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Thread: The SteamBox Countdown Is Complete

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by archibald View Post
    Unless the computer that runs Windows isn't in the living room. The idea behind this is to allow for easy gaming in the living room, on the TV. Booting my main PC and turning on a steambox to stream from my main PC is much more practical than shifting my PC into the lounge every time I want to play a game on the TV (besides, I already have a PC wired into the TV).
    Yes, and I stated that playing on the TV was the exception on my post...
    What I said is it's more practical for just playing to directly use them in the machine they are running, if you are actually just playing on the PC, in response to a post that states this "would improve Linux gaming". If you still need a machine running Windows, it's useless for Linux gaming on a PC.

    Also, as for being just an option for legacy games, that remains to be seen. Some developers have a bad history of following the lazy path.

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnc View Post
    lol @ Ars. The MS fanboys are in total meltdown.
    Trying to read through the comments... nope, not with 12 pages lol. Can you point out your favorites
    so I don't have to hunt them down? ;D

  3. #93
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    Why do we think this is based on Ubuntu?
    It seems that their best bet would be to base it on the latest lts kernel and add whatever else they needed as they go. That is, I'm not sure any distro would perfectly suit their needs and they have the resources to handle things in this way (frankly, I'm not sure how much in the way of resources it would take considering I'd think this would be a damn minimal system that includes just enough to handle sdl). I could see them using gentoo's or arch's tooling, however.

  4. #94
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    Arrow

    Quote Originally Posted by sarmad View Post
    Not quite. Here is some points for you to consider, maybe it makes you more optimistic:
    1- Games, music, and videos are quite different from applications or operating systems in that they are not evolving products. You play the game once and you throw it away. That's why people don't care much about DRM for these kind of things. Game engines, however, are different because the engine itself keeps evolving. In short, Valve's strategy doesn't affect the openness of Linux.

    2- Our PCs are not a console now because Valve mentioned in their SteamOS announcement that "Users can alter or replace any part of the software or hardware they want." I think this means they will provide their own hardware, which will probably be pretty much a console, but that doesn't prevent others from using their own PCs if they don't like Valve's hardware.

    In short, I think Valve's strategy is very good to both Linux and PC gaming. Yes, PC gaming will benefit a lot from this because it will create a reference hardware that can help bring more customers and developers to the platform while keeping the openness nature of the PC hardware.
    Re your points:
    1) I don't exactly throw my games away, I go back and revisit them from time to time. It's not quite the same in the future. People re-visit old music. If you didn't realise, games are applications too you know. Some of them evolve over the course of many years. They keep releasing bug fixes and patches, sometimes balancing updates for hardcore games like Dota and Starcraft. But your sentiment towards DRM is slightly unrealistic. I believe big AAA titles are fine with DRM but small indie like games don't benefit much from DRM. (from the gamers perspective) but on the other hand, the developers and seller of the game benefit a lot from DRM because it keeps them in business. More to the point, I wasn't talking about the open-ness of Linux, I was talking about the open-ness of their own machine and their own operating system. I think hardware wise, there is not much to worry about it. I just suspect their new OS is going to be in the lime light regarding this.

    2) The statement about Valve allowing us to change hardware sounds promising. If this is true then sure, it will be very good for Linux. But if their hardware is rubbish then what can I say? They will at least need to make their hardware on par with current hardware. This brings up a whole new subject to be honest... John Carmack the senior programmer for id software, complained that PC hardware is 10x more powerful than consoles but at the same time is 10x more inefficient due to the way the machines are built. If valve can verify that this is true, then maybe they can significantly improve the gaming experience for us PC gamers by improving the efficiency of our machines. Who knows... If only JC himself could put in his two cents about this machine.

