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Old 29-Feb-2012, 16:18   #26
MfA
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Nope, that's not what wearable computing is about ... it's more about augmented reality than virtual reality.
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Old 29-Feb-2012, 18:12   #27
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If it boots into a locked down windows which only runs games and maybe stuff like Chrome apps then it can still have a known good configuration.
I don't think they could do that since Windows is proprietary so they would not be able to make their own locked down Windows version. The alternative would be to build a Steam Linux, maybe based on Ubuntu due to its popularity, which is specifically targeted to run a console like Steam experience. The problem with this approach is that most games on Steam are Windows only and Valve has currently no interest supporting regular Linux Distros so making their own Linux OS for their console is unlikely. On the other hand Linux on a Desktop is getting more and more popular and is already the leading platform on mobile phones (Android), so maybe Valve will change their policy in the future and support open platforms more.
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Old 29-Feb-2012, 21:53   #28
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On the other hand Linux on a Desktop is getting more and more popular and is already the leading platform on mobile phones (Android), so maybe Valve will change their policy in the future and support open platforms more.
Is linux really getting more popular on desktop? I've been hearing this said for years now, but when I look at the google analytics of my various websites which get thousands of hits per day, linux has pretty consistently been near 1% of my traffic for years, recently falling down to about 0.84%. Windows is about ~80% of my traffic, around 7.5% for Mac (which has slowly falling), and around 6% for iOS devices (has been steadily rising).
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Old 29-Feb-2012, 21:54   #29
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I don't think they could do that since Windows is proprietary so they would not be able to make their own locked down Windows version.
Idiot proofing is not the same as DRM ... it's just a question of booting into a sandbox UI at the start and blocking all the ways of exiting it, perfectly possible. A determined user could bypass that of course, since when you get down to it it's still windows. That they could say gain administrator privileges by booting into a different OS and editing system files is not a problem though. Most of the people who go that far to get away from the UI sandbox know the consequences are on their heads.

Personally I'd just dual boot and keep the idiot proof install as a backup myself.
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Old 01-Mar-2012, 16:50   #30
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Is linux really getting more popular on desktop? I've been hearing this said for years now, but when I look at the google analytics of my various websites which get thousands of hits per day, linux has pretty consistently been near 1% of my traffic for years, recently falling down to about 0.84%. Windows is about ~80% of my traffic, around 7.5% for Mac (which has slowly falling), and around 6% for iOS devices (has been steadily rising).
It varies a lot on how you do the statistics and who does them but from what I have seen the pattern is always that there is growth even though slowly and the market share is still very small. I am sorry I do not have any sources out of the top of my head, only ubuntu specific ones but not linux overall so yeah take it with a grain of salt but my memory is that all statistics agree that there is growth. I think most say that there is around 1-2% market share range but there are some who claim even more like 10%.

Edit: Remembered one source, yey http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2012/01/i...e-it-seems-so/

Out of personal experience I found that many have been starting to dual boot linux (mostly Ubuntu) in the last 2-3 years even though the amount of people who actually use it almost exclusively is very rare. Then again I'm studying at a German college so I do not know whether "normal" people have even heard of it. During my study abroad in the US I only met one person who dual boots Ubuntu.

@MfA: Ok, now I have a clearer understanding of what you meant.
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Old 01-Mar-2012, 17:00   #31
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Thinking about it a bit more, if Valve would use Windows on their console, would be Microsoft happy about selling more Windows licenses or would they fear that their Xbox sales would go down? If so, could they hinder Valve using Windows on their hypothetical console?
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Old 01-Mar-2012, 19:54   #32
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Even if we go by the average that's listed there, in 10 years Linux would still have less than 5% marketshare. And that's incredibly optimistic to think that in 10 years Linux will have more than 2-3% marketshare at most.

I've been hearing for the past 10 years now how Linux is growning. Or "this" (any one of the previous 10 years) is going to be the year that Linux starts to rapidly grow. Yet its share of the market has been remarkably stable. Any growth or losses can easily be chalked up to the margin for error when doing statistics for overall computer marketshare.

In other words, for well over 10 years now, Linux growth (in %marketshare and not total install base) has basically been flat. And that really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.

A Windows based box would be the only really viable solution. Both Apple based (iOS or OSX) and Android based systems will be out of the question as Apple will wish to control any marketsplace on those devices while Google will want to do the same with regards to Android devices. Only Windows systems are basically open without the platform owner controlling who gets to sell things.

Although I suppose Valve building their own Android device may be possible, there's a whole host of problems with that. Convincing developers to port games to your platform. Convincing consumers that your Android device which likely doesn't double as a phone is more compelling than all the other android devices out there.

One possibility is Valve partnering with a boutique PC maker (Alienware or something) which can make standardised and branded hardware.

Or perhaps some kind of certification system so that an OEM PC can sport an Approved for Gaming by Valve for XXXX year logo or something. Similar to the Centrino logo or Windows 7 ready, or other such PC certifications that we've seen in the past.

