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Linux Business Games Linux

Alienware Swaps SteamOS For Windows 173

Posted by Soulskill
from the missing-the-train dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Valve left many OEMs hanging when they delayed Steam machines until sometime next year to work out their controller issues. Many of these companies excitedly showed off new Steam machine hardware that they cannot ship, so Alienware has been the first to re-purpose its Debian-based Steam machine to be a Windows-based Steam machine bundled with an Xbox controller. While Windows 8.x has not been particularly well-received it does support a lot more games than Linux and when configured to boot straight into Steam Big Picture mode the influence of the underlying OS is visible only in the larger game library."
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Alienware Swaps SteamOS For Windows

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  • by aliquis (678370) <dospam@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @12:18AM (#47209333) Homepage

    Linux didn't made much sense for the consumer anyway.

    This must be somewhat disturbing for Valve. Then again I doubt many individuals was asking for a Steam specific OS.

    Disturbing because if it all released at the same time then at least they'd have some hype now you'll just have small gaming PCs where you either get Windows and kinda all games or the Steam one which only run a small part of all the titles.

    Yay! Which one are you going to pick? ... Oh and the Windows one run the software you're used too as well.

    • by TWX (665546)
      I expect that it's going to be nearly impossible for Valve/Steam to succeed with the mainstream with this development. Had there been no ready-to-use competitor it'd be one thing, but delaying launch to the point that the ready-made competitor can just come in and save the day pretty much destroys credibility, and once that credibility is lost it usually can't be earned back.
      • by meerling (1487879)
        Ouch for Valve.
        This is gonna hurt.
      • I expect that it's going to be nearly impossible for Valve/Steam to succeed with the mainstream with this development.

        Considering that it is still locking in the Steam service for all games, this is still a win for Valve.

        • by aliquis (678370)

          IMHO I think and have always thought the reason for Valve doing it in the first place is that they are scared about all the vendor specific stores which is poping up (of which they are one and one of the bigger ones but there could exist an even bigger more obvious choice) - As iTunes store, Google Play, whatever Microsoft calls their / Live.

          _If_ Microsoft made a successful game delivery platform / sold all software signed through their own store Valve would have much less left.

          If they rolled and had their

          • by tepples (727027)

            _If_ Microsoft made a successful game delivery platform / sold all software signed through their own store Valve would have much less left.

            Is this supposed to be a dig at the Xbox One's underperforming sales figures?

        • Considering that it is still locking in the Steam service for all games

          I'd like to see a source stating that Steam OS users can't sideload other Linux-compatible games.

          • I'd like to see a source stating that Steam OS users can't sideload other Linux-compatible games.

            First of all, this isn't SteamOS we are talking about, it is Windows. Secondly, I'm not suggesting that you can't load non-Steam games. But you won't be able to do it sitting on your couch holding your controller. Buying and playing Steam games on a Steam box will be much, much easier.

            There are enough people on Windows computers who refuse to buy games that they can't load from the Steam client (and complain bitterly when games are offered on other services). Just imagine how receptive buyers of something c

            • First of all, this isn't SteamOS we are talking about, it is Windows.

              Which, unless it's Windows RT, will always allow sideloading from GOG.

              Secondly, I'm not suggesting that you can't load non-Steam games. But you won't be able to do it sitting on your couch holding your controller.

              The first step is to make a list of XInput-friendly games on GOG [gog.com]. The second is to add something like JoyToKey or Keysticks that adds DirectInput or XInput navigation to all programs on Windows, or perhaps even a specialized web browser that implements something like what Microsoft has done usably in Internet Explorer for Xbox 360. Barring that, use something like the Lenovo N5902A Bluetooth keyboard with built-in trackball.

      • by sd4f (1891894)

        Yea I agree, it's also losing all of its publicity momentum. I do wonder if steamOS will be a success, as I'm not particularly convinced about it.

        • by gstoddart (321705)

          Yea I agree, it's also losing all of its publicity momentum

          Losing its steam, one might say. ;-)

    • by Sir_Sri (199544) on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @12:43AM (#47209467)

      I bet if microsoft goes all in on the Windows store and locks you into only stuff bought from the windows store then the Steam box would have a much better chance. But it seems almost impossible that MS is going to actually go that route at this point. I could be unpleasantly surprised though, but now that Ballmer is gone that seems unlikely.

