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Steam Play thoughts: A Valve game streaming service

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With the talk of some big players moving into cloud gaming, along with a number of people thinking Valve will also be doing it, here’s a few thoughts from me.

Firstly, for those that didn’t know already, Google are testing the waters with their own cloud gaming service called Project Stream. For this, they teamed up with Ubisoft to offer Assassin’s Creed Odyssey on the service. I actually had numerous emails about this, from a bunch of Linux gamers who managed to try it out and apparently it worked quite well on Linux.

EA are pushing pretty heavily with this too with what they’re calling Project Atlas, as their Chief Technology Officer talked about in a Medium post on how they’ve got one thousand EA employees now working on it. That sounds incredibly serious to me!

There’s more cloud services offering hardware for a subscription all the time, although a lot of them are quite expensive and use Windows.

So this does beg the question: What is Valve going to do? Cloud gaming services, that will allow people with lower-end devices to play a bunch of AAA games relatively easily could end up cutting into Valve’s wallet.

Enter Valve’s Cloud Gaming Service

Pure speculation of course, but with the amount of big players now moving into the market, I’m sure Valve will be researching it themselves. Perhaps this is what Steam Play is actually progressing towards? With Steam Play, Valve will be able to give users access to a large library of games running on Linux where they don’t have to pay extra fees for any sort of Windows licensing fee from Microsoft and obviously being Linux it would allow them to heavily customise it to their liking.

On top of that, what about the improvements this could further bring for native desktop Linux gaming? Stop and think about it for a moment, how can Valve tell developers they will get the best experience on this cloud gaming platform? Have a native Linux version they support with updates and fixes. Valve are already suggesting developers to use Vulkan, it’s not such a stretch I think.

Think about how many games, even single-player games are connected to the net now in some way with various features. Looking to the future, having it so your games can be accessed from any device with the content stored in the cloud somewhere does seem like the way things are heading. As much as some (including me) aren’t sold on the idea, clearly this is where a lot of major players are heading and Valve won’t want to be left behind.

For Valve, it might not even need to be a subscription service, since they already host the data for the developers. Perhaps, you buy a game and get access to both a desktop and cloud copy? That would be a very interesting and tempting idea. Might not be feasible of course, since the upkeep on the cloud machines might require a subscription if Valve wanted to keep healthy profits, but it’s another way they could possibly trump the already heavy competition.

Think the whole idea is incredibly farfetched? Fair enough, I do a little too. However, they might already have a good amount of the legwork done on this, thanks to their efforts with the Steam Link. Did anyone think a year or two ago you would be able to stream Steam games to your phone and tablet?

Valve also offer movies, TV series and more on Steam so they have quite a lot to offer.

It might not happen at all of course, these are just some basic thoughts of mine on what Valve’s moves might be in future. It's likely not going to happen for VR titles, since they need so much power and any upset with latency could make people quite sick. Highly competitive games would also be difficult, but as always once it gets going the technology behind it will constantly improve like everything. There’s got to be some sort of end game for all their Linux gaming work and not just to help us, they are a business and they will keep moving along with all the other major players.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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56 comments
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TheSHEEEP 1 November 2018 at 1:04 pm UTC
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Well, I can see this work for some games, but with others that require some very precise input and reactions, it will never work.

For those who don't want to spend the money on a proper PC, this would certainly be a solution.

On the other hand, some countries are already struggling to give their citizens proper internet - something like this will make it even harder (heavy bandwidth requirements no doubt).
tmtvl 1 November 2018 at 1:24 pm UTC
Game streaming will never be worthwhile, the video compression just ruins everything.
Kiba 1 November 2018 at 1:24 pm UTC
I will never use this cloud shit, if this becomes the main thing in gaming i'm out.
I'm playing at 144fps with little to no input lag, this online shit will never give me this framerates at real time.
Lomkey 1 November 2018 at 1:45 pm UTC
As for myself I don't see cloud gaming going take off so well. People internet not up to code or so many with a limit cap does not make cloud gaming to much a go as right now.
schidin 1 November 2018 at 1:45 pm UTC
I think cloud gaming is the future. I would like to just have a small, passive cooled thin Client running Linux at home and stream AAA title through the Internet. This is ecologically much more desirable for me.
razing32 1 November 2018 at 1:47 pm UTC
While I like the idea of streaming Windows games form inside a Linux PC it would hurt the linux market and devs would stop porting and just tell people to stream it.
Honestly , if games move to Streaming as a model it's end of the line.
A lot of old games get harder to run on news OSes , then you have things like online activation servers or play servers , but you could work around those if fans make a back engineered server.
If we move full on to streaming games will only exist in the ether as a brief thing for a few years before a company shuts them down completely and permanently.
stan 1 November 2018 at 1:48 pm UTC
This is just shit.
liamdawe 1 November 2018 at 1:54 pm UTC
stanThis is just shit.
Solid feedback, thanks.
stretch611 1 November 2018 at 2:03 pm UTC
LomkeyAs for myself I don't see cloud gaming going take off so well. People internet not up to code or so many with a limit cap does not make cloud gaming to much a go as right now.

Exactly, even if you have a internet connection capable of streaming 1080p content at 60fps, it would very quickly fall victim to download caps.
Dedale 1 November 2018 at 2:25 pm UTC
Interesting points.

That may happen but it won't replace the gaming we know too soon. For reasons already mentioned by previous posters and also because it would go against the current model with a lot of people buying discounted games they end up not playing for various reasons.
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