Trying out Steam OS

Steam-OS

On the 13th, Valve released their Beta version of Steam OS and Steam Machine hardware to testers. Unfortunately I wasn’t one of the lucky 300 or so people who received a high-end Steam Machine, equipped with an nVidia Titan and the beta version of the Steam Controller; basically the pad with seen, but the OLED touch screen is replaced with 4 square buttons.

Lucky Bastard…

For those who didn’t get the Beta Steam Machine, we can still try out Steam OS in its Beta form. I was going to have a blast until I discovered a few catches. One, there’s no options during its installation phase to partition the drive for multiple OSes; instead it just finds a free hard drive and wipes it clean to install Steam OS. Two, the installer is put onto a USB flash drive, and then requires a PC that has a motherboard that uses a UEFI based BIOS; and it turns out that even if my machine it pretty decent, it doesn’t have a UEFI based BIOS on it!

Thing is, this is Linux after all… It’s open source after all; meaning that people can customise it and what not. So in just a day, a “Non UEFI” work around was made available on Reddit. I rip apart a 500GB external hard drive I wasn’t using and I actually made use of that Hard drive dock on the top of my Cooler Master CM 690-ii PC case!

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Installation time!

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I wasn’t taking a selfie, I had to take a screenshot with my phone as I couldn’t use print screen or F12 outside of a game. Plus it was a pain that there wasn’t a driver for my sound card on Steam OS yet. So I messed around with it in silence…

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Hey check it out I can play Dive Kick on Steam OS!

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Of course, Dive Kick doesn’t have a Linux version of it, but it’s a bit of a tease to show it off in Steam OS. Hopefully Valve has intentions to get Linux versions of these games…

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Hey, at least Chaos Engine has Linux support!

Personally Steam OS is baby step towards Linux gaming, and putting PC games in the living room. The issue is that only 15% of the 400+ games I have on Steam has Linux support. So using this has quite a limited use, not to mention not being able to play games I get from GOG.com, they only have games for PC and Mac. I do have a few games from Humble Bundle that have Linux versions, but I’m not too sure about how to get them running inside Steam OS.

Personally, if I was to build a “Steam Machine”, I would just put Window 7s on it. As much as people like to bitch and moan about Windows, it’s still the best platform for PC gaming. I wouldn’t just spend £300+ on hardware to only be able to run 15% of my Steam games on it. I would spend the extra 70 or so quid on an OEM copy of Windows 7 so that I can play ALL my Steam games on it, not to mention GOG games too. Steam OS is a nice idea, but it’s just too soon I’m afraid…