Join us on the Linux Gaming community on Lemmy, the federated open source alternative to Reddit.

Valve talk about learning from mistakes with the upcoming Steam Deck

By - | Views: 15,841

As we all know the Steam Machines didn't go anywhere and Valve have clearly learned a lot from it, as they spoke about in a recent video from IGN (as IGN continue to have the exclusives on this).

Valve are no stranger to hardware at this point of course. They didn't just do the failed Steam Machines but also produced the Steam Link, Steam Controller, worked with HTC for the original Vive and they also have their Valve Index VR headset too. By now, they have hopefully enough experience to know exactly what they need to make a success out of the Steam Deck and so far everything is looking rather positive on that.

Designer Greg Coomer actually mentioned how "we actually did start out by working with other companies and seeing what we could make happen with partnerships, but it became clear we started prototyping and more and more we just started creating devices to solve problems for customers ourselves and really the Steam Deck feels like the culmination of a lot of that earlier work". Coomer goes on to directly mention their earlier stuff like the Steam Machines, Steam Link and also the Steam Controller.

Scott Dalton, another Valve designer, also mentioned how early prototypes of the Steam Controller had a screen too and they wanted it to be programmable, and they thought about having Steam Link hardware with a controller but the technology at the time just wasn't good enough and they faced lots of hurdles with it and they continued prototyping and talking about it for some time. So the Steam Deck really is a device they've had in mind for years.

Proton was mentioned too with Designer Lawrence Yang mentioning how it was "really important for us to be able to talk directly to developers, and say 'hey look the Steam Deck runs your game you don't have to port'" with Coomer following up to mention how it's been a "chicken and egg problem with the Steam Machine of the content being there, we were trying to get games on Linux but then you had to have this crucial amount to get over this hump but then without the user base and you get into this bad cycle. That led us down this path of Proton now there's all these games that run so you've crossed over that hump and you're on the good side of it".

You can see the video below:

YouTube Thumbnail
YouTube videos require cookies, you must accept their cookies to view. View cookie preferences.
Accept Cookies & Show   Direct Link
Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
33 Likes
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG and Humble Store. See more here.
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
34 comments
Page: «2/4»
  Go to:

Ananace 2 Aug
Quoting: dindon
Quoting: kuhpunktIsn't the Steam Deck also just a Steam Machine? It's a PC with SteamOS preinstalled.

Custom APU, handheld, new OS adapted to form-factor, no man in between as Valve build the whole thing whereas for Steam Machine I believe Valve only released the OS. Quite different I'd say.

Well, Valve provided the OS and the general dimensions and performance metrics they wanted the Steam Machine consoles to aim for. So they wouldn't have someone just stuff a cheap NUC into a fancy case and call it a day.

If they'd had Proton at that time I bet it would've been a completely different story in how successful it would've been.


Last edited by Ananace on 2 August 2021 at 11:44 am UTC
dorron 2 Aug
Got mine preordered. Can't wait to play Skyrim or Red Dead Redemption 2 on the go...
kuhpunkt 2 Aug
Quoting: dindon
Quoting: kuhpunktIsn't the Steam Deck also just a Steam Machine? It's a PC with SteamOS preinstalled.

Custom APU, handheld, new OS adapted to form-factor, no man in between as Valve build the whole thing whereas for Steam Machine I believe Valve only released the OS. Quite different I'd say.

But it's still a PC with SteamOS.
dubigrasu 11 years 2 Aug
Quoting: dindon
Quoting: kuhpunktIsn't the Steam Deck also just a Steam Machine? It's a PC with SteamOS preinstalled.

Custom APU, handheld, new OS adapted to form-factor, no man in between as Valve build the whole thing whereas for Steam Machine I believe Valve only released the OS. Quite different I'd say.
So, a better Steam Machine? :)
elmapul 2 Aug
i saw this video and honestly their explanation of the chicken and egg problem was an mess.
fortunatelly i already knew what they were talking about, otherwise i would be quite confused and un informed.
elmapul 2 Aug
Quoting: Hori
Quoting: sub
Quoting: Eike
QuoteThat led us down this path of Proton

Yeah, "down" seems fit for me...

