Gabe Newell Says Linux Is "The Future Of Gaming"

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Gabe Newell Says Linux Is "The Future Of Gaming"

Gabe Newell

Valve big cheese Gabe Newell hinted at a Steam box reveal next week during his keynote address at LinuxCon.

There's been a lot of talk over the past year or so about the "Steam box," a sort of PC-console hybrid that promises to bring all the pleasures of Steam to the comfort of your recliner. Of course, in fine Valve form, most of that talk has been denials of rumors; one of the few things Valve has actually confirmed (sort of) is that it will be a Linux-powered machine.

It's no secret that Newell doesn't care for Windows 8 and today he reiterated his belief in and support for Linux as a gaming platform, saying during his keynote at LinuxCon that "Linux and open source are the future of gaming." That's a bold statement to say the least and one I'm not sure I buy, but his prognosticative talents notwithstanding, he also promised that Valve's contribution on that front will see the light of day very soon.

"Next week we're going to be rolling out more information about how we get there and what are the hardware opportunities we see for bringing Linux into the living room," he said.

That's not exactly a pronouncement carved in stone, but given what we already know, is there any way that "hardware" plus "Linux" plus "living room" adds up to anything but Steam box? I don't think so. And while it won't necessarily be a flashy, E3 press event-style reveal, at this point even just a look at the specs of the thing is welcome - and long overdue.

Source: Ars Technica

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I'd imagine whatever's most popular is the future of gaming due to business. At the moment it's clearly Windows in the lead, but I'd imagine as people get more tech savvy Linux will gain more ground.

Gabe, I sure hope you are right as as soon as you release your box and give me a reason to be able to clean my home of microsoft forever I will never look back. There is no company that is as anti consumer as microsoft, doing everything in their power to screw us with cheaply made systems and draconian policies. Hell, even the fact the 360 controller can't even be recharged unlike playstation pisses me off.

Screw windows 8 and the Xbone. By the looks of things the ps4 has done an excellent job of convincing me to not completely break away from console gaming and it seems there will be a 100% chance of me getting one now in a year or so after a new model is released and I'm not stuck with a crappy launch console. But microsoft? their most interesting game is a QTE garbage filled micro transaction mess.

Sony has gone out of their way to impress me, microsoft continues to make me more and more angry at them.

Not if I can't play all my games on it. Linux lacks support for a lot of older titles and it barely supports newer ones. Fix that, and you got yourself a Linux user. I have no love for Microsoft.

There are five letters in the word "Linux". Add one more letter, and you have six letters. Divide six by two, and you have three. I'm not gonna bother finishing this joke.

I'm happy getting more Linux ports of games and if Linux does end up playing a bigger role in gaming then it is a nice bonus for my OS of choice. I guess that is the ultimate benefit of having more than one OS available for gaming. It gives people the option to play the games they want on the system they want without the problem of being tied to one or the other.

if Valve brings its weight to bare and helps sort out the driver situation...well...OpenGL is a better API than DirectX...gonna be interesting going forward...Valve Linux distro ? :o i have a PC or two i might try that on...

Make Linux as 'dumbass' friendly as the other operating systems, pushed on major devices, show off the advantages of it over the other OS', improve its backwards compatibility, make it work with other programs I use that will not have their developers make a Linux compatible version...

I'm just... I'm done. There are too many reasons why I don't have any interest in Linux. I have no opinion on it, I'm just REALLY not interested and can't be bothered to make the switch when there's not enough reason for an lower average class computer user.

And Linux supporters REPEATEDLY defend its accessibility and again, I'm not shitting on Linux, I'm just saying... There's obviously something lacking in terms of appeal otherwise it would have spread like wildfire long ago.

Make sure I can do everything on your OS I can do on Windows and then we'll talk.

If every game worth having from now on was suddenly also on Linux, then i would switch so fast that i could be used as a new unit of velocity.

Looking at the immeadiate future... that days not in sight. Unless all the major publishers have been having a closet affair with Linux.

It's a nice thought. I genuinely think that gaming is one of the hard boundaries that keeps PC people on Windows. (Well, that and the sheer level of arcana that still surrounds getting a Linux machine up and doing its thing in comparison, at least.)

But first, I think you need to get a bunch of hardware people on board with creating Linux drivers for their latest and greatest- and getting them to the same table, one way or another, with a very vocal crowd that insists everything that comes through Linux ought to be open-source and modifiable may be a very hard sell indeed.

