Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Software Linux Games

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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Valve's Big Picture Could Be a Linux Game Console

Comments Filter:
  • Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by systemidx (2708649) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @09:08PM (#42016097)
    "The Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii are nearing their end. As powerful as they have been in the living room, gamers want more."

    Quoted from TFA. Am I the only one who wants LESS? I don't really want my game system to do 9 million things. I just want it to play games.

    Then again, when was the last time we were actually listened to? Draconian DRM, the removal of OtherOS, etc...
    • Re:Hmmm (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Baloroth (2370816) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @09:13PM (#42016109)

      Well, then, the Ouya [wikipedia.org] is probably the kind of thing you are looking for. Straight-up gaming platform with standard controller. I'm sure it'll have video streaming apps and everything else as well (given it is OSS Android based), but it is really just a basic gaming system.

      • by Hsien-Ko (1090623)
        8gb of flash can't hold TF2.
        • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 17, 2012 @10:24PM (#42016481)

          0.5GB: game code, character models and textures
          8.5GB: hats

          Easy Robin. I kid because I love.

        • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Mal-2 (675116) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @10:30PM (#42016501) Homepage Journal

          There's no technical reason it can't handle 32 GB of flash -- it just couldn't do that at the $99 price point. Swapping flash is pretty trivial as user upgrades go, so I don't really see that holding it back. The capacity limit of SDHC being reached might pose an issue, if it's not made to accept SDXC. The hardware is the same, and the firmware can probably be hacked -- just like Rockbox did for the Sansa (mine is quite happy with a 16 GB micro-SDHC card when it was built to handle just a 2 GB micro-SD card), so I doubt THAT will be a significant issue either.

          Naturally the Ouya will look to replace some settop-box functions, since even new TVs have a finite number of inputs. That doesn't mean it will be particularly optimized for them, or that it needs to be.

      • by SomePgmr (2021234)

        Last I heard, the Ouya project is already working along with XBMC (who has an Android app).

        http://xbmc.org/natethomas/2012/08/07/xbmc-and-ouya-oh-yeah/ [xbmc.org]

      • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rtb61 (674572) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @10:34PM (#42016521) Homepage

        Android being the magic word missing in the article and what it likely is really all about. Building custom Linux distributions like Android and achieving an open market, where more downstream producers and manufacturers can gain greater control. People might complain about those phones and various other Android devices, that manufacturers release with their own branding layer and marketing identity on top but that really is a major advantage of Linux. Even software distribution companies can get in on the act and create an environment where they are not having to pay extortion to another party in order to do business.

        It is all about shaking out those billions from M$ and releasing it to a whole bunch of companies, manufacturers, software producers and net entities in order to improve their bottom line and give them greater control. So for Valve, it's not so much a game console but being able to distribute games across a 'ALL' available platforms, phone, tablet, smartbook, PC and Big Screen Display. For the end user buy one game and use it across all your platforms via Steam or the other game distributors will become very desirable and avoiding a pointless 30% M$ extortion fee for nothing, even after having to pay for their bloody software, will mean more money for actual hardware and software creators.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Am I the only one who wants LESS? I don't really want my game system to do 9 million things. I just want it to play games.

      No, but you're in the smallest minority. The majority doesn't really care ("Netflix? That's cool, I guess."), and a slightly larger majority actually thinks not-quite-omniboxes are a good idea.

      I don't get it myself. If I wanted a full-blown 'entertainment center', I'd use a PC. Much better at handling that job - games from the 80s to just-released-yesterday, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, CrunchyRoll and pretty much any streaming service, ability to easily play any video format from local sources, sane web br

      • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Dunbal (464142) * on Sunday November 18, 2012 @01:00AM (#42017049)
        I have a quite-definite-omnibox. It's called a desktop PC. And we have come full circle, except I never left. Nor did I pay for all the steps on that circle.
        • by Hatta (162192)

          It's not a circle, it's a spiral. A downward spiral. Todays consoles are as complex as desktop PCs, with all the downsides that brings. But they're not open like desktop PCs, so they don't get any of the benefits that brings.

    • "The Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii are nearing their end. As powerful as they have been in the living room, gamers want more."

      Quoted from TFA. Am I the only one who wants LESS? I don't really want my game system to do 9 million things. I just want it to play games.

