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News Valve encouraging gamers to try Linux

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Gareth Halfacree, 22 Jan 2013.

  1. tonyd223

    tonyd223 king of nothing

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    agreed. I've played with Ubuntu for years and EVERY time I break it over something so simple like hardware that I end up uninstalling. And yes, I run it on a spare hard drive rather than a virtual machine - just don't go there. I want a real alternative to Windows (just like I want a real alternative to Intel chips) and I now have one - Android.
     
  2. Byron C

    Byron C Over-reacting and over-analysing since 1982

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    From the way I look at it, these comments - as well as many other comments made many other times in many other places - seem to somewhat miss the point. Valve aren't making all this effort with Linux purely out of their own goodwill, to further any open source goals or to get people to stop using Windows altogether; they're doing it to make Linux a viable platform on which they can make money. If they can release a product where they own the whole ecosystem - hardware design, distribution platform, sales, etc - then they'd be crazy to miss that opportunity (yes I know they would not "own" the OS, but the OS is purely a means to an end). Canonical are unlikely to object because it gets their product used by more people, even if those people never see it or even realise that it's there. Valve have already pretty publicly stated their opinion on Windows, so to suddenly go back on that and base a product on Windows would be PR suicide. Happily, Linux doesn't come with added licensing cost either; so long as Valve follow any open source licence agreements that come with the code, they can do pretty much whatever the hell they want with it.

    If someone buys a Steam Box do you really expect them to have to install the distro themselves or muck about "under the hood" with the OS? Valve are going to want the software as tightly integrated as they can possibly get it: you switch it on, see a Valve/Steam boot logo (possibly a "powered by Ubuntu/AMD/Nvidia/blah" logo too) and it then boots straight into Steam "big picture mode", where all your games and - more importantly for Valve - the game store are easily available via a nice friendly interface. Joe Average never needs to worry about what goes on in the background and they won't be expected to muck around with the underlying OS; bar maybe the occasional prompt that says "There are new graphics drivers available; would you like to install them now?". Their biggest market is going to be those that honestly don't care: does the average Xbox owner really give a crap or have to worry about the OS that runs everything? If Valve want a console-like experience and want this to make money for them then they can't shoot for anything less than a tightly integrated and intuitive user experience. This doesn't mean that they have to make it a totally closed platform either; Linux nerds/enthusiasts like me who me who may want to get their hands dirty or even wipe the OS altogether will be able to do so. Nerds such as those I have quoted above who have their doubts about Linux will probably stick to Windows, and Valve still get their money either way.

    The point of getting a beta version out now is so that new features, fixes, tweaks, etc, can be used, tested and verified ready for the final product. It isn't going to be perfect and it isn't going to have an endless selection of games. Steam on Linux isn't going to be an overnight revolution for Linux gaming, and it probably isn't going to do anything to convince anyone who's perfectly happy with Steam on Windows - I can't see Valve losing any sleep over that either, as long as you're still buying games from them. For those of us who have been crying out for more game support on Linux however, it's practically mana from heaven; to mix my metaphors somewhat, Steam releasing their own hardware and making the whole experience more user friendly is just icing on the cake.

    Of course they have a lot to do; it remains to be seen whether they can convince big developers/publishers to buy into the platform and switch from DirectX to OpenGL. I honestly have my doubts that you're going to get the really big guys like EA, Blizzard, etc to buy into it and release their "triple-A" games on it (yes, I know that those two examples have their own distribution platforms - I'm simply using them as an example of the sort of scale I'm talking about).

    I can say one thing for certain however: Valve stand an infinitely better chance of getting buy in from developers than the Ouya guys do.
     
  3. PCBuilderSven

    PCBuilderSven New Member

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    As much as I'd love to say all Windows titles run perfectly under Wine/CrossOver, it doesn't. While some games do (especially older ones), performance is often not great and bugs can limit enjoyability. For example while Oblivion should run without problem, Skyrim faces many bugs and isn't labelled as usable.


    Or, if they can find a way to port DirectX to Linux. Theoretically speaking, if Valve managed to convince AMD/Nvidia to join in, or where to somehow gain enough knowledge on the working of their graphics cards, it could be possible to port the DirectX library and create a graphics driver to allow DirectX calls from Linux, reducing a large amount of the overhead and compatibility issues Wine creates by relaying calls to OpenGL. It wouldn't be easy/cheap/quick, and wouldn't solve all problems or be as efficient as OpenGL, but could be used to make some progress.
     
