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  • #31
    Originally posted by fettouhi View Post
    But Valve has no control over other publishers content. It is in the end Ubisoft that has to deceide if the for example want to port their AC franchise to Linux. It just at least to seems like a huge amount of porting work that will years until it is complete and at that point the Steam console maybe completely irrelevant.
    DING DING DING.

    Valve might port its stuff, but all those other games aren't getting ported. So we're talking, what, 20 games in all here?

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    • #32
      Originally posted by leech View Post
      The only problem I see with it being an AMD APU based system is that to this day, ATI/AMD's drivers for Linux are still very much crap. Besides for a game console, why would you want a system like Optimus? You boot it up, play your games, and then shut it down. It's not like a laptop needs power saving features.
      I thought the same thing myself, but AMD has shown much more dedication to their drivers once Valve started to give a damn. Also, if they prepare the drivers for you on hardware that won't be obsolete for a while, then there's nothing to complain about. Personally, my HD5750 works fine for me in linux. It wasn't hard to install the drivers, I don't get any visual glitches, games perform just fine, and it doesn't seem to run any hotter than it does in Windows. People hating on AMD's drivers are the same people who hate KDE - they stick with their first impression and refuse to believe differently even if all of their personal issues got fixed. So, perhaps it could work out after all. I personally think Valve should use an AMD CPU. In terms of gaming, the price vs performance ratio you get with Intel just isn't worth it. I do think that Valve should try to stick with Nvidia though, since their drivers are more polished.


      @gamerk2
      Have you not been paying attention to any linux gaming news? Valve only has like... 2 or 3 of their own games on steam and around 25 or so (more or less) already available. If you include indie games and games that were ported prior to Steam Linux, you end up with a pretty decent collection. Obviously not all games (such as the ones by Loki) won't be available, but who says this console MUST use Steam and nothing else? Also, Valve has been getting linux a lot of attention. Valve is STARTING a new console, and just like every new console, there's going to be very few games at release date, but it doesn't mean they won't show up. People REALLY need to stop comparing this console to Windows and current generation consoles.
      Last edited by schmidtbag; 01-02-2013, 10:50 AM.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by iniudan View Post
        They are using linux, so they have at least a basic distro under the hood, the question is mostly which shell and how to access root (has will most likely be locked by default on closed hardware, like it is on Android) and after that you mostly got free reign, now depending on what basic the software is there, will decide how hard that free reign is to mod. =p
        No, they do not need a "classic" distribution at all. There is no need for a package manager and they'll come up with their own defaults for whatever programs they arrive at, which is about the only thing that makes distributions unique nowadays. For something as controlled as a console will be they can distribute one specific kernel, whatever startup scripts that exist do not need to be robust at all to handle multiple systems, they can update the system via binary tarballs that blindly write files to specific directories which is about as "package managerish" as you need to get, etc. This thing can be as hard coded as the Linux code found on a Garmin.

        It's essentially LFS. One could say that the fact they're distributing the same binaries to multiple boxes makes it a distribution itself, but it does not have to be based on an existing distribution as the word commonly means.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by leech View Post
          The only problem I see with it being an AMD APU based system is that to this day, ATI/AMD's drivers for Linux are still very much crap. Besides for a game console, why would you want a system like Optimus? You boot it up, play your games, and then shut it down. It's not like a laptop needs power saving features.
          You do know that electricity is not cheap everywhere and it is something called efficiency, has this is a console and thus an embedded system which is much easier to have stable driver for, then a general purpose system like a PC, has driver can be custom build for it and thus that power saving feature would also be easier to integrate.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by locovaca View Post
            No, they do not need a "classic" distribution at all. There is no need for a package manager and they'll come up with their own defaults for whatever programs they arrive at, which is about the only thing that makes distributions unique nowadays. For something as controlled as a console will be they can distribute one specific kernel, whatever startup scripts that exist do not need to be robust at all to handle multiple systems, they can update the system via binary tarballs that blindly write files to specific directories which is about as "package managerish" as you need to get, etc. This thing can be as hard coded as the Linux code found on a Garmin.

            It's essentially LFS. One could say that the fact they're distributing the same binaries to multiple boxes makes it a distribution itself, but it does not have to be based on an existing distribution as the word commonly means.
            I said basic distro, I was limiting myself to a kernel, a shell and some basic utils, didn't even include a package manager with the sophistication of Slackware, has that has nothing to do with the ability to modify the system, if you got a physical access. (not that I did think they would go without a package manager, that would be stupid on any system that doesn't stay static)

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            • #36
              Originally posted by iniudan View Post
              You do know that electricity is not cheap everywhere and it is something called efficiency, has this is a console and thus an embedded system which is much easier to have stable driver for, then a general purpose system like a PC, has driver can be custom build for it and thus that power saving feature would also be easier to integrate.
              Yes, I realize this, but I don't see the point in having a 'power save' mode for something that the majority of the time is going to be pushing pixels as fast as they possibly can be. Sure, it'll clock down the video to minimum when you're browsing the store, or whatever other things they make it do. But as anyone who has a hybrid video system on Linux, knows it can be an utter pain in the rump.

