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Valve Rolls Out Wine-based "Proton" For Running Windows Games On Linux

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  • Originally posted by grok View Post

    Steam machines? I doubt Steam machines are wanted or needed. There aren't Steam machine laptops either, but there are a few linux laptops. Steam machines with SteamOS are SKU inventory trouble for the vendor and when Steam machines were made they sold it with.. Windows.

    SteamOS itself is debian oldstable. Perhaps it's actually better in some ways. Less software turned into GTK3 headerbar junk? but it's a three-year-yold distro still, soon three and a half.
    I mean to be fair Debian Stretch launched just a year ago and SteamOS 3 is rebasing off that so by the end of this year it will only be based on a year and a half old distro. Not that that even really matters since they use all their own driver and kernel packages anyways and use the Steam Runtime for any game-facing stuff. What distro it's based on *really* doesn't matter.

    I think everyone's overlooking a far bigger thing though. Chromebooks. They already have Linux container support. They're planned to have GPU support for container apps sometime in Q4 through a modified Virgl and Vulkan-Virgl. And machines are comming with AMD APUs and/or dedicated graphics.

    People can talk crap all they want about Chromebooks vs GNU/Linux, but they're likely the community's best chance for a wider install base. A lot of the kids just getting out of high school now have been using Chromebooks all through school, and a huge potential userbase is poised to continue using them.

    Between Linux app support, the Linux Steam client, and Proton for playing games designed for Windows we could very potentially have these users contributing towards the Linux marketshare on Steam. That's huge.

    If Google can have everything in place on ChromeOS land for summer next year and the back to school rush, and Valve is able to push forward and get Steam Play Compatibility out of Beta, we could see a fairly substantial upsurge in Linux Steam users all at once in a little under a years time.

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    • Originally posted by Lestibournes View Post
      Putting aside whatever love Valve has for Linux, I believe Valve's strategy has 2 main aspects. First, Windows is the primary PC gaming platform and it's been getting more and more restrictive. Valve wants to hedge against the day that Windows gets too restrictive and makes it too difficult for Valve to do business on Windows or for Steam users to buy and play games on Steam. If that day comes then Valve can invite those users to SteamOS where now their entire library of games will be waiting for them. This also serves as a deterrent against Microsoft. If Microsoft tries to shut out Steam it can expect a mass exodus of gamers, so they won't do it.

      The second aspect is the console wars. Steam has a userbase comparable to a console, only on a PC. They also have a massive library of games and features not available on a console. Perhaps the main problem is that the vast majority of the games on Steam are Windows only and very few AAA games work on Linux. With this new SteamPlay All the AAA games on PC, past present and future, will be available on SteamOS which will make Steam Machines a real competitor in the next generation of consoles.

      On the PC this will enable switchers, but I don't think we'll see a wave of switching unless Microsoft seriously screws Steam and its users. It's just that whoever already wants to switch will be able to do so more completely and easily.

      On the console we can expect SteamOS to carve out some significant marketshare with the next generation so long as Steam Machines with a competitive combination of performance and price are made available. So instead of this bringing about the Year of the Linux Desktop it would bring us Year of the Linux Console. Once Linux, through SteamOS, becomes big on the console then we may see more games developed with cross-platform technologies like Vulkan and SDL in order to target SteamOS on the console with the advantage of making ports to other platforms easier. Also we could see some PC gamers choosing to buy gaming PCs with SteamOS for their next gaming PC, but not a wave of people ditching Windows just to switch. It would just be "SteamOS is an OS geared for gaming, I use a computer primarily for gaming and surfing the web and don't really need anything else, and all my games work on SteamOS, so maybe when I need a new PC gaming rig I'll just buy a Steam Machine gaming PC".
      Meh, if court ruled same way as with Oracle vs Google with regards to Android, Valve would just end up paying huge amounts of money to Microsoft for using Wine

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      • Originally posted by grok View Post

        Steam machines? I doubt Steam machines are wanted or needed. There aren't Steam machine laptops either, but there are a few linux laptops. Steam machines with SteamOS are SKU inventory trouble for the vendor and when Steam machines were made they sold it with.. Windows.

