Details of Valve's Linux game console imminent


I’m looking forward to seeing what they come out with. Steam is really a fantastic game distribution platform, which I’ve only just started playing with after YEARS of being out of the PC gaming world.

1 Like

It’ll be nice for them to work on Linux gaming, though I’d rather see them devote more effort if they want to create a more unified “commercial” experience. Can it really be called a “console”? Sounds like they’re just planning on having some hardware design manufacturer or OEM release a PC with their branding.

Somebody isn’t happy to see that Microsoft now has them in the crosshairs (not really a new story, various product categories have gone from ‘runs on Windows, made by somebody who isn’t Microsoft’ to ‘crushed under Redmond’s iron heel’; but “Games for Windows Live” was more of a joke/painful misfeature than a threat, unlike Win8 and WinRT’s ‘OMG App Store!!!’ approach).

It’ll be interesting to see what Valve has cooked up. Presumably some sort of ‘baseline’ x86 config that runs games well enough at 1920x1080 and uses their ‘10-foot’ UI at least optionally; they’ve been working with Nvidia fairly heavily; but AMD might have a price-compelling APU option.

I’d assume that they’ll have some focus on a reasonably pleasant box, if you want to put it in the living room. We’ll see if they pack it tight, and let the people who want to customize build their own, or leave some room in the default config.

I’d prefer that. I mean, the XBox One and PS4 will have custom AMD Jaguars, but if the last generation is any indication, they’ll still be around in 2021. There have been several generations of PCs since 2005. My PC is “old” by PC standards but it’s half the age of the 360. Heh, that puts things in perspective; I have a GPU that was low-end when it was new and it’s a few years old, I have an AMD X4 630 CPU, and I was marveling at how smooth all the Linux-native Steam games I have so far seem to run. I’m guessing my PC will be obsolete once all the new consoles come out, though.

Off the shelf hardware means, in theory, that you’re not constrained to older hardware.

I’m not sure how I feel about big picture mode. I have an HTPC running Gentoo (yeah, I know) and running it on my TV is…meh.

There have been rumors that they’ve been working with Xi3 but that would likely mean they have something new in the works, as none of their current line would make for a modern gaming experience. It would be kind of neat if Valve put out a gaming PC that could go in a VESA mount, though.

I’m wondering how long it will take after release before end users will be required to manually compile some important component for their “console”.

Did you install that joke from the same floppy disks you installed your distro from? Manual compilation to deal with any situation except badly supported hardware that needs to be built against the latest kernel headers is pretty rare unless you roll in very specific circles. For a vendor-vetted hardware config? They’d throw a wrapper script around it, worst case.


Why would this ever be required? When since the late 90s have any ‘home’ Linux users needed to recompile anything? Fuddy, my man, very fuddy.

1 Like

Given the stronger underlying architecture, it is theoretically possible to build games on linux that will massively outperform Windows or Mac implementations of the same games running on the same hardware. I don’t know if Gabe Newell’s guys have the chops to deliver on the theory, but I guess we’ll find out!

1 Like

So you’re saying the hardware will be well-supported and the developers will refrain from writing code that does unexpected things? I suppose it could happen. Maybe they’ll meet whatever release date they announce first, too.

One of the major differences between consoles and PCs is First Party certification. The console manufacturers (mostly) validate your game before it can be published on their system. I have no idea if the steambox is going to have anything paralel to this, but in my opinion, it is the single most important distinction between having a console-equivalent experience vs having a Steam branded linux PC.

It’ll be interesting to see, because making a nice linux box is a much less herculean effort than verifying that all SteamBox games work with all SteamBox-certified hardware configurations

You obviously have no idea what you are talking about. Compiling code and applying a binary patch are two very distinct things. Please stop commenting.

Steam already vettes out their games, why would you question if there would be less of this happening on the console than on the pc/linux/mac Steam?


A quick google search turned up the following:
With Steamworks you avoid the overhead and delay of certification requirements - there are none.
Steamworks does not have a certification requirement—your game and its future are yours to control.
re updates: With no certification process, you’re in control.

There is still vetting going on:

Albeit crowdsourced. There’s not a blight of crapware on Stream now so I’m not sure why this is such a concern.

On top of this, just because something is in Steam, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll automatically be available for this new SteamBox that we know absolutely nothing about. They might be using Steam as the distribution platform, yet make specific content only available on Steambox.

ALSO, Microsoft is apparently making it possible for every Xbox One to be a Dev Box… So it sounds like MS is going to be less stringent about their certification process (at least, I think - I’m not really sure about all the details on this aside from the few headlines I’ve picked up hear and there).

I fully expect that it’ll be as patch-tastic as PC gaming (or even some console titles, now that the ‘what you ship is all they will ever play’ imperative has weakened somewhat); but that there won’t be any manual compiling involved: Valve will presumably patch the games through Steam, as they do on the PC side, whether the OS components will be handled likewise, or whether the underlying distro’s package management system will be retained for those duties is unknown.

I’ve pretty much have only been sticking to TF2 but it’d be cool to start a BB-steam group.

I have a Strange Fire Ax if anybody wants it.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.