The ultimate Linux gaming machine - aka Valve's Steam Machine won't be available until 2015. That's not good news.
The Steam Machines effort is a Linux powered gaming machine that could revolutionize console gaming and take on Sony's PlayStation and Microsoft's Xbox, if it ever gets out the door. Valve will have multiple hardware vendors partners building Steam Machines, but that's not the problem behind the latest delay.
Valve has just posted an update to the Steam Universe community. Long story short, they're back to experimenting with wireless controllers and are conducting live play tests with these new controllers. These play tests are generating a lot of useful feedback, but now with the time to incorporate these improvements, "we're now looking at a release window of 2015, not 2014." Though it's a bit unclear whether this will hold back a majority (all?) of the Steam Machines or whether just the top-tier, best units are now a year away.
If you've been following the market share reports, you know that Chromebooks--portable computers running Google's cloud-centric Chrome OS platform--are starting to succeed, especially in several niche markets such as the education market. Additionally, PCMag.com has a big story out on why Microsoft should be worried about Chromebooks, and Business Insider has argued that Chromebooks are the best hardware choices for many users. The fact is, some new incentives from Google as well as some newfound forms of compatibility with popular applications make Chromebooks more viable than they ever have been.
It's not every day that a major title like The Withcer 2 arrives on Linux and you would imagine that everyone is ecstatic about it. This is just the sort of game that is needed to push the Linux platform forward and to determine more developers to port their titles.
The problem is that the developers didn't actually make a port, they made the version for the Windows platform work on Linux, with the help of a wrapper similar to Wine. This means that even if the game works, some users will have a difficult time playing it due to various problems, but especially because of poor performance.
After last week carrying out separate NVIDIA Windows vs. Linux OpenGL benchmarks and similar AMD Radeon Windows 8.1 vs. Ubuntu 14.04 tests, today we are pitting the GeForce and Radeon graphics cards against each other on Ubuntu Linux with the very latest drivers to see how their performance compares now head-on. With this testing we have some Steam games plus are also monitoring the power consumption, performance-per-Watt, and GPU thermal metrics.
The success of the SteamOS Linux distribution is revealing that AMD is going to get a kicking in the future and it just cannot see it.
For a decade it would have been fair enough for a consumer chipmaker to ignore Linux. All those who said
While 2014 is not the year that Linux will take control of the desktop either, the writing is appearing on the wall and it is silly for AMD to ignore it.
SteamOS users are suffering from a lack of proper AMD driver support and it is taking ages for anyone to get games on the OS running.