Valve Stories October 19, 2015

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Valve delays Steam Controller and Steam Link support on Mac, hands out free games to buyers

Valve has announced in an email to customers that its new hardware accessories, the Steam Controller and the Steam Link are not yet fully compatible with OS X. The hardware, which was marketed as cross-platform ready, started arriving in customers’ hands this week.

The company says software issues are at the heart of the delay, and it will be pushing out firmware updates to enable support very soon. In the case of the Steam Controller, users can already start using the gamepad on their Macs by switching to the beta version of the Steam client in the app’s preferences.

In order to make up for this problem, Valve has gifted every single affected pre-order customer with the Valve Complete Pack, which includes every game the company has ever made, or will make in the future. Buyers who still want to get a refund on their hardware are able to do so.

Valve Stories September 25, 2013

Valve announces Steam Machines hardware beta for SteamOS

Earlier this week Valve made the first of three big announcements being teased on its website with the introduction of SteamOS: a Linux-based, open and freely licensable operating system that will run any number of devices and deliver the Steam experience in the living room. Today the company announced the second part of the puzzle with the launch of a hardware beta program for “Steam Machines” that will run the operating system:

Entertainment is not a one-size-fits-all world. We want you to be able to choose the hardware that makes sense for you, so we are working with multiple partners to bring a variety of Steam gaming machines to market during 2014, all of them running SteamOS.

Valve has designed a “high-performance prototype” and it will ship 300 of the boxes to Steam users for free in order to test the platform:

While these products are still in development, we need your help. As always, we believe the best way to ensure that the right products are getting made is to let people try them out and then make changes as we go. We have designed a high-performance prototype that’s optimized for gaming, for the living room, and for Steam. Of course, it’s also completely upgradable and open.

The company is accepting sign-ups for the beta program until October 25. Here’s how to apply:

THE HARDWARE BETA ELIGIBILITY QUEST:

Before October 25, log in to Steam and then visit your quest page to track your current status towards beta test eligibility

1. Join the Steam Universe community group

2. Agree to the Steam Hardware Beta Terms and Conditions

3. Make 10 Steam friends (if you haven’t already)

4. Create a public Steam Community profile (if you haven’t already)

5. Play a game using a gamepad in Big Picture mode

With SteamOS, it’s not just games. Valve could quickly be on its way to making a full fledged Apple TV competitor with the Steam Machines it will begin testing for an expected 2014 launch. The company noted that its SteamOS operating system will also include features for other content such as music, TV shows, and movies, and Valve is already in discussions with various media companies to make that happen.

Valve’s Gabe Newell expressed previously that the biggest threat to the new platform would be if Apple made a major move into the living room with a revamped Apple TV.

Valve Stories September 23, 2013

Valve changes the game, announces its own Steam OS

Valve has been teasing announcements surrounding its much rumored Steam Box platform on its website, and today the company revealed “SteamOS” as the first of three announcements. There aren’t many details available just yet, but Valve says the Linux-based platform will be available soon as a “free stand-alone operating system for living room machines” and “freely licensable operating system for manufacturers.”

Steam is not a one-way content broadcast channel, it’s a collaborative many-to-many entertainment platform, in which each participant is a multiplier of the experience for everyone else. With SteamOS, “openness” means that the hardware industry can iterate in the living room at a much faster pace than they’ve been able to. Content creators can connect directly to their customers. Users can alter or replace any part of the software or hardware they want. Gamers are empowered to join in the creation of the games they love. SteamOS will continue to evolve, but will remain an environment designed to foster these kinds of innovation.

Not too long ago Valve’s Gabe Newell expressed that the biggest threat to bringing Steam and PC gaming to the living room would be if Apple got there first:

“The biggest challenge, I don’t think is from the consoles,” Newell said. “I think the biggest challenge is that Apple moves on the living room before the PC industry sort of gets its act together.”

