Valve has just posted an update to the Steam Universe community. Long story short, they're back to experimenting with wireless controllers and are conducting live play tests with these new controllers. These play tests are generating a lot of useful feedback, but now with the time to incorporate these improvements, "we're now looking at a release window of 2015, not 2014." Though it's a bit unclear whether this will hold back a majority (all?) of the Steam Machines or whether just the top-tier, best units are now a year away.
If you've been following the market share reports, you know that Chromebooks--portable computers running Google's cloud-centric Chrome OS platform--are starting to succeed, especially in several niche markets such as the education market. Additionally, PCMag.com has a big story out on why Microsoft should be worried about Chromebooks, and Business Insider has argued that Chromebooks are the best hardware choices for many users. The fact is, some new incentives from Google as well as some newfound forms of compatibility with popular applications make Chromebooks more viable than they ever have been.
It's not every day that a major title like The Withcer 2 arrives on Linux and you would imagine that everyone is ecstatic about it. This is just the sort of game that is needed to push the Linux platform forward and to determine more developers to port their titles.
The problem is that the developers didn't actually make a port, they made the version for the Windows platform work on Linux, with the help of a wrapper similar to Wine. This means that even if the game works, some users will have a difficult time playing it due to various problems, but especially because of poor performance.
After last week carrying out separate NVIDIA Windows vs. Linux OpenGL benchmarks and similar AMD Radeon Windows 8.1 vs. Ubuntu 14.04 tests, today we are pitting the GeForce and Radeon graphics cards against each other on Ubuntu Linux with the very latest drivers to see how their performance compares now head-on. With this testing we have some Steam games plus are also monitoring the power consumption, performance-per-Watt, and GPU thermal metrics.
The success of the SteamOS Linux distribution is revealing that AMD is going to get a kicking in the future and it just cannot see it.
For a decade it would have been fair enough for a consumer chipmaker to ignore Linux. All those who said
While 2014 is not the year that Linux will take control of the desktop either, the writing is appearing on the wall and it is silly for AMD to ignore it.
SteamOS users are suffering from a lack of proper AMD driver support and it is taking ages for anyone to get games on the OS running.
While Scratch may seem like a very simplistic programming language that’s just for kids, you’d be wrong to overlook it as an excellent first step into coding for all age levels. One aspect of learning to code is understanding the underlying logic that makes up all programs; comparing two systems, learning to work with loops and general decision-making within the code.
Unreal Engine developers Epic Games hope to make Linux a “first class member” of the Unreal Engine family for both gamers and developers.
While Unreal Tournament’s return to Linux was good news for gamers, developers could’ve been left with subpar tooling that would make it harder for indie developers and large game studios alike to justify the effort to adapt their complex workflows to our favourite OS.
Most Linux gamers don't want to spend $30+ USD for some game that's several years old where they may already own the Linux copy, they could buy the Windows copy for just a few dollars, and where it runs fine under Wine/CrossOver software. With Valve on Linux, we'll be getting fresh games and if you have the game already on Mac OS X or Windows, it should be available from the Steam Linux client (assuming it's been ported to Linux).
The old titles from LGP also aren't anything that were even really compelling when originally released, with most Windows gamers likely never even having heard of them, like Gorky 17, Hyperspace Delivery Boy, and Gorky 17. The few worthwhile games out of Linux Game Publishing were Shadowgrounds, X2/X3, Postal II, and Cold War.
Now that Valve has made the In-Home Steaming feature available to everyone who is using Steam, you might ask yourself if it's of any use for the majority of the Linux players, but that's not the most important question. This seemingly unimportant feature has much broader implications and it might be the game changer in the competition between Windows and Linux.
Valve has two builds for SteamOS. One is a stable version (sort of) and the other one is a Beta (Alchemist). Up until a week ago the two versions have been almost identical, which meant that maintaining two different branches was really nonsensical. This has started to change and Valve has released a second Beta in just a few days, making some important updates.
The In-Home Streaming feature allows users to stream games from a Windows operating system to a Linux-powered machine that also runs Steam. This is the solution proposed by Valve that practically enables Linux gamers to play any Windows-only titles, although it's rather cumbersome, to say the least.
Like any other major Steam update, the latest has been preceded by a flurry of smaller ones in the Beta branch of the software. This is basically just a collection of those features and fixes that were already available for all users of Steam Beta.
Epic Games is a company that is all too familiar with Linux and its community. The studio released Unreal Tournament 2004 for Linux at a time when no one was really giving a damn about open source as an entertainment platform. Also, the devs have always had some sort of Linux dedicated servers in place for their titles.