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dugan 09-21-2013 12:56 PM

Steambox thread.
 
There's a countdown now.

http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/

My predictions:
  • 32-bit architecture
  • based on a fork of Ubuntu
  • compatible with PC gamepads (including Xbox 360 controllers)

carlosinfl 09-25-2013 03:31 PM

This wont go far unless they rope in some devs to make an exclusive game title to make this hold it's own against the big leagues. Anyone who can afford this will see it's an HTPC with some terrible fork of Ubuntu on it. I'd rather have a reputable console or my Linux / Steam computer. Don't see people foaming at the mouth to buy a pre-packaged HTPC with a 5 minute Steam install already done for them.

carlosinfl 09-25-2013 03:33 PM

...also - would this mean it's only usable with the lackluster Linux / OS X game roster or would it mean we could load ANY Steam title? Either way I don't see that being a huge selling point regardless...

dugan 09-25-2013 03:38 PM

From the picture, they look like Ouya-ish things runing SteamOS instead of Android.

If I didn't own a PC capable of playing games, and these devices were cheap, then they might tempt me. But as it is, it doesn't look like they're for me.

carlosinfl 09-25-2013 05:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dugan (Post 5034796)
...and these devices were cheap

LOL - it wont.

dugan 09-27-2013 02:20 PM

I'm going to want a Steam Controller just to try out. It looks two NES MAXes and a Dreamcast controller.

I'm also wondering how many people are going to buy Steam Machines and immediately install Windows on them.

jens 09-28-2013 08:51 AM

Their controllers look rather nice:
http://store.steampowered.com/living...eamController/

Quote:

A different kind of gamepad

We set out with a singular goal: bring the Steam experience, in its entirety, into the living-room. We knew how to build the user interface, we knew how to build a machine, and even an operating system. But that still left input — our biggest missing link. We realized early on that our goals required a new kind of input technology — one that could bridge the gap from the desk to the living room without compromises. So we spent a year experimenting with new approaches to input and we now believe we’ve arrived at something worth sharing and testing with you.
Complete catalog

The Steam Controller is designed to work with all the games on Steam: past, present, and future. Even the older titles in the catalog and the ones which were not built with controller support. (We’ve fooled those older games into thinking they’re being played with a keyboard and mouse, but we’ve designed a gamepad that’s nothing like either one of those devices.) We think you’ll agree that we’re onto something with the Steam Controller, and now we want your help with the design process.
Superior performance

Traditional gamepads force us to accept compromises. We’ve made it a goal to improve upon the resolution and fidelity of input that’s possible with those devices. The Steam controller offers a new and, we believe, vastly superior control scheme, all while enabling you to play from the comfort of your sofa. Built with high-precision input technologies and focused on low-latency performance, the Steam controller is just what the living-room ordered.
Dual trackpads

The most prominent elements of the Steam controller are its two circular trackpads. Driven by the player’s thumbs, each one has a high-resolution trackpad as its base. It is also clickable, allowing the entire surface to act as a button. The trackpads allow far higher fidelity input than has previously been possible with traditional handheld controllers. Steam gamers, who are used to the input associated with PCs, will appreciate that the Steam Controller’s resolution approaches that of a desktop mouse.

Whole genres of games that were previously only playable with a keyboard and mouse are now accessible from the sofa. RTS games. Casual, cursor-driven games. Strategy games. 4x space exploration games. A huge variety of indie games. Simulation titles. And of course, Euro Truck Simulator 2.

In addition, games like first-person shooters that are designed around precise aiming within a large visual field now benefit from the trackpads’ high resolution and absolute position control.
Haptics

Trackpads, by their nature, are less physical than thumbsticks. By themselves, they are “light touch” devices and don’t offer the kind of visceral feedback that players get from pushing joysticks around. As we investigated trackpad-based input devices, it became clear through testing that we had to find ways to add more physicality to the experience. It also became clear that “rumble”, as it has been traditionally implemented (a lopsided weight spun around a single axis), was not going to be enough. Not even close.

The Steam Controller is built around a new generation of super-precise haptic feedback, employing dual linear resonant actuators. These small, strong, weighted electro-magnets are attached to each of the dual trackpads. They are capable of delivering a wide range of force and vibration, allowing precise control over frequency, amplitude, and direction of movement.

This haptic capability provides a vital channel of information to the player - delivering in-game information about speed, boundaries, thresholds, textures, action confirmations, or any other events about which game designers want players to be aware. It is a higher-bandwidth haptic information channel than exists in any other consumer product that we know of. As a parlour trick they can even play audio waveforms and function as speakers.
Touch Screen

In the center of the controller is another touch-enabled surface, this one backed by a high-resolution screen. This surface, too, is critical to achieving the controller’s primary goal - supporting all games in the Steam catalog. The screen allows an infinite number of discrete actions to be made available to the player, without requiring an infinite number of physical buttons.

