Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!


Posted by Rampant Coyote on September 24, 2013

Just after me worrying about the juggernaut of Valve becoming too dominant, here comes this… 🙂

Linux-Based SteamOS is Valve’s big play for the living room

IMO, anybody who didn’t see this coming wasn’t paying attention (and if you aren’t in the industry, you are forgiven for not needing to pay attention…). Given Newell’s sudden interest in Linux, his criticism of Windows 8 and the apparent move towards closing the OS, and of course the rumored “Steam Box.”

I guess one surprise for me was the emphasis on the living-room experience instead of an actual end-run around Windows 8, targeting the desktop gaming experience. But I’m not sure how the latter would work, anyway.

One obvious issue is that of the many games that will already work for the system, presumably almost all of them have been built for the desktop experience. These things don’t port all as automatically as we’d suppose. The PC gaming experience has traditionally been fundamentally different from console gaming. In all likelihood the “already compatible” games might not be the best living-room games…

… except many are indie games which – in many cases – were really console or console wannabe titles that weren’t well-optimized for the PC anyway. Or games that had one foot in both camps.

I think the word to the wise game developer here remains “multiplatform!” In the extreme. The landscape is fragmenting on a level not seen since the early days of the industry, in the early 80s, when you had Atari, Apple, Coleco, Intellivision, Etc.

These are dang exciting times. Crazy, fun, exciting times. I wish I had more hours in a day to participate.


Filed Under: Biz, News - Comments: 4 Comments to Read

  • Lachlan Kingsford said,

    Honestly, looking at the advert on the Steam page, I’m more excited for the streaming that’s coming with the OS!

  • Andy_Panthro said,

    I really hope the streaming is good, I’d be tempted by it then.

    I’ll also be interested to see how it stacks up against the new consoles, especially since it might well be upgradable.

  • Xenovore said,

    With the current version of Windows being such a debacle, I’m all for somebody stepping up and providing an alternative. But. . . my concern with SteamOS is the same concern I’ve had with Linux all along: no DirectX therefore most games (that I like to play) will not run on Linux. I mean, I still will want to play the games that I currently own. (And no, I don’t want to be forced into dual-booting; I want my game library to be in one place, as it is today.)

    Also, I don’t see SteamOS succeeding unless everybody, and I mean everybody — EA, Bethesda, Activision, Ubisoft, etc. — gets 100% behind it. Otherwise, it’s just another distraction that only serves to further fragment the market.

    Finally, I’m completely unimpressed by this fascination with pushing PC gamers to play in their living rooms. Screw that! I already have a PS3 there for that. (Not to mention that the Steam Big Picture UI is rather craptastic at the moment.)

  • Xian said,

    I have a video card with dual DVI ports, so one port is connected to my monitor and the other is to a TV across the room with a 35′ HDMI cable, so I can game on the big screen already whenever the mood strikes me.

    The only reason I stay on Windows is due to gaming, well that and Visio for network diagramming for work, so I like seeing an alternative. I don’t think it is a coincidence that Nvidia has already made the announcement that they are going to be more open with assisting on the open source driver for their cards just hours after the Steam OS announcement.