Details of Valve's Linux game console imminent

Valve runs Steam, the largest and most successful online game-subscription service. And soon, it'll be the producer of a Linux-based game console to connect to it with. Here's Nathan Grayson, at RPS:
It’s time for PCs to supplant walled garden living room boxes, but via a form factor that’s maybe a bit less, er, monolithic than the towering monster machines we’re used to. “The next step in our contribution to this is to release some work we’ve done on the hardware side,” said Newell. “Next week we’re going to be rolling out more information about how we get there and what are the hardware opportunities that we see for bringing Linux into the living room and getting it even more unified with [other devices].”

Notable Replies

  1. I'm looking forward to seeing what they come out with. Steam is really a fantastic game distribution platform, which I've only just started playing with after YEARS of being out of the PC gaming world.

  2. I'd prefer that. I mean, the XBox One and PS4 will have custom AMD Jaguars, but if the last generation is any indication, they'll still be around in 2021. There have been several generations of PCs since 2005. My PC is "old" by PC standards but it's half the age of the 360. Heh, that puts things in perspective; I have a GPU that was low-end when it was new and it's a few years old, I have an AMD X4 630 CPU, and I was marveling at how smooth all the Linux-native Steam games I have so far seem to run. I'm guessing my PC will be obsolete once all the new consoles come out, though.

    Off the shelf hardware means, in theory, that you're not constrained to older hardware.

    I'm not sure how I feel about big picture mode. I have an HTPC running Gentoo (yeah, I know) and running it on my TV is...meh.

    There have been rumors that they've been working with Xi3 but that would likely mean they have something new in the works, as none of their current line would make for a modern gaming experience. It would be kind of neat if Valve put out a gaming PC that could go in a VESA mount, though.

  3. Did you install that joke from the same floppy disks you installed your distro from? Manual compilation to deal with any situation except badly supported hardware that needs to be built against the latest kernel headers is pretty rare unless you roll in very specific circles. For a vendor-vetted hardware config? They'd throw a wrapper script around it, worst case.

  4. Why would this ever be required? When since the late 90s have any 'home' Linux users needed to recompile anything? Fuddy, my man, very fuddy.

  5. Given the stronger underlying architecture, it is theoretically possible to build games on linux that will massively outperform Windows or Mac implementations of the same games running on the same hardware. I don't know if Gabe Newell's guys have the chops to deliver on the theory, but I guess we'll find out!

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