Gabe Newell gave a rousing talk at Linux Con today. He talked more about Valve's strategy with games, Windows, consoles and Linux. It is all shown in the video above(warning, it was recorded and put on YouTube so it isn't perfect).

A few note worthy bits from the talk:

  • Valve is announcing hardware next week

  • Valve is sinking resources into Linux in terms of development in SDL, LLVM & a Linux debugger

  • They are working on something in mobile

  • Valve wants to unify the mobile, PC and living room experience so they are not all different

  • They want the future of technology to be built on open technologies

All of that sounds great and I am very interested in seeing what news they drop next week. But a Steam mobile handheld? The future looks very interesting.

Travis   Admin wrote on 09/17/2013 at 03:06am

Came here to post this. Can't wait to hear what the announcement next week will be!

Mobile is quite interesting. They could be targeting Android devices, since you can have distribution platforms there. Apple won't let it happen. Or, they could be going their own route (probably also with Android) and doing something like NVidia did recently.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 09/17/2013 at 03:31am

Yeah and I hope they do. A compelling open handheld is very interesting to me.

Chowda wrote on 09/17/2013 at 06:18pm

I'm really happy for these talks to be broadcasted to large audiences. I really do think Linux is the future of gaming, especially on the desktop. The fact that I refuse to upgrade beyond Windows 7 means I'm really banking on Linux getting a serious share of the gaming market because it will be my reality sooner than later.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 09/17/2013 at 06:55pm

Right. The only downside to Linux gaming is compatibility with your old library of games. A big problem for certain and it helps with things like Wine, but yeah, some games just won't be ported.

Chowda wrote on 09/17/2013 at 11:28pm

I'm okay with that. I may keep a small windows 7 partition just to play a few old games. But you know that will fade with time as well.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 09/18/2013 at 12:19am

Right. I may keep around old hardware, like an old console for that. Boot into it when I need. Or maybe Virtualization will be stellar at that point so I could run it all in a Windows 7 VM.

beansmyname   Supporter wrote on 09/20/2013 at 05:53pm


I like that Gabe is very open about why Valve has become so vested in the future of Linux. It is the only way that Valve can retain complete control over the end-user experience.

Some wonderful points (still in awe of his honesty) I took from it:

- AAA publishers don't care about Linux because the revenue just isn't there - DEAL WITH IT! 1% isn't going to turn any heads.
- Proprietary systems and hardware only create exclusionary markets which lack the support of a strong community. It's obvious that Gabe values the community and he should because that's where Valve's revenue lies.
- Gabe seems almost humbled by the community support but understands how to cultivate it. "Properly enabled and supported" developers and users will thrive and can add value to any undertaking.
- Valve doesn't just think Linux is the future, they're invested in seeing that future become real. I didn't realize that Valve had such an active role in the development of SDL. SDL is a mature, cross-platform library that would help realize Gabe's stated goal of unification across platforms.

This excites me on two fronts. One, as a long time Linux user, and the other as a returning PC gamer. I have zero interest in the PS4 or the XBOX One as I've had both of their predecessors and they no longer hold any charm for me. However, if I can be promised the same or better experience when playing on my Steambox or my Linux rig, I'll throw more money Valve's way when their console comes out.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 09/20/2013 at 08:23pm

Yep, I will too. Open platforms are the future I want and i'll get it because if that. Well, and because it will most likely be awesome.

Travis   Admin wrote on 09/20/2013 at 08:33pm

One thing we have to acknowledge though, is that it's probably just a PC with a smaller form factor, probably set to automatically open Steam upon login into a lightweight DE. You may not get any benefits over just plugging in a PC to your TV.

But the way they're presenting it and marketing it, the way they're pushing to bring PC gaming into the living room with controller support, and trying to get it all under an open platform, that's the "product" here that I'm so excited about.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 09/20/2013 at 08:42pm

Right, and that's the point right? An open system really needn't be much more than that, which is totally awesome. You can DIY or buy something off the shelf. Frankly I don't mind using an open system but building one these days is somewhat out of the question, I used to though.

That said, the PS4, Xbox One those don't need to be closed. Well, they do if you want to limit whom can make them and Sony and Microsoft both do. So, yeah, this may very well just be a reduced form factor PC with Steam to auto start, which would still be awesome.

Plus if it's linux I can run a few other things on it, which would be nice because I want to replace the mac mini under my TV. It's running an antiquated version of OSX and doesn't really work great these days. Planned obsolescence and all that, plus they are made VERY hard to upgrade. But I guess, that's kind of what I bought with it. Still, something more open would be what the doctor ordered and if it could run a junk load of games at launch, yay.

Travis   Admin wrote on 09/20/2013 at 08:45pm

Yeah, I wasn't trying to say anything bad about it. I'm still probably going to get one myself depending on price and specs. But it may be more cost effective to just buy an off-the-shelf PC and install Linux and Steam, and I may do that someday too. It's just awesome that we can do that! :)

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 09/20/2013 at 08:46pm

Totally, it is nice to have options. Yeah, it's not an auto-buy for me either, but I am learning more that direction right now than the PS4. Still, PS4 looks neat though.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 09/20/2013 at 08:47pm

Kind of hope Destiny announces a Steambox port too. One can dream I suppose :D

beansmyname   Supporter wrote on 09/21/2013 at 12:27am

I like the idea that Valve will provide support for the device and that in exchange I'm providing support for that business model. Hardware support is a big deal to me. I have a 3 GHz quad-core processor sitting in the closet and I'm not sure if the motherboard or the power supply is bad. If it were a console with a warranty, I'd be running that instead of current system.

Like Jon, and obviously Gaben, I think that open platforms are future. Open platforms provide the freedom to let truly innovative companies continue to innovate. It also provides a framework for the "Grand Unification," where mobile, desktop and console gaming experience their Singularity.

If you want to join this conversation you need to sign in.
Sign Up / Log In