      Then again, when was the last time we were actually listened to? Draconian DRM, the removal of OtherOS, etc...

      That could just mean 'more' in the sense of 'more power'(especially coming right after "as powerful as they have been"). All present-gen consoles are starting to get rather long in the tooth at this point. They are fixed targets with a hell of a lot of units in the field, so developers make do; but even the 360 and the PS3 have only half a gig of RAM to speak of, and increasingly antique GPUs.

      Now, of course, if you have a device with enough power to run a contemporary game well, and a network connection, yo

    • by 2fuf (993808)

      I read that as 'more powerful' (as in memory, cpu speed, gpu capacity etc.)...

    • I think this has been the quiet revolution over the past 10 years or so. The peaking of the graphics card wars, users shelling out $600 for a top of the line card, then still having trouble running newer games... people just got burnt out on it. Consoles running so hot, heating issues were a real problem... and then along comes the WII, social games, browser games... There's still a lot of us, myself included that like an immerse environment... But is it really worth the investment of a used car every coupl
    • by OneAhead (1495535)
      TFA was mostly talking about faster hardware. And there's nothing as good at squeezing the last bit of performance out of the hardware than a recent, presumably customized Linux kernel. Bar running on the bare metal, which no game designer is going to pump developer hours into. Hardware has simply become too complex; I don't know much about console design, but I'm sure all current consoles do run an operating system of some kind. Is the prospect of it being a Linux kernel really that repulsive? If yes, I'd
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hairyfeet (841228)

      The reason we are seeing more and more crap is simple....money. If given the choice of selling games or selling games AND shows AND music? Well its a no brainer for the company, although to be fair frankly I have a lot of customers that own consoles and the vast majority? Only play games on the things.

      As for TFA...how many of us have been saying the SECOND it was first announced that Steam was coming to Linux that the whole reason for it was a Steambox console? Like it or not Linux as a desktop platform has

      • Re:Hmmm (Score:4, Insightful)

        by msobkow (48369) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @02:06AM (#42017279) Homepage Journal

        Funny.

        Nvidia doesn't seem to have much trouble releasing Linux blobs.

        Technically, the blob is just another package distribution mechanism that happens to incorporate DRM. All of the APIs that Steam requires are pretty much stable. Nvidia and co. were likely brought on by Valve so they could tweak their drivers and correct any bugs that were discovered, not because there was some magic code inserted into anyone else's software just for Valve.

      • by unixisc (2429386)
        Valve should consider something like a PC-BSD, NetBSD or a Minix option as well. That way, they won't have to get mauled over the licensing parts of the deals.
      • Re:Hmmm (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Microlith (54737) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @03:52AM (#42017591)

        we already see the distros starting to balk at the license terms

        No we aren't. That was a poor Slashdot article, making news of something that is already handled by the non-free repos all the high profile distros have.

        like it or not Steam IS DRM which I have a feeling those core devs that work on the vital subsystems and treat the GPL like the ten commandments will probably go out of their way to make sure their updates "accidently" break Steam.

        Sorry, but this is bald-faced bullshit. You can't selectively break a single action in an open source project without getting caught real damn fast.

        Hey, at least you're consistent in your posts.

  • Waiting to be modded "lame joke" in 3, 2, 1....
  • I became a bit of a valve fanboi when I read about their no-manager system. See Here [businessweek.com].
    To my credit though, they do seem to be doing cool stuff lately.
  • Piracy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @09:15PM (#42016113)

    Okay, perfectly serious question, and one the game developers and studios are going to ask you: How are you going to protect against piracy if the platform is open? Explain how if it's made trivially-easy for people to download and pirate the games, how their revenue stream benefits from this... because open platforms encourage piracy. Or at least, that's the argument that's going to be made.

    Please guys, serious answers only, not a giant flag of a penguin and patriotic music playing while you explain in great detail why open is better, etc. Pretend I'm a game developer and sell me on the concept. You can start by telling me how it'll be at least as profitable, if not more so, than the competitors. I don't care about linux, or the GPL, or open source: I want a business case made.

    • 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!

      • 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!

