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Wizard is dying, needs food badly.

Aww yes... Played a ton of the OG arcade 4-player co-op back in the day. This remake allows you to gear up and level up your skills. It's a PC exclusive for now, so get your Steam wallet ready for September 23rd.

#needfoodbadly

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Valve announces the Steam Controller

By: BatRastered Sep 29, 2013 | 0 Comments

Part 3 of the Steam living room announcements is a controller.

Part 3 of the Steam living room announcements is a controller.

It looks a little weird...

Steam Controller

The controller features two touch pads and a center touchscreen plus the usual shoulder and trigger buttons and some oddly placed face buttons. There are also two paddle buttons on the back. 

The most prominent elements of the Steam controller are its two circular trackpads. Driven by the player’s thumbs, each one has a high-resolution trackpad as its base. It is also clickable, allowing the entire surface to act as a button. The trackpads allow far higher fidelity input than has previously been possible with traditional handheld controllers. Steam gamers, who are used to the input associated with PCs, will appreciate that the Steam Controller’s resolution approaches that of a desktop mouse.

Whole genres of games that were previously only playable with a keyboard and mouse are now accessible from the sofa. RTS games. Casual, cursor-driven games. Strategy games. 4x space exploration games. A huge variety of indie games. Simulation titles. And of course, Euro Truck Simulator 2.

In addition, games like first-person shooters that are designed around precise aiming within a large visual field now benefit from the trackpads’ high resolution and absolute position control.

You can draw your own conclusions as to what games will be good with that controller, but until we get hands on with it, it will be impossible to know for sure.

In the meantime, an Xbox 360 controller is still the best PC gamepad if you aren't playing keyboard/mouse. And, of course, if you're playing a fighting game, you'll still want a fightstick.

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Valve Not Entering the Hardware Business

By: guano Sep 25, 2013 | 3 Comments

Steam to work with partners to deliver a variety of SteamOS enabled devices

I wish I would have wrote it in my last story about SteamOS. As I said to BatRastered last night, and he wholeheartedly agreed, there is no way Valve will get into the hardware business. They revealed this morning that they are launching a beta test for a Steam Machine. There will be many partners and configurations when the specs are finalized. They mentioned that the Steam Machines (at least some configurations) will be upgradable. More on this from Guanodamus as it unfolds. Go sign up for that hardware beta if you're interested. I will wait for the SteamOS distro DVD and I'll do a full write up then!

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BatRastered

Valve announces SteamOS for your living room.

By: BatRastered Sep 23, 2013 | 1 Comments

Having released Big Picture mode earlier, now the software maker wants to move you off windows entirely for gaming.

Now you can build a machine to play the Steam games of the future without having to have a full blown windows installation (not to mention it's free).

As we’ve been working on bringing Steam to the living room, we’ve come to the conclusion that the
environment best suited to delivering value to customers is an operating system built around Steam itself.

SteamOS combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen.
It will be available soon as a free stand-alone operating system for living room machines.

Of course, most games don't run on Linux, so Valve has some work to do convincing partners to make their games compatible. Probably by some sort of dev kit? More info is coming later this week, this is the first of three announcements scheduled throughout the week. See the countdown here. Could be bad news for Microsoft with all those Win8 haters out there... gaming being one of the main things that keeps people on Windows.

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Valve Announces SteamOS

By: guano Sep 23, 2013 | 1 Comments

Steam is ready to move past Windows with an in house Linux distro. Does it have the right stuff to make the PC relevant in this next gen climate?

    Based on other stories I've written recently, I wanted to comment on Steam's announcement today. SteamOS is the next phase of their plan to take over the world.  On the website created just for this announcement they tell us only a few real pieces on info. It will be open source, derived from the Linux kernel. Linux in the simplest description is this small piece of software that can be thought of as the brain of the computer, that has the know how to control the computer's hardware and offers the tools required to access and operate them by the user or other software. You put layers of software (a user interface and apps) on top of that kernel, they can be open source, proprietary or a combination of both to give the box all the features you want it to do.



    Steam is doing all this to divorce Microsoft. Gabe Newell, CEO at Steam, is of the opinion that they are at the mercy of their competitor when it comes to getting changes committed to Windows or even new features added that allow PC gaming to grow. Microsoft is in the business of selling Xbox One's and an OS that is tailored to general computer usage, not gaming. They are going so far as to end their Games for Windows program, albeit unsuccessful, is conveniently anticompetitive to end at the beginning of this console cycle. So now steam will be free to tune this OS as if it were embedded and maximize performance on a console-like level and add or remove features as they please.

    Along with performance they can now build this cohesive and hopefully appealing platform.  For years they have been touting if you build your game on their in house engine, Source, your game can easily move across platforms. That vision is clear now, that if you not only had been taking advantage of selling your games on Windows, Linux and MacOS, now you can sell it on SteamOS with no effort. If you didn't make your game in their ecosystem then you can stream the games across your home network to the SteamOS computer, from another Steam client. This says SteamOS will not use wine or such technology to emulate the Windows API, they will use network streaming to support playing non-Source Engine games. The only other notable features they covered are Netflix-like, multi-user options, so you don't have to see your wives Bejeweled in your library.  Family Sharing of Steam Accounts was also mentioned, which will be in beta soon, allowing one to share their entire library with a friend, with the hook that only one of you can be logged in at a time. They will have Pandora, Netflix, blah blah blah on SteamOS... Who cares...

    Less overhead than Windows, means console level performance and you lose the cost of having Windows includedin the cost of your PC build, if all you're really doing on it is gaming (that applies to me!). There will be a real chance for another player in the game to do something different or special is very exciting. The big dogs need to be shaken out of their complacency. Competition is great for the consumer. You should all embrace this platform. I believe that SteamOS will be offered as a free download for users to build gaming PCs. Sure they may sell their own hardware for those who don't want to roll their own. The SteamOS is just a way to sell more games, which is where they make most of their money. I have no idea what their other announcements could possibly be besides the SteamBox everyone has been going on about. So the third one is a real mystery to me. If I had to speculate, I will guess it will be a new API for the community to build apps for SteamOS. The only problem with that is I could only see this hurting gaming performance, having stuff running in the background on your gaming box, which is a real perk of moving past Windows. We will all see soon enough.

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