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Valve Re-affirms Commitment To SteamOS and Linux After Hiding Steam Machines from Store (neowin.net) 99

An anonymous reader writes: Valve recently removed Steam Machines from the Steam Store navigation menus which naturally led people to believe that Valve was giving up on that initiative, also leading to concern about its operating system, SteamOS. In a statement posted on its blog today, the firm said that it's still committed to SteamOS and Linux. It said the main reason for removing Steam Machines from the navigation menu was due to the low amount of traffic the page was getting. In a statement, Valve said, "We've noticed that what started out as a routine cleanup of the Steam Store navigation turned into a story about the delisting of Steam Machines. That section of the Steam Store is still available, but was removed from the main navigation bar based on user traffic. Given that this change has sparked a lot of interest, we thought it'd make sense to address some of the points we've seen people take away from it."
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Valve Re-affirms Commitment To SteamOS and Linux After Hiding Steam Machines from Store

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  • Were there so many items there that it wouldn't fit on the screen? No?

    So why didn't you leave it the fuck alone? Stupid millenials.

    • Were there so many items there that it wouldn't fit on the screen? No?

      So why didn't you leave it the fuck alone? Stupid millenials.

      Actually, they don't do it much anymore, but a common tactic in the old days at grocery stores and department stores would be to periodically change the layout of the store and move things around. The purpose of which was to make it hard for shoppers to find what they were looking for and perhaps see some items they wouldn't typically seem and maybe buy them.

      Thankfully, that's a practice that has been more or less abandoned as stores these days try to make it easier for you to find things so you have a pos

      • Thankfully, that's a practice that has been more or less abandoned as stores these days try to make it easier for you to find things so you have a positive experience and come back.

        No, today the big stores track purchases and do all kinds of analytics to find out that if you put the Doritoes next to the toothpaste, sales increase by 2.7%. Any experience you have is one carefully crafted to wring as much money out of you as possible. It's not much different than in the past, merely just more refined and scientific instead of haphazard.

      • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

        I assume it isn't a shift to long vs short term view of profits, but instead the reality of competition.

        25 years ago, when I was a child, there was one supermarket around, now there are 4 within a quarter mile.

        25 years ago, they could have a bad experience and still get all of the business, now they need to compete on things such as the experience, or I'll go across the street or 500 yeards further down the road.

      • Traffic flow analysis Is still a big part of supermarket layouts. From vegetables are at the front with the bakery (feel good smells and looks fresh) and then milk and bread is at the back of the store so you have to walk past everything else to get what you want.

        • Traffic flow analysis Is still a big part of supermarket layouts. From vegetables are at the front with the bakery (feel good smells and looks fresh) and then milk and bread is at the back of the store so you have to walk past everything else to get what you want.

          My nearest grocery recently remodeled, which included putting a small refrigerated endcap near the checkouts, for people who just want to grab some milk. The main dairy case is still in the far back corner of the store.

  • Nobody cares about steam machines. We want Half-Life 3!
    • ...why not both?

    • I've been half tempted to get a job at Valve with the sole purpose of putting together an underground team to finish HL3.

    • Re:Screw that! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by supremebob ( 574732 ) <themejunky@geo c i t i e s . c om> on Wednesday April 04, 2018 @01:41PM (#56381969) Journal

      If they made Half Life 3 and Portal 3 exclusives to the SteamOS, it might actually become a popular gaming platform.

      Hell, I'd configure dual boot on my Windows gaming system in order to play those titles if they were reasonably priced. Hell, they might even want to bundle those two games together with a copy of SteamOS on a USB thumb drive, making it the next generation Orange Box.

      • Exactly!

        Linux has a chicken/egg problem with games. There's limited AAA game support because there's limited install base and there's limited install base because of limited game support. Toss in Team Fortress 3, Left 4 Dead 3, and potentially DotA 3 and I think you will get a significant install boost so long as the installation process and operation is seamless from a user's perspective.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If they decrease the prices for developers that provide support for Vulkan on their store it would give a nice stepping stone to promote SteamOS or other Linux variants a more solid stepping stone to entice people to at least give it a look and when a larger and more recent game releases are available at the product release perhaps then PC users will seriously consider ditching microsoft windows 10/1x..etc... abuses and all imposed we do whatever we want with your machine bullshit.

    • If they decrease the prices for developers that provide support for Vulkan on their store it would give a nice stepping stone to promote SteamOS or other Linux variants

      Why? Vulkan is supported on Windows too, just like OpenGL.

  • by seasunset ( 469481 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2018 @01:50PM (#56382033) Homepage

    There are plenty of Linux titles on Steam. Maybe not many AAA ones, but a lot of indies, that is for sure.

    The majority of games that I have work fine on Linux. Indeed I do not remember the last time that I had to reboot to Windows in order to play a game.