Y'know that whole thing with "you bought a product" vs. "you only purchased a license"? From what I've seen of people who favor Linux, they take a very dim view of the latter and a very firm stand on that particular border.

The list of Linux games with full controller support on Steam is very small. I wonder what he has in mind.

I don't care for Lunix. I really don't. If Gabe thinks he can topple the king and Queen of hardware that is Microsoft and Apple then so be it.

He worked with them in the past. Maybe he knows better than me.

However to say it's the future of gaming is kind of questionable. In order for that to start, you would have to get a significant amount of game devs on board with making ports for Linux computers. It took them long enough to start doing it with Macs. And they had much more prominence in the public eye than Linux has yet to achieve yet.

Most gamers are content with their windows computers.

Also devs have become increasingly whiny, and lazy when it comes to making developments on anything. In this day and age, if the port takes even a modicum of creative thinking, and isn't rooted in common PC, they will whine their tits off and not make a game port because it's "Toooo haaaard". Which is funny because if any one group of people said that in any other creative driven medium like gaming said that, they would be laughed out of the room and asked why the hell did they choose this path anyway.

Dragonbums:
Most gamers are content with their windows computers.

never has the word "content" been soooo loaded....

If Valve offered a "Steam linux" that gave me as much accessibility as Windows, including emulation or whatever else so I can run Origin and direct installs of games without DRM like from GoG I would dump Windows.

I would even pay for such an OS.

I don't particulary care about Microsoft one way or the other, really. Windows 7 turned out to be a really nice OS, and I'm happy with it. I don't need to touch Windows 8 at all. There'll be another windows after 8 and hopefully that one will be good. If not, then I can likely wait for the one after that.

There is absolutely no need to even bother with win8 as it stands, and that is not likely to change for quite some time. Linux might be the future of gaming, but the past (and incidentally, my entire existing catalogue of games) lies squarely with Windows. Until Linux can play all of those without issue, I'm not moving.

Needs better driver support from Team Green and Team Red first. When all the applications are GUI based and I never need type the word sudo again I'll start to believe it. Also Win8 is an awesome OS with a horrible interface. Luckily there are third party solutions to that.

I'd imagine whatever's most popular is the future of gaming due to business. At the moment it's clearly Windows in the lead, but I'd imagine as people get more tech savvy Linux will gain more ground.

You're mistaking the general populace being tech savvy for a populace that just has access to more tech. The most popular smart phone is also the one that is dumbed down and the easiest to use, THAT isn't tech savvy and the folk who want instant pick up and work from their Iphones aren't going to want to be spending any time dealing with Linux.

Linux and open source are the future of gaming.

All very well but really just how big a game developer ARE Valve any more? Pretty sure that as a game developer they have little to no clout and since it will be THE GAME DEVELOPERS that determine what format their games use chances are that this is nothing more than ground work prep for the when the Steam Box appears and Valve have to justify why everyone now has to convert their Steam library and games to work with a Linux system rather than their 10 year old library of games that all work on Windows.

Here's a question, how long has Steam had it's Linux client, in fact how many people use the linux client, better yet just how many of the games that are out for Steam have Linux versions available? Yeah Linux it's the future the future of a big black hole that Valve are gonna pour a whole lot of cash in to if they push a Linux based Steam Box.

Just as a side note I took a look at the Steam Hardware survey, Windows 8.1 (a beta has a higher percentage than the highest Linux version user base at a massive 0.45% vs 0.40%, the TOTAL Linux user base, lol less than 1%. Whatever Gabe is smoking sure must be good stuff.

Kyogissun:

And Linux supporters REPEATEDLY defend its accessibility and again, I'm not shitting on Linux, I'm just saying... There's obviously something lacking in terms of appeal otherwise it would have spread like wildfire long ago.

Make sure I can do everything on your OS I can do on Windows and then we'll talk.

One of its big disadvantages is in fact its biggest..advantage, it being open source and non commercial, therefore not-marketable.
Think, why are you and everyone else is using Windows? The most definite reason is that it came pre-installed with your PC, and that most people aren't actively looking to change it. Linux isn't seen as a viable alternative mainly because it's not marketed, it's not something you can buy at the shop. And that's a bit too much of a change for an average consumer to wrap his/her head around.

I feel like he's been saying this for years, yet Linux is just as popular as it was a few years ago, except that maybe more people now at least know it even exists. Fact is, most people are comfortable with Windows, just like most people are comfortable using Steam for collecting their games. And we all know how well people like using things like Origin and Uplay.

