Gabe Newell Thinks Steam Can Help Mainstream Linux

lacktheknack

Je suis joined jewels.
Jan 19, 2009
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If my game collection ran hassle-free on Linux, then I'd jump over to it in a heartbeat.

I support this motion.
 

RicoADF

Welcome back Commander
Jun 2, 2009
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CardinalPiggles said:
When it becomes as easy (I use that term lightly, seeing as I'm computer illiterate) to use Linux as it is to use Windows, I'll consider changing. Good luck on your little quest Gaben, I salute you!

Captcha - skynet is watching

Holy fuck, could it be? Linux is Skynet!
*looks at his laptop which he installed Linux on a week ago* Errr.... I installed the OS, and well it runs no different than windows. Where's the difficulty? Only changes I made were installing Chrome and some games from the app store (programs all being free ofcourse). It had the net, music, movies (including the USB DVD drive that plays movies no issues) working right out of the box. Seriously Windows gives me more headachs to get all the software running after an install. So really it's easier than Windows.
 

kitsuta

<Clever Title Here>
Jan 10, 2011
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Tons of people have tried (and failed) to get Linux to go mainstream. Even Google - Google, the company with basically all the things - only managed to get its own spin-off popular, and only after a lot of time and money. So I'm not exactly holding my breath for this to work.

Linux needs support on the hardware side - the vast majority of problems pinned on "usability" are actually hardware compatibility/interfacing issues.* If you do manage to get a hardware setup that behaves nicely with Linux, any decent home-user-oriented distribution will run and even install like a dream. If you don't, well, you're stuck for three hours browsing forums and talking on IRC channels trying to make your audio/video/printer/whathaveyou work.

If Valve can solve some of the hardware issues, either by putting pressure on hardware manufacturers or by just engineering good software, that'll be great. But the fact is that, after Dell dropped Ubuntu from its home PC lineup, there's been no major US hardware manufacturers that are willing to ship PCs with Linux. Most users wouldn't want to faff around installing the latest Windows on their home computer, so why would they bother doing the same for Linux?

Newell seems pretty committed to make this work, though. His statements about Windows 8 are a bit surprising - yeah, the "look, I'm your 360 dashboard" Metro interface looks pretty awful, but that doesn't seem to be the main thing he's worried about. OEMs leaving the market? Margins being "destroyed?" Jeez.

*The other problem is when people base their knowledge of Linux on that one time they tried Debian five years ago. Linux has a lot of variation on ease-of-use, both over time and between distributions.
 

0p3rati0n

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Apr 14, 2009
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Plazmatic said:
Why are you talking about Mac and Linux like they are one and the same... snip.
If I'm not mistaken, both Mac OSX and Linux are unix based. To my knowledge Mac OSX is just a "beefed" up version of linux? just closed off and such. I could be wrong though.
 

Soviet Steve

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May 23, 2009
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If my games work on Linux I'll make the switch quite happily. Though I will probably just skip 8 like I skipped Vista and wait for the Windows 8: Functional edition before I start considering an upgrade.
 
Jan 13, 2012
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For all us kiddies and technologically retarded people out there..... what is so bad about Windows and what is so great about Linux?
 

Somebloke

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saintdane05 said:
Problem:

While Steam is available for Linux, how many GAMES on Steam are on Linux?

I have a similar problem with my Mac, where I look at a game on Steam that may be interesting, but then it shows that its Window's only.
There are tons of games on Linux actually; Freeware titles, usually built upon the SDL framework, but few, if any, anywhere near commercial polish or extensiveness.

I'd say the idea here is that the presence of Steam (or equivalent) in itself potentially creates the market.

Once there is an easy way to pubish, offloading the chore of distribution, payments, customer service and management to a second party, who also makes things convenient to the end users, at the other end; developers may find incentive to work a little extra on their little hobby project and make a buck or two on it, even if it's no more than affording them an extra weekend beer.
It certainly seems to have worked out that way with software for mobile devices.
As for Steam itself - its other greatest achievement, I'd say, is in how it (...along with market actors that have followed their example..) has extended the shelf-life of titles just about indefinitely.


Newell's true beef with Windows 8 would likely not be its GUI paradigm, but its having "its own" marketplace, which is all but integrated into it, like Apple's appstore for IOS, making it the "natural" place to go for all your purchases, in direct competition with Steam and instantly marginalising Valve's behemoth child.

Steam's main competition feature in the future may well be being ubiquitous and cross-platform.
 

potemkin.hr

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Dec 8, 2009
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Plazmatic said:
Oh and you know why Mac's don't get as many viruses? Its because barely any one uses them. And if that changed, it would be incredibly easy to exploit the system.
That's rich, coming from a multiple times smaller Linux user base, but yeah. Even now OS X is pretty much swiss cheese security wise.
Used Linux over the years several times, but reverted back to Windows in the end. After a while it's not that much fun googling for one hour minimum hoping someone solved your specific problem, even more if it's not that common. Also, I hate rebooting just to play games.
They made the matter even worse with the new Unity UI, which is crap compared to the old Gnome.
 

