STEAM GROUP
Steam Universe Steam U
STEAM GROUP
Steam Universe Steam U
76,238
IN-GAME
298,815
ONLINE
Founded
September 23, 2013
All Discussions > Steam OS > Topic Details
Egee Jan 2 @ 9:17am
SteamOS is DOA
After months (maybe even a whole year!) of trying to get my DIY Steam Machine & SteamOS to work perfectly in my living room, I finally decided to throw in the towel.

Admittedly, I ended up buying an XBox One S because I got a killer deal for it during the holiday season. The thing *current gen* consoles is that they are much more than just "gaming" consoles. There are built-in apps for Netflix, YouTube, and even interfacing with your cable TV provider. SteamOS doesn't provide any of that. You have to reach into 3rd party repositories and risk greatly destabilizing your system just to watch Netflix or YouTube without fighting with the terrible SteamOS web browser.

Yes, I know you can use tools to install Chrome in Kiosk mode, but that's not the point. I shouldn't have to spend extra time tinkering with crap for an OS that should be ready to rock and roll out of the box. Plus, Chrome Kiosk mode isn't great, especially on high resolutions. You have to tweak Chrome by increasing the text size to make it usable.

If you want an pre-built Steam Machine from Alienware that is comparable to the XBox One, you are looking at spending at least $400, which is $200 MORE than the base model XBox, and $100 MORE than the XBox One S. If I am going to spend $200 MORE for a console that is only slightly more powerful, I DO NOT expect to have to spend hours installing more software onto the system just to get the basic functionality that comes with the XBox by default.

I greatly appreciate the work that the Linux & SteamOS community has put into SteamOS in general. Lots of issues and been submitted and fixed by valve because of the community. There were also community projects that popped up around SteamOS. One project called VaporOS looked the most promising but it appears to have been abandoned by the developer (who can blame him?)

The problem with SteamOS isn't with the hard working community - it's with Valve. No one can argue the fact that Valve half-assed SteamOS from the beginning. It is little more than Debian with a custom X session that boots into the SteamOS compositor.

On the other hand, I want to emphasize the fact that the Linux platform is NOT the reason why I feel SteamOS failed. Yes, you will see lower frame rate (in general) on SteamOS (and any Linux distro) but honestly its not that bad, especially if you stick with Nvidia hardware. And with SteamOS, you can scale the graphics setting to get better frame rates if you want. Same can't be said for Xbox or PlayStation.

I also made a video talking about all of the above listed points:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3DNNk0CpkE
< >
Showing 1-15 of 26 comments
Still a SteamOS supporter and user for the foreseeable future, but I can hardly disagree with your arguments.
The huge potential is still there, but abandoned by Valve. Or at least it looks this way from where I'm standing.
The whole initial enthusiasm around SteamOS and Steam Machine has already started to deflate and Valve doesn't look like is saying or doing anything to prevent it.
Areso Jan 2 @ 9:31am 
Well, it's all sad and true enough. Still, I hope we will hear about "second generation", when VR will be ready to launch on SteamOS.
warpig Jan 2 @ 10:19am 
Hopefully with Vulkan being implemented this year it will bring more developers and much needed attention to the steamos platform. It seems linux gaming is going to move forward with or without steamos.
I use steamos every day and from where I'm standing, it looks to be where it needs to be. There were a lot of warped expectations about what it was going to do but in reality it isa small piece of a larger puzzle. It's a walk before you can run situation.
Well, I now watched the video and I mostly agree.

I maybe nitpicking a bit though, but I don't agree with the "death" of SteamOS. Maybe an "induced coma" can better describe its current state ? :)
I mean, I'm equally (or even more) disappointed by its current evolution (or lack thereof), but isn't a bit too early for SteamOS's death certificate ?

About the lack of BluRay etc capabilities, I have mixed feeling about that. In my eyes (yes, that's only a personal opinion) Steam is a digital delivery only platform for gaming and media and it doesn't need physical media on their Steam Machines. But then again yeah, PS4 etc are also digital delivery platforms and yet they have such capabilities....so not sure what to say.
All I know is that I have a couple of consoles myself and I have rarely used physical media on them, so for me this point is not a big deal. (I actually don't want to have to deal with physical media again, ever.)

As for price; this is just hearsay, but don't they (Sony&Microsoft) actually artificially lower their consoles prices in order to make them competitive?

Faz Jan 2 @ 11:22am 
I think SteamOS to move forward must break away from debian. Look at Android for example, google took the kernel, and then created the rest. Of course it took some years before he came to successso and use today, but if Valve would do the same, do you think we meterebbe so long? I think not, but it has to do partnerships. Partnerships with manufacturers of video cards, processors (special driver once and for all), and manufacturers of video games. No agreements are not going anywhere, because it must also create a platform that contains all games, you can not just put an origin and a uplay of steam, would be a mess.
Teddy Jan 2 @ 12:04pm 
I am not sure what your DIY build contained, but unless you're into experimenting, I would not recommend SteamOS to a friend as it is right now.

But I am not giving up hope yet. The Linux gaming community is really starting to become a thing, hardware support is vastly improving and Vulkan is the missing link required to make it happen. Selling Steam Machines during Brewmaster launch was a mistake. It isn't finished yet. Development is extremely slow, but not abandoned. Plus, as a first time user of Steam, I remember how terrible it was in the early days. Valve does not have a reputation for abandoning projects and they still continue to support / push Linux as a gaming platform.

