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What is the point of SteamOS? I can't think of a single one

"Where will the burden of customer support lie?" asks TechRadar and PC Format's resident computing expert, Dave James. "I don't think it'll be with Valve. Will system integrators happily keep swallowing up the extra cost of supporting the Linux platform until users are sufficiently educated? Or will they have to start offering Windows upgrades?"

And then, to top it all, you've got the laughable fact that 75% of the PC games on Steam don't even work in Linux.

Chicken and egg gaming

"And then to top it all, you've got the fact that 75% of the PC games on Steam don't even


in Linux."

It's a classic chicken and egg scenario. Porting games to Linux costs money, so of course publishers will only do so if they think there are enough Linux gamers out there to buy them. There aren't.

So if you're going to buy a gaming PC, why wouldn't you just buy a Windows system, swallow the slight premium that a Windows license will cost you, and then get access to the whole Steam library in Big Picture mode and reap the simplicity and comprehensive functionality that Windows brings with it?

(Did we mention that the Steam Controller will work with Windows if you still really want to use it?)

Is there a future for Linux gaming?

"There's also the problem of expectation versus experience. It's that and the lack of native Linux games that are my real worries about SteamOS," says Dave James.

"Everyone seems to be talking about the Steam Machines as a console-like experience rather than a PC experience. People who drop £700 on a Steam Machine, plug it into their TV and then have to struggle through inevitable driver updates and peripheral incompatibility may not be that happy with the end result. It's an open platform and that's at once its biggest draw and its biggest potential pitfall."

So more than with most other PC offshoots, I think the early Steam Machine adopters will suffer.

I've got faith in Valve eventually getting it sorted - Steam was a right pain in its first few years - but it's a question of whether the system builders will continue to keep faith when the first generation of Steam Machines inevitably cause them lots of problems.

Am I wrong about SteamOS? Tell me why in the comments or tweet @TechRadarGaming

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