    Interestingly some Linux games are way more CPU/GPU intensive than on Windows. Anyone knows why?

    So, thanks Valve for Linux support! Please keep it!

    • Re:Steam on Linux (Score:5, Informative)

      by barc0001 ( 173002 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2018 @02:09PM (#56382193)

      > There are plenty of Linux titles on Steam. Maybe not many AAA ones, but a lot of indies, that is for sure.

      Actually at this point there's lots of what I'd class as AA and AAA titles that are on Linux. It sometimes takes a bit to get them ported but a surprising percentage of my Steam library works under Linux. Borderlands series, Bioshock series, Metro series, XCOM and XCOM2, Rocket League (maybe not AAA, but it's the best value I've ever gotten for $20 - 400+ hours in so far...), etc.

      • Re:Steam on Linux (Score:5, Informative)

        by DamnOregonian ( 963763 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2018 @03:17PM (#56382791)
        HL2, Civ, Portal, Total War series, Middle Earth, Shadowrun, Warhammer, Witcher, Arma, Counterstrike, POSTAL, Saints Row... It's amazing these days.
        Of my 442 Steam games, 199 of them are supported under Linux.
      • Actually at this point there's lots of what I'd class as AA and AAA titles that are on Linux. It sometimes takes a bit to get them ported but a surprising percentage of my Steam library works under Linux. Borderlands series, Bioshock series, Metro series, XCOM and XCOM2, Rocket League (maybe not AAA, but it's the best value I've ever gotten for $20 - 400+ hours in so far...), etc.

        And that's not good enough for a gamer. They want AAA titles, when they are released. They want them as good or better of an FPS as windows. They want them to run w/ the same stability as windows.

        Windows gaming PCs are a thing. They are well understood and documented. There's just no incentive to try something else that is known to not work as well. Gamers don't care about FOSS they just want Overwatch not to crash out in the middle of a rated match.

        • > And that's not good enough for a gamer

          Like hell. I'm "a gamer". It's perfect for me. I'm also the type of gamer who doesn't go run off and buy the new shiny for $80 when I can get the bugfixed GOTY edition with all the extra content a year later for $20 on a Steam sale. There are many different types of "gamers" and what's on Linux would satisfy a surprising percentage of them if they knew it was there.

          • by tepples ( 727027 )

            I'm also the type of gamer who doesn't go run off and buy the new shiny for $80 when I can get the bugfixed GOTY edition with all the extra content a year later for $20 on a Steam sale.

            I guess part of it has to do with how long after release the game's publisher plans to keep the online multiplayer matchmaking servers operational.

            • Sure, but a lot of the games I buy are mainly single player - or single player playable anyway - the Borderlands series is an odd mix of both and I've played through it both as a single player and with friends in co-op.

              And if you're a publisher that's shutting down matchmaking servers for a game released only a couple of years ago, you're probably not going to be getting much repeat business from customers when your new game comes out. How long you support your product is a factor in many peoples' buying d

              • And if you're a publisher that's shutting down matchmaking servers for a game released only a couple of years ago, you're probably not going to be getting much repeat business from customers when your new game comes out.

                Tell that to Electronic Arts, publisher of Madden NFL and FIFA. Players are expected to buy the sequel every year. And they do, in droves.

                • It operates kind of like a subscription and works out to a few dollars a month except that you still have all the offline components of the game without having to continue paying. That's why people keep buying it, they don't have to.

                  Also you mischaracterize it by claiming it is every year, in fact they don't shut down the servers a year after release, it's usually 3-4 years so if you work on that time frame it becomes even cheaper.

                • Madden, FIFA, NHL, NBA, MLB games are an outlier as for interest with their fans they rely on staying within shouting distance of the real teams' rosters so a game that's even 2 years out of date will not be a "realistic" experience. Look at the NHL right now for example, who's on fire and a widely liked underdog? The Las Vegas Golden Knights. Who's NOT in NHL16? The Las Vegas Golden Knights....

        • Kid gamers. They want exactly what they friends are playing, which means first day of release, and they will stop playing it in two weeks.

      • by higuita ( 129722 )

        More AA and AAA games:
        War thunder, almost all Total War games, the two newer tomb raider, MiddleEarth - Shadow of Mordor, Stelaris, City Skylines, CSGO, Dota2, Portal series, Half-live series, TF2, Hitman, Mad Max, Company of Heros series, Football manager series, newer civilization games, Payday2, Dying lights, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, witcher2, age of wonders 3, Alien: Isolation, newer Warhammer series, Dirt series, F1 2015 and 2017 ... hey, go check the list : http://store.steampowered.com/... [steampowered.com]

    • There are plenty of Linux titles on Steam. Maybe not many AAA ones, but a lot of indies, that is for sure.

      The majority of games that I have work fine on Linux. Indeed I do not remember the last time that I had to reboot to Windows in order to play a game.

