"SteamOS will be useless" - Valve

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#1 Posted by IgGy621985 (4799 posts) -

... if you plan to use it as a normal operating system.

"Valve presented its console to the press and also made available some interesting information. Besides the fact that it's not based on Ubuntu, as previously believed, it also has nothing besides Steam and Big picture.

According to Engaget, the distribution doesn't have a file manager or even a simple image viewing application. Valve may not want to invest in expanding the functionality of SteamOS beyond that of gaming machine, but nothing is set in stone."

Source.

Well, can't say I'm disappointed, but I expected at least some kind of File Explorer.

What do you think System Wars?

#2 Posted by edidili (3449 posts) -

It was never intended to be a desktop OS. I have no idea why people thought so and now are disappointed.

Wasn't big picture, living room, controller not enough clue for you? This was always supposed to be a console-like OS.

#3 Edited by starjet905 (1933 posts) -

It's not like I had much of a hope for SteamOs, but if this is the case, then there's no point of trying it out on a regular PC. They might as well just keep it to Steam Machines only instead of offerring as a free download.

"While Valve reps showed off slides of the box's vanity shots using a Windows PC, I asked how I'd view such shots from within SteamOS -- the answer is that there's no real way to do so, as there's no file browsing system or image viewing application."

^This, especially, is ridiculous, considering that even the PS3 firmware has an image viewer.

Of course, since it's a Linux distro, it should technically be possible to install whatever you want on it, but then might as well go for a proper Linux distro out of so many that are freely available, instead of this.

#4 Edited by trugs26 (5499 posts) -

@edidili said:

It was never intended to be a desktop OS. I have no idea why people thought so and now are disappointed.

Wasn't big picture, living room, controller not enough clue for you? This was always supposed to be a console-like OS.

Because Steam is PC based, and Valve presented something called SteamOS. That's how people could think such a thing. I don't see it being that unreasonable.

#5 Edited by treedoor (7648 posts) -

I figured that'd be the case.

They just want to make a box for the audience of gamers who think PC gaming is difficult to get into (though it really isn't).

Guess we'll just see if the price is right for the final product.

#6 Posted by psymon100 (6138 posts) -

Unbelievable. I eat humble pie by the shitload right now because this is the complete opposite of what I expected.

#7 Posted by IgGy621985 (4799 posts) -

@edidili said:

It was never intended to be a desktop OS. I have no idea why people thought so and now are disappointed.

Wasn't big picture, living room, controller not enough clue for you? This was always supposed to be a console-like OS.

Sure, but not having at least a picture viewer, or a music player app, is kind of lame.

#8 Edited by trugs26 (5499 posts) -

@starjet905 said:

It's not like I had much of a hope for SteamOs, but if this is the case, then there's no point of trying it out on a regular PC. They might as well just keep it to Steam Machines only instead of offerring as a free download.

"While Valve reps showed off slides of the box's vanity shots using a Windows PC, I asked how I'd view such shots from within SteamOS -- the answer is that there's no real way to do so, as there's no file browsing system or image viewing application."

^This, especially, is ridiculous, considering that even the PS3 firmware has an image viewer.

Of course, since it's a Linux distro, it should technically be possible to install whatever you want on it, but then might as well go for a proper Linux distro out of so many that are freely available, instead of this.

But the problem with a lot of Linux distros is updating drivers, and some of them are pretty slow with some of the graphics cards. SteamOS will be focused on providing everything available to run games, and furthermore, it won't be bloated, so it will run games smoothly.

EDIT> I should say that I'm assuming that's what SteamOS is trying to achieve. I haven't actually looked into much about SteamOS, but this seems like what the logical thing to do is given the current problem at hand.

#9 Edited by edidili (3449 posts) -

@trugs26 said:and furthermore, it won't be bloated, so it will run games smoothly.

This is what I don't get. You have OP that is disappointed that steamOS doesn't do more and your comment that sees that as a plus.

So do you want a barebone OS or not? I for example don't want that. What people consider bloat I consider a huge plus for the PC platform. I want to be able to simultaneously play and have a browser running in the background I can quickly alt-tab too. Or a video running in the side, or music whatever. Yeah it comes with a performance price that I'm happy to pay for. I don't want to regress and go back to PS2 era with an OS that has only memory card and play disc.

#10 Posted by Locutus_Picard (3980 posts) -

Good, anything to get rid of bloatware & traitorware like Windows OS to remove the structural gimping of games by DirectX and Windows API overhead.

#11 Posted by k2theswiss (16599 posts) -

isn't the os suppouse to limit the tool on the os from useless crap while gaming which lets the game access more of the hardware or something...

