Gabe Newell: Valve's Steam Machines Outperform Consoles At Same Price Point

DocFaustus

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I thought we already tried (and still have) that with the Windows experience index. It is still largely unused. :(

This game requires the following WEI scores:
Processor: 5.5, Memory: 5.8, Graphics: 6.0, Gaming Graphics: 6.5, Hard Disk: 6.3

Why can't they just use those numbers?

Those numbers really never mapped to anything more than Windows itself at purchase.
 

DukenukemX

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All I know is that Blizzard has announced they will not be supporting Linux, or even OSX, with their future game releases.
That's enough to kill SteamOS for me.
Really no OSX support? That's a dick move by Blizzard. Though to be honest I'm not playing their games at the moment. Though it's not like non of their games don't run fine in Wine, but still dick move.

May have to do with OSX being only 5% of the total OS market. It dropped from 10%.

Hell, a $200 nvidia shield probably has better graphics than the consoles at this point. Too bad it doesn't have the games.

Built by idiots for idiots. You can't expect Nvidia to make a platform for themselves and actually take off. Android not even able to do it. Better off taking that $200 and buying lottery tickets.

I'm really glad all these people that don't have a Linux distro as their installed OS are stating that it sucks; I go on Ferrari forums all the time and state their cars suck when I don't even own one too!
I have been solely on Ubuntu for about 8 months and it runs the games that are available quite well on my hardware (listed below); in DOTA2, CS:GO, and Insurgency I get about 70-90fps solid and experience no major issues (all settings are set to the highest sans AA).
These games run smoothly because the developers have put the time in to ensure their OpenGL based rendering is up to snuff; this is not the case for many SteamOS/Linux titles available (Alien Isolation, Metro 2033, Killingfloor are a few examples of poorly ported titles).
Specs:
CPU FX8350
GPU R9-270X
RAM 16GB DDR3-1333
Monitor Acer B276HUL 1440p 60Hz
I've been using Linux Mint for the past few years and just moved my HTPC from Windows 10 to Mint 17.2. Can't say the experience was smooth or even finished, but it does work a lot better. My main gaming PC still runs Windows 10 cause I'm not confidant in Linux as a gaming platform just yet. But since my HTPC doesn't do much gaming then it works out fine for me.

My problems are that Steam games don't see my Xbox 360 controller, but Steam sees it just fine. A few Windows only games don't play too particularly nice in Wine. I did get Sonic Generations to work but the frame rate is fairly low for a game that always ran fast on Windows.
 

heatlesssun

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It's a different question of why consumers should buy something vs. why PC gamers should at least be supportive of the idea.

Consumption behavior is affected by a wide variety of factors.

No matter how supportive PC gamers are a lot of people either need to buy Steam Machines or start gaming with some Linux distro. And for that to happen they need a reason or reasons.
 

Dr. Righteous

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All I know is that Blizzard has announced they will not be supporting Linux, or even OSX, with their future game releases.
That's enough to kill SteamOS for me.

Very short sighted on blizzard's part.
Just look at the growth of portables as gaming devices. That is Android (Linux) and ios.
If anyone has missed the experimental Vukan demos running on powerVR graphics (SoC) it is worth a look.
Someone post those links because I'm posting this on my tablet. :D
 

twonunpackmule

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No one really knows how this going to work out. History shows that it's very difficult to enter a market that already has major and dominant players. If it works out great. The thing is though that this will not take off because of dislike of Windows or Microsoft. This platform has to stand on its own provide something that's appealing to consumers and right now it's difficult to see what that is. Whatever advantage it has now are easily offset by the disadvantage of lack of game support.

I agree. It's also completely separate from Linux. Though, it's using it for it's OS, and merely building a separate build, Valve isn't really waving the flag for Linux. That's kinda just a lumped in extra. Like you said, consumers aren't going to come into it because of a dislike of Windows or a love of Linux. It needs to speak freely and away from both camps and just be a product that people want.

I feel people want the product, but it's going to be laced by outsiders as either this "answer to Windows" or the "Champion of Linux." Instead of it being merely a "victory for gamers."
 