        SteamOS itself is debian oldstable. Perhaps it's actually better in some ways. Less software turned into GTK3 headerbar junk? but it's a three-year-yold distro still, soon three and a half.
        I don't mean to knock it down technically. Branding generic hardware around specific software is a bit weird. Do you remember the Facebook phone and the Amazon phone? Or slightly different, the Surface RT whose feature was the Windows 8 store (which Microsoft has announced is closing to new apps!, and totally disabled in 2023)
        An analogy would be Adobe coming up with "Adobe machines" : a Windows PC with an Adobe CC client pre-installed and six months of Adobe CC.

        I would suggest this : people walk into a supermarket and find a boxed Steam controller there, maybe bundled with a Steam-branded USB drive that includes a few hundred kilobytes of software to set it up with the most current Steam OS installer
        I think you're missing the forest for the trees. The console market right now resembles the smartphone market on the eve of the launch of Android, except that instead of one Apple and one iPhone you have 3, and when the battle starts the app advantage will go to the challenger. Like Google with Android, Valve is putting out an OS for consoles that will have all the PC games. That's strong competition for the consoles in terms of content and will allow any hardware manufacturer to put out a console to compete with Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft just like the myriad manufacturers competing with Apple. Valve can also do an official Steam Machine, perhaps in partnership with a manufacturer, to go head to head with the other vendor similar to what Google did with the Nexus series of devices.

        This new SteamPlay is a game changer because with it instead of 20% of the Steam library support it will approach 100%, including the AAA titles, with close to day 1 support for new releases. This will finally put SteamOS on par with the consoles in terms of content availability and make it a real alternative.

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        • Originally posted by Lestibournes View Post

          I think you're missing the forest for the trees. The console market right now resembles the smartphone market on the eve of the launch of Android, except that instead of one Apple and one iPhone you have 3, and when the battle starts the app advantage will go to the challenger. Like Google with Android, Valve is putting out an OS for consoles that will have all the PC games. That's strong competition for the consoles in terms of content and will allow any hardware manufacturer to put out a console to compete with Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft just like the myriad manufacturers competing with Apple. Valve can also do an official Steam Machine, perhaps in partnership with a manufacturer, to go head to head with the other vendor similar to what Google did with the Nexus series of devices.

          This new SteamPlay is a game changer because with it instead of 20% of the Steam library support it will approach 100%, including the AAA titles, with close to day 1 support for new releases. This will finally put SteamOS on par with the consoles in terms of content availability and make it a real alternative.
          Very well put.

          Your post makes me excited for the future!

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          • Originally posted by cybertraveler View Post

            Very well put.

            Your post makes me excited for the future!
            Thanks. I don't know if they will actually succeed, but at least now they finally are approaching the starting line for the race. The question is if they will be ready in time to participate in the upcoming race when Sony and Microsoft release the next generation and everyone refreshes their hardware. If they are then they will have a chance to grab a big chunk of marketshare in one go. If not then it will be a slow slog until the next generation.

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            • An issue with Chromebooks is that Google is busy dropping support for them. e.g. Chromebook Pixel users were just notified that they won't get any single update, after five years. That's the high end of the range (for support duration, let alone the hardware)
              "Old" Chromebooks, meaning those that aren't new will not receive Linux apps on Chromebook (though of course you can without Google's blessing). ARM Chromebooks won't be able to run Steam.
              I think they're really big in the US, perhaps less so in other countries. Well you'll have zillions of dirt cheap "unsupported" Chromebooks to play with. Such as ARM ones with screen and keyboard broken by children, will do great as a low power desktop or server or "HTPC".

              Recent x86 Chromebook with 8GB RAM, then this is good. Storage capacity is a concern.
              At worst the Chromebook will be a Steam Link client!
              If SteamOS is reliable enough that streaming works (use of the GPU hardware encoder) then I think this is good, you can have a SteamOS desktop and a Chromebook, with no Microsoft Windows in sight.
              Last edited by grok; 29 August 2018, 08:04 AM.

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              • A nice touch in the announcement is encouraging the developers to use Vulcan so that their games will work better with SteamPlay.

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