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Post by Dan @ 10:18am 17/09/13 | 29 Comments
Valve Software head Gabe Newell gave a presentation at a recent LinuxCon event in New Orleans, talking up the Steam platform creator's commitment to the open OS environment, and going so far as to explain that the company has determined that "Linux really is the future for gaming" (thanks Ars Technica).

Key points made by Newell were that they see fragmentation between different physical computing -- mobile, living room, and desktop -- as being "undesirable and unnecessary". "As a user, I shouldn't have to buy new games, have new friends, or like different movies or music just because I'm sitting on a couch" Gabe said, before describing their work on Steam's 'Big Picture' mode, then reiterating that "work on the hardware side" was the next step.

It's been many months since we heard any news on Valve's hardware aspirations, which seem to be much broader than just the "Steam Box" concept of compact living-room PCs but Newell suggested we won't have to wait much longer to find out more, saying "Next week we’re going to be rolling out more information about how we get there and what are the hardware opportunities that we see for bringing Linux into the living room and potentially pointing further down the road to how we can get it even more unified with mobile."

Youtube user Micah John thoughtfully captured Newell's LinuxCon presentation, which you can watch in full below if you're so inclined.




valve softwaregabe newellsteamsteam box





Latest Comments
carson
Posted 10:47am 17/9/13
This is good news.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 10:49am 17/9/13
Big call by the Big man. However if anyone/anything is going to propel Linux into a mainstream gaming OS it would Valve and Gabe.
kappa
Posted 10:49am 17/9/13
Next week ... is that in valve time?
TufNuT
Posted 10:54am 17/9/13
Step 1 - make installing graphics card drivers on linux less f**** painful, Stopping X then having to install the drivers through command line and then then starting X again only to find that the OS still doesn't know what card you have is NOT going to work for the average user.

maybe Valve should focus less on worrying about "fragmentation" and more on not charging 90 f**** dollars for digital copy of a game..
Tollaz0r!
Posted 11:06am 17/9/13
Valve don't set the prices TufNut. Also Yes, installing graphics cards and a host of other bits and pieces on Linux is super painful. It certainly must be addressed in order to make Linux a viable Gaming O/S.
carson
Posted 12:45pm 17/9/13
I wonder what GPU they are going to go for. ATI, in my experience, have f*****g horrendous Linux drivers, while nVidia are pretty solid.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 01:24pm 17/9/13
They would have to use both, can't have a Gaming O/S that only uses one of the 2 major GPU manufactures.
glynd
Posted 01:50pm 17/9/13
IIRC, didn't Nvidia and Valve team up to get better drivers onto linux?

It would be cool if it was a cheaper version of Nvidia Shield without screen or controller (similar to PS Vita TV) running on Linux. Support for the lower end linux games but can stream your PC over local network.
trog
Posted 02:21pm 17/9/13
Man this is pretty exciting. Not much has the potential to be as game changing (PUN INTENDED!!!) as this. Can't wait to see what they're going to reveal.
d0mino
Posted 02:23pm 17/9/13
A conslol for pc gamers? Genius!
hardware
Posted 02:42pm 17/9/13
I knew he'd go crazy at some point.
So many companies gain their riches by devising exactly what the market wants and delivering it just right. Then they think they can dictate to the market and wonder why they aren't the powerhouse of their field anymore.
carson
Posted 03:06pm 17/9/13
They would have to use both, can't have a Gaming O/S that only uses one of the 2 major GPU manufactures.

I mean, I wonder what GPU they'll be putting in their steam boxes.
deadlyf
Posted 03:31pm 17/9/13
I wouldn't be surprised if they went AMD, being cost competitive with consoles will have to be a big priority and I strongly suspect the reason Microsoft and Sony went AMD is to keep costs down.
redhat
Posted 04:10pm 17/9/13
I wonder if there will be or has been support from Google/Android or any hardware manufacturers like Dell for this.

Devices which could be preconfigured from someone like Dell/Alienware with a gaming oriented, hi performance linux distro for end users, with the option to buy MS Windows and dual boot or something to capture extra market share.
Everlong
Posted 05:36pm 17/9/13
Linux is the future for gaming because they don't have a marketplace that competes directly with steam. Gabes likes his monopolies, competition scares him.
Raven
Posted 05:42pm 17/9/13
Yep, Linux is the future of gaming.

As soon as nVidia and AMD release decent drivers for their graphics hardware... and people actually start using it.