So SteamOS could still get there, but I am pretty sure it will be atleast a couple of years. For the big audience, it cannot compete with the PS4 or Xbox1. It could compete with their successors.
If only Xbox One (or PS4) had access to so many great indie games, insane Steam sales and could use the excellent Steam Controller, I would switch in a second.

I'm not bothered by a lack of a Blu-Ray player. My Sony BDP gathers dust, I have watched like four Bluray movies on it. Movies I have on DVDs are ripped and streamed to the Chromecast.

That said, I miss Blizzard games, Witcher 3 and Dishonored 2.
Faz Jan 2 @ 12:29pm 
Originally posted by Teddy:
I am not sure what your DIY build contained, but unless you're into experimenting, I would not recommend SteamOS to a friend as it is right now.

But I am not giving up hope yet. The Linux gaming community is really starting to become a thing, hardware support is vastly improving and Vulkan is the missing link required to make it happen. Selling Steam Machines during Brewmaster launch was a mistake. It isn't finished yet. Development is extremely slow, but not abandoned. Plus, as a first time user of Steam, I remember how terrible it was in the early days. Valve does not have a reputation for abandoning projects and they still continue to support / push Linux as a gaming platform.

So SteamOS could still get there, but I am pretty sure it will be atleast a couple of years. For the big audience, it cannot compete with the PS4 or Xbox1. It could compete with their successors.
I believe that valve has been forced to do so, everyone wanted SteamOS, wanted to see it and try.However I think that as far as the operating system, I also believe that it will take another 2 or 3 years.
Originally posted by Faz:
I think SteamOS to move forward must break away from debian. Look at Android for example, google took the kernel, and then created the rest. Of course it took some years before he came to successso and use today, but if Valve would do the same, do you think we meterebbe so long? I think not, but it has to do partnerships. Partnerships with manufacturers of video cards, processors (special driver once and for all), and manufacturers of video games. No agreements are not going anywhere, because it must also create a platform that contains all games, you can not just put an origin and a uplay of steam, would be a mess.
Well valve already can do that. They maintain their own repo, they are free to add their own improvements they see fit. Plenty of companies do this (the one I work for maintains our own kernel for our embedded products). The problem is with valve, they are not putting resources or effort into it.

Debian in and of itself is fine, and actually a good idea as a base. Its generally more stable than more widely used distros but still is fundamentally based on the easy to use apt system. It also provides an easy build target for game devs since if they target debian8 then their game will most likely run on the largest amount of distros out there

I also like that it allows the end user to muck with it, build/compile their own stuff so they can really do whatever they want. But valve definitely needs to put in more effort. It honestly doesnt take much to get your platform netflix certified (I have gone through full netflix certification of 5 embedded products). They just need to get out there, hire a few more engineers and just do something, anything, more streaming implementations, bring in html5 apps with an updated browser, more 3rd party integrations. There is so much they could be doing
Originally posted by Faz:
I think SteamOS to move forward must break away from debian.

I've been saying this this day one, Debian was the easy/lazy option, it'll never be the most optimal. It's like trying to build a F1 car out of a garage full of Ford parts.
Originally posted by powerarmour:
Originally posted by Faz:
I think SteamOS to move forward must break away from debian.

I've been saying this this day one, Debian was the easy/lazy option, it'll never be the most optimal. It's like trying to build a F1 car out of a garage full of Ford parts.

Huh? What would you have had them do? Create a custom linux distro then ensuring a giant pain in the ass for non-steamos linux users and requiring compatibility and shim layers just to get it working and be back in the same situation they would have been if they had just used a stock distro?

These arent car parts. Unless your running some high performance server or have specific needs in a kernel no one is tweaking the hell out of them, they are using what is most widely used and most compatible to ensure ease of development and porting. When your trying to get widespread adoption that is what you want, and you focus on tweaking later when you have a large enough user base. Even tweaking things isnt going to get you a huge performance jump anyway, you are way more reliant on the gpu manufacturers and their drivers for that, anything that valve could do in the OS itself would be minimal at best
Originally posted by dubigrasu:
Still a SteamOS supporter and user for the foreseeable future, but I can hardly disagree with your arguments.
The huge potential is still there, but abandoned by Valve. Or at least it looks this way from where I'm standing.
The whole initial enthusiasm around SteamOS and Steam Machine has already started to deflate and Valve doesn't look like is saying or doing anything to prevent it.
Mostly my sentiments as well.
Originally posted by dubigrasu:
Still a SteamOS supporter and user for the foreseeable future, but I can hardly disagree with your arguments.
The huge potential is still there, but abandoned by Valve. Or at least it looks this way from where I'm standing.
The whole initial enthusiasm around SteamOS and Steam Machine has already started to deflate and Valve doesn't look like is saying or doing anything to prevent it.
100% agree, Valve appears to not care at all. They could be focusing on the fact that PC gaming is only getting bigger and bigger and putting their time and effort into making Steam the "go-to" platform for all PC gamers. Competing with Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo that have been in this game for years upon years might be a losing battle. Steam has already created somewhat of a "cult" with some PC gamers and I believe they intend to keep growing that to maintain their hold onto this market that keeps getting bigger.
I think a lot of the problems comes from platforms such as amazon making it difficult to use Linux.
< >
Showing 1-15 of 26 comments
Per page: 15 30 50

All Discussions > Steam OS > Topic Details