  5. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by b15hop View Post
    John Carmack the senior programmer for id software, complained that PC hardware is 10x more powerful than consoles but at the same time is 10x more inefficient due to the way the machines are built. If valve can verify that this is true, then maybe they can significantly improve the gaming experience for us PC gamers by improving the efficiency of our machines. Who knows... If only JC himself could put in his two cents about this machine.
    JC is not the messiah of gaming. He says lots of things and isn't always correct. Like the time when he said porting to Linux is pointless and everyone should just use wine... yeah.

    The reason consoles seem more efficient is because they are much, much, much more standardized - each generation of a given brand of console has exactly identical hardware, which simplifies the task of programming lots. The developers know the development target perfectly, there's no guessing about will there be this or that CPU/GPU combination, how much RAM, what version of OpenGL and what extensions are supported etc. - it's all in the specs, so they can just use the features of that particular hardware and squeeze all they can out of it, push it to the limits.

    With PC's, there's very diverse hardware that developers have to take in account - even the x86 architecture isn't as uniform as you'd think, there are many differences between CPUs. So they can't optimize the code as extremely as on consoles, because it has to run on more diverse hardware.
    Last edited by dee.; 09-24-2013 at 08:09 PM.

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by dee. View Post
    JC is not the messiah of gaming. He says lots of things and isn't always correct. Like the time when he said porting to Linux is pointless and everyone should just use wine... yeah.

    The reason consoles seem more efficient is because they are much, much, much more standardized - each generation of a given brand of console has exactly identical hardware, which simplifies the task of programming lots. The developers know the development target perfectly, there's no guessing about will there be this or that CPU/GPU combination, how much RAM, what version of OpenGL and what extensions are supported etc. - it's all in the specs, so they can just use the features of that particular hardware and squeeze all they can out of it, push it to the limits.

    With PC's, there's very diverse hardware that developers have to take in account - even the x86 architecture isn't as uniform as you'd think, there are many differences between CPUs. So they can't optimize the code as extremely as on consoles, because it has to run on more diverse hardware.
    I think most of what he says is based on what Bethesda tells him to say. _
    ID's dead.

    Nobody cares about a superior graphics engine anymore. GTA V says it, people want content and sandboxes.

  7. #97
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    Ubuntu is No More as Steam OS is the new top DOG

  8. #98
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    Looking forward to tomorrow's announcement... I'll take a stab in the dark and say that the low-end, streaming-only device is going to be a Tegra 5. NVIDIA did a lot of work with Valve to do their Shield streaming (I think it only works with Steam?) and Valve has already talked about this feature w/ SteamOS... so the partnership isn't completely impossible. And if it's a streaming-only device it probably wouldn't need an Intel CPU.

    What's you guys thinkin?

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by dee. View Post
    JC is not the messiah of gaming. He says lots of things and isn't always correct. Like the time when he said porting to Linux is pointless and everyone should just use wine... yeah.

    The reason consoles seem more efficient is because they are much, much, much more standardized - each generation of a given brand of console has exactly identical hardware, which simplifies the task of programming lots. The developers know the development target perfectly, there's no guessing about will there be this or that CPU/GPU combination, how much RAM, what version of OpenGL and what extensions are supported etc. - it's all in the specs, so they can just use the features of that particular hardware and squeeze all they can out of it, push it to the limits.

    With PC's, there's very diverse hardware that developers have to take in account - even the x86 architecture isn't as uniform as you'd think, there are many differences between CPUs. So they can't optimize the code as extremely as on consoles, because it has to run on more diverse hardware.
    JC says that? Who's one of the few people that allowed triple A games natively run on Linux in the first place? AAA games on wine is ok for some, but not all games. Wine is not my cup of tea, granted... I don't like wine because I believe I might as well be using windows.

    I don't actually believe that consoles are more efficient just because they are standardised. I believe it's more to do with the target platform. They're built from day one to work as ONLY a gaming machine. Where as a PC covers so many bases. I'm guessing that a Linux steambox might change all this, by making PC a little more standardised.

