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Newell: Linux-Based Steam Hardware News Coming Next Week

Jonathan Lester
Gabe Newell, Linux, PC, Steam, Steam Box, Valve

Newell: Linux-Based Steam Hardware News Coming Next Week

Linux Is "The Future Of Gaming"

Valve are still working on their Linux-based 'Steam Box' hardware, at least according to head honcho Gabe Newell, who plans to reveal more details about their plans next week.

Newell hailed Linux as "the future of gaming" during a LinuxCon panel yesterday, attended by YouTuber Micah John [via EG], suggesting that Steam's Big Picture Mode and family sharing are just the first steps towards their living room hardware solution.

"There are sets of issues to making sure whatever platform you have works well in a living room environment," said the Bearded One. "There are thermal issues and sound issues, but there also a bunch of input issues. So the next step in our contribution to this [the promotion of Linux for gaming] is to release some work we've done on the hardware side.

"None of the proprietary closed platforms are going to be able to provide that grand unification between mobile, the living room and the desktop."

All has been quiet on the Steambox front since a flurry of activity surrounding third-party devices earlier this year (such as the Xi3 Piston), but we'll be getting concrete details soon. "Next week we're going to be rolling out more information about how we get there and what are the hardware opportunities we see for bringing Linux into the living room, and potentially pointing further down the road to how we can get it even more unified in mobile," Newell concluded.

Of course, Valve are the masters of trickling out information at a glacial pace, so I wouldn't necessarily hold out for a hardware reveal just yet, perhaps. We'll naturally be on hand to bring you the latest.

According to a statement from Newell made in January, the 'Steam Box' hardware will likely release as three separate SKUs, each packing different price points and specifications. The lowest tier will focus on games streaming from an existing PC, while the pricier options will offer much beefier onboard hardware. Whether this is still the case remains to be seen, as well as whether the colloquial 'Steam Box' name will stick.

We hope it will, since it's basically a brand already.

Add a comment8 comments
DivideByZero  Sep. 17, 2013 at 12:47

While I respect that Linux handles resources much better than Windows and is obviously cheaper... I still find it a lot less supported by game devs and wonder how that will pan out.

If this is something other than a streaming device, I think that will limit it at the start. Then again, maybe that will push the bigger devs to support Linux in the future maybe.

Personally not a fan of Linux due to the lack of supported games / apps. Though it is a good OS.

phil16  Sep. 17, 2013 at 13:00

Really hoping for a streaming box to be available soon! I'd have got a nvidia sheild already had they been available over here (for a sensible official price) but this might be a better idea. I've tried stream games onto my ASUS transformer tablet using splashtop but its not been very reliable...

Tsung  Sep. 17, 2013 at 13:09

Well I can see a future in Linux but Linux needs to sort itself out. Over the years it has been getting better but what is really needed is driver support for all the hardware gamer are likely to use. (fancy keyboards / headsets / etc).
The thing with Linux is if it works, great, if it doesn't the hoops you have to jump thro' to make it work are unreasonable (for the average person especially). I think the most precious resource is Time, if someone has to waste their time reading forums and working out how to fix their OS, it's less time for them to be playing games.

As for Linux as a games platform? why not.. Microsoft has killed off XNA I guess that's the only real game development system especially for Windows. Monogame ( http://www.monogame.net/ ) allows XNA developers to continue where Microsoft left them and Monogame can product output for many OS's. Plenty of other game development systems (e.g. Unity) are also Multi-platform.

Windows 8 might be the start of the death of the windows PC as a gaming platform. If players cant stomach it they may move to Linux and only have windows for legacy games.

Here is a question?.. If Half Life 3 was Linux only how many gamers would make the switch? or at very least duel boot? :/

DivideByZero  Sep. 17, 2013 at 13:22

I would not go to Linux for one game.

I have run up Linux recently in a Hyper-V environment, just cuz, but wouldn't want it on my main gaming PC, yet.

For me, Linux will always be this operating system that one of my techie systems friends was banging on about being amazing and in the same breath explaining how he had to write his own driver to get a soundcard to work.

For me, that is not fun, that is work.

Linux has moved on a long way from that, but it still doesn't have that level of Support as Windows does.

Last edited by DivideByZero, Sep. 17, 2013 at 13:28
davidpanik  Sep. 17, 2013 at 14:08

Man, let this be something.

hurrakan  Sep. 20, 2013 at 11:03

Yeah here's a good quote I heard about Linux but I don't remember who said it:

"Linux is only free if the value of my time is zero."


Late  Sep. 20, 2013 at 11:38

"Linux is only free if the value of my time is zero."

lol - nice quote! :D

DivideByZero  Sep. 20, 2013 at 14:17

Hahaha... nice. Just told our Linux admin that one, he loves me even more now.


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