Valve launches Steam Machine hardware store

In today's open source roundup: Check out the Steam Machines in Valve's hardware store. Plus: A review of Bodhi Linux 3.0, and Linux on a new Macbook?

Valve opens Steam Machine store

Valve has been criticized by some for taking too much time to perfect the hardware of its Steam Machines. But the time for delays is past, and you can now check out an array of Steam Machines in Valve's hardware store. The store includes sections for Steam Machines, the Steam Controller and the Steam Link.

The Fuse Joplin reports on Valve's hardware store:

All eager gamers can now visit the Steam website or open their software to see an official hardware store launched. It lists some of the best looking and compact Steam machine hardware launched by every manufacturer in the globe. Even those who didn’t have a strong liking for gaming are vying to try their hands in this new area because it has earned so much hype.

The price range of these power boxes is so drastic. It starts at a mere $400 for some mid-range 1080p gaming, while the mammoth $5000 ones are designed for flawless 4K gaming on your UHD televisions. The idea behind is to allow gamers as much choice as they could have and simply spoil them. Besides, there’s no one console to own but rather you could have different ones powering up multiple televisions at home.

More at The Fuse Joplin

The news about Valve's hardware store spawned a huge thread on Reddit:

PokeyRider71: "Alienware is the least expensive? I call shenanigans."

The_Web_Doctor: "Wow, the biggest flaw of the Steam Machines are the machines itself. Those are expensive and not even priced competitively to the consoles (Except, for the Alienware). "

Philmriss: "They're pre-built PCs, of course they are going to be expensive. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think anything is stopping people from running SteamOS on their own computer."

Canihaveabanana: "Yeah but the point of Steam Machines is to compete with consoles. If they're just going to cost as much as PCs always have, there's no incentive for people who have always used consoles to make the switch. Thus making these pointless. You'd think most of the brands would at least have cheaper, lower-tier stuff with internals comparable to ps4/XB1."

ERIFNOMI: "Did you expect to see someone selling a Steam Machine at a loss? They use the same off-the-shelf hardware we use and even if they do make huge bulk orders, they're not going to be able to get components for much less than you or I.

These are for people who can't or won't build their own. A lot of these, especially the really expensive ones, are form "boutique" PC builders (Falcon Northwest has been doing this for a long time).

Steam Machine were never going to undercut consoles. They're not going to replace consoles. They're pre-built gaming PCs with the Steam name on them."

More at Reddit

Sam Machkovech at Ars Technica has pics of various Valve hardware:

Enough press releases, enough GDC teases. On Wednesday, Valve Software finally unveiled a full range of Steam Machines, along with the "final" Steam Controller, the Steam Link streaming box, and even the SteamVR hardware. We'll soon talk at length about our half-hour demo with SteamVR, composed of six distinct, interactive demos, but for now, we'll recap our impressions of the rest of Valve's hardware spread.

Valve Software confirmed that we tested the "final" version of the Steam Controller, which received a November 2015 release window in an announcement yesterday. That final design includes two touchpads (with the left one having a d-pad shape etched onto it), a back panel that can be clicked down with middle fingers on both sides, a single joystick—finally—and an Xbox-style spread of face buttons and shoulder buttons. The above gallery has captions with some thoughts on the controller's features, including the new GameCube-like triggers.

More at Ars Technica

A review of Bodhi Linux 3.0

Bodhi Linux is a minimalist distribution that uses the Enlightenment desktop. Bodhi offers an alternative to the usual array of desktop environments such as Cinnamon, MATE, Unity, etc.

I have a full review up on Desktop Linux Reviews:

If you’re someone that wants a zillion apps installed by default or that wants to browse through thousands and thousands of apps in an app store, then it’s probably not for you. In that sense Bodhi is almost the exact opposite of a distribution like Ultimate Edition, for example.

But if you’re someone that wants a very light-weight desktop, and that only needs or wants certain core applications then Bodhi Linux 3.0 might be a perfect choice for you. It really is a minimalist’s dream in that sense. It compares quite well with other minimalist distros such as Lubuntu or Xubuntu.

More at Desktop Linux Reviews

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