The whole screen itself is also clickable, like a large single button. So actions are not invoked by a simple touch, they instead require a click. This allows a player to touch the screen, browse available actions, and only then commit to the one they want. Players can swipe through pages of actions in games where that’s appropriate. When programmed by game developers using our API, the touch screen can work as a scrolling menu, a radial dial, provide secondary info like a map or use other custom input modes we haven’t thought of yet.

In order to avoid forcing players to divide their attention between screens, a critical feature of the Steam Controller comes from its deep integration with Steam. When a player touches the controller screen, its display is overlayed on top of the game they’re playing, allowing the player to leave their attention squarely on the action, where it belongs.
Buttons

Every button and input zone has been placed based on frequency of use, precision required and ergonomic comfort. There are a total of sixteen buttons on the Steam Controller. Half of them are accessible to the player without requiring thumbs to be lifted from the trackpads, including two on the back. All controls and buttons have been placed symmetrically, making left or right handedness switchable via a software config checkbox.
Shared configurations

In order to support the full catalog of existing Steam games (none of which were built with the Steam Controller in mind), we have built in a legacy mode that allows the controller to present itself as a keyboard and mouse. The Steam Community can use the configuration tool to create and share bindings for their favorite games. Players can choose from a list of the most popular configurations.
Openness

The Steam Controller was designed from the ground up to be hackable. Just as the Steam Community and Workshop contributors currently deliver tremendous value via additions to software products on Steam, we believe that they will meaningfully contribute to the design of the Steam Controller. We plan to make tools available that will enable users to participate in all aspects of the experience, from industrial design to electrical engineering. We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

dugan 09-30-2013 04:19 PM

They've announced one. It's a tiny gaming PC, and it's priced as one.

http://xi3.force.com/piston

jens 10-12-2013 09:33 AM

Steam Controller Demonstration:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeAjkbNq4xI#t=195

jens 12-14-2013 08:23 AM

SteamOS:

Quote:

SteamOS Beta is an early, first-look public release of our Linux-based operating system. The base system draws from Debian 7, code named Debian Wheezy. Our work builds on top of the solid Debian core and optimizes it for a living room experience. Most of all, it is an open Linux platform that leaves you in full control. You can take charge of your system and install new software or content as you want.
http://store.steampowered.com/steamos/

Screenshots (google+): https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/+...16035310169921

PS: At this time it's pretty much a default debian (64-bit) installation with an extra valve repo (http://repo.steampowered.com/steamos/).
http://steamdb.info/blog/35/

273 12-14-2013 07:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dugan (Post 5032084)
There's a countdown now.

http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/

My predictions:
  • 32-bit architecture
  • based on a fork of Ubuntu
  • compatible with PC gamepads (including Xbox 360 controllers)

I think a 32 bit architecture would be far too expensive to implement -- who are they going to buy the processors from?
I wouldn't be completely surprised to see it being a 32 bit OS but that seems silly as then they would be missing out on CPU instructions that are >10 years old due to most libraries on 32 bit OSs being compiled for older CPUs wouldn't it?

dugan 12-15-2013 03:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 273 (Post 5080793)
I wouldn't be completely surprised to see it being a 32 bit OS but that seems silly as then they would be missing out on CPU instructions that are >10 years old due to most libraries on 32 bit OSs being compiled for older CPUs wouldn't it?

It may be silly, but consider that Steam for Windows is currently 32-bit, not 64-bit.

273 12-15-2013 03:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dugan (Post 5080907)
It may be silly, but consider that Steam for Windows is currently 32-bit, not 64-bit.

I'm sure it will be 32 bit at first, but it might kill the platform.

sag47 12-15-2013 03:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 273 (Post 5080793)
I think a 32 bit architecture would be far too expensive to implement -- who are they going to buy the processors from?
I wouldn't be completely surprised to see it being a 32 bit OS but that seems silly as then they would be missing out on CPU instructions that are >10 years old due to most libraries on 32 bit OSs being compiled for older CPUs wouldn't it?

This doesn't really make sense. The x86 instruction set architecture hasn't changed much since it was introduced. Processors have gotten faster but the instructions remain the same. I could compile a binary for the latest 32 bit processor and it will still work on an older 32 bit processor. Not sure where you're going with that. While there are minor revisions they aren't drastic enough to make a difference to a gaming platform which primarily uses a GPU for rendering and heavy lifting.

Re: steam 32bit
Just because steam is 32 bit doesn't mean the games it supports has to be. There's no reason for Valve to make steam a 64bit application until 32 bit becomes fully unsupported by manufacturers. Though 64 bit is becoming more the norm than it used to be (which is expected in progress).

jens 12-15-2013 08:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dugan (Post 5080907)
It may be silly, but consider that Steam for Windows is currently 32-bit, not 64-bit.

While SteamOS (beta 1.0) is 64-bit only (for the obvious hardware reasons), the actual steam client is still 32-bit as well (using debian's multiarch).
http://repo.steampowered.com/steamos...-free/s/steam/


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