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Old
#1
Friday, September 27, 2013, 7:43 pm
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Default Controller, powered by Steam

Trackpads, haptics, a click-touchscreen, and Valve-grade kickass give us the first gamepad with a nonzero chance of supplanting ye olde mouse+keyboard:

http://store.steampowered.com/living...eamController/



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#2
Saturday, September 28, 2013, 2:36 am
CoMM
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I noticed this tonight when I logged on to Steam. Looks nice... It should really mess up the market for the PS4 and Xbox One. There are going to be Steam boxes with twice the power of PS/Xbox after games start going live on this.

Here are the other links, for the SteamOS and dedicated hardware:

http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/SteamOS/

http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/SteamMachines/
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Old
#3
Thursday, October 3, 2013, 7:33 am
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It sure would be nice if that right thumbpad turns out to be as sharp as a good mouse. I’m a little afraid that anything “thumb-sized”, no matter how precise, is going to have a hard time keeping up. To be viable I think it needs to be a lot bigger than it appears now, a full thumb-length across, at least three inches.

But I’m bullish on the “clickable” left thumbpad, which would by itself be a big step up from PC/keyboard, especially for UT-style dodging. With that you could do precise dodges in any direction, and even with different degrees of intensity (e.g. single-click for a quick juke, double-click for a power dodge), without being bound by the WASD right-angle straitjacket. (Imagine having the freedom to make those kinds of moves while running goals in Bombing Run.)



— yay a rant! shucks it’s been awhile —



But what I really want is to see some standardized Steam/Linux gaming box supplant the whole goddamned PC/Windows/nVidia boondoggle, for … gheh … so many reasons.

I just can’t bring myself to entertain the idea of cobbling together a proper gaming PC again — or to be precise, spending $2000+ for something:
  • that requires you to decide on one of 1000 possible choices each for video cards, CPUs, RAM sticks, etc., no one exact configuration of which has likely ever been assembled before
  • that is always at risk of falling into bad framerates on a modern game for godknowswhat reason
  • where getting the thing tuned to hit those competent framerates requires a degree of technical skill that’s worth at least 50X the value of the machine
  • where any one of the ten parts from different vendors could go bad itself or otherwise cause the whole system to crap out, and it’s up to you to diagnose it.

This cycle of throwing one or more $400 video cards at $300 CPUs on a $300 main board with another $1000 of RAM, drives, case, cooling, legal Windows (and Updates … and Updates … and Updates …), and everything else, any of which you can expect will go tits up on you at some point — all just to get in the door on competitive gaming — is beyond nuts.

Even throwing it in and buying the Falcons or Alienwares or whatever, at considerable extra cost, only amounts to a marginal improvement, because for any gains in reliability (which are questionable) and serviceability, you’re still buying one of some 1000 different assemblages on the market, which is still far too much platform variance for developers to have any hope of cranking out games that just work.



Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, PC gaming is dead — until it settles on a schedule of marketing a small number of fixed configurations, on an open OS (*nix/OpenGL), which people can buy with at least some confidence that every hardware/software combination is thoroughly tested and will work reliably, and which developers can target specifically and guarantee some level of performance for each configuration.

If there’s any chance of that, so far it seems like this here Steambox thing is the only hope. Good on Valve for trying, I hope they win.
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#4
Friday, October 4, 2013, 7:25 pm
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Just like that,

Quote:
Here are the specifications for Valve's 300 prototypes.

GPU: some units with NVidia Titan, some GTX780, some GTX760, and some GTX660
CPU: some boxes with Intel i7-4770, some i5-4570, and some i3
RAM: 16GB DDR3-1600 (CPU), 3GB GDDR5 (GPU)
Storage: 1TB/8GB Hybrid SSHD
Power Supply: Internal 450w 80Plus Gold
Dimensions: approx. 12 x 12.4 x 2.9 in high
http://steamcommunity.com/groups/ste...28928746175450

Four GPU options … three CPU options … two ways to gear up, either off-the-shelf or build-to-spec … one dominant platform to target … zero hassle.

This will win.


___

What’s most interesting to me is comparing Valve’s motivation here to that of Google since 2004 or thereabouts: just as Google invested heavily in developing a bunch of awesome “free” stuff for the web, because more people using the web meant more business for their core search product — so too now is Valve invested in bringing order to the chaos of PC gaming, because more people using PCs for their games will mean more business for Steam.

… and win and win.
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#5
Monday, October 7, 2013, 2:18 am
CoMM
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Hmm, nice. Too bad that every game won't be supported however. For example, Battlefield will never be on Steam, since they want to keep that on their Origin client. Then again, maybe another full OS/hardware platform such as this will sway EA/DICE to allow it on Steam as well.

I just did some Google'n... It appears that EA has a bigger reason than just wanting Origin exclusivity for not allowing it on Steam. Primarily, Steam won't allow in-game patches and sales.

