The Steam Machines has arrived! And you should get one!

So yesterday, the 10th of November, was the official launch day of the Steam Machines. The hardware are meant to be dedicated game machines for the living room taking advantage of the Steam ecosystem, to take on the Xbox One and PS4.

But for us in the Linux community these machines are more than that, they are an important part of helping us break into a broader market by paving the way for even more games and more big budget games coming to our platform. Playing computer games is not just a niche, it is a mainstream activity these days, and not having access to games on our platform has cost us quite a few users and potential contributors over the years. I have for instance met a lot of computer science students who ended up not using Linux as the main operating system during their studies simply due to the lack of games on the platform. Instead Linux got de-regulated to that thing in a VM only run when you needed it for an assignment.

Steam for Linux and SteamOS can and will be important pieces of breaking through that. SteamOS and the Steam Macines are also important for the Linux community for another reason. They can help funnel more resources from hardware companies into Linux drivers and support. I know for instance that all the 3 major GPU vendors have increased their Linux drivers investments due to SteamOS.

So I want to congratulate Valve on the launch of the first Steam Machines and strongly recommend everyone in the community to get a Steam machine for their home!

People who have had a good chance to test the hardware has recommended me to get one of the Alienware SteamOS systems, so I am passing that recommendation onwards.

As a sidenote we are also working on a few features in Fedora Workstation to make it a better host for Steam and Steam games. This includes our work on the GL Dispatch and Optimus support as covered in a previous blog and libratbag, our new library for handling gaming mice under Linux. And finally we are working on a few bug fixes in Fedora to make it an even better host for the Steam client related to C++ ABI issues.

8 comments ↓

#1 DDD on 11.11.15 at 20:43

Steam is awesome. It’d be even better if it could integrate with the Gnome software centre.

#2 uraeus on 11.11.15 at 21:40

Actually we have been looking at some Gnome Software integration. You will likely be able to view installed games and deinstall them through GNOME Software, but you probably will not be able to install.

#3 Tom Carrio on 11.12.15 at 18:28

It very likely could be possible. The steam application allows you to interface several commands using the steam:// URI. The same process is followed with PlayOnLinux’s game installations that utilize Steam (It installs Steam and automatically starts that games installers through it once you login). This could allow complete integration through GNOME, which would be great since I’m a user myself.

The “Steam browser protocol” is what I’m referring to here: https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Steam_browser_protocol

Let’s you open Friends list, install or purchase a game (based on ID), run a game, and a lot more. With integration to this you could essentially maintain a compatibility layer in GNOME that interfaces all your games, installs, and more. Actually is really cool now that I think of it. If you guys start work on this you should contact me about it: gnome@tomcarr.io

#4 Adil on 11.12.15 at 14:34

It would be neat if the Fedora community can partner with Valve and maybe have their next version of SteamOS based on Fedora. The sheer marketing would be great for the credibility of Fedora.

#5 uraeus on 11.12.15 at 14:46

Well they already have invested a lot in building things up with the current infrastructure, and as we move forward with runtimes I think we just need to accept that it doesn’t matter where those runtimes comes from (or rather it should only matter to the ones in charge of supporting the runtime).

#6 jdelaporte on 11.12.15 at 19:13

What games are out that are multiplayer on the same console? I am a big Linux user, but to make me invest in a steam machine for my living room, I’d need some broad-appeal (kid-friendly and still adult-fun), multiplayer games where three or more players can use the same console.

#7 strider on 11.13.15 at 08:47

uraeus, you should have a look at how we handle steam games installation in Lutris (http://github.com/lutris/). We handle Steam games installation and removal and we also import the users Steam library with their OpenID service (that’s on our website but it should be possible to do the same on the desktop)

#8 Olav Vitters on 11.13.15 at 09:42

These Alienware Steam machine are way too expensive in Europe. The 400 USD (=cheapest) version costs 600 EUR here. It should be 450 EUR (USD->EUR of ~375 EUR + ~75 EUR of taxes).

So 150 EUR / 33% more for no apparent reason. Hardware wise the 450 EUR might be ok; 600 EUR is way too much.