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SquallStrife

Steam OS

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I imagine many will be available to load from big picture mode when they launch it proper, so no need to tinker under the bonnet when it is out of beta, just click and away you go, for now... there will be some rooting around to get what you want to run.

I must stress that that's not good enough.

 

If valve is happy for steamOS to just be their platform for consoles in the living room, then that's fine.

 

If they want to compete on the desktop market, and they allege that they don't but I'm not sure I believe them, then it has to be better then "some rooting around".

 

There are two key reasons why windows is the preferred OS for gaming, even more then then it is the preferred OS for everything else:

 

1. The graphics drivers work, without fucking around.

2. Next next done installers are available for everything else.

 

Valve has to solve both problems if they want PC gamers to abandon windows in favor of steamos. If teamspeak takes longer then 2 minutes from beginning install to in a channel, they won't win that one.

 

 

OK Heres my steam story.

When it released i got the excitement of Valve fanboi-ism and downloaded the USB install.

As I read the requirements and instructions to BIOS boot made the 4 GB USB

Installed at 4am on morning on some OLD hardware (core2Due, 5GB RAM, 8600GT and 80 GB Sata Drive

 

Issues

It failed to make the Recovery partition (UEFI error)

It had no sound output (No HDMI on this setup)

The Desktop is there behind the screens accessible after you change setup, it is barebone and stripped of all file associations and just enough packages and libraries for steamOS to run

For my testing HL2 Lost coast was run and had to be set to LOW graphics to run OK.. TF2 would only do 10fps, performance in games was awful. Maybe the drivers are not supporting this older card

Linux x64 (AMD64/EM64T) Display Driver

Version: 331.20 - Release Date: Wed Nov 06, 2013 say they do on Nvidia site! Bugger

apt-get repository is bare, not really any extra apps appear to be available to install at this time

 

What worked

It Worked otherwise!

I Could not restore (or find how to) my Steam backups from USB to save redownloading 99% of the assets

I was able to browse my USB and SAMBA network shares (even if it only has PDF and Image viewers)

After reading github steamos bug fixes, and a lot of Terminal sessions got the USB headset to work. (Had to edit files no GUI tools for audio)

Games at least RUN if horribly

 

Basically I could have installed Windows and Steam and Big picture mode and had the same experience with the controller with ALL the steam games.

With Linux you have 270 games in the library but most are indie and not many recent AA+++ titles to choose from. That is the real issue I think SteamOS is Valves way of pushing for Linux support to the games

 

Oh and I reconnected and booted back to the 1st Windows disk drive, installed EasyBCD and now I can dual boot. Amazed people could not figure this bit out (remember GRUB for 2nd drive).

 

Good start but not ready for primetime. I dont know how well games would run on a decent rig. Might put it on my main PC but to be honest I cant see why even dual boot this to have less games that run with less graphical options

 

Some needs to run Heaven benches in both OS's and post the results.

Edited by gunny

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It's interesting and great that Valve has managed to partner with quite a couple of hardware vendors, especially Gigabyte and their Brix.

 

But, again this is just going to be another failure in a sense anyway. Despite my optimism in SteamOS and Steam machine in general, I think there are a lot of problems that Valve needs to address urgently if they want Steam Machine to succeed.

 

1) They need an incentive for us to get away from the desktop. So far, they've been harping about how the Steam machine is designed primarily towards the TV and living room. But the majority of people using Steam machines already have a desktop. Plus, spending another $500 just to have this 'console' replacer is quite hard to justify when you've sunk a considerable amount in the desktop already. So far, Valve has addressed this somewhat by the streaming from the desktop feature. But why when you just play on the TV by plugging in your desktop anyway?

 

2) There needs to be a overwhelming reason for consumers to go for the Steam Machine. I'd say it's partially done again by stating the Steam machine is an easy way into PC gaming. However, the biggest problem with Steam machines is the range of configurations that they have. You can have a simple $500 machine that does the minimum scaling down to the sky's the limit in which it does a lot more. For a simple consumer, that's too much money for plugging in and getting it to work. Also, compared to the PS4 and Xbox One, this differing configurations means further fragmentation on the users as one game can work on one configuration whilst be unplayable on the next. The PS4 and Xbox One guarantee any game will be playable so Valve needs to desperately needs to fix this.

 

3) Ongoing support. Valve has already indicated that they're support this and Gabe was happy to crow on that compared to the 3 million or 4 million on the PS4, Steam has 63 million people. Sorry Gabe but do you know how many people are on Steam CONCURRENTLY? From last I've saw, it's been about 10 million max. And those 63 million people isn't going to pony up another $500 for you given that they already have a great gaming desktop and if they wanted more games, chances are that they already have a console. In other words, you should be afraid of Xbox Live AND Playstation Network. And given the large variation of configurations, good luck to the hardware vendors doing tech support for them.

