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Launchbox on Steam Deck


gupti99
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I'd also like a version of full Launchbox that can run on Steamdeck. It's just a better launcher than the native Steam interface and any other Linux compat. Especially there's nothing that even remotely compares to the usability of the Launchbox desktop mode. It's the one thing that keeps me thinking that maybe I should install Windows on it. I mean, I even tried and oh my god, the Steamdeck is not ready for Windows yet (those drivers Steam provided must be the poopiest drivers ever cause it runs like dogshit). When dualboot becomes available I'll install it again but anyway... A Linux version would be nice...
Heck, a version that doesn't require the .net core 3.1 files might be enough, cause I was able to start Launchbox through Proton, but it complained about the .net core files so that ended there...

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Count me interested as well. I'm loving my Steam Deck, but the lack of Big Box really hurts (lifetime membership+lifetime emumovies membership here). I've already got other solutions for organizing my roms, but nothing scratches the same itch as Big Box. I don't even care if I have to pay for another license, I'll happily shell out for Steam Deck compatibility.

Edited by Sydonai
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19 hours ago, Sydonai said:

Count me interested as well. I'm loving my Steam Deck, but the lack of Big Box really hurts (lifetime membership+lifetime emumovies membership here). I've already got other solutions for organizing my roms, but nothing scratches the same itch as Big Box. I don't even care if I have to pay for another license, I'll happily shell out for Steam Deck compatibility.

I would love Launchbox in my steam deck but can I ask what method you try to import roms? I have searched for methods, but I am not really sure what is the easiest/best...

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2 minutes ago, belmont_gr said:

I would love Launchbox in my steam deck but can I ask what method you try to import roms? I have searched for methods, but I am not really sure what is the easiest/best...

To be honest, I'm not even sure myself yet! I've only had this beast for a day, and I'm still setting it up. Steam ROM Manager has been my best option for now, though.

Edited by Sydonai
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1 hour ago, Sydonai said:

To be honest, I'm not even sure myself yet! I've only had this beast for a day, and I'm still setting it up. Steam ROM Manager has been my best option for now, though.

I haven't tried Steam ROM Manager or any front end yet, only standalone emulators. Performance is good but I miss the familiarity and ease of Launchbox. Also, launching some emulators via the steam os does not always work for some reason.

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Just now, belmont_gr said:

I haven't tried Steam ROM Manager or any front end yet, only standalone emulators. Performance is good but I miss the familiarity and ease of Launchbox. Also, launching some emulators via the steam os does not always work for some reason.

Same. Steam ROM Manager works well enough, but the overall presentation of Launchbox is unmatched, especially with an emumovies subscription. Hopefully the Launchbox devs take notice of how popular the deck is, and do more work on their linux port.

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I think you are hugely overrating the popularity of the steamdeck. Is it a good machine? Absolutely. Do more than a few people even have one yet? No. And of that small amount of people that do have one, how many bought it purely for Steam games and haven't given a thought to a niche thing like emulation? I'd say a large percentage of that. I understand the want from people like ourselves who frequent a frontend forum to have a good emulation experience on the shiny new thing, but it really is in reality very small numbers currently, and Launchbox is currently Windows and Android only. Is there the possibility of a native Linux version in the future? Who knows, but it would certainly need a much bigger userbase than the niche one currently to be a financially viable product.

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Just now, neil9000 said:

I think you are hugely overrating the popularity of the steamdeck. Is it a good machine? Absolutely. Do more than a few people even have one yet? No. And of that small amount of people that do have one, how many bought it purely for Steam games and haven't given a thought to a niche thing like emulation? I'd say a large percentage of that. I understand the want from people like ourselves who frequent a frontend forum to have a good emulation experience on the shiny new thing, but it really is in reality very small numbers currently, and Launchbox is currently Windows and Android only. Is there the possibility of a native Linux version in the future? Who knows, but it would certainly need a much bigger userbase than the niche one currently to be a financially viable product.