  4. CrazyJoe

    CrazyJoe Well-Known Member

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    You mean like how they did with the PS3, look how that turned out.
     
  5. Byron C

    Byron C Over-reacting and over-analysing since 1982

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    As much as I'd like to see this happen, I doubt very much that it would be an official effort by Valve or hardware manufacturers. They stand to lose far too much if Microsoft were to step in at any point and ask, "Hang on a minute chaps, just what the hell do you think you're playing at?". I have no idea what the licensing situation is for DirectX, but I can almost guarantee that Microsoft aren't going to be happy with a concerted effort by major players to reverse-engineer it and make it work on a platform they don't like or support. It'd have to be an unofficial community effort, and that would indeed take a *long* time.

    I'm afraid you'll have to enlighten me; though I have seen the "PS3 Users" blurb in the Steam login dialog, I don't tend to follow console news (I have enough trouble keeping up with PC hardware news!)

    Either way though you kinda missed another point I made further down, in a section you didn't quote; Linux won't cost Valve, or their customers, a penny. Basing a Steam Box on Windows however would incur additional cost that would have to be factored in and eventually passed on to the consumer. Why do you think Chinese manufacturers can knock out Android tablets at £40/£50 a pop?

    Valve can do whatever they want with Linux: they can make whatever changes they want to suit their needs and it doesn't involve any cost whatsoever. You'd be fooling yourself if you think it isn't all about money; however friendly, cuddly or touchy-feely Valve may appear to be, they're still a business and businesses exist for one reason only: to make money.
     
  6. abezors

    abezors Lurking since '08

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    I'll make the switch to Linux the instant that Steam releases some big names on it. Windows is a neccessary evil that I put up with to play games, will be so glad to see the back of it. Every time I boot my W7 drive I die a little inside
     
  7. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag New Member

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    There seems to be an immense amount of ignorance and arrogance in this topic. First of all, treat Linux like Windows and you'll hate it. It isn't Windows and doesn't intend to be. That being said, a "this is a Windows replacement" mentality will make your experience more difficult and negative. Also, Linux has no reason to have the full support of Windows games, just as any new platform. Again, LINUX IS NOT WINDOWS. Suppose the new Xbox won't be compatible with old games (which, AFAIK, it isn't). Is that a reason to not get it? Just because Linux can use the same hardware as Windows it doesn't mean it is OBLIGATED to do what it does.

    When it comes to not preferring how it's used or finding difficulty in it, there's more than just Ubuntu... And besides, if Valve releases their own console, it likely won't have a familiar interface. I'm sure it'll boot straight into Big Picture Mode.

    Secondly, Linux hardware support is fine. It had better hardware support than Vista (and still might) and has much better hardware support than Mac. In terms of devices that work but not as great as they do in Windows, those are starting to fade.

    Many common problems people encounter with Linux get fixed within a year. Nearly everything I had to complain about since I first used it 5 years ago is now eliminated. As for there not being a decent collection on Steam, there's a few dozen games that Steam doesn't have yet but should eventually. Every other week I hear about a new game coming to linux or steam.
     
  8. S1W1

    S1W1 Active Member

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    It's free :D
    Although that's not much help to those of us who already have Windows which must be about 99%...
     
  9. AmEv

    AmEv Meow meow. See yall in 2-ish years!

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    Someone send me a wireless card that works with Linux that doesn't die, I'll gladly get back into Linux again!
     
    Last edited: 22 Jan 2013
  10. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    That really puts things into perspective. In many ways we're spoiled by Steam, cheap games and a persistent library to download from at any time makes it easy to look at even a hundred games, more than any person could realistically play in a reasonable about of time, and consider it a tiny list.

    Perhaps I'm alone in this since no one seems to ever bring it up, but money is a huge advantage for Linux. Check the article recently posted on Bit about Windows 8 upgrades costing $120 for the standard version, more for a non-upgrade or Pro copies. Getting to cut off this cost is great for Valve when considering something such as a Steam box (they'd pay less per license, but it's still savings) and even better for enthusiasts building gaming PCs. Who wouldn't like to put the money of a new copy of Windows towards better hardware instead by running Linux for free?

    While Windows 8 is brought up, consider how many people are/were in a fit over that. Say you really dislike the latest offering from Microsoft and, gasp, they stop selling older versions. What ever will you do? Well, Valve's got you covered. Pick up a Mac or install Linux, all of their games will run and a growing number of games from other devs on Steam will as well. Cross platform support is great, even if you (currently ;)) intend to continue gaming on Windows.
     