Valve says that game developers are already optimizing new releases set for 2014  that will take advantage of “significant performance increases in graphics processing” and “audio performance and reductions in input latency” in SteamOS. Although Apple has been beefing up its Apple TV with new content recently, it looks like Valve could beat Apple when it comes to bringing its ecosystem of games to the living room.

The webpage for SteamOS also mentions four new features coming to SteamOS and the Steam client soon, including: In-home streaming, music/TV/movies, Family Sharing, and Family options. Family Sharing will let users “take turns playing one another’s games while earning your own Steam achievements and saving your individual game progress to the Steam cloud.” The in-home streaming feature will allow users to stream games from their Mac or PC to a SteamOS machine over their home network, and Family Options will provide customizable libraries for different members of your household.

The company also says it’s working with “media services” to help bring music, TV, and movies to SteamOS, so we could be looking at more of a direct Apple TV competitor than simply a game console.

Valve Stories January 30, 2013

Valve’s Gabe Newell says Apple TV, not consoles, is the biggest threat to Steam Box

Polygon covered a recent talk today given by Valve’s Gabe Newell at the University of Texas, where he said Apple, not the big gaming console makers, is the biggest threat for the company’s upcoming Linux-based Steam Box hardware. Newell said he thought the biggest challenge for bringing the massively popular Steam service to the TV will be if “Apple moves on the living room before the PC industry sort of gets its act together.” He also said Apple could “shut out the open-source creativity” that Steam hopes to bring to the living room:

“The threat right now is that Apple has gained a huge amount of market share, and has a relatively obvious pathway towards entering the living room with their platform,” Newell said. “I think that there’s a scenario where we see sort of a dumbed down living room platform emerging — I think Apple rolls the console guys really easily. The question is can we make enough progress in the PC space to establish ourselves there, and also figure out better ways of addressing mobile before Apple takes over the living room?”

He continued:

“The biggest challenge, I don’t think is from the consoles,” Newell said. “I think the biggest challenge is that Apple moves on the living room before the PC industry sort of gets its act together.”

Valve Stories April 19, 2012

Tim Cook didn’t visit Valve, says Valve Co-Founder

Oh my. Last week, AppleInsider ran a post claiming Tim Cook visited the headquarters of Valve for some undisclosed business. We did not report it due to the sketchy nature of the source, but the story did receive some airplay amongst those less familiar with reputation of the source in question.

Anyway, long story short, it never happened. It was totally made up with the hope that neither company would call it out.

Unfortunately/fortunately, Valve did call the report out as a total fabrication.

Video game website Kotaku had a preview of the podcast from Seven Day Cooldown that included this quote:

We actually, we all sent mail to each other, going, “Who’s Tim Cook meeting with? Is he meeting with you? I’m not meeting with Tim Cook.” So we’re… it’s one of those rumors that was stated so factually that we were actually confused. 

No one here was meeting with Tim Cook or with anybody at Apple that day. I wish we were! We have a long list of things we’d love to see Apple do to support games and gaming better. But no, we didn’t meet with Tim Cook. He seems like a smart guy, but I’ve never actually met him.

Image credit JoyofTech

Valve Stories November 10, 2011

Popular game platform Steam, owned by Valve, has been hacked (via PC Gamer). Hackers were able to get into a Steam database, which included encrypted credit card information and passwords of many of its users. Steam isn’t sure at this point if the encryption of the credit card numbers or passwords have been obtained, but warns users to be on the look out for malicious activity. Steam’s Gabe Newell said in a statement to users:

Our Steam forums were defaced on the evening of Sunday, November 6. We began investigating and found that the intrusion goes beyond the Steam forums.

We learned that intruders obtained access to a Steam database in addition to the forums. This database contained information including user names, hashed and salted passwords, game purchases, email addresses, billing addresses and encrypted credit card information. We do not have evidence that encrypted credit card numbers or personally identifying information were taken by the intruders, or that the protection on credit card numbers or passwords was cracked.”

Steam is currently keeping their forums closed down while they investigate the situation. The Steam platform hasn’t been knocked down, however. Gabe’s full statement after the break:

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