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  1. #1
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    Steam Controller/Link On-Sale - so where is the SteamOS bandwagon these days?

    Steam's weekend deal is 30%-off Steam Controller and Link - earlier this week I noticed some deals on the scant Steam Machines which exist on the world so I'm wondering 2 things

    1 - SteamOS hasn't really gone anywhere has it?
    Seems to me the whole Steam Machine thing fizzled before it launched - certainly here in the UK at least?
    Note: specifically SteamOS - let's not start the Linux thing in here...

    2 - New Steam Controller/Link designs coming?
    It's the start of computer show season - are we expecting a revamped Steam Controller/Link do you think?

    Did anyone here buy these things and did they work well - hell, were they even available in your country? Here in the UK we can order from Valve, one retail chain kinda got a few and generally did nothing with them - bit underwhelming?
    Last edited by trjp; 03-06-2016 at 12:09 AM.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    I got a Steam Controller and Steam Link in Game, they both work great and I'm using the controller instead of the 360 I have. Not touched SteamOS as I have linux already.

  3. #3
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    I have to admit I'm historically a sucker for new controllers (I've owned a wild selection over the years) but I kinda think the 2nd version of this might be a bit more worthwhile (if we ever get one)

    I know they released the CAD files for it a while back, to enable people to make accessories/addons for it. That was cool - it would be assholish to make a new controller so shortly thereafter?

    p.s. they have apparently confirmed an updated controller but - y'know - Valve time...

    p.p.s. UK postage is 7.40 for either Link or Controller but a scandalous 14.80 if you order both, so they can kiss my ass
    Last edited by trjp; 03-06-2016 at 01:13 AM.

  4. #4
    Network Hub gordianblot's Avatar
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    It's mostly the same situation here in the states in terms of distribution chains (and probably adoption too).

    I never got a Steam Controller mostly because they put the right touch pad above the face buttons. Pretty much a deal breaker for me. I've tried a similar setup with the Wii U and it's just completely unnatural to me. The word that nobody is really releasing input maps for it didn't help though. Not only would I be giving up the 360pad/kbm combo that I'm pretty fine with already for my desktop (I know, it's more aimed for couch sitters), I'd also likely have to do a bunch of fiddling before I could really play.

    SteamOS always seemed like a ransom to Microsoft in case they made Windows into a closed platform. I suppose the adoption rate doesn't make it particularly threatening though.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus icupnimpn2's Avatar
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    I would really like a Steam Controller. Went to buy one in December but then had sudden expenses and couldn't. Haven't gone back for one since then.

    I have spent hours in the past trying to configure mouse controls to a gamepad, with mixed results. I think it would be a great fit for me, but I don't have consistent enough time to game that I can justify the purchase right now.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xzi's Avatar
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    I hear mostly positive things about the Steam controller and linkbox, although anything different from the supposed "best" controller layout is always going to receive some negativity. I already had an Nvidia Shield, though, so I've never used either. Thus I'm a bit biased when I say the Vive is the best Steam hardware released. Valve cannot really "fail" at any project given their overall budget/income, so it's good that at least one company out there is enabled to take risks.
    ~

  7. #7
    Lesser Hivemind Node Henke's Avatar
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    I bought a SC (in a bundle with Dark Souls 3 a while back). I played through Portal 2 using it, but haven't touched it for the last few weeks. It's gonna take some more getting used to.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    A friend of mine brought a SC over once, I used it for about 4 minutes and wasn't immediately repulsed by it and even thought "Hey, this could be great for Civ V!" but haven't gone to order one yet. Even at 30% off, I still don't think I'll budge.

    Steam machines just seem to have died before they even arrived. I'm still not entirely sure if they ever officially launched?
    "Halo is designed to make the player think "I look like that, I am macho sitting in my undies with my xbox""

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  9. #9
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    I think they're waiting to do an exclusive launch tie in with Half Life 3.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus zanchito's Avatar
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    I've got a steam controller and it's a really nice piece of hardware, but it DEFINITELY needs effort to get into it.
    Steam: Zanchito || Guild Wars 2: Gatonegro || The Secret World: Mescalitoh || Elite Dangerous: CMDR Zanchito

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Gus_Smedstad's Avatar
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    I played a fair amount of Sid Meier's Starships with Steam Link and the Steam Controller. There's a learning curve that isn't present with most controllers, but it's very capable, and can pretty much replace keyboard and mouse for a game that's completely controller-unaware.