It's still not in too many hands yet, but, according to SteamDB at least, 110,000 preorders have already been made. It's obviously not Nintendo Switch status (and will never get anywhere near that), but it's clearly not in "niche device" territory the way something like an Aya Neo or GPD Win is. Additionally, I'd say emulation is pretty far outside of "niche thing" territory, at least for stuff like SNES and Gamecube emulation. When emulation-specific channels like ETA Prime are verging on a million subscribers, and nearly every major tech outlet covering the Deck at least mentions emulator performance, I'd say it's pretty fair to consider that a notable part of the value proposition.

I think the more pertinent issue (as the Launchbox devs themselves have mentioned) is the sheer amount of work necessary for a Linux version. Launchbox is dependent on a number of Windows libraries, and making a Linux-native version of Launchbox is certainly easier said than done. That's why I'm here, posting in this thread. I want to demonstrate that there's interest out there in a Linux version, and that the Steam Deck is definitely assisting in boosting that interest.

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Numbers are a hard thing for people to keep in perspective. 110k preorders SOUNDS like a lot but you need to keep some other statistics in mind when comparing that number.

First off, that is number of pre-orders, NOT number of units successfully sold, produced, and shipped, so the number of affected users that would utilize a new product SOLELY for a Steam Deck is FAR less than 110k at this point.

Another thing to note is how popular Linux is compared to the other operating systems we've shipped to. When talking about desktop OS user count, Windows boasts 1.5 BILLION users, which sounds MASSIVE, but then you look at mobile tech and Android operating systems reports 2.5 BILLION users. 110 THOUSAND starts to sound pretty abysmal...

The fact of the matter is that Linux has last been reported to be a 3% market share of desktop operating systems. That number has been PRETTY consistent and while I think Valve is helping to bring light to Linux with it's SteamOS it isn't the FIRST time they've tried, and frankly fell flat. Linux has many short comings and is a pain to develop on for anything graphical (which is why most apps you see for it actually render using web tech and not native graphics tech like OpenGL or Vulkan). To write something that natively ran on Linux would require a complete rewrite of our application, an application that has been in development for almost a decade. To start completely over for a 3% market share and a machine that at MOST at this point has only a potential 110k units sold is a pretty hard sell. If we DID get a Linux build up and running it most certainly wouldn't be solely with the intent of releasing to the deck, Linux desktop user base is FAR larger than the number of users the deck will sell in it's lifetime, and we'd need to hit quite a few of those users for the work to be profitable.

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37 minutes ago, Mr.Laor said:

I'm a little confused. I thought the Steam Deck could run Windows as well (if installed)? Would Launchbox/Bigbox work on that version of Windows?

Yes, You can install Windows on Steam Deck.
Yes, You can run LaunchBox/Big Box on Windows ON Steam Deck.
No, Windows is not actually supported on Steam Deck.
No, the drivers on Steam Deck currently do not make Windows as solid to use as SteamOS.
MAYBE, that will change in the future, but no one knows at this point.
 

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5 hours ago, C-Beats said:

Numbers are a hard thing for people to keep in perspective. 110k preorders SOUNDS like a lot but you need to keep some other statistics in mind when comparing that number.

First off, that is number of pre-orders, NOT number of units successfully sold, produced, and shipped, so the number of affected users that would utilize a new product SOLELY for a Steam Deck is FAR less than 110k at this point.

Another thing to note is how popular Linux is compared to the other operating systems we've shipped to. When talking about desktop OS user count, Windows boasts 1.5 BILLION users, which sounds MASSIVE, but then you look at mobile tech and Android operating systems reports 2.5 BILLION users. 110 THOUSAND starts to sound pretty abysmal...