              Consoles really aren't 24/7 machines, unless they add media sharing or something to it. Then again, I wouldn't really call the Playstation 3 a 'Video Game Console' it's more of a multimedia machine. Don't know if the Steam Console is going to be the same or not, but it'd be pretty sweet if you could drop to an DE and launch AdvanceMame or FS-UAE or some other emulator.

              Anyhow, all of this is just conjecture 'til we start seeing some real stuff.

              @gamerk2
              As of this very moment there are 41 titles on Steam for Linux. Most of which I have, and really most of which are in the Humble Bundles. Some of the ones that are for Linux in the Humble Bundle haven't been put into steam yet though (like Dungeon Defenders and Legends of Grimrock).

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              • #37
                Originally posted by leech View Post
                Yes, I realize this, but I don't see the point in having a 'power save' mode for something that the majority of the time is going to be pushing pixels as fast as they possibly can be. Sure, it'll clock down the video to minimum when you're browsing the store, or whatever other things they make it do. But as anyone who has a hybrid video system on Linux, knows it can be an utter pain in the rump.

                Consoles really aren't 24/7 machines, unless they add media sharing or something to it. Then again, I wouldn't really call the Playstation 3 a 'Video Game Console' it's more of a multimedia machine. Don't know if the Steam Console is going to be the same or not, but it'd be pretty sweet if you could drop to an DE and launch AdvanceMame or FS-UAE or some other emulator.
                I completely agree - generally when a console is on, it is being used to its full potential because it is playing a game, where power saving isn't much of a priority. HOWEVER, since this is more than just a console, it likely will have multimedia playback and internet browsing. Aside from that, this is likely not going to have an optical drive because Steam is a digital content source. That being said, the system will need to be left on at large durations to download a new game.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
                  I completely agree - generally when a console is on, it is being used to its full potential because it is playing a game, where power saving isn't much of a priority. HOWEVER, since this is more than just a console, it likely will have multimedia playback and internet browsing. Aside from that, this is likely not going to have an optical drive because Steam is a digital content source. That being said, the system will need to be left on at large durations to download a new game.
                  Thank you, saved from explaining it myself and also said better then I could. =)

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
                    I completely agree - generally when a console is on, it is being used to its full potential because it is playing a game, where power saving isn't much of a priority. HOWEVER, since this is more than just a console, it likely will have multimedia playback and internet browsing. Aside from that, this is likely not going to have an optical drive because Steam is a digital content source. That being said, the system will need to be left on at large durations to download a new game.
                    Actually we don't really KNOW for 100% that it'll be anything more than a locked down x86 computer in a snazzy case. We only really know two things. It's using the Linux kernel (would have to say with some basic Gnu userland utilities / libraries. That would be a pretty great guess since that's what current Linux Steam runs on) and Steam itself.

                    If it has multimedia playback, does it do sharing? Does it use gstreamer? Does it use Flash? I mean at the moment flash videos don't even work in the normal steam client. Which means to me they haven't even fully ported the embedded browser bits. I do see a library called 'chromehtml.so' so I'm guessing it should / could be using that (I do have chrome installed, or at least an older beta version, but does it try to use it?)

                    We can only really make guesses based off what Steam for Linux does right now.

                    I personally would prefer it only plays games. To me that's what a game console is for. If I want to browse the net or watch movies, I'll use my computer or my blu-ray player.

                    Personally I think it'd be cool if they made a bundle deal to come with a bunch of the humble bundle games that are already ported. Anyone remember when game consoles came with at least one game? Sure they have various little bundles, but they just aren't as cool as ones like the hidden maze game on the Sega Master System or Super Hang On that also came with it.

                    Though at least there is the concept of "buy once, run anywhere" that Steam has, so as long as they are able to push for games to be ported, then if you've bought the games on Steam already, they'll be there for you.

                    One thing I have noticed in the beta that they've 'fixed' over the Windows version.. It doesn't default to stopping a download when playing a game! Best feature ever, and they'll need that on a console. "What, I have to wait 8 hours for the stupid game I just bought? I can't play something else while I'm downloading this?!" Sure you can get around that by starting a game, then starting a download, or starting the download, then starting the game, then alt+tab out and then start the download... but that's rather annoying... we have big multitasking powerhouses for a reason....