        Umm, no. Most of the applications available for Steam were developed as stand-alone applications and only later added into their store. To say they "bought into" Steam is stupid; They bought into the PC platform. Steam is just another method of distribution. We aren't talking about developing games for the PC platform here, but a new console. Whatever is released on this new console may use commodity hardware, and may even be PC-like, but it won't be a PC, and you probably won't be able to just load up PC g

        • We aren't talking about developing games for the PC platform here, but a new console. Whatever is released on this new console may use commodity hardware, and may even be PC-like, but it won't be a PC, and you probably won't be able to just load up PC games under it, anymore than you can play a Mac game on a PC or vice versa. That's sorta the definition of a platform.

          The point is, developers/distributors AND the customers seems quite happy with the DRM system currently being employed by Steam, and I think the same system may also be used on Steam on linux or whatever the new platform is, so DRM or openness should not be a problem.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Since an "open platform" is no difference from windows WRT piracy, where Valve has been happily selling games for years, I guess I don't see the point. They will use the same DRM they use on windows... duh?

    • by MrEricSir (398214)

      Valve was asked about DRM at the recent Ubuntu Developer Summit earlier this month. Their answer was essentially "games can include their own DRM" just like on the Windows/Mac versions of Steam.

      I could see the let-the-publisher-deal-with-it solution applying to the console as well.

      • Re:Piracy (Score:4, Insightful)

        by CastrTroy (595695) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @09:31PM (#42016221) Homepage
        Yeah, like that's worked out so well for us in the past. Publishers create the worst kinds of DRM. At least when I get and Xbox/Wii/PS game I know it isn't going to install some boot loader or root kit or rogue driver on my system and screw it up. If the security is baked into the console, at least I don't have publishers coming up with their own messed up schemes that end up messing with my system. I know that I can buy a game, take it home, and play it.
        • by RR (64484)

          Yeah, like that's worked out so well for us in the past. Publishers create the worst kinds of DRM. At least when I get and Xbox/Wii/PS game... I know that I can buy a game, take it home, and play it.

          You mean, you can buy a game, bring it home, and then leave the console alone for half an hour as it installs updates. Or is that just the PS3?

        • by Hatta (162192)

          At least when I get and Xbox/Wii/PS game I know it isn't going to install some boot loader or root kit or rogue driver on my system and screw it up

          Are you kidding? Modern games come with software updates on the disk, software updates that can and do remove features [techdirt.com] from your console.

    • Re:Piracy (Score:4, Informative)

      by symbolset (646467) * on Saturday November 17, 2012 @09:25PM (#42016175) 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:Piracy (Score:4, Interesting)

        by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @09:52PM (#42016349)

        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.

        The market is a lot bigger; The piracy rate is higher, but so is the purchase rate, so it evens out. But consoles are a small market -- almost everyone owns a computer. Not nearly as many own consoles. If the piracy rate on a console was the same as the PC, the market would collapse; it would be very difficult for all but the most successful titles to get a return on investment.

        • by symbolset (646467) *
          If Valve manages to take a significant fraction of their 90% PC game sales market share to an own-brand console from the PC, the PC gamer market might become too small of an ecosystem to remain sustainable. And Valve will become a giant of the console gaming industry.
          • they can't shoot the goose that laid the golden egg. A lot of the reason PC gaming is seeing a resurgence is actually tablets. Most people don't LIKE working on laptops and have desks for them anyways. For the same price as a laptop you can go buy a gaming PC generally and bam, you're now a PC gamer. Whats happening is tablets are eating the convenience of notebooks alive and more and more people are turning to desktop PCs for gaming and work.

            • Re:Piracy (Score:5, Insightful)

              by symbolset (646467) * on Saturday November 17, 2012 @11:43PM (#42016815) Journal

              Look, Microsoft is pushing all software through their own store if they can beginning with Windows 8. Steam is a software store that would compete with that store, on Microsoft's Windows platform. Gabe Newell used to work at Microsoft. He knows this means they intend to eliminate the Steam software sales store in Windows, and they are as eminently able to do that as they have been to sabotage all other software that competes with their offerings on Windows. The Goose has fled and Valve needs a new goose. Hence the console plan. An own-brand console gives Valve a platform that cannot be made to sabotage their content.

              A lot of casuals are just going tablet and phone, really.