AWAR:

Kyogissun:

And Linux supporters REPEATEDLY defend its accessibility and again, I'm not shitting on Linux, I'm just saying... There's obviously something lacking in terms of appeal otherwise it would have spread like wildfire long ago.

Make sure I can do everything on your OS I can do on Windows and then we'll talk.

One of its big disadvantages is in fact its biggest..advantage, it being open source and non commercial, therefore not-marketable.
Think, why are you and everyone else is using Windows? The most definite reason is that it came pre-installed with your PC, and that most people aren't actively looking to change it.

Fucking spot on, I won't lie, I already have Windows on here and have no desire to change.

Seriously, it's like I said, I've got no beef with Linux, but that OS needs to have this sort of install base for people to give a shit.

And honestly, the only way that's gonna happen is like it's been said, game developers, GPU manufacturers, publishers and more would need to take a more significant embracing of the OS.

The problem right now is that Valve is the only company doing it. It needs something REALLY big backing it like...

...Half Life 3 exclusively on Linux for a limited time.

But chances are there are people who would be PREPARED to convert that shit to Windows in a matter of HOURS so that's probably nothing to worry about.

Kyogissun:
Make Linux as 'dumbass' friendly as the other operating systems, pushed on major devices, show off the advantages of it over the other OS', improve its backwards compatibility, make it work with other programs I use that will not have their developers make a Linux compatible version...

I'm just... I'm done. There are too many reasons why I don't have any interest in Linux. I have no opinion on it, I'm just REALLY not interested and can't be bothered to make the switch when there's not enough reason for an lower average class computer user.

And Linux supporters REPEATEDLY defend its accessibility and again, I'm not shitting on Linux, I'm just saying... There's obviously something lacking in terms of appeal otherwise it would have spread like wildfire long ago.

Make sure I can do everything on your OS I can do on Windows and then we'll talk.

PS3, PS4 (and I believe PS2), PSP/vita, Android are all linux (modified by the company for their uses). Heck even apple OS is unix based (abiet so heavily modified that some argue it's no longer considered to be related but thats being picky).
Linux has been quite popular for years, it's just that people don't know their using it, this includes gaming. Theres no reason with the PS4 being x86 that a linux release cannot be done, probably with relativly ease. With Windows wanting to dump games nows the time (Microsoft sees xbox as for games and PC for work).

Adam Jensen:
Not if I can't play all my games on it. Linux lacks support for a lot of older titles and it barely supports newer ones. Fix that, and you got yourself a Linux user. I have no love for Microsoft.

this, pretty much. get an emulation better than Wine for all the older games that probably wont get a Linux release, and get Nvidia and AMD to release Linux drivers, and i'm in :)

Ha first it has to become mainstream first, And despite my decent tech skills, built my pc can OC and all that jazz, linux just screws with me. WiFi dongle wont work hmmm, X Y Z software isn't running, too the forums to find a fix. Game crashing on launch, its just too finicky to work for someone like me in a PC world. Everything just works on windows, when linux is in a state were everything is GUI based and I don't have to manually install drivers or find work arounds for various issues then I can't see linux ever taking off as a mainstream PC OS.

Now as a gaming system I can't see a steambox being that great either, unless they work some magic with getting our huge libraries to work well with it.

Kyogissun:
Make Linux as 'dumbass' friendly as the other operating systems, pushed on major devices, show off the advantages of it over the other OS', improve its backwards compatibility, make it work with other programs I use that will not have their developers make a Linux compatible version...

I'm just... I'm done. There are too many reasons why I don't have any interest in Linux. I have no opinion on it, I'm just REALLY not interested and can't be bothered to make the switch when there's not enough reason for an lower average class computer user.

And Linux supporters REPEATEDLY defend its accessibility and again, I'm not shitting on Linux, I'm just saying... There's obviously something lacking in terms of appeal otherwise it would have spread like wildfire long ago.

Make sure I can do everything on your OS I can do on Windows and then we'll talk.

I've only ever briefly gotten into Linux but I don't think you're properly understanding the problem here. If I remember this stuff correctly from my college days computers generally run on a 7 layer hierarchy model. At the top is the end-user experience, the very bottom is the physical hardware, and in the middle you'll find the Operating System layer. What this means is that for each different OS you need specific driver software for the hardware to run on and a different software development environment to compile the code into a useable application for the OS.