    And if you followed my links, you will see that PS4 and xbox one will now be x86 hardware. Which is why I question the architecture of the steambox. If it's just a micro PC then what's the point? This machine is a gaming machine first and foremost so it might well be the first best thing for gaming on Linux. I just hope they make a good job of it. If the machine really is AMD based, then maybe, just maybe... The drivers might finally come around!

    Quote Originally Posted by squirrl View Post
    I think most of what he says is based on what Bethesda tells him to say. _
    ID's dead.

    Nobody cares about a superior graphics engine anymore. GTA V says it, people want content and sandboxes.
    JC is most definitely not Bethesda. He knows hardware very well. He knows programming even better. He states himself that he's not Godlike with programming skills. JC will always hold my regard because he's in the spotlight and still has a huge fan base. I remember once when everyone thought Apple was dead, and so they fired Steve Jobs... Don't ever underestimate what could happen in the future.

    Nobody compares about superior graphics? Tell that to all the idiots who bought battlefield 3. Must be a lot of nobodies out there. PS4 will launch boasting about graphics, you can't tell me that it's one of the main features that pull people into gaming in the first place.

  10. #100
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    Full Carmack quote
    Quote Originally Posted by John "the OpenGL pope" Carmack
    I wish Linux well, but the reality is that it barely makes it into my top ten priorities (Burn the heretic!); I use Linux for the flight computers at Armadillo Aerospace, but not for any regular desktop work. I was happy to hear that Rage ran in Wine, but no special effort was made to support it.

    I do get tempted to port to Linux for technical reasons – I would like to use Valgrind again, and Nvidia has told me that some experimental GPU features I would like to use for R&D would be easier to prove out on Linux. Working on open source Linux OpenGL drivers again would also be fun if I ever had the time.

    However, I don’t think that a good business case can be made for officially supporting Linux for mainstream games today, and Zenimax doesn’t have any policy of “unofficial binaries” like Id used to have. I have argued for their value (mostly in the context of experimental Windows features, but Linux would also benefit), but my forceful internal pushes have been for the continuation of Id Software’s open source code releases, which I feel have broader benefits than unsupported Linux binaries.

    I can’t speak for the executives at Zenimax, but they don’t even publish Mac titles (they partner with Aspyr), so I would be stunned if they showed an interest in officially publishing and supporting a Linux title. A port could be up and running in a week or two, but there is so much work to do beyond that for official support. The conventional wisdom is that native Linux games are not a good market. Id Software tested the conventional wisdom twice, with Quake Arena and Quake Live. The conventional wisdom proved correct. Arguments can be made that neither one was an optimal test case, but they were honest tries.

    If you fervently believe that there is an actual business case to be made for Linux ports, you can make a business offer to a publisher – offer a guarantee and be willing to do the work and support. This is what Aspyr does for the Mac, and what Loki did for Linux. However, you probably can’t even get an email returned if you are offering less than six figures to a top ten publisher. This may sound ridiculous – “Who would turn away $20,000?” but the reality is that many of the same legal, financial, executive, and support resources need to be brought to bear on every single deal, regardless of size, and taking time away from something that is in the tens of millions of dollars range is often not justifiable.

    I truly do feel that emulation of some sort is a proper technical direction for gaming on Linux. It is obviously pragmatic in the range of possible support, but it shouldn’t have the technical stigma that it does. There really isn’t much of anything special that a native port does – we still make OpenGL calls, winsock is just BSD sockets, windows threads become pthreads, and the translation of input and audio interfaces don’t make much difference (XInput and Xaudio2 are good APIs!). A good shim layer should have far less impact on performance than the variability in driver quality.

    Translating from D3D to OpenGL would involve more inefficiencies, but figuring out exactly what the difficulties are and making some form of “D3D interop” extension for OpenGL to smooth it out is a lot easier than making dozens of completely refactored, high performance native ports.

    Ideally, following a set of best practice guidelines could allow developers to get Linux versions with little more effort than supporting, say, Windows XP.

    Properly evangelized, with Steam as a monetized distribution platform, this is a plausible path forward.

    John Carmack

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