Alienware: Steam Machine owners will "sacrifice content" for the sake of Linux | PCGamesN

Alienware: Steam Machine owners will "sacrifice content" for the sake of Linux

Total War: Rome 2 will be adapted for Steam Machines.

It’s been tough to parse Alienware’s position on the Linux-based SteamOS. At E3 they told us that the Steam Machine will increase Linux gamers by “20, 30 fold, overnight”. But with the first Steam Machines delayed into 2015, they’ve upstaged their own Linux box with a Windows-based living room PC: the Alienware Alpha.

So who would win in a fight, Alienware? A living room PC running Windows, or the same PC running SteamOS?

“It depends on what you’re looking for; there’s advantages to both,” said Alienware general manager Frank Azor. “[With] the Linux version I do think you’re going to sacrifice a little bit of content.”

“Depending on what you’re playing that may or may not be a big deal for you,” Azor told PCGamesN at GamesCom. “What you gain [from the Steam Machine] is an OS that’s been designed from the ground up to be in your living room.” 

That leaves a question mark over the Alpha. While Valve are invested in the future of SteamOS as a living room operating system, the scalability of the Alpha’s modified Windows is “really up to Microsoft”.

“Do the further iterations of Windows take into account this new form factor, this ecosystem and use-model?,” asked Azor. “I think that if it does, then the two platforms can live side by side with one another and customers will have a choice.”

The Alpha’s Windows backbone does grant it another advantage: its desktop mode. There’s nothing to stop owners running keyboard and mouse games, or non-Steam clients like Origin.

“If you select desktop you’ll basically see Windows 8,” said Azor. “You’ll be using your Alpha as a PC first and a console second. 

“You can always go into Windows. We’re not telling you that there’s anything you can’t do on this box.”

The Alienware Alpha will cost 499 euro, and be out before Christmas. Do you think you’ll get one, or wait for the rise of the Machines?

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Deadite avatar=NoCry= Linux avatar[FRA]Praglik avatarMountain_Man avatarneowiz73 avataricheyne avatar
=NoCry= Linux Avatar
6
3 Years ago

Engines like Unreal engine, Source, CryEngine, Unity3d, Unigine and other already announced support SteamOS, it's about time to have many games

Games like Star Citizen, Project Cars, and The Witcher 3 many others already announced they will run on SteamOS

We can not forget that Valve has the support of companies like Nvidia, Intel, Oculus VR, and many other companies

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=NoCry= Linux Avatar
6
3 Years ago

PS4 and XBone has the same games Windows ?? do not!

so why the need to have Steam Machines?

The OS of the PS4 is based on FreeBSD (yes ps4 has OS)!

The OS of Steam Machines is based on Linux!

Android has Linux kernel and a billion users

If neither Microsoft managed to bring all the games from Windows to Xbone because Valve needs ???

you have a very small head

I think Alienwere made ​​many prototypes and needed to sell the stock since SteamOS will take a while to arrive (so next year)

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Deadite Avatar
55
3 Years ago

I wouldn't buy this or a Steam Machine tbh. Alienware is like the Apple of the PC business, overpriced hardware in a shiny box. Steam OS on the other hand is just Linux with it's poor hardware support, flaky performance and command line hoops to jump through.

Just buy a regular gaming PC folks, you'll be much better off.

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Mountain_Man Avatar
731
3 Years ago

Spoken like somebody who hasn't used Linux in the last 15-years. Linux users haven't had to touch the command line unless they want to in over a decade, and you use it for the same sort of low-level stuff that you would use the Windows command prompt for. Flaky performance? What? Linux is rock-solid stable, secure, and runs at least as fast as Windows on the same hardware -- and faster in some cases. Poor hardware support? I can't remember the last time I've encountered a hardware incompatibility in Linux. Plug it in, and it just works. I'm talking off-the-shelf components. It literally couldn't be simpler.