              It could be worse. Retail box software vendors are just out of luck. No more sales for you.

          • by bloodhawk (813939)
            I game on my PC as I like the power and flexibility I can achieve where I can upgrade at will and not be limited. If I wanted a console gaming experience I would buy a console and to be honest it would be a ps or an xbox not a steambox, I certainly won't be buying a steam console or any other console as my primary gaming platform and I cannot conceive of anything valve can do can make me desire a console instead of a gaming PC.
            • by symbolset (646467) *
              As Valve has pointed out their games actually work better on Linux after porting and without significant optimization. Stay with your Windows PC instead of your Valve hand-optimized Linux-based console and you'll find your gaming experience frustrating as you get Pwned by nOObs over and over. But hey, if that's your thing...
    • by Kjella (173770)

      Okay, perfectly serious question, and one the game developers and studios are going to ask you: How are you going to protect against piracy if the platform is open? Explain how if it's made trivially-easy for people to download and pirate the games, how their revenue stream benefits from this... because open platforms encourage piracy. Or at least, that's the argument that's going to be made.

      Well in case you missed the memo, Steam is pretty successful on open platforms like Windows and OS X. At least "open" as in "doesn't require code signing". Building a "Steambox" would be to lower cost (no MS license) and provide a standardized hardware platform compared to the PC. Compared to the other consoles it'd be an alternative to Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo who all have their terms and conditions to sell on their platform. And the Linux kernel is GPLv2 not GPLv3, so you actually can make a locked do

      • Why should game developers be complaining if their console runs Linux down below?

        Because the console market is a lot smaller than the PC market; Almost everyone owns a computer. Not nearly as many own consoles. Bigger market means more piracy can be tolerated and still make an equivalent amount of profit. And cell phones and tablets compete in a very different market space. That's like saying smart phones compete with laptops and desktops. Yeah... right.

        • by Kjella (173770)

          Because the console market is a lot smaller than the PC market; Almost everyone owns a computer. Not nearly as many own consoles. Bigger market means more piracy can be tolerated and still make an equivalent amount of profit. And cell phones and tablets compete in a very different market space. That's like saying smart phones compete with laptops and desktops. Yeah... right.

          Huh? I never said they competed in the same markets, I said developers seem more than happy to be writing applications for Android which runs on Linux without crying about piracy. You're just talking nonsense saying nothing compares to consoles. And of course the PC market is much larger than the console market since lots and lots of people aren't playing games but you're again completely failing to make a sane point of PC gamers vs console gamers. Who cares about consoles and console-only games? The people

        • Re:Piracy (Score:4, Interesting)

          by OneAhead (1495535) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @11:37PM (#42016787)
          It's not like they'd have to rewrite their game from scratch - given a good initial choice of libraries/APIs and a modular software architecture, the investment of porting a Windows game to Linux is not that terrible. Especially relative to the amount of money that goes into into art and level design (none of which requires any porting) in big commercial games. So a tentative business model would be: release the game on Windows through Steam, then make a Linux port for extra revenue. Initially, this second revenue stream will be a lot smaller than the Windows version's, but again, so is the additional investment. And it has potential for growth; the steam box could potentially beat other consoles in hardware specs, making the same game look nicer, and allowing for more complex games to be run on it. It could be a stepping stone for console gamers to get into hardcore PC games. Valve doesn't even necessarily have to produce and sell the steamboxen themseves; they could just offer steam for Linux as an option to whichever intrepid company feels compelled to throw together some PC hardware and a minimalist Debian-based Linux distro and sell it as a console. The resulting competition could result in very attractive price/performance for the consumer - think the game console version of the Android ecosystem. In summary, there is a baseline potential for a modest second revenue stream with a fair return on investment, and lots of exciting possibilities for growth. How do you like my sales pitch?

          One more thing: Valve expressed its extreme displeasure with Windows 8's "walled garden" model. They could offer PC gamers to run steam from a bootable Linux flash drive, or better, do something like Portable Ubuntu but with better graphics support. I personally think the chances are pretty slim Valve will go that far, but it's not 100% impossible, and it would make Linux ports even more attractive to game publishers.
    • 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? The console market thrives mostly on store-bought purchases, many of which are recycled into the used-games market a year after their release, but 95% of the games aren't pirated. The PC gaming market, on the other hand, is almost the exact opposite: Most games, especially single-player games, sitting on PCs are pirated. So to get the same profit, you'd have to sell games for t

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 17, 2012 @10:42PM (#42016565)

        Steam is what caused me and as far as I can tell all of my friends to start buying games instead of pirating them.
        Steam offer something piracy does not, hassle free installing. It also offers something buying games in stores does not, the ability to get the game right now and great deals.