But the problem with that is that PC developement is a constantly moving target. So a machine approved for year XXXX may not run games made in year XXXX+2 that well.

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Old 03-Mar-2012, 05:16   #33
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Hmm, "megaton" just hit GAF:

http://www.theverge.com/2012/3/2/284...gaming-console
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According to sources, the company has been working on a hardware spec and associated software which would make up the backbone of a "Steam Box." The actual devices may be made by a variety of partners, and the software would be readily available to any company that wants to get in the game.

Adding fuel to that fire is a rumor that the Alienware X51 may have been designed with an early spec of the system in mind, and will be retroactively upgradable to the software.

Apparently meetings were held during CES to demo a hand-built version of the device to potential partners. We're told that the basic specs of the Steam Box include a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GPU. The devices will be able to run any standard PC titles, and will also allow for rival gaming services (like EA's Origin) to be loaded up.

Part of the goal of establishing a baseline for hardware, we're told, is that it will give developers a clear lifecycle for their products, with changes possibly coming every three to four years. Additionally, there won't be a required devkit, and there will be no licensing fees to create software for the platform.
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We're hearing that a wide variety of USB peripherals will be compatible with the boxes, though it will likely ship with a proprietary controller. It's possible that the controller will even allow for swappable components, meaning that it can be reconfigured depending on the type of game you're playing. Think that sounds odd? Well Valve filed a patent for such a device last year.
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The most interesting piece of this puzzle may be related to that statement. According to sources, the Steam Box isn't intended to just clash with current gaming consoles. Rather, Valve wants to take Apple and its forthcoming new Apple TV products head-on. Newell has clear questions about Apple's strategy, telling the The Seattle Times "On the platform side, it's sort of ominous that the world seems to be moving away from open platforms," adding that "They build a shiny sparkling thing that attracts users and then they control people's access to those things."
Problem I see is the X51 is $1,000. Dont see this taking off, though the proprietary controller thing sounds cool.

Other problem I see is simple: piracy.
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Old 03-Mar-2012, 05:49   #34
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Also, "The devices will be able to run any standard PC titles" = Windows (?) I am all for someone (should have been MS years ago) setting a basic "standard" "gaming" hardware profile that every 2-3 years gets updated, e.g. "Windows Gaming Rig 2010" "Windows Gaming Rig 2012" etc. It sounds like Valve is pushing that direction which could be a benefit to developers and the industry. That said the X51 is what I see wrong with so many PCs directed at gaming: too much put into the CPU and Memory and not enough into the GPU and the aesthetic concessions (namely size) and branding jack the price up way above the "value." Good idea in general but they really need to be aiming a lot lower on the price threshold to be competitive.
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Old 03-Mar-2012, 06:09   #35
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The most interesting part to me is about Apple. Basically with MS having a market place on win 8, console being already closed devices Valve must feel a bit cornered.
Still I can't see in which way they can fight back such giants, not too mention that in my view they are likely to face another ie Google which may use the some of the same policies as they are (multiple hardware vendors, etc.). I can't see Google stand still for long in face of an Apple offensive on that front.
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Old 03-Mar-2012, 06:24   #36
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Cool ! It would be a very interesting GDC to say the least. ^_^

Port the relevant stacks over. It doesn't seem to conflict with Sony's latest moves and rumors.
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Old 03-Mar-2012, 11:59   #37
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It would be grand incompetence if they go for a fixed platform for 3 years. It would be infinitely smarter to simply have a costly certification, this would keep the number of configurations down without removing hardware competition. Game developers have enough QA resources to test more platforms than one every 3 years even if near infinity is too much to ask.

Valve has a great service, but trying to force PC gaming into the console mould to this extent would be an evil act in my book. It removes so much impetus towards competition and innovation ... if they succeed at it and take most of the PC gaming pie I might as well get a console then, don't fucking do this Valve.
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Old 03-Mar-2012, 18:18   #38
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Also, "The devices will be able to run any standard PC titles" = Windows (?) I am all for someone (should have been MS years ago) setting a basic "standard" "gaming" hardware profile that every 2-3 years gets updated, e.g. "Windows Gaming Rig 2010" "Windows Gaming Rig 2012" etc. It sounds like Valve is pushing that direction which could be a benefit to developers and the industry. That said the X51 is what I see wrong with so many PCs directed at gaming: too much put into the CPU and Memory and not enough into the GPU and the aesthetic concessions (namely size) and branding jack the price up way above the "value." Good idea in general but they really need to be aiming a lot lower on the price threshold to be competitive.
The Alienware is just an example of a machine that is rumored to have been built with the proposed hardware specs of the "Valve box."

Since we have no idea what the baseline is for the Valve Box certification, we don't know just how cheaply they could be made, or even how OEMs would decide to design the exterior.

