Readded this since people were looking for it. I changed my CMS so I lost it.
This is a response to a verge article. It’s wrong on multiple fronts so im going to debunk all of those right here.
> Valve is a juggernaut in gaming thanks to Steam
So this is a funny statement to make at the start of the article because it pretty much contradicts the entire idea of the story. You call them a juggernaut but you question their ability to push their own platform? Anyway just an initial thought ill get back to the main points.
> Those two things with a little polish might be enough — but Valve’s long-term vision is a PC gaming world without Windows, and that makes things complicated.
How is it complicated? It’s actually quite simple. Valve want people to use their OS for PC gaming at least in the living room. It’s a question of how much sway do they have with developers and publishers, in that case they have huge influence because they are the biggest distributor of games digitally and they are one of the most popular game developers in their own right. The only thing that is complicated IMO is how to pitch it to people that don’t already know about Steam. But PC gaming without Windows isn’t complicated at all, in fact I could give many reasons why not only PC gaming but all of computing is worse off with Windows being the dominant OS but I am going off topic again. Lets continue.
> most popular titles aren’t available for it yet
Interesting generalization, let me ask a good question. Going by player base how many of the top 10 most popular titles on Steam don’t have a Linux client? Top 3 all have clients, 4 is getting one by the end of the month, 5 is GTA5 which gets ported anywhere that has users so if more users come to SteamOS/Linux it will come, 6 is Clicker Heroes I never heard of it but its on MacOS so id guess that it could come to Linux but no word on it, the next 2 support Linux (Civ5 and Garry’s Mod), Skyrim doesn’t but Bethesda is close to Valve and there are whispers that Fallout3/NV/4 might get a Linux release so maybe Skyrim gets ported too. The Witcher 3 is coming to Linux soon. So a little more than half either have Linux or will soon. And even at that the others are cross platform titles which could come eventually.
So that debunks most popular titles at least slightly. You could say there are still other games omitted that go up and down in popularity but for instance games like Payday2 which is popular is getting a Linux client too. So in general the most popular titles are either here or will be eventually.
That being said for SteamOS they need specifically console friendly games. So games that support controllers rather than keyboard and mouse so games like TF2, CSGO, the witcher…etc all get more important in that setting and given Valve’s new focus on VR in the living room you are looking at a new influx of games, some more than likely unannounced Valve titles that will support that use case. So even at that your point really needs to add the caveat that SteamOS only really needs specific games to be successful. Moving on.
> no reliable way to predict which games will be supported in the future
I’m sure Valve since they have direct access to devs know exactly which games will be supported in the future. And there are already announced titles like the new batman game coming for sure. Also a lot of indie titles tout Linux support well before release. Also some titles are being retroactively ported which is the case for boarderlands2, shadow of mordor…etc. In general ill give a solid bet that most of the best first person games and arcade style games will be on Linux by november since they are what make the platform interesting. You want a solid list https://steamdb.info/linux/ it is updated with every title that even remotely hints of Linux support or pushes Linux depots.
> the Fallout Classic Collection, works on SteamOS
No it doesn’t but you can play it with WINE if that helps. Actually you can play a lot of titles with that.
> There’s no Grand Theft Auto 5, or Skyrim, or DayZ
GTA5 and Skyrim sure are problems but small ones that could be easily fixed. DayZ on the other hand is dropping in popularity like a stone. The game is awful and will die very very soon. GTA5 is great and like I said it will be ported to any popular platform so if SteamOS gets popular it will eventually get ported too more than likely. Skyrim is great but its a few years old now and even at that its still popular, that being said Bethesda and Valve are close and Bethesda don’t even have to port it themselves they can give it to Feral or Aspyr both of which do a good lot of the AAA Mac and Linux ports.
> Hell, you can’t even play games that are compatible with Linux but aren’t on Steam
Steam has a nice feature to add non-steam games.