        Spotify did the same regarding music.

        Will there be piracy, probably. Will it be rampant on the steambox? Probably not, just use your normal computer.

        • Will there be piracy, probably. Will it be rampant on the steambox? Probably not, just use your normal computer.

          I'm not suggesting it would be rampant, just higher than on consoles. My point was -- if it's even slightly higher than other consoles, if their sales are the same, that means less profit. And my question was: Can the "steambox" be as profitable for a game developer as traditional DRM-enabled consoles? The factors to consider are development costs, distribution costs, per-unit sales, and aggregate sales. All of these contribute to the total net. My argument is because per-unit sales would be lower (due to p

          • by sirsnork (530512)

            Since people have been throwing around numbers of $20k just to release an update on XBLA then I would suggest even if there is more piracy, profit is probably going to be greater.

            Of course, you're assuming an either/or situation when it's not. If this comes about it will be one more platform developers will need to port too, and if they don't then their profit from the platform is zero, if they do it'll be more than zero (assuming they sell in the first place.

      • by Mashiki (184564) <[mashiki] [at] [gmail.com]> 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.

        • 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.

          Yeah. It looks like slashdot, but it isn't anymore. Malda moved on. It was sold off to the highest bidder that now quietly inserts sponsored links and is trying to monetize the site, and our editors are slowly being rotated out for people that are marketdroids instead of geeks. I mean, look at the logo? See how it no longer says "News for nerds. Stuff that matters." ? Now it's just an ever-shrinking green strip along the top with an ever-increasing number of drop-down menus. Soon they'll start adding "spons

      • If you wanted to play a game on the PS3, you either had to buy it, or go through convoluted steps or modify the hardware in ways that often left you unable to use that console online for multiplayer games. Every console marketed in the last decade has tried to follow the same business model.

        Doesn't Valve/Steam essentially come with its form of account-based DRM and essentially focuses more on multiplayer games precisely because of this issue you've highlighted? Please someone correct me if I'm wrong. I don't actually have a Steam account.

        • by Mashiki (184564)

          Doesn't Valve/Steam essentially come with its form of account-based DRM and essentially focuses more on multiplayer games precisely because of this issue you've highlighted? Please someone correct me if I'm wrong. I don't actually have a Steam account.

          The account itself is DRM, albeit a light version of it. Games are tied to your steam account currently, in the EU they're being forced to allow you to trade games I believe. I've heard a few things that there's a case doing the same here in Canada, but I couldn't actually find anything.

          But nothing stops you from using multiplayer games at all, and really nothing stops you from modding your PC at all in any such form. Though there are a variety of different services to stop people from cheating such as v

      • by Ziggitz (2637281)

        Steam likely reduces the rate of piracy among PC gamers because it actually offers some really good benefits over piracy and buying in store. When you buy through steam you can always redownload the game, scratched your black ops 2 dvd? Fuck you buy another one. Your rig's harddisk failed? Redownload the game free of charge as many times as you like; I know that any game I buy on steam I will have until the service dies at which point the game will likely be freeware anyway. It offers a lot of stabilit

    • You provide a useful service, thats how. The way you phrased the question itself exposes either your bias or your ignorance. You protect agaisnt piracy by providing a service so good, peopel WANT to give you money. You do it by mutual agreement, not enforcing your position with guns.
  • by Nyder (754090) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @09:18PM (#42016131) Journal

    I was thinking the other day that the original Xbox was based off of PC tech, so the programmers had familiar ground for making the games (really not much different then windows games), but then they veered away from that with the Xbox 360. So, as i was thinking, I figured if someone had came in with a PC (intel/amd 64bit x86 procs), nvidia/amd GPU, a more then decent amount of memory, that they might have had a decent console during these lean years of outdated consoles.
    Of course, the company would have to make it so you can run homebrew on it, ie. PS3 Other OS, but not locked down as much. Let peeps have access to the hardware.

