machines_livingroom

We always planned to release Caromble! on PC, Mac and Linux. But right now it might just be that we’ll be able to launch on a console as well.

While Microsoft and Sony are preparing for the next-gen console war, this week Valve showed it too has some tricks up its sleeve. The people behind Half-Life and Steam made three announcements that might one day completely blur the lines between consoles and desktop computers.
Gabe Newell, the owner of Valve, already made clear he wanted Steam to be an open platform, accessible to everyone. The first move in this direction was the launch of Greenlight, opening up the Steam store for Indie Developers. In the light of an open platform, launching a closed console like Microsoft and Sony are doing seemed an unlikely choice for Valve.

The first announcement was Steam OS: a Linux-based operating system to play steam games and stream media. A few days later it became clear that the rumors about a SteamBox we’ve been hearing for a while were true. But instead of the SteamBox being a closed console, Valve is working with multiple partners to bring a variety of console like machines (running Steam OS) to the market in 2014. Heck, it’ll even be pretty easy to build your own SteamBox.SteamController

The main problem with using a desktop computer in the living room is that you have no place to put your mouse and keyboard, so it’s no surprise at all what Valve announced last: a controller. But instead of playing it safe and going for a Playstation/Xbox-like controller, they are making a controller with multiple trackpads. This has the advantage that the Steam controller will be able to simulate mouse movements and is therefore compatible with all Steam games at launch.
Of course, a trackpad never gives you the kind of feedback an actual button would. Therefore, Valve has equipped the controller with “super-precise haptic feedback” to give you information about speed, boundaries, and thresholds.
We already added Leap Motion to support to Caromble! a while back. It worked very well and even allowed us to play Caromble! on the floor at Gamescom. With that in mind, I think Caromble! would work very well with Valve’s new toy.

It seems unlikely that Valve will spend the same amount of money on marketing the SteamBox as Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony, but since the SteamBox will likely evolve over the years (just like Steam did), times might just become very interesting…

As we wrote before, we already support Linux for Caromble! (with Mac support underway). With the announcement of the SteamBox, supporting Linux just got even more attractive. If we could just get our hands on one of those controllers… Exciting times!