> which includes Blizzard’s popular catalog
I wish Blizzard’s catalog were on Linux I love their games and am a former master league player. We have been asking for their games for years. Maybe SteamOS will help with that :P
> If you care about playing anything relatively new and popular, the Xbox One, PS4, Wii, and Windows-based PCs are all clearly superior options
In your opinion, which going by the article is very ill informed. Both the PS4 and Xbox One have less games in total than Linux, that’s a fact as of now the 8th of June 2015. But superior options? PC in general is a superior option. Windows at the moment has the lead on the driver front but there is a strange situation going on which could tilt everything on its head and its being driven by Valve. Its called Vulkan and its the competitor to DX12. It promises to even the playing field and Valve are putting their money where their mouth is and the driver manufacturers are getting behind it as well. AMD specifically deserve a good mention because they were the ones who donated Mantle to Khronos which is the basis of what turned into Vulkan. So eventually the driver problem on Linux will go away meaning either Linux is better or at least it’s even. Windows on the other hand will always have issues, the issue of needing an anti-virus program which will slow your computer, the issue of manufacturers installing bloatware, the issue of shitty drivers for hardware. All of which are much better on Linux. I could give a million reasons but since the driver problem is being fixed and we are going to be on a level playing field it makes it quite fun.
> And games aren’t the only compatibility problem. If Valve and HTC’s virtual reality headset is anything like the Oculus Rift, it’ll need powerful hardware, and it’s possible lower-end Steam Machines won’t support it.
Pure speculation but a fair point. Lets call a spade a spade though, look at the current console offerings which are worse than even the worst Steam machine, do you think project morpheus will be able to run on a PS4? Lets say the vive doesn’t support the worst steam machines if you are buying the worst steam machine you probably wouldn’t be able to afford a vive. And lets not forget a massive benefit of the Steam machines from a hardware standpoint, even the worst Steam machine can run games that both of the current consoles struggle with at 1080p 60FPS. So to bring out oh the hardware would be shit on a Steam machine which is what you are essentially saying, is pretty much selective omitting of facts about the entire gaming market.
> The 50 top selling games on Steam
Its not about what is selling its about what people are actually playing. I did already talk about this so I’m not going to go into it again. Also pre-orders do not equal a top selling game, they might be selling but you don’t know if it will get a Linux release or not and mentioning them without putting a massive question mark over every single pre-order title is very shady. Honestly I don’t know if this was intentionally misleading or just incredibly sloppy journalism but ill give you the benefit of the double and say the latter.
> One of the reasons consoles are so compelling is that everything just works out of the box
So you are saying that isn’t what Valve will have when the Steam machines release? Hint there a few months between then and now and like you said at the start big picture already is great and they are making moves already so honestly this point is pretty off. It’s their goal to have it comparable to the experience of the current consoles.
> You can buy hardware that’s as powerful as what everyone else has and expect that games will meet a minimum quality standard for years to come
Heheheh so you are saying the fact everyone is on the same shitty hardware is a benefit? Just wow. No words. Like I said above the worst Steam machine is better than both consoles. The worst one, you can run games that both the Xbox and PS4 struggle with. If the developers of the games target the consoles and release on Steam machines with added options then you know who would have a better experience? It won’t be the console players. Also you are talking about the consoles like they are some great bastion of performance or something they are like you said the minimum, Steam machines are the higher option. That being said SteamOS and Vulkan are a good target to have for a game, it means better stability of performance and SteamOS gives a great target. So other than 2 years down the line a Steam machine wouldn’t be good enough for some game (which steam’s refund policy will protect you in that case now) your point is pretty idiotic frankly.
> betrays the promise of console convenience.
Interesting wording here. Like I said above Steam machines are equally trying to offer out of the box convenience. And an interesting idea is given Steam machines will be set just like consoles they could offer pre-tested experience options via hardware profiles. So to give an example AMD and Nvidia both have specific things that they do automatically when games get started up, they have certain things they do to optimize the game for their hardware. This can be something as simple as prioritization of specific things that make the game run better. Its done already on PC and will be done on SteamOS eventually. Vulkan doesn’t need as much on the fly optimization but it could be as simple as the default settings being turned on or off depending on your Steam machine which is a very reasonable feature.
> that has resulted in way too many options
Because options are bad for consumers. Damn I have way too many options for games, please only release 1 game this year, everyone else get in line. Damn I have way too many options for TVs, my poor brain can’t tell the difference. I’m not able to select things. Bla bla bla. Dude options are a good thing. If you have a 4k TV and you are limited to both the Xbox One and the PS4 you have shit options. Allowing for people to spend more depending on their setup is a good thing.
