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Editorial: No, Valve is not killing SteamOS or the Steam Controller

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Another day, another journalist claiming that Valve is killing SteamOS (amongst other things mentioned) and it couldn't be further from the truth. I'm going to be pretty blunt in this one, because it needs to be.

I give you this sensationalist piece from Softpedia titled "Valve Is Killing Its Projects by Abandoning Them, Including SteamOS".

While it's true SteamOS hasn't turned into the almighty force some hoped, here at GOL, I always said it would never be a big success overnight and it would take a long time. That hasn't changed and SteamOS is still very much alive. In June of this year, Valve did a major update to SteamOS that dropped AMDGPU-PRO in favour of Mesa, it had a big Kernel version bump and more. Only a few days later another SteamOS beta was released with more updates. The development is ongoing and you can hardly call something that was updated majorly only a month ago, as something that's being abandoned.

QuoteValve also promised to put a lot of money in the development of OpenGL and Vulkan, so that Linux could feature the same type of performance with games running on Direct3D, on Windows. That is also a really quiet front, and after some initial success, developers are not heard anymore.

They quite literally have no idea what they're talking about. I don't think Valve has ever said anywhere they were pouring money into OpenGL and Vulkan development. Valve did actually help to kickstart Vulkan, Valve has also hired developers to work on Linux graphics drivers. The public Mesa mailing list is extremely active, with patches from all sides flowing in every day, with the Valve developers doing quite a bit of work. Anyone following it knows this, they would too if they looked. They should know too, since they report on Mesa. Only recently one of the Valve developers finished up the OpenGL multithreading code in Mesa, which can give big performance gains in certain games.

The bit about developers not being heard of any more is also strange. It takes a long time for a brand new API to gain traction, but it is gaining with Vulkan games being released. Croteam have thrown their weight behind it, so has Feral Interactive. Not a massive amount sure, but again, it takes time. Games already in development won't throw out their entire renderer for Vulkan, but new games have a good chance of using it.

QuoteValve is becoming famous for two things. One is the easiness of which they make money from their Steam Platform, and the other is their started and failed projects. The most famous of them is the Half-Life series, which ended abruptly and it feels abandoned. It’s quite likely that SteamOS, Steam Controller, and Steam Link are following the same path.

No one really knows if Half-Life will continue or not. Apart from that, the other examples are all still sold and worked on. SteamOS, as mentioned, is regularly updated. The Steam Controller is constantly updated with new awesome features, there's even been hints of a second revision. The Steam Link is still selling well with plenty of people rather happy with it. It's not quite likely any of them will follow the path of Half-Life, there's nothing whatsoever hinting at it, they're pulling speculation out of their backsides here with no sources to show for anything they're saying. It's bottom of the barrel reporting.

QuoteThe development of Vulkan, an open source alternative to Direct3D, has slowed down considerably. Games are still being developed for Windows systems and ported to Linux with the help of integrated VM solutions, which greatly decrease performance.

No, it hasn't. Vulkan 1.0.55 was released only yesterday and last I checked there's more Vulkan games than there is DirectX 12 games on PC. What part of that has slowed down considerably? It hasn't, not at all. I'm also unsure as to what they mean by "integrated VM solutions", I'm going to assume they're really trying to sound smart, but missing the mark. They likely mean wrappers, but so many things come under that banner and wrappers aren't necessarily a bad thing.

I'll be honest here, I really don't like Softpedia and I think their reporting is quite often terrible. They reported on the iCloud hack that happened some time ago, by using one of the stolen images of a celebrity in their article—just awful.

I often end up feeling like we're one of the few sites that won't scaremonger for traffic, because it's stupid. It's an article where clearly research just hasn't been done, but hey it makes a good headline to click right?

I won't blindly stick up for Valve or any company, as every company serves their own agenda. However, Valve are very clearly and often quite publicly still supporting Linux, SteamOS, Steam Controller and so on. I will gladly report on it when there's signs they are dumping something, but there's no such signs yet.
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miro 18 July 2017 at 9:37 pm UTC
I think it was all just about clickbaiting. Write nonsense, just to have people read it in shock. This one obviously contains less truth and research. And Half-Life has nothing to do with it, except that it runs perfectly fine on steamOS
lunix 18 July 2017 at 9:50 pm UTC
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It's like a trend now to write bs on low tier tech sites. softpedia, wired and techrepublic should join forces and pick up the medium-spam-factory to create the ultimate clickbait: "Torvalds Announces the Death of Linux, m$ Confirms Its Rewrite in node.js Using Tensorflow for Tesla PCs."
vipor29 18 July 2017 at 9:52 pm UTC
linux for steam is going nowhere,i see games released on steam almost on a daily basis.i have my steam setup so it just recommends linux games to me and nothing else.so softpedia really needs to shut up and do there research.linux gaming is the strongest it's ever been and it continues to grow.yea it is not as big as windows but who cares there are a ton of indie games that i love and more that are coming out.
mirv 18 July 2017 at 9:55 pm UTC
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Had a bit of a chuckle over Vulkan as an "open source alternative...".

For those wondering: Vulkan is an open standard, an API. Implementations aren't necessarily open source.
Gonza565 18 July 2017 at 10:07 pm UTC
Lmao The Half Life series is such a failed project. Valve just can't get anything right can they?
Metallinatus 18 July 2017 at 11:00 pm UTC
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Did Softpedia just say Half-Life is a failed project? I wish I could "fail" like Half-Life....
Avehicle7887 18 July 2017 at 11:00 pm UTC
I think the reason SteamOS may not be (or has become) as popular is because of the very flexible nature of Linux, and not because Valve is abandoning the project. Everyone wants to use personalize his/her system and use a different distro for a reason or another and SteamOS while capable, isn't targeted for that - At the end of the day what matters is that Linux gaming is still growing and becoming more widespread, regardless of what distro one uses.

As for OpenGL/Vulkan development, last I checked it's still rocking, people just need to get their heads off DirectX and think more crossplatform. I remember not too long ago Mesa was "that basic driver you get with Linux", now that very same project is a beast of its own and while I don't use Steam, Valve's contributions haven't gone unnoticed, news such as this is very pleasing on the eyes.

This journalist clearly didn't do the homework.
Darkdisorder78 18 July 2017 at 11:07 pm UTC
What are you guys mad about? The Article is right on the money and Steam OS is dead. From what I can see Valve is no longer interested in Steam OS.
g000h 18 July 2017 at 11:16 pm UTC
This is one of the problems of the entire internet: Semi-true news. A news story which contains some truth but also contains plenty of misinformation. If anything, this method of writing makes the news more believable to the uninitiated, rather than outright lies which can be easily disproved.

I tend to not believe anything I read or hear in news stories, political mandates, or similar - at least until I've been able to validate the information.
Mohandevir 18 July 2017 at 11:22 pm UTC
This is really ugly... Smells like click bait and propaganda. With journalism like that, the goal is not to inform you. It feels more like manipulation to turn the readers away from Linux.

...Then they fight you...

#Facepalm!
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