      Interestingly some Linux games are way more CPU/GPU intensive than on Windows. Anyone knows why?

      So, thanks Valve for Linux support! Please keep it!

      If you made Portal 3 availability contigent on a majority voting for Gabe for president, he'd win.

    • Quite a few AAA titles these days, actually. I've been pleasantly surprised by that. When I first started using Steam on Linux for gaming, there wasn't much at all.
    • Who really cares what OS it is? On my gaming PC I turn it on, launch the game I want to play and then don't even see the OS. Whether it's Linux or Windows makes no difference and dual booting means you aren't beholden to one or the other anyway.

      Steam Machines (Linux gaming in general) need to provide some compelling thing that you can't get on Windows, not just supporting a subset of the games available on Windows. The biggest praise I see in every discussion on this is just people being surprised at how ma

    • by DrXym ( 126579 )
      There are perhaps 30% of titles that run on Linux. Most run flawlessly but some run abysmally.

      I've seen games kernel panic my PC, render with missing textures / flickering, dialogues that are too big to fit a laptop display, controls which are broken and a heap of other obvious issues. It suggests to me that devs might be building for Linux to tick the box but they're often not testing the game very thoroughly.

      But back to that 30% figure. That's why SteamBox is not going to take off. Not now, not ever.

  • by Dega704 ( 1454673 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2018 @02:07PM (#56382165)
    The broken-record repetition I'm hearing is HL3 exclusive. Yes this could be a good idea, IF Linux/SteamOS were a more established, mature platform among average gamers. It's not. Imagine this from the perspective of anyone who isn't a Linux nerd. You're a PC gamer, HL3 comes out, you want it, and you can't get it unless you buy a new, underwhelming game console (That's how most users will see them, and they just want to play on their PC), or dual boot their existing computer; hardly a reasonable expectation for the non-technical. Does anyone actually see this going over well? Because I see it turning into a riot-inducing fustercluck that will make loot boxes and GamerGate look small in comparison.
    • The broken-record repetition I'm hearing is HL3 exclusive. Yes this could be a good idea, IF Linux/SteamOS were a more established, mature platform among average gamers. It's not. Imagine this from the perspective of anyone who isn't a Linux nerd. You're a PC gamer, HL3 comes out, you want it, and you can't get it unless you buy a new, underwhelming game console (That's how most users will see them, and they just want to play on their PC), or dual boot their existing computer; hardly a reasonable expectation for the non-technical. Does anyone actually see this going over well? Because I see it turning into a riot-inducing fustercluck that will make loot boxes and GamerGate look small in comparison.

      Just make the HL3 release SteamOS exclusive for early release, 3 months later release it for Windows and Xbox One.

      • This I find reasonable. It would incentivize gamers to try out Linux/SteamOS without necessarily punishing them for not using it. I still think the graphics architecture needs more work first (Vulkan should be well established and supported, and give us graphical GPU settings equivalent to Windows for hell's sake), but it's in much better shape than it was 6 years ago.
        • blackmail is reasonable? all this would do would be decimate their sales and piss off a load of fans. It is those sort of tactics that alienate the user base and clearly point out that they do not care what the users think or want.
          • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

            How is this blackmail?
            Make the early beta versions available for linux, linux users tend to be more technically literate and therefore more useful as beta testers.

          • While I'm not sure this would be the best idea timed exclusives are pretty common so at least it wouldn't be something that hasn't happened before. Most people would just wait I guess.
      • Just make the HL3 release SteamOS exclusive for early release, 3 months later release it for Windows and Xbox One.

        Why? Why does Valve even care where their games are played, let alone why would a publisher sacrifice the majority of the sales that happen before or on release day. I'm asking a serious question.

        • by Teckla ( 630646 )

          Why does Valve even care where their games are played

          Because Microsoft still has multiple monopolies generating enormous amounts of profit, so they can keep trying to crush Steam with the Microsoft Store indefinitely. It's good for Steam to keep a Plan B around.

        • Because if Windows keep being the dominant OS for PC gaming then Valve's business depends too much on Microsoft and one doesn't need to be too bright to know that's not a position you want to be in.
    • by sad_ ( 7868 )

      you don't need to buy anything, you install it on your gaming pc you already have, on a second drive so you don't have to overwrite your current install.
      steamos is made for sofa, living room gaming. you don't need a keyboard, it can't get easier then that.
      why isn't steamos a success? because people don't see the benefit, more AAA games on windows and nothing to pull them towards steamos in specific.
      i didn't have a windows gaming pc, i gamed on consoles because linux didn't have many new games (lot's of OSS

  • by MindPrison ( 864299 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2018 @02:15PM (#56382227) Journal

    ...doesn't really work out of the box on Linux, not even Mint Linux 18.3.

