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Recently at the Akademy 2022 conference, KDE's David Edmundson gave a talk on the Steam Deck and the ongoing work in KDE to improve things.

For those who don't know, the Steam Deck is a full Linux PC and includes a full KDE Plasma desktop mode you can use for whatever you want as well. Thanks to that, the KDE team have been working on improvements (with plenty already done) to make it a better experience.

The talk description:

The Steamdeck is one of the most interesting and excitement big deployments of KDE in recent times.

In this talk I will share how Plasma fits into the Steamdeck and what aspects of KDE made us the right choice for their new userbase. I will then share some of the projects that contractors Blue Systems have been doing for Valve and how the work there benefits not just the Steamdeck but improves the ecosystem for all Plasma users.

Finally we look at what this could mean for KDE on the whole as more vendors gain the same confidence in Plasma.

It's always interesting to hear what's being done and it seems quite a lot. Various changes were done for Valve including startup performance improvements, a robust systemd managed boot, microphone volume indicators, improving resource visualization and system monitors, big improvements to system settings, firewall configuration and much more.

Here's the full clip:

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Perhaps the biggest bit of info coming out of this is that according to Edmundson, Valve has shipped over a million.  At about 29:45 in the above video in response to a question on it Edmundson said "They have crossed over a million, and they're still processing back orders". Valve haven't actually given out any numbers in public on it yet and Edmundson was not speaking for Valve but still, the answer was pretty confident and clear.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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Quoting: mr-victoryIt is interesting to see things I recently noticed/started using like GPU stats on System monitor and microphone indicator to be endorsed by Valve.
If only the GPU monitor wasn't broken on 5.26

How do you use GPU stats on system monitor? I don't see it on the kde app. I use the nvidia-settings app for seeing gpu temps but it would be nice if it was native to kde
elmapul 3 Oct
i know he said over 1 million and not 1 million, but that isnt impressive if we compare to any other console.
CatKiller 3 Oct
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Quoting: elmapuli know he said over 1 million and not 1 million, but that isnt impressive if we compare to any other console.
Consoles need to shift enough units to convince developers to make games for that console. The Deck doesn't need that: game developers already make games for the PC.
Marlock 4 Oct
also this is like the first console from a new brand, not a 5th-gen console from a major traditional brand, and a very experime tal proposal at that, with what gamers could perceive as significant risks to the platform's success (linux instead of windows, PC games over a handheld formfactor, etc)

PS5 backorders have been cleared already wereas Deck backorders haven't so the overall sales figures for the Deck are not yet done

etc, etc

is there any Linux projects financed by Valve page somewhere? it's really starting to get difficult to get the big picture in one go

very much happy Valve chose to pour money into several developer hubs for linux instead of doing just one big thing at a time... a lot more stuff going strong faster, exciting times
elmapul 4 Oct
Quoting: Marlockalso this is like the first console from a new brand, not a 5th-gen console from a major traditional brand, and a very experime tal proposal at that, with what gamers could perceive as significant risks to the platform's success (linux instead of windows, PC games over a handheld formfactor, etc)
gamers dont even think about what OS their playstations and nintendo consoles run.

and this is not valve first try, steam machines were the first try.
sure they pulled an 3DO aproach, but still.

not to mention the first xbox was able to sell more than 20 millions and outsell nintendo, valve need to pull something similiar (not outsell switch, but at least sell well enough) sure i cant predict how well it will sell in the next years,but we can have a clue comparing to other consoles.
eg:
https://www.vgchartz.com/tools/hw_date.php


Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: elmapuli know he said over 1 million and not 1 million, but that isnt impressive if we compare to any other console.
Consoles need to shift enough units to convince developers to make games for that console. The Deck doesn't need that: game developers already make games for the PC.
im not worried about the lack of games, but i want to see more developers supporting it nativelly and more app developers starting caring about it.

otherwise, microsoft entering the umpc market could reverse this trend, or maybe xcloud.

dont get me wrong, things are looking nice, we already have more games than most consoles.
more than all sega consoles combined, and more than xbox series, wich has retro compatibility with other xbox generations.
more games than any nintendo console, and more than a lot of playstations. (im counting only verified+playable not even mentioning untested games, unsuported ones that do work, games outside of steam or emulators)
but the public dont have this perception yet, things are still reversible, lets not forget that we used to have native support for some triple a games recently and lose it, not get updates for the games, have updates from the OS breaking the game and the port houses no longer being able to distribute/fix it , among other issues.
i hope we can keep the current momentum forever, i will feel more calm when our install base grow large enough to prove its here to stay.
CatKiller 4 Oct
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Quoting: elmapulim not worried about the lack of games, but i want to see more developers supporting it nativelly and more app developers starting caring about it.