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by leech View Post
                      Actually we don't really KNOW for 100% that it'll be anything more than a locked down x86 computer in a snazzy case. We only really know two things. It's using the Linux kernel (would have to say with some basic Gnu userland utilities / libraries. That would be a pretty great guess since that's what current Linux Steam runs on) and Steam itself.
                      Last time I checked, Valve was open to offering more freedom with this than what you get with PS3, so even if it is locked down, it won't be enough to cripple users from doing something fun and quirky. Besides, it almost seems counterproductive of Valve to be dedicating so much collaboration with Canonical if this wasn't going to be Ubuntu based. As I've said in my first post, its unlikely that this will resemble the Ubuntu desktop but it will likely have Ubuntu at its core.

                      If it has multimedia playback, does it do sharing? Does it use gstreamer? Does it use Flash? I mean at the moment flash videos don't even work in the normal steam client. Which means to me they haven't even fully ported the embedded browser bits. I do see a library called 'chromehtml.so' so I'm guessing it should / could be using that (I do have chrome installed, or at least an older beta version, but does it try to use it?)

                      We can only really make guesses based off what Steam for Linux does right now.
                      What's your point? I'm guessing they would use XBMC since that's pretty popular and from what I heard, is gamepad friendly. As for flash, I'm sure Valve will add it to the linux steam client, but if not, they might start to move on to HTML5 or just not use flash based pages for linux games.

                      I personally would prefer it only plays games. To me that's what a game console is for. If I want to browse the net or watch movies, I'll use my computer or my blu-ray player.
                      The whole benefit of PS3 and Xbox 360 added multimedia support is because it helped reduce the amount of devices needed to be connected to your TV. So in other words, why have a computer, a blu-ray player, AND a console all for media purposes when you can just use 1? I've never owned any of the last gen consoles but from what I gather, getting it to play media files is not difficult to do and does not get in the way of playing games. If the device CAN do it and the purpose is reasonable, then why not? Obviously this console would theoretically be able to write documents or compile a code in C++, but who would want to do that on a gamepad and a TV? But anyways, to me, a console really should only be limited to being a multimedia device and nothing else. Being able to browse the internet is kinda in the gray area between multimedia and productivity.

                      One thing I have noticed in the beta that they've 'fixed' over the Windows version.. It doesn't default to stopping a download when playing a game! Best feature ever, and they'll need that on a console. "What, I have to wait 8 hours for the stupid game I just bought? I can't play something else while I'm downloading this?!" Sure you can get around that by starting a game, then starting a download, or starting the download, then starting the game, then alt+tab out and then start the download... but that's rather annoying... we have big multitasking powerhouses for a reason....
                      I like the feature of it disabling the download when playing a game. When you say "big multitasking powerhouses", first of all, not everyone has one of those. Secondly, disabling the download isn't about reducing CPU and GPU usage, it's about making online multiplayer games not stutter due to slow connections or poor latency. I wonder if disabling the pause-download-when-playing-game feature was intentionally disabled in the linux client. Many full-screen linux games don't allow alt+tabbing, which I personally find insanely annoying. They cut off things like keyboard volume control too. That being said, if you're downloading a big game and you want to play an offline/singleplayer game while you wait, its better to let the game keep downloading. Perhaps Valve thinks Linux users are smart enough to know that if they're playing a multiplayer game that stutters, they need to stop downloading stuff.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
                        I like the feature of it disabling the download when playing a game. When you say "big multitasking powerhouses", first of all, not everyone has one of those. Secondly, disabling the download isn't about reducing CPU and GPU usage, it's about making online multiplayer games not stutter due to slow connections or poor latency. I wonder if disabling the pause-download-when-playing-game feature was intentionally disabled in the linux client. Many full-screen linux games don't allow alt+tabbing, which I personally find insanely annoying. They cut off things like keyboard volume control too. That being said, if you're downloading a big game and you want to play an offline/singleplayer game while you wait, its better to let the game keep downloading. Perhaps Valve thinks Linux users are smart enough to know that if they're playing a multiplayer game that stutters, they need to stop downloading stuff.
                        Ha ha, if you have a Windows system, it pretty much is a 'big multitasking powerhouse'. I grew up with the Atari 800XL that had 64KB of RAM. Then moved onto an Atari Mega STe with 2MB of RAM, which I upgraded to 4MB of RAM. Most awesome thing was putting ALL of Ultima 6 into a RAM DISK. We don't use those anymore because the operating systems are big multitasking beasts.