    Yes, you can "could" make Steam VR work, yes, steamVR runs...but when you have the vive connected, it will mess with your xconfig settings or xorg or nvidia settings totally. It will extend the screen to the VR googles, it will not return the settings to normal, it will mess everything up, and you'll end up just unplugging the thing after a while - and yes...this is STILL exactly the same scenario 2 years later.

    Steam Linux? Yes - it works, sorta...Certain games works on it. And works just fine, but others like Ark - Survival evolved (which is insanely graphics demanding) will even on a 1080ti - get the "light ray" bug, where there's "rays" of darkness that will overshadow the game, psychedelic rain that will make it impossible to fly - and they all blame Nvidia drivers...which in turn blame bad coding on the game devs, or game engine devs. etc.

    On Linux - gaming is all one big "who'd dunnit" blame game, no one owns any responsibility, and I doubt it'll ever be fixed.

    Despite that, I still run Linux 90% of my time at home, because it's a ROCK stable platform for pretty much everything else. And I love the speed and smoothness of the everyday usage, surfing, video, editing, programming - and everything non-game related, it's the bee's knees.

    • Steam Linux? Yes - it works, sorta...Certain games works on it. And works just fine, but others like Ark - Survival evolved

      Haven't played Ark on it (I have it for PS4) but of my 199 Steam Linux games, the vast majority work perfectly on my 1080Ti/7700K.
      I'm also using it headless via Steam in-home streaming to stream the games to either the Steam Link attached to my TV, or my Laptop running Linux Steam. The system auto-logs in and auto-starts Steam in big-picture mode.
      I couldn't be happier with Steam on Linux. I do also have a Windows partition on the machine, but I don't boot into it very often.

    • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2018 @05:17PM (#56383661)

      > but others like Ark - Survival evolved (which is insanely graphics demanding) will even on a 1080ti - get the "light ray" bug, where there's "rays" of darkness that will overshadow the game, psychedelic rain that will make it impossible to fly - and they all blame Nvidia drivers...which in turn blame bad coding on the game devs, or game engine devs. etc.

      ARK was built with a heavily modified Unreal Engine 4. I seriously doubt that the (GPU) shaders running Linux are different from the shaders running on Windows -- but it would be good to confirmation on that.

      Still, that sucks that nVidia + Epic won't take responsibility for it. :-/

      Have you tried turning off light shafts ( god rays) and bloom? [steamcommunity.com]

      r.BloomQuality=0
      r.LightShafts=0

      > I still run Linux 90% of my time at home

      If anyone is curious you can filter in Steam games that run on Linux via this link:

      http://store.steampowered.com/linux [steampowered.com]

    • by higuita ( 129722 )

      VR is one of the things that valve is fixing in linux... the original development was done for windows, as it was a race to see who was the first to reach the market and "land grab" the market... now they have more time to port to linux and fix bad code on the VR libraries and missing features on linux

      Ark - Survival is full of bugs ... i would bet the right answer is on nvidia saying bad code (game or engine), being just one example of some bad code working by accident on windows, but failing on others. Not

  • by AbRASiON ( 589899 ) * on Wednesday April 04, 2018 @06:51PM (#56384113) Journal

    Just sit back and collect your 30% from sales on the store and please, stop talking, going forward. It's done.

  • by dltaylor ( 7510 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2018 @07:19PM (#56384227)

    I have an XBox 360, and Wii U, both bought for a couple of specific title, but also to be used for media (the 360). The 360 isn't very good at it (lots of background hiss over HDMI, of all things), but, since I cut the cable boxes loose, I have tried Netflix and Crunchyroll on both. Netflix still runs better on my old WD Live than either, and Crunchyroll is buggy on both of them (better on the Wii U, though).

    If a Steam Machine had functional apps (not work-arounds) for Netflix, Crunchyroll (Hulu, ...), AccuWeather, and was as good as my Live for DLNA and NFS-attached media servers, OTA TV, and Internet radio (Kodi), I would buy one for that. I can't find any info on Steam's site to say it does.

    Does it?

  • Steam on Linux is essential in our household, since that is the only solution that supports multiseat. I have dual GTX 970 and GTX 710 with FX 8370 supporting 3 seats. This allows me to have two users play ttwo sessions of games such as Civilization 5, Tropico 5, Total War, City Skylines and many other Linux games on steam in parallel while maintaining only single computer. We can also play 3 sessions of Minecraft in parallel.

    I think this could be real differentiator for Steam boxes and SteamOS for Valve f

  • I always thought the SteamBox was a trojan horse to build up a streaming service. Valve encouraged porting games to Linux so ultimately they could host them more cheaply in the cloud. Valve wouldn't have to pay licensing fees to Microsoft if they could use a modified Linux image to host the game instance.

    The idea that people would buy fat SteamBox devices was pretty tenuous. They cost the same amount of money as a regular PC but ran a fraction of the games. Not much value proposition in that.

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