Posts Tagged ‘SteamOS’

This Is Living (Room): Steam In-Home Streaming Beta Soon

Valve has named the group for this thing 'Homestream,' which sounds like something I'd call a good friend if I were trying way too hard to be hip. 'What up, homestream?' Hurrah! Now I hate myself!

Owning a gaming machine with horsepower for days can come with some pretty severe drawbacks – for instance, that it’s comparable to an actual horse in weight and portability. (And I can’t even ride it! What did I make this damn thing for, anyway?) The prospect of following Valve’s rhythmically clomping war party into the living room, then, isn’t the most attractive. Not when I have to pit my spine against weight that would bow a flagpole for multiple action-packed flights of stairs. But soon, all will be well. Valve’s officially announced its in-home streaming program for Steam, and it sounds like just what my doctor would’ve ordered after diagnosing me with folded-up-like-a-human-accordion syndrome.

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Valve Shows Off Steam Hardware, Promises No Exclusives

Lookit! A box! Isn’t that just the most exciting thing? The Internet is, of course, in a tizzy over Valve’s big reveal of a Steam Machine prototype, and – yep – it sure looks like one of them newfangled VCRs that can play those dang dern gametapes we never stop talking about. The bigger news, however, is that you need not worry about being required to own one – or even running SteamOS, for that matter. Nope, not even for Half-Life 3. Valve, happily, is philosophically opposed to the idea of platform exclusives.

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Prototype SteamBox Specs Revealed!

Valve have posted up a range of specs for the Steam Box prototype – or prototypes, as they have varied CPU and gfx cards – three hundred of which are going to be sent out to early sign ups. They explain: “The prototype machine is a high-end, high-performance box, built out of off-the-shelf PC parts. It is also fully upgradable, allowing any user to swap out the GPU, hard drive, CPU, even the motherboard if you really want to. Apart from the custom enclosure, anyone can go and build exactly the same machine by shopping for components and assembling it themselves. And we expect that at least a few people will do just that. (We’ll also share the source CAD files for our enclosure, in case people want to replicate it as well.)”

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Indies On SteamOS, Pt 2: Linux, The Controller

Valve? Making its own OS for living rooms? Madness. Pure, coldly calculated and entirely premeditated madness. But SteamOS’ success is far from guaranteed, and it’s got some serious hurdles to overcome before it can establish a New World Order. Last time around, I gathered developers of games like Project Eternity, Gone Home, Mark of the Ninja, The Banner Saga, and Race The Sun to discuss who SteamOS/Steam Boxes are even for and the relative “openness” of Valve’s platform in light of, er, Greenlight. Today, we dig even deeper, into the strange, nebulous guts of Linux and what sorts of challenges and opportunities Valve’s crazy, newfangled controller presents. There are even some hands-on impressions from Dejobaan and Paradox. Read on for THE FUTURE.

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Week in Tech: Ultra-SFF Gaming FTW?

Could it be true? That here in my mortal hand I do hold a nugget of purest gaming? Not exactly. It’s the latest and tiniest NUC, Intel’s so-called ‘Next Unit of Computing’. It’s a full-function PC with Intel’s best graphics ever. And it’s claimed to sport pukka gaming chops. Meanwhile, Valve has been punting SteamOS, the whole Steam Box thang is still on – as far as I know – and Xi3’s Piston has been priced up at a preposterous $1,000. Chuck all that into the mix and you might wonder whether the NUC looks a lot like a entry-level Steam Box, on the hardware side at least. And if so, does the small-form-factor gaming thing add up? Read the rest of this entry »

Indies On SteamOS, Pt 1: ‘Openness,’ Potential Pitfalls

You probably haven’t heard, but Valve’s officially going forward with its plan to launch its own Steam-centric OS, living room hardware, and a crazy, touch-pad-based controller to back it all up. I know, right? It’s weird that no one has been talking about it incessantly. But while Valve preaches openness and hackability, it’s downplayed an ugly reality of the situation: smaller developers still face a multitude of struggles in the treacherous green jungles of its ecosystem. SteamOS and various Steam Boxes, however, stand to bring brilliantly inventive indie games to an audience that doesn’t even have a clue that they exist, so I got in touch with developers behind Gone Home, Race The Sun, Eldritch, Mark of the Ninja, Incredipede, Project Eternity, and more for their thoughts on SteamOS, who it’s even for, Valve’s rocky relationship with indies, and what it’ll take for Steam to actually be an “open” platform.

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Valve’s Final Announcement: The Steam Controller

And so the announcements are complete. And with no last-minute surprises, Valve have announced their peripheral for the Steam Machine that will carry SteamOS, in an attempt to bring PC gaming into the living room. It is, they say, a new kind of controller, one designed to be able to trick older games into thinking they’re being played with a keyboard and mouse. It looks pretty damned smart, at first glance.

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Nvidia Working With Valve, Linux Community For SteamOS

Nvidia‘s history of Linux support has been – to put it very, very lightly – rocky at best, but apparently that’s all about to change. The hardware manufacturer is now throwing its considerable weight behind both SteamOS and Linux as a whole, even going so far as to promise it’ll release documentation on its GPUs to the Linux community so as to help ease compatibility issues. Meanwhile, the meaner, greener side of the graphicsability wars boasts of engineers “embedded at Valve” to hammer SteamOS into rip-roaring, console-busting shape. Which, I suppose, makes sense, given that AMD is supplying innards for both Microsoft and Sony.

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Steam Machines: Valve Announce Hardware

Following the SteamOS announcement on Monday, time has been ticking away, as it has a tendency to do, and we now find ourselves on the farside of Valve’s second announcement. It’s a Steam-powered Box! A group of them, to be more precise. And, boy, am I glad it is, because I wrote this pre-jump section of the post an hour ago, having spent the day polishing my crystal ball. If, like Brad Pitt, you want to know what’s in the frickin’ box, join me below for a brief tour.

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After GLaDOS: Valve Releasing SteamOS

As the internet held its breath and the countdown reached zero, speculation in the RPS chatroom reached fever pitch. And after the announcement was made, John bellowed, “I PREDICTED THAT!”. He did, you know. Valve are releasing an operating system, SteamOS and this is what we know.

As we’ve been working on bringing Steam to the living room, we’ve come to the conclusion that the environment best suited to delivering value to customers is an operating system built around Steam itself. SteamOS combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen. It will be available soon as a free stand-alone operating system for living room machines.

More below.

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