    Yes, software would probably get pirated, but software always gets pirated. That isn't going to change, unless they start streaming games to us, like Onlive or something.

    Anyways, I hope Steam is smart enough to put in plenty of memory in the console. Since that has always been the problems with other consoles, and I hope they keep the system open enough for homebrew.

    Going to be cool to see what happens here.

  • An old dream (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CmdrEdem (2229572) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @09:19PM (#42016137) Homepage

    For years I dreamed about a Linux distro with all the fat out but the bare minimum to run games, so we can get all the power from the hardware. I really hope this can become real but I`m well aware of the hurdles they will face to get to that.

  • If it is its own distro maybe valve could get official cablecard support. There are no linux cablecard apps for secure content and microsoft is dumping windows media center. I would love to have a better alternative to renting a five year old dvr for 20 dollars a month.
    • by wbr1 (2538558)
      There is a better option. Stop paying the cable company. Cut the cord and all that jazz. Vote with your wallet.
  • I don't really see it playing in the same ball park as the Wii U. I hope Nintendo is successful in playing in the larger ball park and thus compete, but they haven't broken out of their very lucrative nitch so I wouldn't even compare it with that. However, if you can get Steam working seamlessly on Linux, and package a box the works like a console it could contend with the PS3 and 360 games. For example, if the Next Dragon Age or Bioware game comes out on Steam and works on the Linux version then I'd put
    • Why do you need a Windows box? Most Valve games seem to work fine with wine. At least the one I've tried and the once my friends play.

  • Steam is one thing that makes PC gaming so much better than console gaming. If you move the console that may just be it for PC gaming.

    • by Alex Belits (437) *

      Didn't you get the memo? Microsoft is now hell bent on destroying PC as a platform, so consumer PC applications need another class of devices.

      • by casings (257363)

        Agreed, it seems counter-intuitive to allow Microsoft to continue to dominate the PC Gaming OS when they already have vested interest in a completely different platform.

      • No, I didn't get the memo. MS is hell bent on bringing tablets under the Windows ecosystem. Maybe that will work out, maybe not. I don't really give a shit. Steam still works just fine on my PC and there's no indication that MS will do anything to keep it from working fine. Gabe is just worried about the MS Store. He shouldn't be; that's of free - $5 app type games. Steam is still where the real games are.

  • So we may never get a year of desktop linux.
    But there's still a chance for a year of the living room linux.

    • by Ziggitz (2637281)
      There isn''t going to be a year of desktop linux. It's going to be decade of desktop linux.
  • Unlikely (Score:5, Interesting)

    by frinsore (153020) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @09:53PM (#42016355)

    Now is probably the best time that Valve could release a console: get first mover status in North America against MS & Sony and probably Europe as well. But valve is a software company. Their experience with manufacturing, shipping, retailers, etc is limited at best. The boxed copies of Valve games are published by one of the traditional large publishers. I love valve as much as the next fan boy but the massive operational organization that is needed to support a console launch is slightly outside of their reach. Valve could partner with a distribution/manufacturing partner but the people that have experience in the entertainment space and who would be able to accomplish the undertaking is a pretty short list. EA could probably swing it and would scare both MS & Sony as their consoles would lose EA's games but with origin vs steam on the PC side of things I see this as slightly unlikely. I'd love Sega to make a Steam box, but that's simply nostalgia talking. Sony is the most likely partner as steam is already on PS3 (for some definition of steam) and ps3 runs a version of unix, but it would probably be another wedge between Sony & retail stores.

    More then likely this is probably valve's experimentation into console space. They'll probably stream line it so that it's trivial to get your home linux machine to output to hdmi at the push of a controller button. Once the home experience is as simple as it can get then they'll make a business case for releasing their own console or not based upon revenue. Look at what valve has done with micro-transactions, free to play games, crowd sourcing, and non-game software: they dip a toe into the water and then once they're confident they move into that space.

