Steam announces it's ploy for the living room: SteamOS!


  • I for one thinks it's pretty smart. Based on linux they could totally cannibalize xbone's ploy for the living room. Wanna watch Netflix? Well then just freaking use the web browser. Can't play your movie library? Just use VLC media player. Steam OS could has the potential to become a very viable entertainment platform. Though I don't think we'll see it's full potential for a very long time. In fact I'm calling it now - ps4 modded with steam OS for the win.

    Right now the only feature that mildly excites me is home streaming. Saves me have to buy a second high power PC for my living room. They do mention they are still working on input latency, so wonder how long before this is a viable solution.
  • Ah hell, I see this is just announcement one of three! *Grabs popcorn* So one of them must be steam box...
  • The second one is the hardware announcement. The hint is in the icons.

    O is software
    [O ] is software on hardware
    O+O is two pieces of software working together. This could be a game announcement.
  • I wonder how SteamOS will differ from a traditional Linux distro?

    Wonder if I would want to use it instead of Ubuntu as a Linux dev environment.
  • @Karuji Probably not I think it will be focused on giving a console experience to the PC user. Also this count down timer is a real time waster.
  • edited
    Now the seemingly random adding of functionality is starting to make sense. First they released a Linux client with some games. Then they added Big Picture to make Steam TV-friendly. Now they're adding family sharing to allow playing games across many profiles, just like having many profile on your Xbox.

    Could this maybe compete with PS4, Xbox One and Ouya?
  • @Kobusvdwalt9 I know that it is going to be fully designed as a simple entertainment hub for most families to use to play games and such.

    Perhaps the essence of my question is if they will be making it an environment that devs will also want to use on a regular basis, as if it is a good environment to dev in then it might be a good environment to dev for.

    @Raxin I think there have been enough bread crumbs that it was rather obvious what they were doing. And by that I seem to recall some interviews with Newell where he state that Valve were doing very much exactly this.

    I currently see SteamOS/SteamBox being somewhere between the micro-consoles and the traditional consoles. The current gen consoles (PS4 et al) are proven brands, SteamBox/OS is new. But it is from an established developer with a very large customer base, so it is many steps ahead of the micro-consoles.

    But I think the micro-consoles really have a different target audience to SteamBox and the PS4.
  • So... SteamOS is gonna be like, in practical terms, something you boot a machine, likely a PC, into, right? So it most likely wont sit on your home pc where you boot into windows because, well, convenience. I don't want to boot into SteamOS to play games and then reboot to use photoshop, for example.

    Thus, it's basically their version of the PS3 xbar menu OS thing... Can't remember the exact name.

    Thus, a user could build their own livingroom pc and run steamOS there, or get a SteamBox, presumably the next announcement.

    I feel underwhelmed, I feel like we've known that the SteamBox was coming for ages, am I missing something?
  • I was wondering about something where i read :

    "In SteamOS, we have achieved significant performance increases in graphics processing, and we’re now targeting audio performance and reductions in input latency at the operating system level. Game developers are already taking advantage of these gains as they target SteamOS for their new releases"

    Does this mean that there will be an alternate way of developing applications/games on steam os? I know it is linux based but they make it sound as if there is work attached to get your game working on Steam OS. And in the case of there being work that will need to be done, that means that should be "Launch Titles" and if that is the case then Bro Force might be hitting gold as it is very much based on local multiplayer or at least local multiplayer is very fun and Steam OS is kinda like a console witch likes local multiplayer. Games like spelunky would also be a favorate.

    I also love the fact that they went for Linux, operating systems drag so much power that could have been better spent on resources for games! I am really looking forward to this and super impressed that a big company went for Linux. Windows as the goto platform for games is really getting old.
  • edited
    SteamBox Ahoy!

    Edit: Oh that WAS a surprise :)

    So the SteamMachine concept is still in prototype, and they're going to make multiple configurations. Which is, in essence, a bit like an amalgamation of the Apple model and the current PC model. Pick a pre-packaged spec.

    I wonder if we can get one of us in the beta program and get a SteamMachine in SA :) The significance is more in the SteamOS than the box, then.

    Are there concerns over fragmentation? Consoles are supposed to simplify the user experience for players, if they can manage the specs into specified tiers well enough we could get a system as simple as "Game X requires SteamMachine level 2 or higher, level 4 recommended" or something, which is a HECK of a lot better than what exists now. I still can't figure out how to read machine requirements :(
  • Imagine if the third announcement would be Half Life 3 confirmed exclusive for the steam OS on the steambox. That would be the only motivation I would need to buy it.
  • Latest announcement is the new controller. I was literally going through the very awkward process of wiring up my PS3 controller when I read the announcement - have to say I for one am pretty damn excited.

    Dual touchpads instead of analogue sticks? Even if it's a dud I have massive respect for the culture of innovation at Valve.
  • Whoa, dual touchpads???! The one biggest complaint about mobile gaming are the touch controls, kudos for them for taking the plunge...
    Though of course they've added:
    1. Locked in position (cos a touchscreen doesn't lock your thumb to the same origin point)
    2. Curvature
    3. Raised rims

    So theoretically one could find their way around it without looking... But damn that's brave.

    My PS3 controller works great, btw, when the software is running well for it. But yes it took a while to figure it the hell out. Wish it weren't so difficult.
  • Though of course they've added:
    1. Locked in position (cos a touchscreen doesn't lock your thumb to the same origin point)
    2. Curvature
    3. Raised rims
    4. And haptic feedback (which I understand to be vibrations that can be cleverly customized by the game).
    5. And it is clickable, so it doesn't have to feel like a touch device.

    Tommy from Super Meat Boy got to try out the Steam Controller. He said that it is a decent substitute for a 360 controller in the kind of games that work well on a 360 controller (like Super Meat Boy and Spelunky). Though he sees room for improvement.
  • Was talking about this with Jaco earlier - we think this is the only kind of controller our game will work well with, because of the touchpads, which is kinda interesting.
  • VERY interested to see what they actually mean by haptic feedback, if it's simply VERY variable rumble... Or even positionally variable rumble, well, let's see what it actually does :P

    And the clickable thing, Blackberry Storm tried it and it was terrible. All clickable trackpads that I've used (on Apples or PCS) are terrible to me, the Magic Mouse is a joke (to me). Hope they've somehow found a better way to make something I can like to use.
Sign In or Register to comment.