Albino Boo

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Jun 14, 2010
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Is this the same Gabe Newell who called the PS3 "a waste of everybody's time. Investing in the Cell, investing in the SPE gives you no long-term benefits. There's nothing there that you're going to apply to anything else. You're not going to gain anything except a hatred of the architecture they've created". 18 months later steam was on the PS3.


If the mere presence of steam is enough to make a gaming platform out something that wasn't before, why isn't the MAC competing with the PC for gaming?
 

Skeleon

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Nov 2, 2007
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I wouldn't exactly call Steam an "open platform". There are actually much more open platforms for game distribution.
 

Bigsmith

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Mar 16, 2009
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As much as I feel this is a good first step I feel that it isn't worth it. In order, for example, me to switch to Linux Origin would also have to be compatible with it as well as all the games I own that aren't on steam.

Plus, in order for Linux to become more main stream all the developers need to come together and make everything compatible and easy to set up.

People say that all you have to do with Linux is install it and your done, but that's far from the bigger picture. If you have a less well known graphics card or sound driver you'll have to spend hours to get it working on Linux because companies don't give a shit and you have to find drivers made by the Linux community.

With regards to windows 8, I've tried the Public Beta and it's not that bad, I think the price tag explains it quite well. $40 for the XP, Vista and 7 digital upgrade.
 

FEichinger

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Aug 7, 2011
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Redlin5 said:
But... but... then I'll need another hipster OS to install on my netbook!

I'll have to worry about malware again... o.o

[sub]I'm looking forward to it seeing as some friends ONLY communicate via Steam these days... >.<[/sub]
Meh, with the tons of variations throughout the Linux distros it might not even be that much of an issue ...

And ... Agreed. Even just the social client running natively would be a great step forward.

RicoADF said:
CardinalPiggles said:
When it becomes as easy (I use that term lightly, seeing as I'm computer illiterate) to use Linux as it is to use Windows, I'll consider changing. Good luck on your little quest Gaben, I salute you!

Captcha - skynet is watching

Holy fuck, could it be? Linux is Skynet!
*looks at his laptop which he installed Linux on a week ago* Errr.... I installed the OS, and well it runs no different than windows. Where's the difficulty? Only changes I made were installing Chrome and some games from the app store (programs all being free ofcourse). It had the net, music, movies (including the USB DVD drive that plays movies no issues) working right out of the box. Seriously Windows gives me more headachs to get all the software running after an install. So really it's easier than Windows.
Indeed. I didn't manage to get any video driver running on Windows 8. And I usually have to reinstall my entire PC every half a year thanks to fuck-ups throughout Windows. Linux on the other hand ... No issue whatsoever. No DirectX, of course, but other than that, it ran perfectly fine.

0p3rati0n said:
Plazmatic said:
Why are you talking about Mac and Linux like they are one and the same... snip.
If I'm not mistaken, both Mac OSX and Linux are unix based. To my knowledge Mac OSX is just a "beefed" up version of linux? just closed off and such. I could be wrong though.
As is Windows *cough cough*


As for Windows 8 ... As I said before: Windows syndrome, then there's the crappy UI, the fact that it doesn't even bloody shut down properly, its tablet focus ...
 

CardinalPiggles

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Jun 24, 2010
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RicoADF said:
CardinalPiggles said:
When it becomes as easy (I use that term lightly, seeing as I'm computer illiterate) to use Linux as it is to use Windows, I'll consider changing. Good luck on your little quest Gaben, I salute you!

Captcha - skynet is watching

Holy fuck, could it be? Linux is Skynet!
*looks at his laptop which he installed Linux on a week ago* Errr.... I installed the OS, and well it runs no different than windows. Where's the difficulty? Only changes I made were installing Chrome and some games from the app store (programs all being free ofcourse). It had the net, music, movies (including the USB DVD drive that plays movies no issues) working right out of the box. Seriously Windows gives me more headachs to get all the software running after an install. So really it's easier than Windows.
Have you tried backing up your Steam library and playing some yet?
 

Sushewakka

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Jul 4, 2011
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CardinalPiggles said:
When it becomes as easy (I use that term lightly, seeing as I'm computer illiterate) to use Linux as it is to use Windows, I'll consider changing. Good luck on your little quest Gaben, I salute you!

Captcha - skynet is watching

Holy fuck, could it be? Linux is Skynet!
Try Ubuntu. Or SUSE.
 

PingoBlack

Searching for common sense ...
Aug 6, 2011
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Greg Tito said:
"The big problem that is holding back Linux is games. People don't realize how critical games are in driving consumer purchasing behavior," said Newell.

"We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well."
Huh, he is 100% right. o_O At least in my case.

I already run Windows 7 and on it all open source stuff. Only thing that prevents me from switching OS is basically DX11.

If Valve can have tools for developers to convert from DX to and open graphics library of similar quality, then everything can start moving in the right direction ...

But it won't be easy to convince developers (or EA) that that would be a worthwhile investment. Not to mention I'm not sure Linux has a high quality graphics library at this point at all.
 

Techno Squidgy

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Nov 23, 2010
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Evil Smurf said:
Also I am less likely to get a virus.
I love this line. Every time I hear it I get this urge to write a virus targeting OS X and OS X alone, but then I remember I don't know enough to write a functioning virus that could get past security systems, and I can't be bothered to teach myself either.