Flogger23m

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Valve isn't trying to replace Windows desktops with SteamOS anymore than Sony is trying to replace Windows desktops with Orbit (modified version of FreeBSD) on the PS4.

Valve doesn't care which Steam platform you buy a game on, because the same key works on all platforms. Giving PC gamers more choice in where/how they can play games benefits everyone.

Of course they are (for gaming) otherwise they wouldn't enter the market in the first place. They're here to make money and expand their ecosystem. They aren't doing this out of "goodwill" or to simply "make more options for gamers"; they're trying to make money/gain market share. And their angle is certainly an interesting one: to pull people from both Windows and PS/Xbox.

In a lot of ways this is Valve's Xbox. If the Steam OS concept does take off I have no doubt they'll give incentives to use it over the Steam application in Windows/OSX. It won't happen over night but will be gradual over many years. Doesn't mean Valve will phase out Steam on Windows but they'll try and maximize profits as much as possible, and a central Steam OS would be an excellent way to do that.
 

Dr. Righteous

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I really hate there is such contention over this issue. And I really don't understand the naysayers. Really if we care about the future of PC gaming we need to be united on this.

Maybe offering a change of perspective will be helpful.
Lets look at a few things.

Many of you are really invested into custom PC because you want cutting edge performance. Overclocking CPUs and GPUs and using water cooling is a common thing now a days and personal desktop PC are delivering computing power that was multi million dollar super computer territory a decade ago. This an AMAZING thing if you consider the dollar for performance you get.

But how is this possible? Will if it was not for a "open" architecture that was established for PC none of it would be possible. You want better graphic performance; you are free to choose a vast number of graphics cards depending on what your current system will support. New video card's power demand too high; upgrade your power supply. It is totally modular and relatively CHEAP. PC technology is wonderfully versatile and scalable. And most of us just take these facts for granted.

But a computer isn't just the hardware. It is the software and really the operating system that is most important. Wouldn't a operating system that is as wonderfully scalable and modular as the PC is be the ideal here? One you could have as futuristic graphic and interactive interface as you wanted; or if you desired just a command line. Or maybe just something somewhere in between. This is an open architecture we can customize as we see fit for our purposes. The OS that is being described here is NOT MS Windows. It is Linux.

The truth is Linux (and it's derivatives) is the #1 operating system in the entire world. It powers embedded devices, mobile device, and even supercomputers. Android is a Linux OS; Apple iOS and xOS is based on BSD Unix which is akin to Linux.
Linux dominates because it's modular and scalable design. It scales up to run supercomputers, or scales down to run your MP3 player, smart TV, or your hi-tec refrigerator.

All this and the fact it is FREE to use puts wins in every column. Come up with your own custom linux distro and call it "JohnsOS" That is totally legitimate even if the soul propose is to play Asteroids. That's cool.

Considering all this; Microsoft's hold on the desktop is tenuous at best. The tide is slowly turning and there are a lot of us saying "come on in! The water is fine!" But yes, you need to know how to swim. We are talking about a world were 1 OS meets everyone's needs; and is truly everything to everyone. Because it is designed to be exactly that.
 

heatlesssun

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You might be right about everything you've said here, but that does the Microsoft's supposed tenuous hold on the desktop have to do with people playing games? What you're talking about here is all about Linux, not gaming.

Most gamers don't care about operating systems. They simply want a platform that plays the games they want to play. That's it. If Steam Machines and Steam OS/Linux does that then great. If it does not the vast majority of gamers will simply use what does. It's like anything else.
 

Dr. Righteous

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You might be right about everything you've said here, but that does the Microsoft's supposed tenuous hold on the desktop have to do with people playing games? What you're talking about here is all about Linux, not gaming.

Most gamers don't care about operating systems. They simply want a platform that plays the games they want to play. That's it. If Steam Machines and Steam OS/Linux does that then great. If it does not the vast majority of gamers will simply use what does. It's like anything else.

Lets touch on a issue.

Not long ago it was made known that DX12 will be a Windows 10 only. So you are forced to BUY Window's next OS (even though windows 7 and 8xx is just fine).
You the PC gamer are given no choice. MS did the same thing for DX10; if you wanted DX10, you had to upgrade to windows 7; even though most people were fine with XP at the time.

