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Hardware Games

Valve Announces Hardware Beta Test For 'Steam Machine' 271

Posted by Soulskill
from the get-it-while-it's-hot dept.
Valve's second major living-room-gaming announcement landed today: they have produced a prototype model of their first "Steam Machine." They've made 300 units, and they'll be sending the machines to users in a very limited beta test. Valve hastens to add that this device isn't the only Steam-focused hardware: "Entertainment is not a one-size-fits-all world. We want you to be able to choose the hardware that makes sense for you, so we are working with multiple partners to bring a variety of Steam gaming machines to market during 2014, all of them running SteamOS." They haven't released specs, but they guaranteed the prototypes will ship this year. They explicitly permit using it in any way — swapping parts, changing the OS, installing any software, etc. "The specific machine we're testing is designed for users who want the most control possible over their hardware. Other boxes will optimize for size, price, quietness, or other factors."
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Valve Announces Hardware Beta Test For 'Steam Machine'

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  • An open system (Score:5, Informative)

    by crashcy (2839507) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @01:20PM (#44950075)
    From the Questions section, they say you can hack it as you like, change the OS, change the hardware, and that the SteamOS source code will be available.
  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @01:32PM (#44950233)

    Netflix is not opensource. So porting it is not possible. I could use the wine stuff, but that has performance issues.

    Neflix is owned by someone who sat/sits on MS's board and seems to have no interest in proper linux support.

  • Re:An open system (Score:4, Informative)

    by crashcy (2839507) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @01:54PM (#44950563)
    Valve has a long history of finding value in community creations. Most of their biggest games started out as mods. So it makes sense that they would want to keep up this concept of seeing what the users can come up with.
  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @02:25PM (#44950985)

    Give me a gaming kernel replacement (kind of like the real time kernel) in a general purpose OS that I remain in control of and that doesn't spy on me and I'll be a cheerleader. But this thing will do all the same old same old such as spy on me, try to control what I can and can't do on my own machine, try to lock my content, impose artificial limits that I have to buy back etc. etc. etc.

    I don't see how any of the complaints you have apply to SteamOS or the Steam machines. In fact, they're giving you what you want. From Valve:

    Will I be able to build my own box to run SteamOS?
    Yes.

    Can I hack this box? Run another OS? Change the hardware? Install my own software? Use it to build a robot?
    Sure.

    Can I download the OS to try it out?
    You will be able to download it (including the source code, if you're into that) but not yet.

    So, from what I can tell, they've taken a general purpose OS and fine-tuned some aspects of it for gaming, they're open sourcing it so that you can make your own hacks to it if you want, the hardware for this box will be general purpose stuff that you can hack on to your heart's content, and Valve has no history of engaging in the sorts of artificial limits that you're talking about.

    Really, it sounds like your complaints are aimed at Steam (the app, not the OS) and its DRM, which is an entirely separate issue. I don't know why you started talking about kernels and other such things when the OS and machine are as near as I can tell exactly what you described that you wanted.

  • Re:An open system (Score:3, Informative)

    by StrangeBrew (769203) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @03:36PM (#44951825)
    "It keeps you from reselling what you paid for." No it doesn't. I buy games from Steam and Humble Bundle, incredibly cheap, with the full knowledge I won't be able to re-sell them. This doesn't bother me because I fully understand that I'm getting EXACTLY what I paid for: a single owner game for the price of a beer, or at most a pitcher of beer, at the bar. Now if I were stupid enough to spend 60 bucks on a brand new game through Steam I'd be incredibly pissed with myself... but not with Steam for their DRM policies.
  • free add-on (Score:2, Informative)

    by Tom (822) on Wednesday September 25, 2013 @06:53PM (#44954247) Homepage Journal

    It also comes with a free "if it breaks, you're fucked and we'll laugh about you" add-on, courtesy of the Valve customer service [bbb.org].

    Wouldn't touch this with a ten-foot pole. Not with Valve behind it.

"Irrationality is the square root of all evil" -- Douglas Hofstadter

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