PC elitists would have you believe that their platform of choice is superior to consoles in just about every measurable variable, or in every way that counts.
While that may not be strictly true, PCs are generally a lot more capable than their console counterparts, hence the premium on purchasing or building one.
The Steam Machine is more a concept than an actual piece of tech. It’s about taking the strengths afforded by the variability of PC hardware and combining that with the ease and simplicity of a console experience.
It’s about turning a PC into a console-like machine for the living room. However, the use of Linux in the creation of SteamOS has hit a bit of a snag.
Valve’s engineers have shrugged their shoulders, thrown their hands into the air and given up on the idea of “suspend” and “resume” functionality for Steam Machines.
Suspend and Resume are essentially extensions of a low-power standby mode. It’s something PCs have been able to do for some time now, courtesy of Windows, and so adopted by the latest batch of consoles.
They allow for a quicker startup and a much shorter time between pressing a button and hopping back into a game, having been suspended rather than closed by the console concerned.
It seems that as far as Valve is concerned, SteamOS can’t be designed to reliably do so, so they’re dropping the functionality from SteamOS.
The news came by way of a Valve engineer’s report via Github, who said, “suspend is no longer supported”.
The reason, reported the engineer, is that, “Given the state of hardware and software support throughout the graphics stack on Linux we didn’t think we could make this reliable.”
As you may know, SteamOS is a Linux-based operating system, and it apparently handles rediscovering hardware peripheral (component) detection after being resumed, in a way that disallows suspend and resume functionality for the most part.
It results in a number of repeatable problems and conflicts with drivers and hardware, and isn’t really acceptable for Valve.
Granted, many are reporting to not have that issue, but it comes down to the variations of hardware that may be used in Steam Machines, and that Valve needs the function to work reliably, rather than in some configurations while breaking others.
It’s not a major train smash, but it is a bit of a loss for Steam Machines and SteamOS.