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Steam Controller and Steam Link

Steam Steam Controller Steam Link SteamOS Steam Machines

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#1 Jan

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 07:01 AM

Right on time for our lunch break, both the Steam Controller and the Steam Link arrived at our office today. First impression: Solid build quality, I like the 'click' of the triggers, but the plastic seems a bit cheap and the battery handling is far from perfect. More later.

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#2 Jan

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 11:58 AM

Oh my. The current state of the Steam Controller on OS X: A buggy mess. :wall:
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#3 Cougar

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 12:02 PM

After reading the Ars writeup on the controller, link, and steam machines, the whole thing sounds like a buggy mess.

#4 Jan

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 01:53 PM

None of the games I've tested so far recognized the Steam Controller: Borderlands 2, Broken Age, Game of Thrones. I'll try the officially supported Portal 2 later. In-home streaming is still not working from an OS X host. Pretty disappointing.
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#5 Cougar

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 07:21 PM

So apparently Valve will give you all their games, including future ones, if you try setting it up on a Mac.

#6 jeannot

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 01:45 AM

I wonder if the steam link supports hardware encoding on the Mac. If it does, it has to work with intel Quick Sync video (available for Sandy Bridge and more recent CPUs). There is no other solution (AFAIK, the encoding capabilities of recent nVidia GPUs are not accessible on OS X). I'm not sure that devs have the tools to access Quick Sync on OS X. The only apps I know that use it are Apple's (QT player X, AirPlay, FaceTime, FCPX). I know that Apple has an API for screen capture and recording, but would it be fast enough and use Quick Sync? I doubt it.
Without hardware encoding the experience would suck. :unsure:

EDIT: I see that Quick Sync is implemented on the integrated GPU. So it may not be available on iMacs with discrete GPUs (the integrated GPU is disabled). I'm not even sure Quick Sync could be used to encode frames generated by the discrete GPUs (MacBook Pros).

EDIT: it appears that the iMacs with discrete GPUs can access Quick Sync.

#7 macdude22

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 07:50 PM

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#8 jeannot

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 01:29 AM

View Postmacdude22, on 17 October 2015 - 07:50 PM, said:

Interesting. I have most Valve games, though not the older ones (only Source games), but this deals covers ALL future games as well? That's a nice compensation. Where do I sign? :P

#9 Janichsan

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 03:36 AM

View Postjeannot, on 18 October 2015 - 01:29 AM, said:


Interesting. I have most Valve games, though not the older ones (only Source games), but this deals covers ALL future games as well? That's a nice compensation. Where do I sign? :P
That's pretty cool. So, you'll get Half-Life 3, Portal 3, Dota 3, Team Fortr... wait a second!

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#10 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 07:28 AM

View PostJanichsan, on 18 October 2015 - 03:36 AM, said:

That's pretty cool. So, you'll get Half-Life 3, Portal 3, Dota 3, Team Fortr... wait a second!

My thoughts exactly. Is that supposed to some sort of incentive for real?
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#11 Cougar

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 11:31 AM

It's for people who preordered it,  expecting it to work. I doubt they'll give the same deal to people buying them now, but you never know.

#12 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 12:01 PM

I'll never get preordering anything even with various incentives. I want finished goods and user feedback on them too before anybody gets my money.

I'm not convinced I would ever want to play PC mouse/keyboard games on the TV in the living room with a controller trying to emulate the functionality. Anything that really works well with a controller probably originated on console and would be better in its native form is my guess,

If Gaben's evil plan is to evolve PC gaming to console gaming on SteamOS over time I'll probably bail altogether down the road. I'd rather just play Xbone and PS4 games at that point than own yet another console with awkward control schemes and more expensive hardware. Have you guys looked at what Steamboxes cost? I don't think they are worth it myself.
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#13 Cougar

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 12:13 PM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 18 October 2015 - 12:01 PM, said:


If Gaben's evil plan is to evolve PC gaming to console gaming on SteamOS over time I'll probably bail altogether down the road.

If you listen to some of his interviews, this is clearly not his intention. It's about expanding Steam, not moving it.

#14 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 12:17 PM

View PostCougar, on 18 October 2015 - 12:13 PM, said:

If you listen to some of his interviews, this is clearly not his intention. It's about expanding Steam, not moving it.

Well, that's good. I haven't ready any interviews where he discusses this. I was just wondering about that based on what I see happening with growing Linux support despite the user base to warrant it presently, the hardware introductions, etc. I guess all that Linux support could be seen as preparation for the availability of the hardware for SteamOS in the living room though.
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#15 Cougar

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 01:20 PM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 18 October 2015 - 12:17 PM, said:

Well, that's good. I haven't ready any interviews where he discusses this. I was just wondering about that based on what I see happening with growing Linux support despite the user base to warrant it presently, the hardware introductions, etc. I guess all that Linux support could be seen as preparation for the availability of the hardware for SteamOS in the living room though.

The Linux support is about not being beholden Microsoft, and being able to control their own destiny, as well as making an OS that's specifically tailored to games. Gabe wasn't particularly kind to Windows 8 and its store. The last thing he wants is a Windows that's more akin to iOS, with alternative storefronts not possible. Not that it'll ever happen, but better be safe than sorry, I guess.

SteamOS would also conceivably allow for cheaper machines (no Windows tax) but that doesn't seem to be the case so far.

#16 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 06:19 PM

View PostCougar, on 18 October 2015 - 01:20 PM, said:

The Linux support is about not being beholden Microsoft, and being able to control their own destiny, as well as making an OS that's specifically tailored to games. Gabe wasn't particularly kind to Windows 8 and its store. The last thing he wants is a Windows that's more akin to iOS, with alternative storefronts not possible. Not that it'll ever happen, but better be safe than sorry, I guess.

SteamOS would also conceivably allow for cheaper machines (no Windows tax) but that doesn't seem to be the case so far.

Yeah, that all makes sense. I am not sold on it this early on myself but it may become a compelling option in the future.
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#17 henryfakesmile

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Posted 19 October 2015 - 02:13 AM

View PostJan, on 16 October 2015 - 01:53 PM, said:

None of the games I've tested so far recognized the Steam Controller: Borderlands 2, Broken Age, Game of Thrones. I'll try the officially supported Portal 2 later. In-home streaming is still not working from an OS X host. Pretty disappointing.

hi, do you have any games on the mac app store? because i mainly buy games through there for the sake of osx game center achievements
can you run some test with the games from mac app store?

#18 Jan

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 03:35 AM

View Posthenryfakesmile, on 19 October 2015 - 02:13 AM, said:

hi, do you have any games on the mac app store? because i mainly buy games through there for the sake of osx game center achievements
can you run some test with the games from mac app store?

If you start up the Steam app first and then switch to the finder, you'll be able to use the Steam Controller as a normal USB input device. It acts similar to a trackpad or trackball with the right touchpad being the mouse and the triggers mouse buttons (Right trigger = Mouse click, left trigger = Right click), "B" is Escape. It's actually pretty cool to browse in the finder or Safari with the Steam Controller. Not as elegant as the Magic Trackpad, but it works. :)

I prefer the Mac App Store as well and have actually tested some of my games with the Steam Controller: It's working great with point 'n' click adventures such as The Secret of Monkey Island Special Edition or Syberia. Unfortunately, Valve doesn't support the Xinput-Gamepad-Mode in OS X right now -- but they're working on it -- so you can't use the Steam Controller for Gamepad enabled games at the moment.
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