    • by Ziggitz (2637281)
      You know they don't necessarily have to release the console themselves. They could easily make it an open platform and let Asus, Samsung, and other PC vendors make their own consoles based on it. Given that Valves hardware department can be counted on one hand, this is likely what's going to happen. You just need to be able to optimize against commonly used hardware, optimize the opensource graphics drivers and design specifications and maybe even produce a few controllers and peripherals. They would ba
  • by interval1066 (668936) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @09:55PM (#42016361) Homepage Journal
    Funny how Valve's attitude has changed from "Linux, meh" to fully-committed boosters in less than 2 years.
    • by DeathFromSomewhere (940915) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @10:07PM (#42016405)
      You can thank Microsoft [windowsstore.com] for that. Why would someone buy from a third party when you can buy games from the store built into the operating system? Valve is running scared because they see their biggest revenue stream drying up.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by antant007 (1702214)

        You can thank Microsoft [windowsstore.com] for that. Why would someone buy from a third party when you can buy games from the store built into the operating system? Valve is running scared because they see their biggest revenue stream drying up.

        Why? Because the last thing like this (windows live games) was a complete pos.

        • by Microlith (54737) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @11:39PM (#42016799)

          Microsoft doesn't have to deliver a great solution, just something good enough that Windows users don't look for alternatives. That's the advantage you have when your solution is included with every install of the OS and your OS is a monopoly in its market.

          The question will be if Steam and other stores have enough of a following to do what Netscape could not and ride out the anti-competitive maneuvers MSFT will make.

  • systemd has cut down boot time. a stripped system could run a UI like XBMC.

    I've got XBMC installed on my linux desktop and it interfaces with console kit/polkit and DMs like any other desktop, it doesn't work tell as a desktop, but it work awesome on a TV top device UI, and even supports lirc commands(linux IR remote interfaces).

    Given the plethora of USB joysticks and gamepads on the market, and linux's excellent handling of removable media(front end multi-flash memory kit), development should be really rea
  • by sootman (158191) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @11:24PM (#42016739) Homepage Journal

    Joel Spolsky coined the term "Commoditize your complements" ten years ago. [joelonsoftware.com] Steam, who sells software, wants consoles (or PCs acting as consoles) to be as cheap as possible, so as many people as possible can afford to have hardware that will run their games.

    Every product in the marketplace has substitutes and complements. A substitute is another product you might buy if the first product is too expensive. Chicken is a substitute for beef. If you're a chicken farmer and the price of beef goes up, the people will want more chicken, and you will sell more.
     
    A complement is a product that you usually buy together with another product. Gas and cars are complements. Computer hardware is a classic complement of computer operating systems...
     
    All else being equal, demand for a product increases when the prices of its complements decrease... why don't the video chip vendors of the world try to commoditize the games, somehow? That' s a lot harder. If the game Halo is selling like crazy, it doesn't really have any substitutes. You're not going to go to the movie theatre to see Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and decide instead that you would be satisfied with a Woody Allen movie. They may both be great movies, but they're not perfect substitutes. Now: who would you rather be, a game publisher or a video chip vendor?

    Now that the cheapest hardware out there is ridiculously capable, of course Steam wants you to throw a free OS on there and turn it into a Steam appliance. Which can also browse the web, play videos, send emails, make Skype calls, etc etc etc.

  • I don't know what the Operating system of the future will look like, but it will be called Linux.

  • by vga_init (589198) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @11:54PM (#42016847) Journal

    I'm sure this is common knowledge to many of us, but Linux platforms (including game platforms) are not really all that uncommon. Many posts I'm reading on here--the general tone of the discussion--seems to regard a Linux console as an unusual or extraordinary thing.

    OK, we well all know that gaming existed in some form on Linux since the beginning. In fact, I'm a little bit impressed by the number of computer games that have been commercially released for Linux in the past two decades, not to mention games that have been cloned, ported, or otherwise created in open source fashion. We've had commercial video card support for ever, and decent APIs to work with... but what about platforms?

    We've had platforms too. In fact, my first Linux console was the GP2X, which I purchased upon release in 2005 (7 years ago!). Granted, it wasn't that great of a platform, but it was something. I played Cave Story on it from start to finish, and it was the best gaming experience I had had since I was an adolescent.

    However, if you really want to talk about Linux gaming platforms, look no further than Android. We have scores of Android devices in the wild (probably hundreds by now), and they come with all the hardware and software support you can ask for. In fact, I was a little bit surprised just how many games--most of them commercial--have been written natively for Android, and they're not even all casual. I would take issue with anyone who doesn't consider Android to be one of the main gaming platforms today.