 

4) An exclusive game which will define the Steam Machine. Every console have this. Sony has God of War, Gran Turismo and as well as the Playstation staples. Microsoft has Halo, Forza and as well as the Xbox staples. Even Nintendo has Mario, Pokemon and Smash. So what does Steam have that's NOT multi-platform? Nothing thus far. If they make Half-Life 3 Steam Machine exclusive, expect pitchforks and anger from the rest of the community that doesn't have a Steam Machine.

 

5) Ease and convenience. This is the sticking point as the consoles are extremely easy. Plug in, power it up and play. The Steam machine seems a bit more complicated. However, you'll lose customers if they need to download crapload of games and spending time waiting for it to install.

 

6) Advertising the damn machine! Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony have invested millions in advertising so that they could easily get their consoles to sell. So how's Valve going to do this then? Plaster a banner on Steam to advertise this? Sure, but those users won't even bother getting one. Add in a splash banner to all the gaming sites? Perhaps but people already have something called Adblocking software. Reviews and advertisement in gaming magazines? That might work except physical media is dying quickly. Unless the hardware vendors are willing to advertise it, it's a dead fish. Again, Valve is staying tight lipped on this which worries me a lot.

 

All in all, those are the reasons I think Valve will fail at the Steam Machine and honestly, as I said earlier in the thread, it's interesting but not worth investing for now...

Edited by sora3

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Has anyone tried the in-home streaming yet? Its pretty awesome, running the steam beta client on my desktop (W7) and my laptop (W7 also), logged into my account on both machines and then launched a game from the laptop (it showed all 160 installed games from desktop), it started up straight away and I was in, set the res to the monitors res and away I went, ping between my desktop and laptop was around 40ms, with spikes up to 90, but it all felt smooth and fast, no real input delay to speak of. The games I loaded up quickly were State of Decay and Sniper Elite V2, they both looked and ran as good as they do on the desktop machine.

 

I'm downloading SteamOS now so I can install it and dual boot it on my laptop, can't wait to get it set up permanently in the lounge room, I have so many couch games.

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I'd like to try it out, but the desktop here is slower than my laptop - and it's stuck on wifi.

 

More interested to try out the family library sharing feature when I install a new HDD in the desktop to hold more steam games

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So the in-home streaming currently seems to work better between windows rather than windows to steamOS, spent most of yesterday fiddling around trying to get my sound working when streaming via SteamOS, ended up that it doesn't like the HDMI Audio/Video out that I was using and had to switch the audio to use analog out instead, this caused even more problems as I wanted the sound to run through my 5.1, which meant I had to go and find my Analog > RCA dongle.

 

Anyway, eventually got it all working and realised I cbf, it seems promising, but atm its shit.

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Sounds like that old Linux chestnut of multiple audio devices available.

I'm not a linux guy unless it 'just works'; but IIRC there is an option (text based i think....) to tell linux to use HDMI as priority over analogue soundcard.

They should switch that by default considering its a 'TV device' and will usually be HDMI'd.

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Sounds like that old Linux chestnut of multiple audio devices available.

I'm not a linux guy unless it 'just works'; but IIRC there is an option (text based i think....) to tell linux to use HDMI as priority over analogue soundcard.

They should switch that by default considering its a 'TV device' and will usually be HDMI'd.

Nah, nothing to do with it afaik. You can actually change which audio device it uses from the desktop quite easily.

 

The issue, afaik is to do with the bit rate and the sampling rate of the audio that has been captured and then streamed, some people are able to fix the issue by changing a conf file related to pulse audio, the solution helped my issue slightly, but didn't completely fix it.

 

The odd thing is, when using the analog output, there is no crackling issue, even though all the capture and receive settings are the same.

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If that's not the default, I'd assume it'd because it adds complexity to AV sync - or at least, that's the reason being given for Rocksmith adding some extra latency between sound and screen and input when connected via HDMI.

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HDMI was the default, one thing I didnt try was removing the display and seeing it still functioned okay with the laptops monitor and built in speakers.

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Linux is inherently bad for realtime anything. Despite all the progress that's been made, it's still firmly rooted in a history of asynchronous this and batch process that. Fine for serving web pages, not so good for this kind of thing.

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Linux is inherently bad for realtime anything. Despite all the progress that's been made, it's still firmly rooted in a history of asynchronous this and batch process that. Fine for serving web pages, not so good for this kind of thing.

Yeah, I'm starting to get that. Looks like I'll just reinstall Windows and set steam to start in big picture mode, then set it to start with windows.

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Linux is inherently bad for realtime anything. Despite all the progress that's been made, it's still firmly rooted in a history of asynchronous this and batch process that. Fine for serving web pages, not so good for this kind of thing.

This intrigues me....and now that you say it, logically you're right.....

 

But I get way better performance and stability out of Steam on Linux than I do Steam on a fresh Windows 7 install.

I find windows services often demand attention that linux just doesnt (windows update, for example) and even these days I find OpenGL performance to be more predictable on Linux.

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Linux is inherently bad for realtime anything. Despite all the progress that's been made, it's still firmly rooted in a history of asynchronous this and batch process that. Fine for serving web pages, not so good for this kind of thing.

Which is a shame, considering it's heritage with xwindows.

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