#12 Edited by nutcrackr (12604 posts) -

Probably best to start simple?

#13 Posted by RossRichard (2387 posts) -

If you want a full OS version of SteamOS, get Ubuntu.

#14 Edited by fend_oblivion (6144 posts) -

Can we like switch back to Windows for non-gaming activities and switch to SteamOS for gaming? If yes, I don't see a problem with all this. If no, bloody hell :|

#15 Posted by TheShensolidus (224 posts) -

Gotta say, it's smart of Valve to get out in front of user expectation and to just lay bare what the purpose of SteamOS is once and for all. In fact, I can really get behind what they're selling here; An OS designed solely to host gaming, none of the other fluffs. In reality, this sort of specialty platform is something the industry needs really. Shrinking it down to get it to run on a plethora of devices could be interesting as well.

Valve is thinking these things through, no doubt about it. Whether or not gaming needs a gaming focused OS or platform (SteamOS, Steam Machine, PS4) remains to be seen, but they may be onto something.

#16 Posted by PSdual_wielder (10646 posts) -

Valve is rich and is a big company, but they're not apple or microsoft. Don't expect steam office or something. lol

#17 Edited by IgGy621985 (4799 posts) -

@fend_oblivion said:

Can we like switch back to Windows for non-gaming activities and switch to SteamOS for gaming? If yes, I don't see a problem with all this. If no, bloody hell :|

You can do dual boot, yeah.

#18 Posted by edidili (3449 posts) -

@fend_oblivion said:

Can we like switch back to Windows for non-gaming activities and switch to SteamOS for gaming? If yes, I don't see a problem with all this. If no, bloody hell :|

Rebooting and switching to an entirely different OS just to use a browser or do something else quickly is not exactly something I'm looking forward to.

#19 Posted by Consternated (495 posts) -

@RossRichard said:

If you want a full OS version of SteamOS, get Ubuntu.

Ubuntu is bloated as hell.

I'll be getting a new laptop & 250GB SSD for SteamOS...

#20 Posted by cain006 (8625 posts) -

That's exactly what I was expecting. I don't understand why people are surprised by this.

#21 Posted by BlbecekBobecek (2688 posts) -

Some picture browsing and movie playing capabilities would be nice.

#22 Edited by TREAL_Since (11946 posts) -

I reckon this isn't a big deal for the simple reason that Steam OS is coded with gaming in mind. From my understanding, there won't be any extraneous processes that get in the way of running game software as efficiently as possible. It is intrinsically a gaming operating system, unlike Windows.

My suggestion would be to have Windows for work, school, leisure etc. Then reboot your PC with Steam OS when you plan on playing games. If you have an SSD for booting your OS, it should be super fast and painless to switch back an forth. That's what I plan on doing anyways (I know a few others who will do the same). I actually hope Valve doesn't congest it with too many superfluous features.

#23 Posted by starjet905 (1933 posts) -

@TREAL_Since said:

I reckon this isn't a big deal for the simple reason that Steam OS is coded with gaming in mind. From my understanding, there won't be any extraneous processes that get in the way of running game software as efficiently as possible. It is intrinsically a gaming operating system, unlike Windows.

My suggestion would be to have Windows for work, school, leisure etc. Then reboot your PC with Steam OS when you plan on playing games. If you have an SSD for booting your OS, it should be super fast and painless to switch back an forth. That's what I plan on doing anyways (I know a few others who will do the same). I actually hope Valve doesn't congest it with too many superfluous features.

The speed of switching from OS to OS is the least problematic thing about dual booting.

One thing I love about PC gaming is how I can quickly minimize the game I'm playing and jump to something else if need be. If it was a console, I'd have to get up and walk to a PC. Call me lazy, but I love this convenience. And with SteamOS, it seems this will be lost entirely.

#24 Edited by uninspiredcup (8659 posts) -

As long as it has a browser and can stream videos thats the main thing.

#25 Edited by trugs26 (5499 posts) -

@edidili said:

@trugs26 said:and furthermore, it won't be bloated, so it will run games smoothly.

This is what I don't get. You have OP that is disappointed that steamOS doesn't do more and your comment that sees that as a plus.

So do you want a barebone OS or not? I for example don't want that. What people consider bloat I consider a huge plus for the PC platform. I want to be able to simultaneously play and have a browser running in the background I can quickly alt-tab too. Or a video running in the side, or music whatever. Yeah it comes with a performance price that I'm happy to pay for. I don't want to regress and go back to PS2 era with an OS that has only memory card and play disc.

I'm not sure. I'm not planning on getting it. But I see your point. I find it a little weird too, I originally thought it was going to be like any other Linux distro, except optimised for gaming (with the latest drivers support, etc.).