                        Regardless, I know it's due to online games, but really, there should be a feature in Steam that says "Hey, he's playing an MMO, it's online only, so let's pause his current downloads unless he tells us otherwise." Or "Hey, we haven't detected any network traffic for this game after 5-10 minutes, he must be playing in offline mode, let's resume the downloads."

                        People aren't going to be happy when they turn on their game console and click install, then have to wait 5 hours to play a game they just purchased. Really in that case, the previous posts about power saving features really would be high priority. I get pissed off when it takes me so long to download a game that is 10GB+ (which is a large amount of games these days) and I have a 40mpbs DSL connection.

                        Anyhow, there are obvious pros and cons to any of these things, and I'm sure Valve has discussed them in great detail. I really think the main reason they are suddenly pushing so hard for a Linux platform (regular Steam and Console version) is simply due to them being pissed off at Microsoft (rightfully so) and their push to be like Apple.

                        I don't think it's out of the kindness of their hearts, or because Gabe is all of a sudden best buds with RMS or Linus.

                        As far as Multimedia capabilities. There is one huge gap in multimedia for Linux. It's the only other reason I use Windows AT ALL, besides games. And that is Blu-ray playback. Now if they could get the licensing for that, I'd be buying one of these steam boxes ASAP. Actually it wouldn't be a bad idea at all for Valve to start selling a blu-ray player directly through Steam that was Linux compatible. That would be awesome.

                        Anyhow, I'm sure it'll be a somewhat hackable device, but is going to be more geared toward the mass market, whereas any person who is into games enough more than likely already has a somewhat beefy system to play higher end games (if that is what they're into) or even a mediocre one to play emulated stuff or the simpler Humble Bundle games. The Steam console would be something like for my Brother, who is sick of the random crap that happens to (windows) computers, and so just sticks with his PS3 for games.

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                        • #42
                          It only takes me 25 to 30 min to download a 10gig game on my fibre to home connection. within 3.5 yeas 1/4 of Australians will have fibre access to the home and everyone else within 10. What's happening else where in the world ? I would of thought the US or UK would be ahead of us. The other thing is every time i have bought a game and activated with steam play most games need considerable updates. When downloading several gigs of updates i often wonder why i just didn't download it in the first place and get the most recent version.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by DDF420 View Post
                            It only takes me 25 to 30 min to download a 10gig game on my fibre to home connection. within 3.5 yeas 1/4 of Australians will have fibre access to the home and everyone else within 10. What's happening else where in the world ? I would of thought the US or UK would be ahead of us.
                            Yea, we here in Lithuania have had it for several years already. But apparently people in the US still regard it as an extreme novelty. Not sure why the development there has been so slow. Probably has to do with the oligopoly of ISPs. I observed a similar situation with LED bulbs, they don't seem to be available as much in the US as it here.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
                              The whole benefit of PS3 and Xbox 360 added multimedia support is because it helped reduce the amount of devices needed to be connected to your TV. So in other words, why have a computer, a blu-ray player, AND a console all for media purposes when you can just use 1? I've never owned any of the last gen consoles but from what I gather, getting it to play media files is not difficult to do and does not get in the way of playing games. If the device CAN do it and the purpose is reasonable, then why not?
                              Power efficiency. If your rig uses 400W to play that blu-ray, but the standalone player uses 30W, which costs you more?

                              It's the same argument as to why I keep a separate mp3 player in my pocket, and not using my phone. The mp3 player's battery lasts weeks, if I listened to music using my phone, it would be dead in a day. And with what would I then call?

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by locovaca View Post
                                No, they do not need a "classic" distribution at all. There is no need for a package manager and they'll come up with their own defaults for whatever programs they arrive at, which is about the only thing that makes distributions unique nowadays. For something as controlled as a console will be they can distribute one specific kernel, whatever startup scripts that exist do not need to be robust at all to handle multiple systems, they can update the system via binary tarballs that blindly write files to specific directories which is about as "package managerish" as you need to get, etc. This thing can be as hard coded as the Linux code found on a Garmin.

                                It's essentially LFS. One could say that the fact they're distributing the same binaries to multiple boxes makes it a distribution itself, but it does not have to be based on an existing distribution as the word commonly means.
                                IIRC, Google manages Chrome OS with Portage. For the sake of saving some manpower (having most dependency management handled for you and simplifying the optimizations needed for the Steam console), I think Valve should head in that direction.

                                Valve can easily build their own custom distribution, and updating consoles will still be as simple as downloading and extracting a tarball.
                                Last edited by Vax456; 01-03-2013, 05:42 AM.

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