      As long as you can use Steam for windows... and buy games through steam on Windows Linux gaming is basically for ideological purists, for people who represent the 85% of the market or so that use windows, or the 12% that use Mac Steam works so why change? They'd need a really compelling offering.

    • Yeah, the support for windows games really needed to be better than, "and you can stream them from a windows machine that you also own"

    • Linux and Unix is a Mainframe OS.
      Unix then Linux which is based of the Unix design. Is from the old Mainframe days. Where it was used for multiple terminals connected a single Mainframe or server, where people did their work.

      Linux came out when the standard PC got to 32bits (80386 era) and was powerful enough to support the workload of many of the lower/mid range mainframes. Originally so people could access and tinker with a Unix Like OS without having to spend big bucks to try it out, or get access to a

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        UNIX isn't a 'mainframe' OS.

        Linux came out when x86 got a BETTER MMU, it wasn't the first UNIX like clone on the x86 platform.

        Linux may be a crappy desktop OS, but for a long time there were far more UNIX desktop workstations than there were Windows. Ask SGI, Sun, DEC and a few others.

        Linux is not UNIX, OSX is a certified UNIX with far more desktop installs than Linux.

        NT based workstations started with the original NT release. That was the point, not servers. NT Advanced Server came second. NT4 came with

    • by NotDrWho (3543773)

      A lot of people were speculating that the whole SteamOS thing was just a stunt by Valve to discourage MS from launching their own service to compete with Steam on Windows (an implicit threat that they would launch a competitor to Windows for gaming). And it does seem like Valve are pretty lukewarm on SteamOS themselves, a pretty strange position for a company that's supposedly serious about making such a bold move.

      • by tepples (727027)

        A lot of people were speculating that the whole SteamOS thing was just a stunt by Valve to discourage MS from launching their own service to compete with Steam on Windows

        Microsoft did end up launching such a service, called Windows Store. Its games support only keyboards, mice, and Xbox 360 controllers, not non-Xbox 360 joysticks.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @12:26AM (#47209377) Journal
    Obviously Valve would have preferred to have everything ready for launch earlier rather than later; but does anybody expect for a moment that "Well, the proposal is just to build a PC that's good enough for gaming and looks OK in the living room, we commit essentially nothing to the OS until the HDDs actually get imaged and installed" was a part of the calculation for OEMs from the beginning?

    Getting the controller right is, for Valve, a big deal; because just cloning the xbox controller won't do much for PC oriented titles; but keyboard/mouse combos are not exactly good couch company (also some bad history there... [wikipedia.org]), so they need something clever.

    For the OEMs, the bet is markedly smaller. It's not as though you can easily buy linux-only hardware, and 'quiet', 'small and unobtrusive', and 'reasonably powerful' are virtues you can sell under any OS.
  • Us keyboard and mouse jockeys will enjoy spanking you in multiplayer twitch games.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This was pretty much as expected.

    All of Valve's marketing of the steam boxes focuses on Steam as a brand, and for the average player the expectation for that is playing all the latest games and big franchises. However, under a Linux-based SteamOS, you are limited to indie games and a very occasional AAA release by Valve or some more-or-less independent studio they convinced. That means no Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, GTA, etc.

    Even worse, the narrative and marketing has been intentionally misleading, with

  • Dell probably had already started the hardware production process. They likely had a choice to either do this or waste or the work (and possibly hardware) that they had already put into i (or built). Seems (to me) like the most obvious reason for this.
  • Valve just didn't deliver. I wanted to give SteamOS a try, but they don't even provide a disk image. Instead, it's a zipped folder with files to be copied to an USB drive. I still couldn't figure a way to make it an iso or something that VirtualBox will accept. Other than that, just reading the installation page, the whole thing still seems to be very crude. I thought it'd be interesting to see a major game developer pushing for Linux, but if I were to use Linux, why would I go with SteamOS instead of any o

    • SteamOS is still in beta, so there is expected to be rough edges. I suppose that when they release proper 1.0, the installation will be simple.
    • It would actually be easier to install a full non-SteamOS Linux distro (Ubuntu or Fedora) and THEN install Steam on top of that.

