GAMING GIANT Valve has said there's still life in its Steam Machine despite earlier removing all traces of the Linux-powered console from its website.
Valve this week removed prominent links on its storefront to Steam Machines, console-like PCs created by the likes of Alienware designed to run a mix of Linux and Steam known as Steam OS. Many took this as a sign that Steam Machines were dead; we'd argue that a rather lacklustre reception to the Steam Machines was indication enough.
However, Valve has piped up to note that the de-listing of Steam Machines was merely a "routine cleanup" of the Steam Store an that it hasn't abandoned all hope with the Steam Machines.
"While it's true Steam Machines aren't exactly flying off the shelves, our reasons for striving towards a competitive and open gaming platform haven't significantly changed, the company posted in its forums.
"We're still working hard on making Linux operating systems a great place for gaming and applications. We think it will ultimately result in a better experience for developers and customers alike, including those not on Steam.
"Through the Steam Machine initiative, we've learned quite a bit about the state of the Linux ecosystem for real-world game developers out there. We've taken a lot of feedback and have been heads-down on addressing the shortcomings we observed.
"We think an important part of that effort is our ongoing investment in making Vulkan a competitive and well-supported graphics API, as well as making sure it has first-class support on Linux platforms."
A lot of focus was put on Valve's part in developing the Vulcan API - also involving the likes of AMD, Nvidia, and Intel as part of the Khronos Group - which it has done so via funding software company LunarG, which is working heavily on Vulkan with the goal of creating a low-overhead GPU driver for Linux based systems.
As such, there are no hints to the real long-term plans for Steam Machines, only that they might not be so dead in water as first appears.
But with the likes of the Xbox One X bringing native and pseudo 4K gaming to the games console world at cheaper-than-PC prices, there may not be much space for Stream Machines under the TVs of game fans unless Valve came help make them more compelling and affordable. µ
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