"While have heard a lot about Valve's Steam Machines project we still have not seen an official release, it appears that the company will once again show the latest prototypes during Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2015.
"The Piston from Xi3, which has become known as the first “Steambox,” is now taking pre-orders for the Piston for delivery this holiday season. (The exact shipping date isn’t yet known.) The price is currently $899 for the base unit till March 17th when it will rise to $999.
"Gabe Newell's already expressed his less-than-positive sentiments on the Windows 8 ecosystem. So it's really not much of a surprise that the Steam Box, Valve's own take on the game console, is going to be Linux-based.
"NVIDIA today announced the latest NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) drivers -- R310 -- double the performance(1) and dramatically reduce game loading times for those gaming on the Linux operating system.
The result of almost a year of development by NVIDIA, Valve and other game developers, the new GeForce R310 drivers are designed to give GeForce customers the best possible Linux-based PC gaming experience -- and showcase the enormous potential of the world's biggest open-source operating system.
"Linux gamers are used to being an afterthought when it comes to most major game releases, but Valve seems set to change that soon. The company announced a pending beta test for a long-awaited Linux version of its popular Steam distribution service. Valve is seeking to fill 1,000 spots for the closed beta through a Web survey for existing Steam users, asking them to detail their gaming system and experience with Linux.
"In a presentation at Ubuntu Developer Summit currently going on in Denmark, Drew Bliss from Valve said that Linux is more viable than Windows 8 for gaming. Windows 8 ships with its own app store and it is moving away from an open platform model. Some other points from the talk..."
"Valve has issued an update to its Steam Subscriber Agreement that effectively prevents all Steam users from joining in class-action lawsuits against the company. Valve's new SSA requires that "you [the user] and Valve agree to resolve all disputes and claims... in individual binding arbitration," mimicking similar language added by EA to its Origin service agreement and Microsoft with Windows 8.
"Newell said Windows 8 is "kind of a catastrophe for everybody in the PC space". He said he fears that some top tier PC manufacturers will exit the market due to destroyed margins. Valve sees Linux as part of the solutioin and is keen on making sure it thrives.
"Valve has announced a new system called Greenlight, which will allow the gaming community to select which games get chosen for distribution via Steam. Developers will post information about their games..."
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