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It's Been Four Years Since SteamOS Began Shipping With Not Much To Show

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  • It's Been Four Years Since SteamOS Began Shipping With Not Much To Show

    Phoronix: It's Been Four Years Since SteamOS Began Shipping With Not Much To Show

    It was four years ago this week that Valve began shipping SteamOS, their Debian-based Linux distribution intended for Steam Machines and those wanting a gaming-oriented Linux distribution. While Valve still technically maintains the SteamOS Linux distribution, the outlook at this point is rather bleak...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...eamOS-Now-Four

  • #2
    I buy my games on GOG now so I don't even need Steam anymore..

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    • #3
      Doesn't look like Atari is going to change much either. Now maybe if someone as big as Google gets involved in this...

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      • #4
        Living room PC's never have been a big market. Linux living room PC's even less. It would have been better if Steam pushed SteamOS as a really gaming-optimised Linux distro and kept pushing. Now it feels like they've blown their load and retreated to take a nap.

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        • #5
          I think Michael is totally missing the point. Valve did not intend SteamOS to be "better" than any other Linux for gaming. The point was to provide a *single* target platform for game devs who often complain, rightly, about frustrating fragmentation in the Linux world. If game devs make sure that their games run well on SteamOS, the ball moves to the court of Linux distro maintainers, who need to make sure they can run Steam games just as well on their distro.

          Of course, there's a chicken and egg problem here. Game devs wouldn't target SteamOS if nobody is running it. That's why Valve was hoping to get as many SteamOS devices into people's hands as possible. And that's the part of the plan that has not worked so well. Any SteamOS-based living room PC would give you *much* better value if you install Windows + Steam on it instead, even considering the cost of a Windows license (OEM licenses are much cheaper).

          I still think SteamOS is an important part of the strategy of convincing game devs to target to Linux. But we still need to figure out how to get people to want a Linux-based device for its own merits.

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          • #6
            TBH their improvements/help with Mesa and the like are more beneficial anyway, and can be used by the entire community.

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            • #7
              It's interesting, I mean SteamOS may have not done much to impress the userspace. But thinking about it objectively:
              • It's to move away from MS Windows only titles
              • More support to the Linux side of things
              • Getting in touch with the Linux community
              • Gathering people in the Linux community (which goes back to the previous point so it does not really count)
              • Contacts all around for better drivers (which this point goes back to support so it does not really count)
              Anything else I forgot to mention?

              Thought of process: Building this list up of things done might bring up constructive feedback to Valve themselves.

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              • #8
                It also gives Valve an option if Miscrosoft goes the full "use microsoft store or nothing" that it seems to be moving towards.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by You- View Post
                  It also gives Valve an option if Miscrosoft goes the full "use microsoft store or nothing" that it seems to be moving towards.
                  Valve just needs people to use Steam. The store. Not necessarily steamOS. As long as you buy using steam on any Linux distro they are happy.

                  The purpose of steamOS was to serve as a target platform for game devs who want to target Linux. And for Valve to have something to put on their steam machine consoles; they wanted something gaming ready out of the box with all the correct drivers installed and usable from the couch with only a controller.

                  At this point SteamOS just seems to be one avenue in which they are investing in Linux. Probably the other avenues which they have pursued are more important such as their investment into Vulkan, virtual reality on linux, MESA drivers, devs tools and debuggers etc and of course most importantly steam itself.

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                  • #10
                    Linux gaming is better than ever, but I bought Nintendo Switch Though, it is a Christmas present for kids.

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