In the Microsoft world you are trapped in a net. You want performance upgrades, you PAY THE MAN.
It is no secret that Microsoft has strong armed PC vendors into offering WINDOWS only thus keeping all competition out of the game. You couldn't even order a PC with NOTHING on it and save the price of the OS; you had to pay for it.

When you move to linux; all this disappears.

Cost for a linux distro (dozens of flavors to choose from), It is usually $0.00.
Cost to upgrade or change distros completely; $0.00. Never version of graphic API, cost $0.00

Do you really think Microsoft wants this to happen? Do they want their per PC licencing model to disappear?

IF this shift happens; then customer will DEMAND that AMD, Nvidia, Adobe, etc commit to making Linux drivers preform equally. They will demand core software compatibility. Vendors make a strategic calculation. And only see Linux on "2%" of the desktops out there. Why do would they invest in this niche??
It is self defeating without more and more people behind the idea that this is all for the BENEFIT not a threat.

Microsoft has an lot of fish in there net. This includes users as well as product manufacturers.
Ask yourself if you are there because you are afraid to swim?
For most people, this is the case.
When you choose to swim you find there is a wide ocean before you just full of possibilities.
 

DukenukemX

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You might be right about everything you've said here, but that does the Microsoft's supposed tenuous hold on the desktop have to do with people playing games? What you're talking about here is all about Linux, not gaming.

Most gamers don't care about operating systems. They simply want a platform that plays the games they want to play. That's it. If Steam Machines and Steam OS/Linux does that then great. If it does not the vast majority of gamers will simply use what does. It's like anything else.

That holds true for gamers in America, but in other parts of the world? In Europe they're more interested in linux lately, and China is moving from Windows XP straight to Linux. So if you want the PC market in China you have to make your games for Linux.
 

heatlesssun

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Lets touch on a issue.

Not long ago it was made known that DX12 will be a Windows 10 only. So you are forced to BUY Window's next OS (even though windows 7 and 8xx is just fine).
You the PC gamer are given no choice. MS did the same thing for DX10; if you wanted DX10, you had to upgrade to windows 7; even though most people were fine with XP at the time.

In the Microsoft world you are trapped in a net. You want performance upgrades, you PAY THE MAN.

And why would a person who wants to just play games care about this? A console gamer would just buy a console and through its life it gets updates and upgrades. That wouldn't be much different than a Steam Machine or a pre-built Windows 10 device for gaming.

It is no secret that Microsoft has strong armed PC vendors into offering WINDOWS only thus keeping all competition out of the game. You couldn't even order a PC with NOTHING on it and save the price of the OS; you had to pay for it.

You're talking about practices that were ended by force of government about 15 years ago. OEMs are in complete control of what they want to make and sell. Indeed now that Microsoft is now in the businesses of selling PCs they have a lot of incentive to find alternatives. If they can sell PCs running Linux that's what they'll sell.

When you move to linux; all this disappears.

Along with most of the games.

Cost for a linux distro (dozens of flavors to choose from), It is usually $0.00.
Cost to upgrade or change distros completely; $0.00. Never version of graphic API, cost $0.00

Do you really think Microsoft wants this to happen? Do they want their per PC licencing model to disappear?

Microsoft has long been preparing for the day that they won't be able to sell Windows, not to consumers at any rate. Thus a Windows Store, Surface devices, cloud and other services integration.

IF this shift happens; then customer will DEMAND that AMD, Nvidia, Adobe, etc commit to making Linux drivers preform equally. They will demand core software compatibility. Vendors make a strategic calculation. And only see Linux on "2%" of the desktops out there. Why do would they invest in this niche??
It is self defeating without more and more people behind the idea that this is all for the BENEFIT not a threat.

If the customers are there, that will drive the demand. If the customers aren't there it doesn't matter.

Microsoft has an lot of fish in there net. This includes users as well as product manufacturers.
Ask yourself if you are there because you are afraid to swim?
For most people, this is the case.
When you choose to swim you find there is a wide ocean before you just full of possibilities.