    The amazing thing about it is the degree to which you can customize what it does. For example, I set up the left trackpad to behave as a mouse wheel, and the trackpads can respond to taps as clicks.

    However, I've yet to touch it since. The thing is, I'd mostly rather play at my desktop computer with an actual keyboard and mouse, over playing on the big screen with the steam controller. I keep meaning to return to big-screen play, but I haven't done it. My plan is to use it the next time I play a game that really demands a controller, like Mad Max or Shadow of Middle Earth.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Bobtree's Avatar
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    I don't care about the hardware offerings, but I'd love to see SteamOS quietly smother Windows in it's sleep and take over as the primary OS for PC gaming. Even if that can't/won't/doesn't happen, we're better off having the competition.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    Note: specifically SteamOS - let's not start the Linux thing in here...
    You can't separate that. More games on Linux = more games on SteamOS, and backwards.
    It's gotten very quiet around it, but I'm not calling it dead just yet. Vulkan has been released only recently and it's been clear from the start that Linux/SteamOS only has the slightest chance to get anywhere, if many developers adopt Vulkan over DX12. The rest of the year will tell, if that's likely to happen or not. If there haven't been any major announcement before the end of the year, I'll call it dead, too.

    I've bought a SC, and I can't say I'm using it much. It feels awkward to use, and for games that already support game pads, I just use my XBone pad. Haven't played shooters for ages.
    Resident graphics snob.

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanMan View Post
    You can't separate that. More games on Linux = more games on SteamOS
    I was thinking more of 'sales of Steam Machines' or at least using SteamOS and not other distros - but neither has really seen much of a surge has it?

    In many ways, the Steam Link sort-of removes the need for the Steam Machine for most folks?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    I was thinking more of 'sales of Steam Machines' or at least using SteamOS and not other distros - but neither has really seen much of a surge has it?

    In many ways, the Steam Link sort-of removes the need for the Steam Machine for most folks?
    There are no public numbers. Ars did some guesstimation.

    The Link surely killed many people's interest in Steam Machines, which their manufacturers likely aren't very excited about. Almost a stab in the back, really. Valve being Valve again.
    Resident graphics snob.

    Remember, kids: Bad practices often become a trend, if not dealt with promptly.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Gus_Smedstad's Avatar
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    Well, realistically, SteamOS and Steam Machines were always going to be very niche. They're consoles, but without the razor-and-blade pricing model that successful consoles have needed to keep the base hardware price reasonable. A cheap streaming box that lets you play mainstream Steam titles with your pricey gaming desktop without moving it into the living room is a far better solution.

    I don't see the current generation of Steam Controller and Steam Link making any inroads either, actually. Despite being much cheaper. Mainly because the Steam Controller, for all that it's a very flexible and powerful device, requires fiddling to get it to work right. You can't really just pick it up and use it the way you do with an XBox or PS4 controller.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    The matter of ≠$ is a complete brick wall for me.
    I am once again writing a blog, vaguely about playing games the wrong way
    http://playingitwrong.wordpress.com/

  18. #18
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    They did announce that they've sold 500k Controllers thus far just the other day. That's not too shabby.
    Resident graphics snob.

    Remember, kids: Bad practices often become a trend, if not dealt with promptly.

  19. #19
    Moderator alms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanMan View Post
    The Link surely killed many people's interest in Steam Machines, which their manufacturers likely aren't very excited about. Almost a stab in the back, really. Valve being Valve again.
    Having spent way too long on the losing side of the OS wars, almost anything is easier than getting someone who doesn't already have specific interests and motivation to switch to a different operating system.

    Without even taking in consideration that a Link costs way less and is essentially a plug'n'play box, rather than a new unfamiliar, and possibly intimidating, thing which you have to make an effort to learn, such as a new machine with a different OS.
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  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sparkasaurusmex's Avatar
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    Can I install a dual boot to SteamOS and then in there just point to my steam folder that I'm currently using in Windows so I don't have to download any games again? I'd give it a try if it's that easy.

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