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Thread: Linux-Based Steam Console Reaffirmed For This Year

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by schmidtbag View Post
    I like the feature of it disabling the download when playing a game. When you say "big multitasking powerhouses", first of all, not everyone has one of those. Secondly, disabling the download isn't about reducing CPU and GPU usage, it's about making online multiplayer games not stutter due to slow connections or poor latency. I wonder if disabling the pause-download-when-playing-game feature was intentionally disabled in the linux client. Many full-screen linux games don't allow alt+tabbing, which I personally find insanely annoying. They cut off things like keyboard volume control too. That being said, if you're downloading a big game and you want to play an offline/singleplayer game while you wait, its better to let the game keep downloading. Perhaps Valve thinks Linux users are smart enough to know that if they're playing a multiplayer game that stutters, they need to stop downloading stuff.
    Ha ha, if you have a Windows system, it pretty much is a 'big multitasking powerhouse'. I grew up with the Atari 800XL that had 64KB of RAM. Then moved onto an Atari Mega STe with 2MB of RAM, which I upgraded to 4MB of RAM. Most awesome thing was putting ALL of Ultima 6 into a RAM DISK. We don't use those anymore because the operating systems are big multitasking beasts.

    Regardless, I know it's due to online games, but really, there should be a feature in Steam that says "Hey, he's playing an MMO, it's online only, so let's pause his current downloads unless he tells us otherwise." Or "Hey, we haven't detected any network traffic for this game after 5-10 minutes, he must be playing in offline mode, let's resume the downloads."

    People aren't going to be happy when they turn on their game console and click install, then have to wait 5 hours to play a game they just purchased. Really in that case, the previous posts about power saving features really would be high priority. I get pissed off when it takes me so long to download a game that is 10GB+ (which is a large amount of games these days) and I have a 40mpbs DSL connection.

    Anyhow, there are obvious pros and cons to any of these things, and I'm sure Valve has discussed them in great detail. I really think the main reason they are suddenly pushing so hard for a Linux platform (regular Steam and Console version) is simply due to them being pissed off at Microsoft (rightfully so) and their push to be like Apple.

    I don't think it's out of the kindness of their hearts, or because Gabe is all of a sudden best buds with RMS or Linus.

    As far as Multimedia capabilities. There is one huge gap in multimedia for Linux. It's the only other reason I use Windows AT ALL, besides games. And that is Blu-ray playback. Now if they could get the licensing for that, I'd be buying one of these steam boxes ASAP. Actually it wouldn't be a bad idea at all for Valve to start selling a blu-ray player directly through Steam that was Linux compatible. That would be awesome.

    Anyhow, I'm sure it'll be a somewhat hackable device, but is going to be more geared toward the mass market, whereas any person who is into games enough more than likely already has a somewhat beefy system to play higher end games (if that is what they're into) or even a mediocre one to play emulated stuff or the simpler Humble Bundle games. The Steam console would be something like for my Brother, who is sick of the random crap that happens to (windows) computers, and so just sticks with his PS3 for games.

  2. #42
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    It only takes me 25 to 30 min to download a 10gig game on my fibre to home connection. within 3.5 yeas 1/4 of Australians will have fibre access to the home and everyone else within 10. What's happening else where in the world ? I would of thought the US or UK would be ahead of us. The other thing is every time i have bought a game and activated with steam play most games need considerable updates. When downloading several gigs of updates i often wonder why i just didn't download it in the first place and get the most recent version.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by DDF420 View Post
    It only takes me 25 to 30 min to download a 10gig game on my fibre to home connection. within 3.5 yeas 1/4 of Australians will have fibre access to the home and everyone else within 10. What's happening else where in the world ? I would of thought the US or UK would be ahead of us.
    Yea, we here in Lithuania have had it for several years already. But apparently people in the US still regard it as an extreme novelty. Not sure why the development there has been so slow. Probably has to do with the oligopoly of ISPs. I observed a similar situation with LED bulbs, they don't seem to be available as much in the US as it here.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by schmidtbag View Post
    The whole benefit of PS3 and Xbox 360 added multimedia support is because it helped reduce the amount of devices needed to be connected to your TV. So in other words, why have a computer, a blu-ray player, AND a console all for media purposes when you can just use 1? I've never owned any of the last gen consoles but from what I gather, getting it to play media files is not difficult to do and does not get in the way of playing games. If the device CAN do it and the purpose is reasonable, then why not?
    Power efficiency. If your rig uses 400W to play that blu-ray, but the standalone player uses 30W, which costs you more?

    It's the same argument as to why I keep a separate mp3 player in my pocket, and not using my phone. The mp3 player's battery lasts weeks, if I listened to music using my phone, it would be dead in a day. And with what would I then call?