  11. Byron C

    Byron C Over-reacting and over-analysing since 1982

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    Even my Virgin-branded WNDA2000 USB dongle works out of the box, despite the fact that it's one of those awkward dual-mode "USB device and virtual CDROM drive in one" things. Last time I tried it on a recent Ubuntu variant (Lubuntu) I didn't even need to reboot to use it. It even worked on the Raspberry Pi! (Although it draws too much USB power for the Pi to handle, thus causing instability; works fine on a laptop/desktop though).

    Wireless device support has come on leaps and bounds in recent years.

    Er, I did - twice actually, in this very thread! :p


     
  12. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag New Member

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    Perhaps this would help:
    http://wiki.debian.org/WiFi#Install_Driver

    Debian is a bit outdated so I'm sure there's a lot more support than these. The most common wifi adapters are supported out of the box.
     
  13. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    I've yet to find a USB wireless dongle that doesn't work out-of-the-box with Ubuntu. On the keyboard in front of me I have a ZyXEL NWD2105 and an Edimax EW-7711UMn: both work absolutely fine. I used to use a no-name 802.11b-only adapter with an ancient wireless-less laptop, which also worked, and whatever the adapter was that came free with my old 3Com OfficeConnect router also worked.

    I'm not saying wireless NICs that don't work with Linux don't exist; just that I've been lucky enough not to buy one.
     
  14. will_123

    will_123 Small childs brain in a big body

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    Me also. The sooner DOTA2 comes over to linux the better!
     
  15. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag New Member

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    wifi used to be one of the greatest weaknesses of the linux desktop several years ago (I say desktop because corporate servers don't tend to use wifi). Perhaps AmEv was one of those people who tried linux, happened to encounter 1 thing that failed, and gave up. Sometimes all it takes is 1 defective piece of hardware or a bad first impression of just 1 DE for people to decide to give up on linux. But I suppose that's a good thing - linux is best for those who are patient and like to tweak things. If you want something that just simply works, get a Mac.
     
  16. CrazyJoe

    CrazyJoe Well-Known Member

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    "PS3 is a waste of everybody's time"

    "The PS3 is a total disaster on so many levels"


    Then he was on the Sony stage at E3 praising PSN and the openness of the PS3, saying:

    "I'd like to thank Sony for their gracious hospitality and for not repeatedly punching me in the face"


    Yeah, I don't get the people that think Valve are the greatest company ever and they care about the gamers more than money, they are just another company that wants to make money.
     
  17. AmEv

    AmEv Meow meow. See yall in 2-ish years!

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    I'm using a Linksys WUSB300N. Has some 32-bit Linux support, but with NDISwrapper. ZERO 64-bit support.

    Tried Googling official Linux support on the Marvell 88W8362 chipset in it. Diddly. Squat.

    PS: It's the ONLY working USB WiFi card in the house. Or garage. All others have died, and I had to scrape a microtrace for adding solder to resurrect this card.

    PPS: I can install DD-WRT on a spare router I've got, but I need a TTL adapter for that... -_-
     
    Last edited: 22 Jan 2013
  18. djzic

    djzic Bokehlicious!

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    double post sorry
     
  19. djzic

    djzic Bokehlicious!

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    In the long term, this will be great for developers, geeks, and your average joe. The developers will be satisfied with hardware that isn't actually 4 years out of date when launched (I also hear there will be hardware upgrades available), linux geeks such as myself could tweak the OS and possibly even install another, and your average consumer should be able to pick it up and just bloody use the thing in big picture mode. Backwards compatibility with Windows shouldn't be a great problem if they can convince big companies to port their engines to linux, even if this means no backwards compatibility at least newer games could be run on Linux. Also, with the point brought up about DirectX, an open source equivalent library or 'compatibility layer' such as OpenJDK vs Oracle JDK could be developed.
     
  20. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Blimey, you're right. Must remember not to buy any Linksys wireless gear!

    I'd be tempted to splash out on a new dongle, to be honest: the aforementioned Edimax only costs £9. That's £9 you don't have to spend if you stick with Windows, granted - and I've always been adamant that people should use whatever operating system works for them. I use Linux, other people use Windows, still others use OS X, and a handful even use UNIX or one of the BSDs - and we all get on with the job in hand, which is actually using the machine.
     

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