp contrast to Origin or Blizzard, in particular).

    Yeah no there are plenty of other options for buying/downloading legitimate games online.

    And you're welcome to use them. But how many of them are even thinking about Linux support?

    Good luck with the linux project. I want nothing to do with Steam.

    And you felt the need to shout that out for everyone to hear? Makes me wonder if you ever actually used it.

  • by cheekyboy (598084) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @06:45AM (#42018009) Homepage Journal

    net based games, theres udp traffic.
    many players at once, theres bluetooth controller traffic.
    background downloading = more os tasks
    plus because its linux, you can develop your games on a real pc too with nvidia hardware i guess.

  • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Informative)

    by BitZtream (692029) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @06:47AM (#42018019)

    Your console DOES need multitasking. Why should every developer reimplement threads? Theres nothing that stops it from being a single process.

    Do you really want developers to be forced to deal with keeping the audio buffers for music full inbetween frames or would you rather actually get something accomplished because they can just fire off a play function that creates a thread to play the music and to deal with sounds without having to update each particular sound bit every frame?

    Do you really think its a good idea to have developers doing partial loads per frame so they can stream data in and have open worlds with no load times?

    You want an OS that was designed to run real time animation on it. Not a phone that lets developers access game like features.

    Android devices are shit because you're doing too much with it, not because it has a multitasking kernel. That and Android's GUI subsystem remains shitty even at v4.1, but thats another discussion entirely and one thats easy to overcome if you have a single process or few process environment. Turn off the radios if text messages bother you. Its not a console, its a fucking phone. Stop being all pissed off because its doing what it was intended to do and you want it to do all those things perfectly at the same time when it simply doesn't have the CPU power. Hell games generally try to exploit full CPU power from the git go anyway, so no shit its going to slow down when background tasks start doing things.

    What you perceive as one thing at a time hasn't been one thing at a time since the Atari 2600. Developers aren't going to write code for hardware that makes them do EVERYTHING themselves ... well, some might, but the first thing they'll do is write a little OS to give them sanity and code reuse, then they'll start making the other bits and in the end, if they last long enough to pull it off, they'll have written an OS for it and a game on top of that. And then they won't share that OS with anyone else, meaning every bug they find and squash, every neat innovative way to accomplish something mundane, every cool trick to make the game easier to write ... will only be in their games, and someone else will have to reinvent the wheel .... again ... with a whole new set of bugs and shitty problems.

    You're currently modded +5 insightful when your post is pretty much exactly the opposite of such.

    Theres no reason a Linux kernel with a few or one processes can not accomplish proper game play. Ubuntu isn't going to cut it, as soon as cron fires off the nightly accounting/cleanup/security check scripts, it'll be hosed. And that will just be an example of using the wrong tool for the job.

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