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by locovaca View Post
    No, they do not need a "classic" distribution at all. There is no need for a package manager and they'll come up with their own defaults for whatever programs they arrive at, which is about the only thing that makes distributions unique nowadays. For something as controlled as a console will be they can distribute one specific kernel, whatever startup scripts that exist do not need to be robust at all to handle multiple systems, they can update the system via binary tarballs that blindly write files to specific directories which is about as "package managerish" as you need to get, etc. This thing can be as hard coded as the Linux code found on a Garmin.

    It's essentially LFS. One could say that the fact they're distributing the same binaries to multiple boxes makes it a distribution itself, but it does not have to be based on an existing distribution as the word commonly means.
    IIRC, Google manages Chrome OS with Portage. For the sake of saving some manpower (having most dependency management handled for you and simplifying the optimizations needed for the Steam console), I think Valve should head in that direction.

    Valve can easily build their own custom distribution, and updating consoles will still be as simple as downloading and extracting a tarball.
    Last edited by Vax456; 01-03-2013 at 06:42 AM.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by leech View Post
    The only problem I see with it being an AMD APU based system is that to this day, ATI/AMD's drivers for Linux are still very much crap. Besides for a game console, why would you want a system like Optimus? You boot it up, play your games, and then shut it down. It's not like a laptop needs power saving features.
    I highly doubt they would use the OSS drivers anyway if they did use an AMD chip, because in addition to power management issues the OSS AMD drivers just don't have very good 3d performance, and this is a game console. I'd imagine they'd work with AMD and use some form of FGLRX, which does have fine power management already, its only the OSS amd drivers that have no real power management so its a moot point for people to be arguing about

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by DDF420 View Post
    It only takes me 25 to 30 min to download a 10gig game on my fibre to home connection. within 3.5 yeas 1/4 of Australians will have fibre access to the home and everyone else within 10. What's happening else where in the world ? I would of thought the US or UK would be ahead of us. The other thing is every time i have bought a game and activated with steam play most games need considerable updates. When downloading several gigs of updates i often wonder why i just didn't download it in the first place and get the most recent version.
    Last time I checked the US was ranked 34th in average home internet bandwidth. That was a few years ago, but I imagine it isnt much better now. DSL is only capapble of 6Mb/s. And that is only if you live real close the the junction. Otherwise its 3Mb/s or if you're further away it is just 1.5Mb/s. Thats Megabits. If you want MegaBytes divide by 8.. Most cable providers offer 3 tiers of bandwidth. 2Mb/s, 10Mb/s and 50Mb/s. Most folks choose 10Mb/s Sometimes you can choose a Turbo option which will allow large downloads to reach an extra few Mb/s second for an added fee of course.
    Last edited by duby229; 01-03-2013 at 11:47 AM.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vax456 View Post
    IIRC, Google manages Chrome OS with Portage. For the sake of saving some manpower (having most dependency management handled for you and simplifying the optimizations needed for the Steam console), I think Valve should head in that direction.

    Valve can easily build their own custom distribution, and updating consoles will still be as simple as downloading and extracting a tarball.
    What? Thats awesome as hell. I didnt know that, but it's kick ass cool.I guess Gentoo's "Meta management" ideology caught on in at least one scenario.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vax456 View Post
    IIRC, Google manages Chrome OS with Portage. For the sake of saving some manpower (having most dependency management handled for you and simplifying the optimizations needed for the Steam console), I think Valve should head in that direction.

    Valve can easily build their own custom distribution, and updating consoles will still be as simple as downloading and extracting a tarball.
    Right, that's what I was saying. You wouldn't have a package manager on the machine itself, you'd have a central build server that spat out tarballs. Fixed hardware and fixed software means they wouldn't need that on the individual box and it thus wouldn't be what most people consider a "distribution."

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by leech View Post
    Regardless, I know it's due to online games, but really, there should be a feature in Steam that says "Hey, he's playing an MMO, it's online only, so let's pause his current downloads unless he tells us otherwise." Or "Hey, we haven't detected any network traffic for this game after 5-10 minutes, he must be playing in offline mode, let's resume the downloads."
    I *think* Steam does this now; I downloaded a game just last week, went to play another (no online component), and found, surprisingly, Steam downloaded the title. Long overdue "feature" though...

    People aren't going to be happy when they turn on their game console and click install, then have to wait 5 hours to play a game they just purchased. Really in that case, the previous posts about power saving features really would be high priority. I get pissed off when it takes me so long to download a game that is 10GB+ (which is a large amount of games these days) and I have a 40mpbs DSL connection.
    It shouldn't take anywhere that long at 40Mbit unless you are seriously being throttled. I get 15, and it never takes me more then an hour to download anything.

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