Seriously, guys, it's time to put these ancient canards to rest. And now with gaming support on the rise, I'm finding fewer and fewer reasons to boot Windows. In fact, I plan on going Linux-only in the next two-years and turning my Windows drive over to Steam OS.

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[FRA]Praglik Avatar
4
3 Years ago

Allright, tell us, how do you update your graphic drivers in Linux ? Or any hardware driver ? And what about updating OpenGL?

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Mountain_Man Avatar
731
3 Years ago

It depends on the distro, but in Kubuntu, you simply click on the little pop-up that alerts you to software updates and enter your administrator password, then, if necessary, click on the pop-up that prompts you to reboot your system. There are several other distros with graphical package managers that are just as easy, and I suspect that SteamOS will be even easier still with automatic updates that happen without user input, similar to how games are automatically updated through Steam.

Like I said, all these "Linux is arcane and difficult to use!" arguments are coming from people who obviously haven't touched Linux in well over a decade.

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Deadite Avatar
55
Deadite replied to Mountain_Man
3 Years ago

I try Linux every year hoping it's improved a bit but time and time again I'm disappointed. Only about 7 times out of 10 the install actually goes smoothly with nothing going wrong. It's even worse now with UEFI replacing regular BIOS making dual booting a nightmare.

The driver install procedure you mention above usually installs a extremely out of date driver. To install the latest driver usually involves a bunch of command line stuff that rarely works as expected. Multiple monitor support is flaky at best. My sound hardware is not and never will be supported (because the company did not provide drivers and the guy who hacks them together did not have time to do it).

Linux is still arcane and difficult to use as soon as you want to do something besides basic common tasks. All the help guides will frequently direct you to the command line, often asking you to compile something for your kernel or worse recompiling your kernel. That is not something a regular user should ever have to do.

Linux will never catch on until it's as easy to use as Windows because the vast majority of users are not programmers.

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Mountain_Man Avatar
731
Mountain_Man replied to Deadite
3 Years ago

I can't imagine what you're doing wrong to only have a 70% success rate with installing Linux. I have installed it multiple times over the years on a variety of hardware, and I have always had a 100% success rate. If you're finding Linux too difficult to install then I recommend one of the 'buntu distros (Ubuntu, Kubuntu, or Mint which is based on Ubuntu) because they "just work".

I've found that the drivers are reasonably up to date, but if you're a power user who wants the latest and greatest then, yeah, you're going to have to crawl under the hood and get your hands a little dirty, but this is no different than Windows. And in this case, "getting your hands dirty" is simply finding a repository with the driver you want and pasting the URL into your package manager, so it's not that difficult at all.

Anyway, maybe SteamOS will appeal to you since Valve is trying to make it easy enough even for a Windows user. ;)

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neowiz73 Avatar
2
neowiz73 replied to Deadite
3 Years ago

let's see, the latest Nvidia driver for windows is 340.52, my Linux driver is 340.24 which is latest stable not beta. which is available for automatic install from the software center.

Framerates have been just as good or better depending on how optimized the game is for Linux. Most of Valve's games are doing better on Linux FPS wise. Civ 5 and XCom are doing just as good as they did on Windows. And they look exactly the same as far as details go.

just to think this is just the very early stages of what Valve is working on.

It's not for everyone, some people just don't like change. Plus there aren't that many AAA games ported yet, but there are many on the horizon.

Your knowledge of Linux seems a bit old.

I've been dual booting Linux/Windows since 2001 and have never had that much of an issue, but I never tried gaming much on Linux because Nvidia never put forth the same effort on their Linux drivers as they did for Windows. But just in the past 3 years that has all changed drastically, thanks mainly to Valve.

I was dual booting Windows 7/Linux up until Civ 5 was ported to Linux. Now I've completely wiped Windows off my system. Not sure how Windows 8 will work dual booting, but I don't really plan to find out.

BTW, I use UEFI on Linux and I even dual boot other Linux distros to try them out with UEFI and it works perfectly fine.

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icheyne Avatar
223
3 Years ago

None of your criticisms apply to these boxes which are designed to support Steam OS.

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