Microsoft with x86 Windows has a very good operating system. But the reason I use it like many is because there's nothing else on the desktop that comes close to its ecosystem. Linux folks seem to think that people only use it because they're too stupid lazy. We'll maybe some are. But I don't care about all of these politics. I simply want the best choices and options in hardware and software for my desktop class devices. If Linux gets there then all of this philosophical debating becomes irrelevant. People will choice to use Linux because not only would it be a good desktop OS but has the support and capabilities that they desire.
 

heatlesssun

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That holds true for gamers in America, but in other parts of the world? In Europe they're more interested in linux lately, and China is moving from Windows XP straight to Linux. So if you want the PC market in China you have to make your games for Linux.

Windows 10 is actually doing best in Western Europe. Windows 10 adoption has been slow in China but it doesn't seem the Chinese are causing any sort of Linux boom.
 

variant

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That holds true for gamers in America, but in other parts of the world? In Europe they're more interested in linux lately, and China is moving from Windows XP straight to Linux. So if you want the PC market in China you have to make your games for Linux.

Right now Android and Windows 7 are the two most used Operating Systems in Asia which is consistent with worldwide stats. Windows 10 has 9% of the global desktop market share right now, way ahead of the 1.57% of Linux. Every year is always, 'the year of Linux', and it never happens.
 

heatlesssun

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Every year is always, 'the year of Linux', and it never happens.

For like 20 years in a row now. And isn't today the official launch of Steam Machines? This a gaming forum and not even an article here in the headlines about it.
 

variant

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I think if Linux has accomplished anything, it's by inhibiting competition to Microsoft on the desktop. Instead of a company releasing a very intuitive, familiar, and easy to use OS to compete against Microsoft, we get GNU/Linux. Many many versions of an OS that still need a command line to accomplish some of the most basic tasks.

Also, when I say familiar, I don't mean appearance, but that is definitely part of it. I mean in functionality and its inherent design. Open up Linux system folders and just look at how badly organized the entire system is.

When people say Android is Linux, while it's based on the kernel, it is not Linux. When people talk about Linux on desktop, they are talking about GNU/Linux. Not a heavily modified kernel in Android or in a router. No one cares what kernel is beneath the hood. The fact there is controversy over whether to call the desktop Linux just Linux or GNU/Linux is the exact reason why Linux is a complete failure as a desktop OS, and always will be.

You want competition to Microsoft? Then a new OS has to be designed ground up with some fundamental principles in mind. It has to be familiar with Windows users, intuitive like Windows, and completely compatible with Windows drivers and software. You aren't going to uproot an OS that has had over 20 years of market dominance with anything less.
 

crusty_juggler

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I've been repeatedly told that today is the day Half Life 3 will be released, along with several other in-house developed VR titles that will revolutionize gaming with their Source 2 technology, thus carrying Linux into the living room and indeed the future.

Instead, there's zero fanfare for an overpriced and underpowered family of consoles that mainly play Indie games. With touchpads.

We've waited two years for a console that's the bastard child of an Ouya and a 3DO.
 

twonunpackmule

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I've been repeatedly told that today is the day Half Life 3 will be released, along with several other in-house developed VR titles that will revolutionize gaming with their Source 2 technology, thus carrying Linux into the living room and indeed the future.

Instead, there's zero fanfare for an overpriced and underpowered family of consoles that mainly play Indie games. With touchpads.

We've waited two years for a console that's the bastard child of an Ouya and a 3DO.

Not really. Again, it's a whole platform dedicated to gaming on a TV screen. As an HTPC user, running Windows isn't exactly catered to that display. It's possible to work with it, but it isn't ideal. SteamOS is really just a launch for that, and I think we'll see over the next few years a prioritization towards HTPC users. Largely, because I view it as Valve giving it a bigger push. This is what I'm excited about. It isn't the Linux revoltution that I care about...it's my preference for a HTPC style UI OS.

Valve doesn't really care whether you purchase from SteamOS, Windows or Mac. It only matters that you purchase from their store. It's also going to be a slow, slow movement. I don't expect them to start really dumping attention to it until the OS matures more and the next round of consoles are starting to be talked about.

