Coffeehouse Thread

87 posts

Steam Box

Back to Forum: Coffeehouse
  • Bass

    @BitFlipper:

    Linux is not an OS, it is a kernel. Here is where you can download Linux: http://www.kernel.org/ (I hope the domain is descriptive enough.)

    Just because Gaben said they are using Linux for this thing doesn't mean they are going to have Gentoo with the default fluxbox interface and xterm being the app launcher.

     

  • BitFlipper

    , Bass wrote

    @BitFlipper:

    Linux is not an OS, it is a kernel.

    Ooh that changes everything!

  • Bass

    , BitFlipper wrote

    *snip*

    Ooh that changes everything!

    Glad I could be of service.

  • figuerres

    , BitFlipper wrote

    *snip*

    Yes it does make sense. In all cases where Linux has any kind of success, it is in cases where the OS itself is hidden away from the end user and most don't even know or care what OS it is because they never interact with it directly. What Valve is doing is trying to push Linux as more of a general purpose gaming PC where the end user will need to interact more directly with the actual OS (upgrade graphics card, install new controllers etc).

    That is not the only issue. Valve is trying to push this as a system where you can install anything you want (yes it is a great goal), except the number of Linux games is a tiny fraction of that of Windows. I find it hard to image every game developer suddenly falling over themselves trying to get a Linux version of their game out. Hence why I say just like all previous Linux console efforts, this will also fail. I say they should go ahead and do it, but ultimately it will just set them back and they will just prove my point. Again.

    almost the same as what I think are some issues...

    one big one is this:

    say they get the boxes into some stores, a lot of normal / average folks will see the XBOX, PS3 and WII as well known gaming systems that they have friends and relatives etc.. who have the same systems and they will see a HUGE catalog of known games to use on the systems.

    then here is this "other box" ... no track record, no known friends or family using one, and no list of games they have that match up with the other "consoles"

    sure Valve has done some really great games  in the past but ....

     

    then the other issue is getting developers to want to make games for this ... well what is it anyway?

    if say they made a real console with fixed hardware specs etc... then a developer knows that if the game works on a test console it will work on all the other consoles of that brand and model out there and will have the same performance for all the users.

    here we have a pc that will not always have the same parts and may not even have the same OS.

    sure I like games on a PC but right now we ware talking about making something that can really compete with the consoles ....

     

    if they leave it open and allow different mixes of parts and OS and drivers then I just can not see it really making a dent in the games market.

     

     

  • gcorcoran

    There are a lot of Valve fanboys that seem to think this will automatically become an automatic success, but I think there are too many question marks to make it a big success. They will be, in some way, convenient to some people but it will be a product that doesn't have the strengths of pcs or consoles.

    I see it being something like the mac mini, but for gaming. There is a market, but it's not going to satisfy the casuals (price vs consoles) nor the hardcore (power/upgrade ability vs pcs).

  • Sven Groot

    , Tokter wrote

    I bought Call Of Duty MW3 from steam recently, the multiplayer is full of cheaters and hackers. That just kills PC gaming for me. I don't want to have to deal with that, on consoles that is almost not existent.

    That may vary per game though. BioWare has generally been pretty good about ensuring those who hack their game files in the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer get promptly banned. Of course, it probably helps that the business model for the ME3MP relies on microtransactions from the store, and people who can get easy credits by making the game much easier won't need to spend money (of course, I don't spend money anyway but that's besides the point).

    By contrast, the console versions of ME3 have had missile glitchers as a real problem (there is a glitch you can exploit that makes certain weapons shoot infinite cobra missiles (which is supposed to be a very limited supply heavy weapon), making the game beyond easy). BW have had a much harder time cracking down on this glitch. It's apparently also possible to pull off on PC but much harder and I've never seen it.

    And of course the keyboard/mouse controls for ME3 are way better than the gamepad controls. PC gaming master race FTW!

  • Erisan
  • evildictait​or

    , Bass wrote

    Linux is not an OS, it is a kernel. Here is where you can download Linux: http://www.kernel.org/ (I hope the domain is descriptive enough.)

    Both the words "kernel" and "OS" mean different things to different people.

    Try answering the following to see where you stand:

    1. Is Windows Explorer part of the OS, or part of the kernel, or neither?

    2. What about Notepad?

    3. What about Microsoft drivers (like tcpip.sys)? Are they part of the OS, or part of the kernel?

    4. What about non-Microsoft drivers (like winpcap.sys)? Are they part of the kernel?

    5. What about hal.dll? Is that part of the kernel? Or part of the OS?

    6. Win32k.sys? Kernel or OS?

    7. Winload.exe / NTLDR - is that part of the kernel? 

    8. Ntdll - is it part of the OS or the kernel?

     

    It's not really a useful distinction to say whether X is a kernel or an OS because both are words that mean different things to different people. The boundaries are blurry, and different people use different criteria (e.g. IsKernel(X) == RunsInRingZero(X), or IsOs(X) == ShippedWithMyLaptop(X) )

  • ZippyV

    , figuerres wrote

    *snip*

    if say they made a real console with fixed hardware specs etc... then a developer knows that if the game works on a test console it will work on all the other consoles of that brand and model out there and will have the same performance for all the users.

    here we have a pc that will not always have the same parts and may not even have the same OS.