#26 Posted by Sword-Demon (6970 posts) -

@edidili said:

@fend_oblivion said:

Can we like switch back to Windows for non-gaming activities and switch to SteamOS for gaming? If yes, I don't see a problem with all this. If no, bloody hell :|

Rebooting and switching to an entirely different OS just to use a browser or do something else quickly is not exactly something I'm looking forward to.

Well Steam has its own web browser, so maybe that will carry over.

#27 Posted by TREAL_Since (11946 posts) -

@starjet905 said:

@TREAL_Since said:

I reckon this isn't a big deal for the simple reason that Steam OS is coded with gaming in mind. From my understanding, there won't be any extraneous processes that get in the way of running game software as efficiently as possible. It is intrinsically a gaming operating system, unlike Windows.

My suggestion would be to have Windows for work, school, leisure etc. Then reboot your PC with Steam OS when you plan on playing games. If you have an SSD for booting your OS, it should be super fast and painless to switch back an forth. That's what I plan on doing anyways (I know a few others who will do the same). I actually hope Valve doesn't congest it with too many superfluous features.

The speed of switching from OS to OS is the least problematic thing about dual booting.

One thing I love about PC gaming is how I can quickly minimize the game I'm playing and jump to something else if need be. If it was a console, I'd have to get up and walk to a PC. Call me lazy, but I love this convenience. And with SteamOS, it seems this will be lost entirely.

That is true man. I minimize my gaming windows all of the time to manage other stuff. I hop on the internet randomly while playing a game, too lol. So for my preferences, it all depends on how efficient Steam OS runs games compared to Windows. If it's substantial or I get noticeable frames out of it, then I won't mind sacrificing some of that freedom or convenience.

Really, the interesting prospect of Steam OS would be stand alone Steam Machines for people who don't game on PC. I wonder how that will turn out. And a picture viewer should, and likely will be included. It doesn't make sense not to have one. Seeing as Valve has plans for a music streaming app, it's logical to have an image viewer.

#28 Posted by McStrongfast (4270 posts) -

Useless for me, maybe of some use for introducing the living room concept to a mainstream audience through Steam machines. But it's still...with SteamOS it's a PC that only plays Steam games. I'm sure it boots faster and such, but that just seems like trading one inconvenience for another. And a bad trade at that. Unless you're buying a PC just to play Steam games on it, which seems kind of silly to me. It's not like the thing's cheaper or anything.

What I'd want is just an easier way of switching to Big Picture. Like, assign Steam to automatically go Big Picture when the active window displayed on a TV and a controller is detected. Or something of that ilk.

#29 Edited by GTSaiyanjin2 (5975 posts) -

Its like a HTPC and if you were to install XBMC to it... It would make a great media box for the living room, but if you wanted to use it for anything else it would not be very useful. This will probably be the same, I would say just dual boot, but why would I ever want to be using windows from my couch.

#30 Posted by LegatoSkyheart (25368 posts) -

This was a well known fact since day 1 because you still need a Windows Machine to play all Steam Games.

#31 Posted by SKaREO (3161 posts) -

This isn't really news to anyone who has been paying attention. SteamOS is a console-based operating system for plugging your computer into your TV and converting it into a Steam Machine console.

#32 Posted by Senor_Kami (8411 posts) -

SteamOS seems solely for the Valve faithful. I was playing Torchlight 2 all this week on my Windows PC. Valve has yet to convince me that Windows can't play games and is closed off and can't run Steam and other software programs, two things that seem to be the entire selling point of SteamOS.

Windows already offers people an OS that's great for games and great for everything else you'd want to do on a computer. What is the point of SteamOS?

#33 Posted by Heil68 (44560 posts) -

They would be dumb to try and make it a regular OS. So much wasted resources, time and money for zero return.

#34 Posted by ShepardCommandr (2686 posts) -

That's good.

No need to waste resources on anything else.

#35 Posted by SKaREO (3161 posts) -

@ShepardCommandr said:

That's good.

No need to waste resources on anything else.

Can't stream to Twitch.TV. Can't enjoy screenshots because there's no image viewer. You can't even organize your files on it, no file browser. You can't listen to MP3s while you're gaming. Basically it's a Linux distro that is completely gutted. There's no point for a PC user to download or use SteamOS at all.

#36 Edited by DirkXXVI (497 posts) -

@fend_oblivion: Assuming it's available for download without a steam box then the answer is yes.

Many people have dual boot systems where they press something like F12 during the startup and are given a choice of which OS to boot. One of my laptops has Windows 7 and Ubuntu. And just for shicks and giggles I'll be installing Zorin on one of my PC's along side Windows 7 just to see if theres a performance boost in Metro Last Light.