Now, that VR comment? Vive isn't getting released until next year. Why would there be a push for it today?
 

Silentbob343

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You might be right about everything you've said here, but that does the Microsoft's supposed tenuous hold on the desktop have to do with people playing games? What you're talking about here is all about Linux, not gaming.

Most gamers don't care about operating systems. They simply want a platform that plays the games they want to play. That's it. If Steam Machines and Steam OS/Linux does that then great. If it does not the vast majority of gamers will simply use what does. It's like anything else.

Bingo.
 

twonunpackmule

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Ask the posters who've been claiming revolutionary VR Source 2 titles are going to be released today that question.

Well, I don't know what they've been reading. I just know that Alien: Islolation is suppose to be a Vive launch title. So, early/mid 2016 was the apparent date for that.
 

Blakestr

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Geez, I need to find someone who works at Valve. I know exactly how to sell a bunch of high end Steam Machines...
 

heatlesssun

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And those posters are... who?

Don't know about all that but one person here has been talking about how this console was unreleased and about stuff under NDA. So now it's released. And what came out today that hasn't been known for months? Didn't see any NDA disclosures. Didn't even see mention of GA in the headlines here. Of course the biggest gaming evert today was the release of Fallout 4 which isn't supported by Steam Machines so maybe today wasn't the best day to launch this thing.
 

HockeyJon

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As far as the XB1 goes, DX12 and Win10 are great marketing points only. It may get a minor GUI upgrade, but it is going to be programmed with the same low level API it has always been. Console is console. Stop drinkin the cool-aid.

DX12 is the new low level API....
 

cbutters

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If a steamOS bundled a fantastic built in application of Plex, Netflix, Hulu and Youtube, I would buy it in a flash. (I know you can stream these in a browser from your computer, but not the same thing).

If SteamOS let me have an amazing media experience and then ALSO let me play some games natively without having to purchase a windows license... I would put one in every room.

I feel like they really need to expand its media capabilities to gain mass appeal.
 

spaceace420

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I actually was surprised to see a steam video player pop open when playing a short film about killing floor. It actually worked quite well and I think I will test it out some more, see if it can play stand alone files etc. The media has to be a big part of steam os if they really want it to succeed, My consoles are mostly stream boxes with very little play from the wife and kids. I really think they can pull this off but it will be a slow migration at best.
 

funkydmunky

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DX12 is the new low level API....

Yumm cool-aid. Not much has changed at all as far as XB1 programing. DX12 is being used as a nice marketing bullet vs. PS4. Many programmers have stated that not much has changed and not to expect any level of performance increase.
All of the consoles being GCN have had their own low level API from the get go. Suspiciously AMD also at a parallel time released Mantel API for PC GCN, and now XB1 get DX12 yet nothing of any gravity (except marketing) has changed.
GO....FIGURE.... ;)
 

Arcygenical

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Lets touch on a issue.
When you choose to swim you find there is a wide ocean before you just full of possibilities.

I have about 3 hours a day I'm not at work for. And w10 was free.

Really not seeing your point. Not to mention, even 200$ for a major os upgrade, and one that works in about 35m of install time... priceless.
 

JayteeBates

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Technically the Alpha isn't a Steam Machine since it runs Windows.

Actually now that Steam Machines are released - on the front page of steam is now the Dell Alienware Steam Machine (aka Alpha). They did change that little corner cutout to have the steam logo now though.
 

DPI

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Any more so than those talking about how Vulkan is going to usher in a new and glorious era of PC gaming by allowing developers to port easily to Android?

..and Windows 7. And Windows 8. And Windows 10. And Linux/SteamOS. And without having to wait 5-7 years for Windows 10 to catch up to 7 like DX12.

As usual, for something you think is going to be such a nonfactor you're sweating it way too hard. Frantic, nervous, heavy flow.
 

Zohar78

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Actually now that Steam Machines are released - on the front page of steam is now the Dell Alienware Steam Machine (aka Alpha). They did change that little corner cutout to have the steam logo now though.

they also have done some hardware update since the release of original alpha. faster i3, (runs at 3.2 vs 2.9), faster hard drive and I don't know what else..
 
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