Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 10th Dec 2012 23:24 UTC
Games Confirming the industry's worst-kept secret, Valve CEO Gabe Newell has confirmed Valve is working on its 'Steam Box', a Steam-powered HTPC geared towards console-like gaming. It'll most likely run Linux. "Well certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environment," he told Kotaku. "If you want more flexibility, you can always buy a more general purpose PC. For people who want a more turnkey solution, that's what some people are really gonna want for their living room." Steam has 50 million subscribers, so there's a market here. As a comparison: Xbox Live has 40 million subscribers.
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Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Tue 11th Dec 2012 03:43 UTC
Member since:

We've seen this play many times before.

1. "We like open"
2. Is not open.

The proof will be in the pudding: if you can have the same experience as the Steam Box by installing your own choice of Linux on your own hardware, then it'll be open enough. If however this truly is just another console trying to claim to be a PC, just because it's x86, then it's just double-standards on Valve's part -- they don't like Windows 8 because they can't control the experience, yet they want to release their own device, where nobody else can control the experience.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Morgan on Tue 11th Dec 2012 03:47 in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Morgan Member since:

Well to be fair, they never said they were the new champions of the Free computing movement. They are a business and they are looking for a new, unique way to get their product out to as many people as possible. Windows 8 was going to be a problem for them, so this is their end run.

I try to see the positive from it: This will surely put GNU/Linux in the big picture, and people will start wondering about it and wanting to try it out. "Why buy a Steam box when I can build my own?" said the intrepid gamer teen, etc.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Tue 11th Dec 2012 04:27 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Kroc Member since:

Is that realistic though? The Steam hardware would have to compete with the consoles, which are already sold at loss. Valve would have to at least part subsidise the total cost, so it would be in their interest to ensure that you can only / would only want to buy games through their interface -- if any other interface is present at all!

Let's call it what it is: a gaming console made by Valve.

I can remember the gaming community thinking it was odd (and doomed to failure) when Sony wanted to enter the firmly established gaming market (with unbeatable titans like Sega and Nintendo) with a console with a silly name "Play Station".

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by Kroc
by ideasman42 on Tue 11th Dec 2012 06:14 in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
ideasman42 Member since:

Their aim isnt to be open, its to make a console to provide their games - it happens to be based opensource.

Also, disagree about them having to make sure it can run on any user hardware.

Its exactly BECAUSE you have a fixed hardware platform that makes the console attractive to developers. (one of the reasons at least). Saves a lot of time testing various combinations of hardware and adding in workarounds for driver bugs.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by Soulbender on Tue 11th Dec 2012 06:26 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Soulbender Member since:

Saves a lot of time testing various combinations of hardware and adding in workarounds for driver bugs.

I've come to the conclusion that game devs today are pussies. Back in the 80's there where a shitload of different platforms and most games appeared on most or all of them.

(Yes I know, it's not exactly the same thing. Just saying)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Neolander on Tue 11th Dec 2012 06:51 in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Neolander Member since:

+1, it is indeed ironic if they start to complain about how Windows 8 is heading us towards locked-down PCs, then proceed to release yet another one locked-down device.

Seriously, expressions like "very controlled" is something which I have only heard in the mouth of Apple fans trying to defend iOS or Microsoft reps trying to defend Windows 8. This choice of words makes me extremely pessimistic.

If we are unhappy, we can buy more general-purpose PCs, they say... Right, but where will those be in a few years? By attempting to transition the remaining loyal PC gamers to a console-ish device, they are kind of not helping with answering that question...

Edited 2012-12-11 06:54 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by moondevil on Tue 11th Dec 2012 09:09 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
moondevil Member since:

This is what I have been saying from the beginning.

Sure it is nice that Valve is raising awareness for Linux as a target platform for game studios, but in the end they want to save Steam profit from other App Stores, as simple as that.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by Kroc
by JAlexoid on Wed 12th Dec 2012 01:58 in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
JAlexoid Member since:

Steam box will probably not be open. But Steam will be in 2 out of 3 gaming segments - desktop, console but not mobile.

Reply Parent Score: 2