      On Fedora, just install the Fedora People repository and then yum install steam

      Valve's just incompetent...no really, they're incompetent. Especially compared to console developers, who work harder and can finish projects without resorting to "Blizzard/Valve" time.

  • The most tragic thing in all of this is the whole concept of getting linux games from a single source, with DRM. No self-published games, no other non Steam publishers, no freeware, no shareware : that's all for Windows, with few exceptions. Maybe they'll be other stores eventually (like GOG) but for now, you rely on Steam to reliably run native games under linux (if you have suitable graphics hardware and drivers).

    Well, at least I can play Counterstrike 1.6 on linux. That's all I use it for - it's reliable

    • Less freedom than what? An XBox, Playstation or Wii with locked-down hardware, that probably aren't ever going to support alternative software or game stores without jailbreaking? And good luck building a homebrew XBox or Playstation using your choice of components.

      Steam seems to be the least worst of the game platforms.

      The real test of a SteamBox is whether you can quit Steam, access the underlying OS and install other software. AFAIK that is eminently possible under SteamOS - whether Steam Boxes wil

      • Less freedom than what? An XBox, Playstation or Wii with locked-down hardware, that probably aren't ever going to support alternative software or game stores without jailbreaking? And good luck building a homebrew XBox or Playstation using your choice of components.

        That may matter to you, but it doesn't to everyone else. To most people it's the "games" that matter, not whether they can jailbreak their console to run Tuxcart.

        It would be nice if that underlying OS was Linux, but it sounds as if Valve has dropped the ball.

        The PS4 is available right now, and runs BSD. No, you can't reach the BSD underpinnings and install nethack...but very few people give a damn about that and I'm saying that as someone who DID install nethack on a PS2 and PS3.

        • by tepples (727027)

          To most people it's the "games" that matter, not whether they can jailbreak their console to run Tuxcart.

          That depends. You have to choose your platform around the "games" you desire to play. If SuperTuxKart is one of them,* you should choose something that can run SuperTuxKart, which at the moment is slanted toward PC. If it's JRPGs, you might end up on PlayStation.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        The real test of a SteamBox is whether you can quit Steam, access the underlying OS and install other software. AFAIK that is eminently possible under SteamOS - whether Steam Boxes will be locked down is unknown (it would be a mistake).

        In other words, if you can get at the kernel, get root, you've just made SteamBox great with cheaters.

        Yes, cheaters.

        Because if you have access to root, you can load kernel modules, and if you can do that, rootkitting your SteamBox to isolate VAC from your cheats becomes a tri

    • by Psyborgue (699890)

      As far as I understand, Valve says you can install from other sources. Also, not all Steam games have DRM. Quite a few actually don't have any protection at all [wikia.com]. Steam is primarily a distribution service. It's the game developers who demand the DRM.

  • Really, the only reason (for now) to have steam machines using Linux for the OEMs is to reduce the price. So the high-end steam machines are probably going to come with windows anyway. At least for now the low-end is where the Linux will be and it will stay there until more games (especially the more demanding, tripple-A games) support Linux.

    In other news, anyone knows if these alienware machines are coming with steam and boot straight into big picture? The default settings is pretty important you know.

  • They would have shipped it with windows 7 pro and win 8 pro COA.

  • Of note is that Alienware is preconfiguring the computer to boot straight to steam. Microsoft has famously resisted OEMs dicking around with the installation for years (ever wonder why nobody sells a windows 8 computer ready to use with all the de-metroing apps pre-installed? From all the 8 hate, you'd think an "easy to use" windows 8 computer that looks like windows 7 would sell like fucking hotcakes)

    Something big happened behind the scenes, whatever it was, my guess is that everyone got what they wanted

  • by jovius (974690)

    The year of the Windows Desktop?

It's a naive, domestic operating system without any breeding, but I think you'll be amused by its presumption.

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