You've got no users, so you don't get games, so you don't get users. That's where the failed consoles sit (and, realistically, where native Linux gaming sits without something radical like widespread hardware coming with Linux pre-installed), which is why selling huge numbers is so critical for consoles. Valve have sidestepped that by making as much as humanly possible of the existing and future library of Windows games, which will be made regardless, work on their Linux PC, so they don't need to achieve the critical mass that consoles need. The Deck needs to achieve two things to be a success from Valve's perspective (bearing in mind that they also don't particularly need to make money from it like console makers do: if people are buying PC games to play on their Deck, or buying PC games to play on their desktop or laptop, Valve gets the money regardless): it needs to let their customers know that Linux is a viable gaming platform, and it needs to persuade game developers that Linux is a valuable enough target that they test their games on Linux. Not necessarily make their games for Linux: Valve don't have to care whether a game is native or running through Proton. Customers like you and I might care, and, once they're already testing, developers might care, but Valve don't need to; as long as their Windows-using customers can still be customers without Windows, that's the important thing for them. Selling 100 M units would be nice, sure, but it's not essential to Valve's survival like it would be for a console maker, or like having a viable alternative to Windows is for Valve.

Quoteotherwise, microsoft entering the umpc market could reverse this trend, or maybe xcloud.


Well, both. An Xbox-branded handheld, and (especially ActiBlizzard) games locked into the Windows Store, with gamers already conditioned to having a Microsoft account (from Windows and Minecraft) and a Microsoft subscription (from Game Pass) would be a potent threat for Valve. Microsoft managed to get developers hooked on DirectX with their huge sums of money sunk into Xbox, and Valve have neutralised that, but they're not out of the woods. Whether Microsoft would eventually get smacked by regulators or not, Valve would have still taken the damage. That's why they need their customers to know that they can be Steam users that don't use Windows rather than Windows users that don't use Steam.

Quotedont get me wrong, things are looking nice, we already have more games than most consoles.
more than all sega consoles combined, and more than xbox series, wich has retro compatibility with other xbox generations.
more games than any nintendo console, and more than a lot of playstations. (im counting only verified+playable not even mentioning untested games, unsuported ones that do work, games outside of steam or emulators)
but the public dont have this perception yet, things are still reversible, lets not forget that we used to have native support for some triple a games recently and lose it, not get updates for the games, have updates from the OS breaking the game and the port houses no longer being able to distribute/fix it , among other issues.
i hope we can keep the current momentum forever, i will feel more calm when our install base grow large enough to prove its here to stay.

Yep. More market share is the only thing that can keep us safe: when we're too big of a market to ignore. But all the Deck users that are saying "I didn't know Linux was this good," the developers that are proud of getting their green tick, and the climb on the marketshare graph are all promising signs.
I watched the whole talk, and I don't think it's a million shipped? I think it's a million ordered, but they're still getting more. Not entirely sure, but I'm doubt Valve would get to a million shipped without a massive celebration post.
OK, just near-instinctive reaction, haven't crunched recent numbers, but . . . if more than a million have shipped, shouldn't that have had a bigger impact on the Steam hardware survey? I thought the existing Linux user base on Steam was just over a million before the Deck. So like, shouldn't the Deck have pretty much doubled our numbers, shoving us up to the 2% range, rather than just nudging us up to 1.23?
CatKiller 4 Oct
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Quoting: Purple Library GuyOK, just near-instinctive reaction, haven't crunched recent numbers, but . . . if more than a million have shipped, shouldn't that have had a bigger impact on the Steam hardware survey? I thought the existing Linux user base on Steam was just over a million before the Deck. So like, shouldn't the Deck have pretty much doubled our numbers, shoving us up to the 2% range, rather than just nudging us up to 1.23?
It's fuzzy numbers. We don't know total numbers at all. The data we have are for Monthly Active Users - the number of unique users that have signed into Steam in a particular month - and we don't know if that was the peak for all months in 2021, or just in December 2021, or just in February 2022. But during at least one month prior to March 2022, 132 M users logged into Steam.

The number of active users is obviously counting users, and the hardware survey is only interested in hardware; if I happen to get the survey on both a desktop and a Deck in a particular month (I haven't had the survey on my Deck in the 2½ months I've had it, btw) then I'll get counted twice in the hardware survey (because that's two pieces of hardware) but I'll only count as one active user (because there's only one of me). The back-of-the-envelope estimate on the Steam Tracker page assumes that every piece of hardware tallied represents one user, because to do otherwise leads to insanity, but it's not strictly accurate: just the best we can do.

To give some estimate of how huge Steam is, in each month of 2021, 2.6 M people bought their very first Steam game.
MayeulC 4 Oct
Quoting: CatKillerif I happen to get the survey on both a desktop and a Deck in a particular month (I haven't had the survey on my Deck in the 2½ months I've had it, btw) then I'll get counted twice in the hardware survey (because that's two pieces of hardware) but I'll only count as one active user (because there's only one of me)

Not really. Accounts are selected randomly for the steam survey. If you are, a popup will appear on all of your devices. You'll be counted only one time, I'm not sure on which device. I usually try to answer on my main gaming rig.

PC gamers could also be ansering from their Windows machine, skewing the results too.
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