> which actually contradicts the vision of simplicity Valve is working toward
Valve offering simplicity? Where did you hear that? I’m sure they want an element of it sure but the idea for Steam machines in general is a complex one. They want people to have options. They want games to be a choose your own adventure, that is why they are pushing modding, user generated content in their games, offering source2 for free for developers and making the store more open. This is all to give users the control and Steam machines are also a way of giving users control and it’s an area they never had control over and that is their living room console experience.
> To add insult, Valve is offering Steam Machine preorders through the strangest of bedfellows: Gamestop.
“To add insult to injury” is the phrase you are looking for there. This in particular made it look like you wrote it in 1 sitting and fired and forgot it. That being said offering the hardware through a retailer is a good option for them. Actually it’s a great option for people because it’s cheaper to buy from gamestop than have it delivered from Valve if you are outside of the US. For me it saves around 20 euro (25 dollars) and I know it won’t get stopped at customs for me to pay VAT. So in general they needed to have retail partners.
> There’s no clear reason for anyone to buy into Valve’s platform right now.
Eh maybe not to pre-order but there are reasons to buy into Steam machines in general. And I know where the article goes from here and you make the point that it is great in theory but don’t buy into the hype. I’d like to present my counter argument though before leaving with my closing statements.
> Don’t pay for mere potential.
This is your main point and the reasoning behind the article. Let me present to you the mere potential of this generation of consoles which you and many other in the gaming media jumped all over. You paid for mere potential and continue to do so every single day that you get your pre-order DLC for games. You probably pre-ordered your Xbox One or PS4. You know what, Microsoft and Sony both omitted the hardware limitations of their consoles. If you told a lot of people that the console would struggle to get 30FPS at 1080p people wouldn’t have bought into the mere potential of those consoles. I can tell you right now Steam machines won’t do amazingly well this year even if people buy them. You make the argument for me against your entire article.
The fact you haven’t fixed your article after the fact after people told you that CSGO was on Linux, that Blizzard games and the original Fallout collection weren’t. The fact your article has glaring mistakes both in research of the subject in question and your lack of basic principles of writing make your entire company seem amateur. This entire blog post had more time and effort than your entire article and yet some people will take heed of your poorly constructed argument and believe you.
To close I want to give a rundown of what exactly you should be talking about with regards to SteamOS/Steam machines/Linux:
1. The games are coming and the quality of the ports will be better than Linux currently. There is a lack of certain games but they will come eventually if the platform is successful and already some of the most popular games are there.
2. Linux as a system is just fine (there are huge myths here in the wider community) there are issues just like every platform but there are other things that make it better than Windows which some people specifically the game’s media have a hard time getting their head’s around.
3, Choice is fucking great. I curse here for emphasis. Choice is great for consumers and giving people options is a great thing. The only negative part of it is developers have a slightly harder time but they already port to PC and if you have an argument against gaming on PC in general then id be happy to hear it but there are great reasons to game on PC and they are bringing that to the living room too.
4. Windows contrary to popular belief is what is holding back computing in general. It’s subtle but Microsoft having control over the PC ecosystem is bad for everyone. Sure they might make a good product but that doesn’t mean its the best thing for gaming or even PC use in general. That being said porting from Windows to Linux isn’t as hard as people make out if you know how the Linux behaves from a developer’s standpoint, I can go into more detail here but you saying oh XYZ game isn’t on Linux doesn’t mean it can’t be on Linux in 2 months. That is especially true if the game is already on MacOS.
A note to you as a editor, you might get clicks with clickbait but for every person reading if your content is poorly researched or outdated, your points poor..etc you will also lose a lot of readers. Your point of view is incredibly biased and I’m not talking about specifically with the content but just simply you don’t understand where a consumer is coming from. In this article you try to argue that options and an open market is bad. You don’t know what games are popular or not and you have the balls to talk about gaming? Honestly you cited DayZ as an option of a popular game? Anyway good luck in your career you will need it with content like this.