Still excited for what will happen this time.

Let's also not forget that while Steam Machines were a failure, Proton wasn't available at that time and WINE was simply no match.
Exactly. We've come a really long way since then. We started with "it most likely doesn't work on Linux" to "it most likely works on Linux" (unless ofc it has anticheat but that will soon be covered as well).

As an end-user, that's all i ever needed. And the fact it's still growing and improving, is such a good feeling. With the risk of sounding like a fanboy (which I try not to be), I really feel very well taken care of by Valve. Hopefully they will remain positive and beneficial for much longer into the future (cuz in my experience all companies tend to eventually disappoint and then even cause harm)

i wont be so optmistic about proton.
many games run, but if you look at the issue list on github, there are many issues still open not related to online games.
some issues were open 2 years ago (proton is 2 years old so those bugs may have lasted longer if you count then since wine)

we as linux gamers are optimistic because we are used to have nothing, so "for those who have nothing, half is double" but for normal folks who use windows, play on consoles and are used to have games working almost perfectly? those issues will not be tolerated.

recently i just figured out that lights dont work on resident evil 3:

compare this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_0MnP17XOU
to this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_0MnP17XOU

and if you still couldnt figure out what is wrong, watch this:
https://youtu.be/Z1R1z9ipFnM
Quoting: Mal
Quoting: sub
Quoting: Eike
QuoteThat led us down this path of Proton

Yeah, "down" seems fit for me...

Still excited for what will happen this time.

Let's also not forget that while Steam Machines were a failure, Proton wasn't available at that time and WINE was simply no match.

That one was the defeat condition for SM. It still is for the Deck unless they can bribe or work around EAC somehow.
They say they can and will; I have no particular reason to doubt them.
I'm more worried about the continuing existence of, you know, ten thousand little corner cases. There are still loads of games with little hiccups, games that don't run unless you hop up and down and then stand on your head while uttering a prayer to the Steamo Loas, and games without anti-cheat or anything that just don't run. The question is how much of all that they can clean up by launch time. If by the time they launch most of the remaining games with problems are older and not that popular it might be OK market-wise.
Quoting: kuhpunktIsn't the Steam Deck also just a Steam Machine? It's a PC with SteamOS preinstalled.
Technically, yes. A really little one.
In terms of market success prediction, I'd say no, for reasons people have mentioned.
Quoting: dorronRed Dead Redemption 2 on the go

SkyrimSE, no problem.. RDR2? hmmmm...

Quoting: elmapulbut for normal folks who use windows, play on consoles and are used to have games working almost perfectly? those issues will not be tolerated.

IN MY EXPERIENCE, proton has more issues with OLDER games then newer. I can't tell you how many older games have had all sorts of random issues. Only the newer games that people play in numbers get real attention.

Here is some games with issues to illustrate my point. MESA/RADV, no idea about nvidia.

ELEX (requires workaround or gfx glitching)
Risen3 (same as above but crashes randomly often)
Max Payne 3 (tessellation bugged on RADV)
Operation Flashpoint 2 + Red River (needs gfw fix, but menu ctd, doesn't render).
NMS (people complain about random issues all the time)


The list goes on, basically Valve needs to address some backward compatibility with older games via proton more IMO.

Then we have all the anticheat stuff on top... for the most part broken with proton.


Last edited by TheRiddick on 2 August 2021 at 11:04 pm UTC
mirv 2 Aug
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
I find it amusing that Valve's own DRM scheme (CEG) still won't function through wine (or, obviously, "Proton").
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Patreon, Liberapay or PayPal Donation.

This ensures all of our main content remains totally free for everyone with no article paywalls. We also don't have tons of adverts, there's also no tracking and we respect your privacy. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
Login / Register

Or login with...
Sign in with Steam Sign in with Twitter Sign in with Google
Social logins require cookies to stay logged in.

Livestreams & Videos
Community Livestreams
Latest Forum Posts