So basically MS hit the mass market for OS first, and no matter how good your newer OS may be if you only have a 1% install base very few companies are going to put any effort towards a Linux option. And if your shit works on Linux no one's going to use it, and if no one uses it know one (outside the Linux community that) is going to develop for it. Hell even Apple has a hard time getting PC games made for their desktop OS, although they're still less than 10% as well. But while competition is usually for the best I don't know if that really applies to the OS market... if you had the same sort of split as you do with web browsers then compatibility issues for hardware and software would just be compounded. It just sucks that such a big anti-consumer/anti-competitive corp like MS has the monopoly.

That said if there's one thing that could lift Linux up into prominence it would be something like the Steambox. A console requires it's own OS, so if the Steambox uses Linux, and maybe launches with Half Life 3 and earn a multi-million install base, other PC developers will want to get in on that and will make Linux 'Steambox' compatible version of their games, which coincidentally will work just as well for PC gamers who want to use Linux.

Some of the biggest naysayers of Linux I've encountered are one of two people:

1) Someone who has never tried it and is parroting stats and anything else someone has said.
2) Someone who used it several years ago who complains about problem X, Y, Z which was fixed ages ago.

I play DOTA 2 on linux, it's remarkably stable, and plays well. Preformance is only slightly worse than on windows.

Laughing Man:
All very well but really just how big a game developer ARE Valve any more? Pretty sure that as a game developer they have little to no clout

What? Why? Is this another silly, "what has games has Valve even made lately?" argument? Because such arguments are stupid given their track record of a game or more a year for almost the last ten consecutive years.

I remember a Dilbert strip about Dogbert creating a perennial newspaper, containing only generic news: "Crisis on Middle East", "Pope Denounces Violence" etc.

The video game version of that newspaper would surely contain "Big Developer Claims Thing That Best Supports His Business Is The Future of Gaming".

Let me guess, this thing will run on a custom Linux that's incompatible to other Linux variants and builds.

Yeah, future of gaming, sure.

Sorry, but it'd take nothing short of a miracle to turn Linux into a serious gaming alternative to Windows. Hell, MacOS has more commercial games, despite being meant for everything but gaming.

Captcha: way to go!

Guess the board software is both sentinent and snarky. That can't be good...

Adam Jensen:
Not if I can't play all my games on it. Linux lacks support for a lot of older titles and it barely supports newer ones. Fix that, and you got yourself a Linux user. I have no love for Microsoft.

Pretty much ninja what I was going to say. I have Linux and I love it but I just need to be able to play all my games on it and future games. Secure that and I will gladly use Linux. Gaming is my only reason for sticking with windows (how sad is that).

Kyogissun:
Make Linux as 'dumbass' friendly as the other operating systems, pushed on major devices, show off the advantages of it over the other OS', improve its backwards compatibility, make it work with other programs I use that will not have their developers make a Linux compatible version...

I'm just... I'm done. There are too many reasons why I don't have any interest in Linux. I have no opinion on it, I'm just REALLY not interested and can't be bothered to make the switch when there's not enough reason for an lower average class computer user.

And Linux supporters REPEATEDLY defend its accessibility and again, I'm not shitting on Linux, I'm just saying... There's obviously something lacking in terms of appeal otherwise it would have spread like wildfire long ago.

Make sure I can do everything on your OS I can do on Windows and then we'll talk.

ZorinOS may be just up your alley. It's essentially Windows without actually being Windows, and even the free version comes with all kinds of goodies (Blender, Audacity, VLC just to name a few). And if you want the "retail" version that comes with even more shit, all you have to do is drop about $25US max (the actual price is dependent on how loaded you want the OS and whether you want a physical disc or download) and there you go.

Sure, Linux is the future. The key problem with that statement is that today is not the future.

The day is coming down the road though. At some point, it will be more cost-efficient for PC manufacturers to join together and beef up Linux than continue to give MS money to have Windows pre-installed on every machine. At that point, Windows will just die. Who's going to a hundred dollars for an OS when it already came with one? That day has already come on the tablets. The only real question is whether that will happen before Desktops/Laptops disappear altogether.

Zeckt:
Hell, even the fact the 360 controller can't even be recharged unlike playstation pisses me off.

Not quite sure if that was a typo or not, but I have several 360 controllers and all of them can be recharged. What kind of controller are you using?

OT: I don't think Linux is the future of gaming, gabe. It's open sourced feature is nice and all but it's still lacking compared to other operating systems such as windows and mac(even though mac is also not so popular).

Linux would have to change first for the primary gaming operating system to change.

Nokturos:
There are five letters in the word "Linux". Add one more letter, and you have six letters. Divide six by two, and you have three. I'm not gonna bother finishing this joke.

You know there is more plausible explanation, like 5 been the 3rd prime number. =p

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