    Valve is not going to try to compete with Playstation or Xbox or Nintendo. They will be different.

  • figuerres

    , ZippyV wrote

    *snip*

    Valve is not going to try to compete with Playstation or Xbox or Nintendo. They will be different.

    yes... but will that work ?   while I like alternatives and new ideas I have seen a lot of good stuff never make it in the long run.   for example back in the day I thought for a time that the Amiga OS and hardware were the way to go, if someone like say Microsoft had purchased that system it might well be what we use today ...   but Commodore went under and the Amiga has by-and-large become a footnote in the history of computers.   hey they can give it a go and see what happens, I might be as wrong here as I was back in the day when I thought Amiga had a chance and went no where.

  • evildictait​or

    , ZippyV wrote

    Valve is not going to try to compete with Playstation or Xbox or Nintendo. They will be different.

    The real question is that since these Steam games will by definition run on Linux (since the Steam box is Linux), buying the Steam box is basically just buying good hardware and a game pad (let's call it $400 for argument's sake).

    Now if $400 gets you X amount of good hardware and a game pad in the form of a Steam box that'll play Steam games and nothing else - why would a consumer not preferentially just buy the same good hardware and game pad without the restriction of it only playing Steam games?

    Or in other words - what is the value of buying a Steam box versus buying the same hardware and running Steam and other things on it?

  • BitFlipper

    @evildictaitor: In addition, you can be pretty sure that whatever games run on Linux will also run on Windows. However only a small fraction of games that run on Windows will also run on Linux, so you will be limiting yourself right there out of the gate.

    Basically what Steam will be selling is a gaming PC built for the living room with an OS that limits your game choices (but you can install Windows on it which will cost you more).

    Which makes no sense since a simple Google/Bing search will find you a boatload of turnkey gaming PCs already designed for the living room. You all know there are companies already doing that, right? And they all can run Steam. And pretty much play all the existing Steam games.

    I fail to see what a SteamBox brings to the party.

  • Bass

    Really so all the games for Android run on Windows too? I mean, Android is also using Linux.

  • Bass

    @evildictaitor:

    I view Linux is a base for writing your own OS, not an OS in it's own right. It's a bit like baking a cake, Linux is just an ingredient, but still you still need a whole lot of other stuff to have a tasty cake. Some of that stuff you can find on the shelf but other stuff you might want to make from scratch. But with just one ingredient it's really hard to draw conclusions about the whole cake.

  • evildictait​or

    , Bass wrote

    @evildictaitor:

    I view Linux is a base for writing your own OS, not an OS in it's own right. It's a bit like baking a cake, Linux is just an ingredient, but still you still need a whole lot of other stuff to have a tasty cake. Some of that stuff you can find on the shelf but other stuff you might want to make from scratch. But with just one ingredient it's really hard to draw conclusions about the whole cake.

    But you could say exactly the same about Windows. Windows is a base on which to design your workstation. For example, most people need to install Visual Studio or Photoshop or Office or whatever to make it even vaguely suited to their individual needs.

    Where people draw the line between OS/kernel/whatever is entirely down to the individual. My gran, for example, thinks that Office is part of Windows because that's what her computer is configured with. I, on the other hand, think that win32k.sys only barely qualifies as the "kernel" of Windows, even though it is responsible for well over half of the syscalls your system makes.

  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    Seems like the SteamBox has the same issues as SurfaceRT:

    1. It's an unknown quantity.
    2. Has little app support compared to competitors.
    3. Existing apps must be ported to it and some rewritten altogether.
    4. There are already many other options in the marketplace that provide a similar function.

     

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
    Last modified
  • ZippyV

    I don't know any details about this console but what if:

    • All Android games are available and playable
    • All Windows games are available provided the user has a Windows pc (see Nvidia's handheld console)
  • Bass

    , evildictait​or wrote

    *snip*

    But you could say exactly the same about Windows. Windows is a base on which to design your workstation. For example, most people need to install Visual Studio or Photoshop or Office or whatever to make it even vaguely suited to their individual needs.

    Where people draw the line between OS/kernel/whatever is entirely down to the individual. My gran, for example, thinks that Office is part of Windows because that's what her computer is configured with. I, on the other hand, think that win32k.sys only barely qualifies as the "kernel" of Windows, even though it is responsible for well over half of the syscalls your system makes.

    Oh I totally agree with you. The same thing very much applies to Windows as well (especially Windows CE). If you tell me something runs WinCE, with that knowledge alone I couldn't even know if it was a game console or a pretzel dispenser.

Comments closed

Comments have been closed since this content was published more than 30 days ago, but if you'd like to continue the conversation, please create a new thread in our Forums, or Contact Us and let us know.