    So, a Linux gaming console is really not that crazy of an idea. As other people have pointed out, it really doesn't matter that much what OS your console runs... games are not particularly OS-oriented applications. I'm all for free software--I use the stuff all the time, but I still play games on my PS3. Sure, I can't tinker with my PS3 games much or the platform they run on, but if developing open source games were really my thing, Linux is right here on my PC ready and waiting.

    • by JPriest (547211)
      Not to mention Steam already exists for Android and it could run on Ouya (Android console). At this point the development environments that exist for Android are probably as rich or richer than what is out there specifically for Linux and Android is hardly slowing down.
  • by westlake (615356) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @12:13AM (#42016913)

    The expensive high-tech toy has to hit retail shelves no later then mid-October.

    You must make your Black Friday targets because sales will tank after New Year's Day. That means the Steam console is at least a year off, if it materializes at all.

    Steam has been a great success in PC gaming --- but console gaming is a very different world. More couch-casual and couch-social. You are most likely to be playing cooperatively or competitively with friends and family in your own living room then engaging with anonymous online partners or opponents.

    Making your mark in hardware sales can burn through mountains of cash in no time flat with very little to show for it.

    It takes guts to stay the course,

    • by tuppe666 (904118)

      Making your mark in hardware sales can burn through mountains of cash in no time flat with very little to show for it.

      It takes guts to stay the course,

      I really liked your post. Microsoft was able to break into the console market simply because it was one of the few companies that could afford to do this.

      ...but this the world post raspberry pi - a console for $40 or the OUYA for $99. [I bought the OUYA on an impulse]. Steam have already got a store, front end, brand and industry connections so those costs are covered. Its a different world.

      I have no idea what form the [mythical] hardware could take. but it could simply be a reference design , or simply s

  • Why do people care what the OS of a Valve game console is if it's going to be locked down with DRM like any other console? (and given they are the current leader in PC game DRM, that's a given).

    Not sure if many people realize it, but almost every single networked BD player made in the last 5 years runs Linux. Same with almost all networked TVs and set-top boxes. And while that's great for Linux development and reducing manufacturer licensing costs, it really doesn't change anything for the end user.

    The r

    • by gman003 (1693318)

      It's more of "this is how Valve could make a console" than "this is how a console will run Linux".

      Valve doesn't really have the manpower or the expertise to develop their own operating system. And the licensing costs to put Windows (or god forbid OS X) on their console would double the price tag, if they could even get the licensing.

      But if they port to Linux, it's a short leap software-wise to making their own console.

      So you're misunderstanding the story. It's "Steam on Linux + Big Picture Mode = Steam Cons

    • by tuppe666 (904118)

      Why do people care what the OS of a Valve game console

      1) Microsoft - Because they hate gamers. Halo 4 on PC Nope, Backtracked on Over 18 Games.
      2) Cross Platform - No more Direct X lock-in MAC; Linux; Android; iOS gamers rejoice, with more games
      3) Linux [Android] Ecosystem benefits - Drivers; Developers; Optimised for Games...not servers...not phones.
      4) Linux Development environment - Free; Massive Support; Massive software library.

      why will major developers want to support it?

      Why won't they want to support it? Seriously The constant stories of Microsoft treating developers like shit. Steam is a brand...a

  • Can't happend. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tei (520358) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @04:04AM (#42017629) Journal

    In a perfect world Microsoft would not exist, or where a different company.

    But the Microsoft that exist fight standards, and create propietery protocols or closed programs, and created huge dependencies for these, so people with one of his programs must buy the others. Microsoft fiery defend other companies, but not on quality, but on poisoning the well.

    OpenGL was one of the key pieces to code a game once, and play it everywhere, and Microsoft succefully made it secondary with Direct3D. It has continued fighting all standards, to destroy them, and in games have a unmitigated success. Games are a world of Microsoft libraries, and game dev's don't know how to build games withouth these libraries, and the games created don't withouth these libraries (or libraries that emulated them).

    At this point Microsoft is a cerebral parasite, and removing it would kill the host.

New systems generate new problems.

Working...