Also with the open nature of the Linux Kernel and Good Guy Valves history of being open source as well as the companies strong support of users modding their products you could easily end up with a more traditional desktop OS based on the Steam OS thats created by the users.

#37 Posted by Wasdie (49923 posts) -

It was never meant to be a regular desktop PC OS.

#38 Posted by R4gn4r0k (16612 posts) -

I thought they said they would also include a music player and such.

@nutcrackr said:

Probably best to start simple?

Yes knowning Valve and looking at Steam, they will improve their OS as time goes by. Adding more features, etc...

#39 Edited by AmazonTreeBoa (16745 posts) -

I couldn't care less. I have 0 interest in it, so it won't effect me at all.

#40 Posted by thedude- (2194 posts) -

If SteamOS is more efficient in utilizing the hardware at hand than other operating systems, then its a total win over any operating system.

#41 Edited by Cherokee_Jack (32198 posts) -
@starjet905 said:

It's not like I had much of a hope for SteamOs, but if this is the case, then there's no point of trying it out on a regular PC. They might as well just keep it to Steam Machines only instead of offerring as a free download.

There's no reason to restrict it to certain hardware, I'm sure many people will want to build their own HTPC and install it there.

#42 Posted by Gaming-Planet (14022 posts) -

That's lame, but you could always install your own OS anyway on a Steam Machine.

#43 Edited by starjet905 (1933 posts) -

@Cherokee_Jack said:
@starjet905 said:

It's not like I had much of a hope for SteamOs, but if this is the case, then there's no point of trying it out on a regular PC. They might as well just keep it to Steam Machines only instead of offerring as a free download.

There's no reason to restrict it to certain hardware, I'm sure many people will want to build their own HTPC and install it there.

For what? If running Steam is the only thing it can do, what use is there of installing it in an HTPC?

#44 Edited by Cherokee_Jack (32198 posts) -

@starjet905 said:

@Cherokee_Jack said:
@starjet905 said:

It's not like I had much of a hope for SteamOs, but if this is the case, then there's no point of trying it out on a regular PC. They might as well just keep it to Steam Machines only instead of offerring as a free download.

There's no reason to restrict it to certain hardware, I'm sure many people will want to build their own HTPC and install it there.

For what? If running Steam is the only thing it can do, what use is there of installing it in an HTPC?

If you just want to play Steam games on it? Like a Steam Machine?

Or you could dual-boot another OS, if you really wanted to do other media functions with it.

#45 Posted by Jankarcop (9528 posts) -

And even then, its Still better than consoles.

#46 Posted by GodspellWH (426 posts) -

You can always dual boot to windows for everything else. This won't be adopted by many pc gamers and probably not for a very long time if its just for very simple reason like gaming. Its pretty comes down to the success of the steam machines because it would surely help gather a sizeable userbase

#47 Posted by ferret-gamer (17312 posts) -

Valve is releasing the source code of SteamOS, and it is a linux distro. Even if general computing capabilites are sparse, the community will probably make a version with that stuff in a a week or two. Also you can just dual boot, or use a normal linux distro

#48 Posted by blackace (20753 posts) -

@edidili said:

It was never intended to be a desktop OS. I have no idea why people thought so and now are disappointed.

Wasn't big picture, living room, controller not enough clue for you? This was always supposed to be a console-like OS.

Unfortunately it's not a game console. It a PC, without File Manager and other PC apps.

#49 Edited by APiranhaAteMyVa (2886 posts) -

So this is an upgradable console, terrible idea. This is going to be a short lived venture for Valve, the controller has potential but only for Windows. Devs aren't going to mess about making games for Steam OS when Windows gamers will be the majority.

Console gamers aren't going to go from consoles to a $1500 prebuilt PC or whatever these steam boxes will cost.

#50 Edited by blackace (20753 posts) -

@cain006 said:

That's exactly what I was expecting. I don't understand why people are surprised by this.

Because if you're going to build a $800+ PC Gaming Box that does nothing but play games and you want it to compete with current game consoles, you want to at least have some of the same features, apps and services that game consoles already have. Not a barebone system that does nothing else buy play PC games. The days of the Atari 2600, SNES & Colecovision are over.

I would have loved to have been in the room when Valve's R&D staff asked Gabe who they would be marketing the SteamBox for. Console Gamers? LOL!! No. There won't be any M$, Nintendo or Sony type exclusives on SteamBox. PC gamers? Probably, but if they have to pay $800+ for it, they might as well keep their gaming PC rigs. Casual gamer who play Iphone, Tablet and handheld games? It's not mobile, so probably not. I still have no idea who the SteamBox is really for at this point in time.