Anyway this is just one game of many which might not make it to SteamOS.
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#6
Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 8:48 am
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hm, yeah good point, I didn’t consider Battlefield (fancy that) … or the arm-wrestle between EA and Valve … and most existing games that haven’t already been ported to linux/osx probably won’t be …


then on the other two hands:

(1) maybe Valve and SteamOS succeed well enough to become too big to ignore, and compel those steamy vulvas at EA to play ball

(2) worst case, dual boot. At least it’s a hardware spec to target.
“Works with Windows 7 on Steambox #6”
should still be a vast improvement in reliability over
“Works on Windows 7 with intel core i7 on asus X79 with corsair 16gb ddr9 with nvidia gtx 780 with 3 ocz ssd in raid 5 with 2 turtledoves and a partridge shoved up sideways with a turtlehead poking out” … and then only until a year or so later when it’s time to play guess which one of those zoo bastards shat the cage
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#7
Wednesday, October 9, 2013, 8:16 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poker View Post
I just can’t bring myself to entertain the idea of cobbling together a proper gaming PC again — or to be precise, spending $2000+ for something:
I'm sorry, but you can build a kick-ass rig for much less than that. My latest rig only cost me $800. And the only components I reused was hard-drives and power-supply. Just stay away from Intel (don't pay for R & D) and get a mid-level Video card. My rig is almost 3 years old and it hasn't met a game it can't eat up and then come back for more.

Ok... back to the Steam stuff.

The OS is somewhat interesting to me..... I may partition my drive and dual-boot, but I will never use a game controller for any kind of FPS or any game that relies on precision movement or hell whatever. Nope... Ain't gonna happen. And as far as the Steam box goes........Nope. No one builds my rigs 'cept me.

And another thing. You Apple homer's need to get over your hatred of Windows. A properly configured and managed Win OS install works just fine for me. I have maybe had one or two game crashes on this rig and I don't need a soldering iron change components. plus I can build two kick-ass gaming rigs for the price of one Mac book pro. Just my two cents

.............................Nuffsed
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Old
#8
Friday, October 11, 2013, 9:53 am
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well a Nuff Said beats a straight flush beats a Poker Thought any day of the week


I should probably rethink my opinions, certainly the numbers are fuzzy, and the whole premise is more than anything an expression of disgust, fatigue and failure over my experience in hardware-wrangling and flushing money down various toilets. Once bitten twice shy as they say.
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#9
Friday, October 11, 2013, 6:55 pm
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For work/productivity applications I will never touch Windoze again unless I need it for a specific application. And in that case, I can either boot to Win on the same machine or use Parallels to run the app virtually under OSX. No, Win doesn't crash as much as it used to, but it's still no comparison to OSX for productivity and ease of multitasking.

For gaming however, I'm approaching a crossroads. Do I build a fully custom PC, or do I upgrade my video card in my beefy 2011 Mac Pro?

$475 would get me about double the performance of my current card:
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Sapphire/100352MAC/

Or, do I build a custom machine... I have a good case and plenty of unused quality 10-15k RPM HDDs laying around (2x300G@10K and I believe 2x500G@15k), and I could even steal one of the 250G SSDs out of my laptop for Win and my non-storage files. I worry that a custom PC won't compare much to my beefy 12-core with 16G of ram though, without some heftier expense.

And, going forward, there won't be a choice of building a Mac Pro capable of gaming. They're going the route of Mac Mini-Pro now to steal more money from common consumers at the expense of upsetting their serious professionals who use them for design/CAD/servers/etc, since they'll have piss-poor video options, and no upgradability. "Yippee, I can now carry my Mac Pro around with me", said 5% of the current people who use Mac Pros.
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#10
Friday, October 11, 2013, 8:10 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoMM View Post
Windoze
That's a good one........Classic.

Ya Homer

.......................Nuffsed
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#11
Friday, October 11, 2013, 8:18 pm
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Shocked at the precision and customization.
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#12
Saturday, October 12, 2013, 12:03 am
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yeah, good one slip … the counterstrike bit made it look maybe-OK. I was kind of concerned by seeing him have to pick-up-and-drop his thumb a few times to get a full turn. Hopefully that’s just a preference and the sensitivity and/or acceleration is good enough to keep a fella competitive relative to his mouse-wielding brethren.







Quote:
Originally Posted by ShowNuff View Post
Apple homers

.......................Nuffsed



In truth windoze ain’t actually all that dicknozed

For a programmer, working in Windows is ok if you are forced to build apps for .NET or Win8 or whatever and therefore fully ensconced in Microsoftland. And of course the word “ok” carries with it the phrase “your only choice”.

But any mid-to-high-skill programming in the wild really needs to be done on a Unix based OS.
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#13
Wednesday, October 23, 2013, 12:52 pm
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yesterday I:

(1) upgraded Mac OS X
(2) had lunch
(3) took a dump
(4) washed hands and got back to work

One of these things was easier and less expensive than the other three.



Go Jaguars

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#14
Monday, October 28, 2013, 3:38 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poker View Post
yesterday I:

(1) upgraded Mac OS X
(2) had lunch
(3) took a dump
(4) washed hands and got back to work

One of these things was easier and less expensive than the other three.



Go Jaguars

You suck and I hate you....... How'd those Jags do?

.........................Nuffsed
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#15
Monday, October 28, 2013, 5:51 pm
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OH DRAT you 9erds beat the Jagyouars … that’s the last time I bet my life savings on the Jagwires … in fact you know what I’m starting to think those Jagwarrs may not be very good

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