Steamboy could put the power of SteamOS in the palm of your hand

In today's open source roundup: The Steamboy handheld Steam Machine. Plus: Bodhi Linux 3.0 release candidate, and Civilization IV might be coming to Linux

By , ITworld |  Open Source, Linux, Steam

The news of Valve's Steam Machines electrified the Linux world when they were announced. But all of the media coverage focused on desktop and living room based Steam Machines, there was little focus on potential handheld Steam OS devices. Now Linux Gizmos reports on what could be the first portable version of a Steam Machine, aptly dubbed the Steamboy.

According to Linux Gizmos:

The device will ship with a quad-core processor, which based on other announced Steam Machines, is likely an Intel Core or AMD system-on-chip. The Steamboy is also said to offer 4GB of RAM, a pre-integrated 32GB memory card, and a 5-inch, 16:9 touchscreen.

The Steamboy will ship in 2015 and support WiFi or 3G connectivity, says the story. A Steamboy Machine rep told the publication that the device would not be as powerful as desktop Steam Machines, but added that “it will be possible to play the majority of current games in Steam.”

More at Linux Gizmos

As you might imagine, the Steamboy has generated quite a bit of buzz in the gaming world. Many on a Reddit thread about the Steamboy seem to think that it's a fake, and that it will never be released. We'll have to wait and see if the naysayers are right in their skepticism about the Steamboy.

Assuming that the Steamboy is the real deal and has been sanctioned by Valve, it's great to see something like this happening already, I hadn't expected a portable Steam Machine for a while. But it looks like the Steamboy developers are way ahead of the curve. I like the way the render in the video looks too, it clearly resembles the Steam Controller we've seen in previous reports.

The name does make me pause and wonder though, given how closely it resembles Nintendo's Gameboy product. Would Valve sanction a product that might draw the wrath of Nintendo's mighty legal department? I tend to doubt that they would, but stranger things have happened in the world of technology. If there's a sudden lawsuit by Nintendo then we'll know that a name change is coming for the Steamboy.

The only other potential pitfall is that it might not be able to play all Steam OS games. That could be a turn off for some potential Steamboy buyers. But it is, after all, a handheld gaming machine. It really shouldn't be expected to match up to the hardware on the full-size Steam Machines.

The Steamboy site is up if you want to bookmark it. The video I included above is pretty much all that's up there right now. But it will certainly be worth dropping by later on to get updated information about the Steamboy.

Bodhi Linux 3.0 release candidate
The first release candidate for Bodhi Linux 3.0 is available for download, according to the Thoughts On Technology blog.

According to Thoughts on Technology:

At Bodhi we work firmly on a "its ready when its ready schedule" as opposed to sticking to our set release goals and churning out something we are not happy with. Better late than never as the saying goes! Just ten days after the targeted release date I am happy to share our first Release Candidate for Bodhi Linux's third major release:

More at Thoughts on Technology

Bodhi Linux 3.0 Release Candidate 1
Image credit: Thoughts on Technology

You can download the Bodhi 3.0 release candidate with these links:

Bodhi Linux 3.0 RC 1 32-bit
Bodhi Linux 3.0 RC 1 64-bit
Bodhi Linux 3.0 RC 1 Legacy
Bodhi Linux 3.0 RC 1 Chromebook

You can also get a full list of changes on the Bodhi Linux 3.0 to-do list.

Civilization IV coming to Linux?
OMG Ubuntu speculates that Civilization IV might follow in the wake of the release of Civilization V for Linux.

According to OMG Ubuntu:

An entry for Civilization IV that lists Linux as a ‘supported system’ recently appeared in the Steam database.

While SteamDB listings are never definite proof that a port or new release is planned — cf. WATCH_DOGS being accidentally listed with Linux support — the hit rate of accuracy is above average, making the database useful for getting an early heads-up on future titles.

More at OMG Ubuntu

Civilization IV may be older than V, but it's still a great game enjoyed by many people. So it will be terrific if it makes its way to Linux. If you aren't familiar with the game, be sure to check out Civilization IV's Wikipedia page for a good overview of what it has to offer.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of ITworld.

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