For now, let's just keep using Windows, okay? It's worked for 19 years, there's little reason to change now.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 05:57pm 17/9/13
I've always wanted a streamlined Linux Gaming Distro that is built almost purely for gaming from the Kernel up. Pity graphics drivers and general linuxy stuff get in the way.
trillion
Posted 08:50pm 17/9/13
Good argument Everlong, in some ways Gabe is just an industry leader and an icon for comparison in some regards. Why don't we see the competing code validation services on the Windows system have transperant stats and that worm line of connected systems and users whenever a user logs in? Bbecause they suck and they don't have the backend datacentre storage and distribution bandwidth to serve the community on demand.

Maybe it'd simply because of Gabe's links to Microsoft corporate and his strategic agreements with game dev studio management.

That's what I'd do to make sure I held a monopoly on distribution/validation so the revenue streams are given to the developers and designers and not taken advantage of by any incumbent administration/management

Anyway it's just a server side Framework for code validation, a lot like the other identity validation services like MS's passport.net or that Google offer

In gaming at least, hardware is necessary and all that jazz but the waves of content those studios produce is what generates the cashflow further along the tail into the retail supply chain
TufNuT
Posted 09:03pm 17/9/13
Linux is the future for gaming because they don't have a marketplace that competes directly with steam. Gabes likes his monopolies, competition scares him.


QFT.
carson
Posted 07:14am 18/9/13
I don't know if Gabe likes monopolies.The thing that I think sets Valve apart from the rest is that it's a privately owned company so they don't have to answer to investors and don't need to focus on profits. They are free to do whatever they like, which is innovate. Look how far steam has come. It was hated, buggy piece of s***, but they kept going and it really became the go to place for games.

Origin is probably the only thing that comes close to being as good, even then it's subject to the archaic pricing of EA. UPlay and GFWL are both complete turds.
trog
Posted 09:24am 18/9/13
Linux is the future for gaming because they don't have a marketplace that competes directly with steam. Gabes likes his monopolies, competition scares him.
Except that this whole move threatens one of the biggest and longest-lasting monopolies in software ever - Windows as the only viable video gaming PC platform.
koopz
Posted 09:19pm 19/9/13
Except that this whole move threatens one of the biggest and longest-lasting monopolies in software ever - Windows as the only viable video gaming PC platform.



I think you meant XBox tech there young older Padawan // yeah before anyone jumps in - I am taking the piss here


;)


Trog, you're not allowed to pull code apart - you are supposed to stick to marketing/management duties.

last edited by koopz at 21:19:33 19/Sep/13
Noah
Posted 12:20am 20/9/13
If modern games were made native for linux, or wine's support fully enabled windows games to run on linux, there'd be no reason for anyone mildly capable with computers to use Windows.

And that's a good thing, given how much more open and customisable linux is, even to noobs.
ph33x
Posted 12:31pm 20/9/13
If I didn't game I wouldn't use Windows.

Windows 8 + Office 2013 really adds to the pain.
koopz
Posted 03:13pm 21/9/13
the problem atm is UEFI... though props to board manufacturers for holding their ground and turning it off by default.

very few people are going to go to the effort of jumping into the bios to turn that s*** on.


pay attention Gigabyte
Thundercracker
Posted 06:25pm 21/9/13
His reasoning is sound and with the way many platforms are going, having Steam being a primary method of digital delivery is most definitely threatened by Microsoft.

I wonder if the move to Linux isn't so much about moving entirely to the Linux platform, but rather a method of keeping Microsoft honest because of the very threat of there being a (hopefully viable) alternative.

I also wonder how many games devs will champion the cause and spend time ensuring their games run on linux. Without that buy-in they won't go far.
copuis
Posted 06:35pm 21/9/13
wouldnt the move to linux also mean that it opens it up to moving games into not just consoles (it cant be that hard to turn the next gen consoles into a linux box) but isn't andriod, and possibly other phone OS's linux based (I know that Blackberry was looking at opening upto the playstore
TufNuT
Posted 07:09pm 21/9/13
wouldnt the move to linux also mean that it opens it up to moving games into not just consoles (it cant be that hard to turn the next gen consoles into a linux box) but isn't andriod, and possibly other phone OS's linux based (I know that Blackberry was looking at opening upto the playstore



Devs don't even bother with the current options available, e.g. GTA5 devs didnt even bother with a PC version.. why would this change in the case of linux?
Phooks
Posted 10:06pm 21/9/13
I'm hoping for source 2
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