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It would be grand incompetence if they go for a fixed platform for 3 years. It would be infinitely smarter to simply have a costly certification, this would keep the number of configurations down without removing hardware competition. Game developers have enough QA resources to test more platforms than one every 3 years even if near infinity is too much to ask.

Valve has a great service, but trying to force PC gaming into the console mould to this extent would be an evil act in my book. It removes so much impetus towards competition and innovation ... if they succeed at it and take most of the PC gaming pie I might as well get a console then, don't fucking do this Valve.
I'm seeing this as basically a minimum spec for the "Valve Box." A cheap sort of certification.

In other words, how I view this is that Valve is attempting to set a minimum spec for a "Valve Box" which developers can then target as a minimum spec for their game. So, in theory, instead of targetting everything from the lowest spec'd computer to the highest spec'd computer there will be a baseline spec that is higher than what you can currently find on Steam.

I wouldn't be surprised if each baseline spec aligned with each new DX release. So the first baseline spec might require DX11 hardware. And even integrated Dx11 hardware is going to be a lot more capable and performant than say old Dx9 integrated hardare.

Depending on what demographic they want to chase with this "Valve Box" will likely determine just how low or high the baseline spec will be.

You see it as potentially putting an upper limit on what is implemented. I see it as raising the bar of the minimum spec that is targetted. If the idea can take off and consumer can be convinced to buy it, it can potentially raise the minimum bar of what developers target and hence increase the overall quality of PC titles.

Of course, with the majority of AAA PC developers focusing on Console first, we'll still ultimately be constrained by the console centric decision making.

Standards might help bring some of the developers back to PC first developement, but I doubt it. Until the piracy issue is addressed, I have a feeling there isn't much that will entice former PC first developers who are now on consoles to go back to PC first developement.

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Old 03-Mar-2012, 18:39   #39
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I don't care about upper limits ... this is about kneecapping competition in the GPU field.

Valve is too big to play favourites and not have a huge impact.
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Old 03-Mar-2012, 20:01   #40
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Might as well wait a few more days for GDC. We will have concrete info to discuss. ^_^

The devil is in the details.
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Old 03-Mar-2012, 20:03   #41
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If Valve, rather than stating minimum hardware specs, instead opts to specify X GPU (model and brand), Y CPU (model and brand), etc. in order to get certification then I agree fullheartedly. That would end up doing more harm than good in the PC space and ultimately slow progress for not only PC's but for the traditional home consoles as well. As the hardware technology for the graphics in home consoles is being driven by the competition amoung the 2 graphics IHVs in the PC market with input from Microsoft.

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Old 08-Mar-2012, 21:03   #42
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Shooting Down Rumors, Valve Says They’re Not Making a Game Console Any Time Soon
http://kotaku.com/5891697/shooting-d...-any-time-soon

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"We're prepping the Steam Big Picture Mode UI and getting ready to ship that, so we're building boxes to test that on," he said, referring to a new Steam interface that will make the online gaming service easily useable for people who want to play Steam games on a PC that's connected to their TV. "We're also doing a bunch of different experiments with biometric feedback and stuff like that, which we've talked about a fair amount.

"All of that is stuff that we're working on, but it's a long way from Valve shipping any sort of hardware."

Lombardi refused to flat-out say that Valve isn't working on a console. When I posted it to him this way—"What you're saying is, there's definitely nothing coming any time soon, nothing at GDC or E3, but what you're not ruling out is the possibility that, hey, maybe some day Valve would make hardware. "-he said, "I think that's accurate."

...
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Old 08-Mar-2012, 21:57   #43
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I don't really see the point in such effort. Its not like the hardware demographics in regards to PC gaming can't be determined in any useful way. Valve doesn't even need to build Steam hardware it could just give developers hardware information readily available to Valve on the gamers who use Steam.

You can't take on Apple by slapping a "Steam" sticker on a PC any better than what Steam is doing right now and thats providing a similar service on a hardware platform that relatively open outside of the OS itself which is controlled by MS.
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Old 08-Mar-2012, 22:07   #44
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I do wish Valve would get behind a certification process. Even something simple, updated every 2 years. Just call it, "Meets Valve Gamer Specs 2012." Oh well.
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Old 08-Mar-2012, 22:28   #45
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I don't really see the point in such effort. Its not like the hardware demographics in regards to PC gaming can't be determined in any useful way. Valve doesn't even need to build Steam hardware it could just give developers hardware information readily available to Valve on the gamers who use Steam.
That's a fair observation. They can say to devs, "you can safely target this level of hardware for your games." By this point I imagine pretty much every PC gamer is going to be using Steam. A Valve box would ahve had the potential to reach a new audience, although realistically I doubt it has a hope in hell, unless massively subsidized. So just let PC gaming be its thing.

Which of course it won't be, because consoles are the target due to economics. But come 2014, all the current uber gaming rigs will start to see software that makes use of them.
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