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SteamOS Beta Is Here

AshleyAshes

Arcade Snowmew Of Doom
Download: http://repo.steampowered.com/download/
FAQ: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/steamuniverse/discussions/1/648814395741989999/

Firstly, I am really interested in how this'll play out. As consoles have gotten closer to being PCs, Valve is turning a PC into a console. Obviously, Valve has one primary goal here; Get more people buying Steam games. They may dominate PC game sales but it's still a small piece of the pie in comparison to console software sales. I think this makes sense though, you make the OS free, beat the graphics chip makers into making drivers, then you let other companies build the hardware and Valve just waits for new Steam accounts that are ready to buy content. The 300 beta boxes shipped out are all Nvidia only and this Beta of SteamOS is apparently Nvidia only as well. Hopefully AMD and Intel get off their butts with some drivers. I guess I'll list out what I think are the interesting topics here:

Will SteamOS mostly just sell dedicated, off the shelf hardware, or will the stronger userbase roll their own boxes from PC parts retailers?

Will that controller suck or not? I'd love to have a controller that's perfect for Civ5 on the TV. Eager to test one out before I buy.

Will this make any headway at all, or just be a little toy that only enthusiasts buy, like the Ouya?

Will Valve entice Over-The-Top content providers to supply apps like Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu or Crunchyroll to Steam? I think that to have success in the living room of all places, a box now must also let you watch Orange Is The New Black or goats screaming or it's a lost cause.

Will In Home Streaming, which would allow beefier Windows boxes to run the game, while streaming it and taking user input from a remote box work out? I'll be testing this on my Windows Steam boxes once it's in Beta. :)
 

Fernin

6150 rpm and spinning.
I think it'll do well among PC gamers who want to eek every last ounce of performance out of their hardware in game thanks to the minimal overhead, provided there's good driver support, further more it'll also probably make the lower end hardware more viable for those on tighter budgets. Will there be completed "steam Boxes", I don't doubt it, but I suspect most will still build their own systems.

I really don't like the controller, at all. While I prefer mouse and keyboard I'm fine with controllers so long as they have sticks, track pads will foul to easily and become uncomfortable to use, particularly for those with sweaty hands, large fingers, or callouses. I DO like the touch screen however.

I think they'll make plenty of head way, Steam is pretty much THE digital marketplace for gamers (excluding things like GoG for older games), and Valve has the presence and fundage to beat it through if need be.

I think secondary content providers may be possible, but they'll remain just that, secondary. I get the feeling Steam intends this purely for gaming.

Streaming from another box would defeat the low overhead advantage of the steambox all together, furthermore streaming induces latency, and nobody likes input latency.

EDIT: Probably gonna pick up a third hard drive for my machine this week end and give it a shot, see what I make of it.
 
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AshleyAshes

Arcade Snowmew Of Doom
I think secondary content providers may be possible, but they'll remain just that, secondary. I get the feeling Steam intends this purely for gaming.

I think that this could be a huge issue though. Really, how do you convince consumers to buy a box that will cost $300-$1500 depending on model and tell them 'Well... No, if you want to watch Netflix you'll need to buy this AppleTV/Xbox/PlayStation/AndroidThingyWhatever as well. :D'.
 

Runefox

Kitsune of the PC Master Race
I'm installing it onto a VM right now. One thing to note is that it requires UEFI; Most computers in the last year or so have this already, but something to keep in mind. It's very obviously a Debian installer (it's Debian-based), and the "Automated Install" boot option is quite literally a sit back and wait affair. No dialogs. No questions. Just install.

steamosinstall.png
 

Fernin

6150 rpm and spinning.
I think that this could be a huge issue though. Really, how do you convince consumers to buy a box that will cost $300-$1500 depending on model and tell them 'Well... No, if you want to watch Netflix you'll need to buy this AppleTV/Xbox/PlayStation/AndroidThingyWhatever as well. :D'.

My point being it's probably a good 90% chance anyone building a steam box already has another device to do said streaming on. So, as I said, while they might get access to those features on a Steam Box, they'll likely be purely secondary.
 

AshleyAshes

Arcade Snowmew Of Doom
My point being it's probably a good 90% chance anyone building a steam box already has another device to do said streaming on. So, as I said, while they might get access to those features on a Steam Box, they'll likely be purely secondary.

But I asked that question as well. ARE the major users of a SteamOS Box going to be people who built their own or are they going to be more typical consumers, buying a 'Steam Machine' at retail? If Valve can get the OS to offer a true 'appliance' level of operation with a large collection of games with frequent discount sales, that could be a big thing.

Of course this still would depend on Steam getting more Linux ports of it's software.
 

Kosdu

Member
I imagine steamOS will have an internet explorer, steam itself has a build in one for games.

This should be pretty damn sweet, I hope it overtakes traditional consoles.
 

AshleyAshes

Arcade Snowmew Of Doom
I imagine steamOS will have an internet explorer, steam itself has a build in one for games.

This should be pretty damn sweet, I hope it overtakes traditional consoles.

SteamOS seems to just be a slightly customized Steam for Linux client with the OS itself modified to play friendly and appliance like, so yes, the browser and everything else you know from Big Picture Mode is all there. SteamOS is best described as '99% exactly like Big Picture Mode'.
 

Runefox

Kitsune of the PC Master Race
I imagine steamOS will have an internet explorer, steam itself has a build in one for games.

This should be pretty damn sweet, I hope it overtakes traditional consoles.

SteamOS, beyond the Steam client itself, also can boot into a GNOME desktop, where Iceweasel is the default browser.
 

Lobar

The hell am I reading, here?
If SteamOS really takes off, it could be a massive coup for Linux in general. Gaming has long been a reason for the tech-savvy to not dump Windows, and more cross-platform game development will start breaking that wall down.

I await reviews.
 

Pantheros

you are me, and i am you
can someone quick explain to me what steamOS is?
 

CaptainCool

Lady of the lake
can someone quick explain to me what steamOS is?

An OS made by Valve that is based on Steam...? I dunno man, the name sort of gives that away :p
 

Runefox

Kitsune of the PC Master Race
can someone quick explain to me what steamOS is?

More seriously, SteamOS is a lightweight, free OS that allows you to access Steam and compatible games. It can either be used with low-end, inexpensive hardware to stream games from a more powerful computer running Steam, or as a more powerful box running games from your library directly without the need for another computer, much like a stand-alone game console. Using Big Picture Mode, which was introduced a while ago on Steam, the OS could work very similarly to that found on the Xbox and PlayStation, totally driven by controllers on a big screen. It can also boot to a more traditional desktop to run web browsers and other programs. It's based on Debian Linux.

It will be powering all Steam Machines, though currently it's in a very rough beta stage. Right now, the Steam-specific bits of it only seems to work correctly with NVidia GPU's in spite of other graphics drivers being properly installed.
 

WolfsFang

Member
can someone quick explain to me what steamOS is?
Also to add what Runefox said SteamOS adds new performance gains to linux just for gaming. I remember when steam was looking into linux they did a test with L4D2 (and a few others). They tested performance of the game in linux vs windows and games on linux always showed a performance gain. Some games it would be little but for L4D2 I think it was like a 30-50fps difference. Long story short linux is a better gaming OS then windows and now there are alot of devs supporting linux.
 
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