The fact of the matter is that Linux has last been reported to be a 3% market share of desktop operating systems. That number has been PRETTY consistent and while I think Valve is helping to bring light to Linux with it's SteamOS it isn't the FIRST time they've tried, and frankly fell flat. Linux has many short comings and is a pain to develop on for anything graphical (which is why most apps you see for it actually render using web tech and not native graphics tech like OpenGL or Vulkan). To write something that natively ran on Linux would require a complete rewrite of our application, an application that has been in development for almost a decade. To start completely over for a 3% market share and a machine that at MOST at this point has only a potential 110k units sold is a pretty hard sell. If we DID get a Linux build up and running it most certainly wouldn't be solely with the intent of releasing to the deck, Linux desktop user base is FAR larger than the number of users the deck will sell in it's lifetime, and we'd need to hit quite a few of those users for the work to be profitable.

Thanks for the reply! Before I get into anything else, I'd just like to say thanks for doing what you guys do. Big Box has totally transformed my emulator machine, and I recommend your product to anyone who says they need a way to organize ROMs. Anyways, a few points of response;

That 110k preorder number was in the first 2 hours of the Deck going up for preorder. Preorders after those 2 hours are harder to find, on account of Valve patching the HTML leak that made viewing that number possible. As you mention, preorders are very, very far from a perfect gauge for popularity, but I bring this up only to illustrate the enormous amount of hype around the Deck. Perhaps more pertinent would be this article. If Valve really is producing and selling as many Decks as it seems they are, this is a pretty big deal. Again, the install base will never be as large as Windows or Android (or even Switch), but I'd be willing to bet a dramatically larger percentage of Deck owners will be using their devices to emulate vs Android owners. 

Hype and excitement are obviously not enough to engage in the massive undertaking of making a Linux version (as you state, it's certainly not a "chuck it into Proton and call it a day" type of deal), but it's something I'd love to see happen in the future. Whether or not you and your compatriots see it as financially feasible is something I obviously can't speak to, and my input wouldn't be particularly helpful there anyways, but I figured I may as well raise my hand and be counted.

And who knows, if Windows 11 continues to be a garbage fire, maybe I'll finally make that switch to Desktop Linux once 10 is no longer supported...;)

Edited by Sydonai
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Yeah. I understand where you're coming from. I have a deck pre-ordered as well I plan to fulfill and enjoy, and would love to be able to run Linux/Steam on it. I also don't really care for a lot of the decisions M$ tends to make with their OS. I would love to have more alternatives, and if the deck opens that possibility up I'm down for it. That being said, I think people are jumping a bit too hardcore onto a hype train at this point and are coming to conclusions that aren't completely founded in reality. I love enjoying the occasional pipe dream, imagining all the things that could be, but you need to do so responsibility because at some point you have to return to the real world. Just trying to make that return transition as painless as possible.

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I'm definitely glad to hear all of that, and I also agree that jumping too quickly onto a hype train can result in one getting burned. There's the possibility that Deck sales slow down dramatically once they burn through their pre-orders, or Valve changes their mind and decides the Deck 2 isn't worth it, or Steam OS doesn't take off, or any number of other scenarios. I've been toying with desktop Linux for a while now (Destiny 2 and Launchbox are pretty much the only things keeping me from 100% switching), but I imagine the people who switch away because of Windows 11 will ultimately not be a huge number, especially if M$ turns around and makes Windows 12 tolerable (that remains to be seen, of course). Either way, I'm glad you guys have an eye on Linux, and I'm excited to see what comes next, regardless.

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On 3/17/2022 at 8:38 AM, C-Beats said:

Numbers are a hard thing for people to keep in perspective. 110k preorders SOUNDS like a lot but you need to keep some other statistics in mind when comparing that number.

First off, that is number of pre-orders, NOT number of units successfully sold, produced, and shipped, so the number of affected users that would utilize a new product SOLELY for a Steam Deck is FAR less than 110k at this point.

Another thing to note is how popular Linux is compared to the other operating systems we've shipped to. When talking about desktop OS user count, Windows boasts 1.5 BILLION users, which sounds MASSIVE, but then you look at mobile tech and Android operating systems reports 2.5 BILLION users. 110 THOUSAND starts to sound pretty abysmal...

The fact of the matter is that Linux has last been reported to be a 3% market share of desktop operating systems. That number has been PRETTY consistent and while I think Valve is helping to bring light to Linux with it's SteamOS it isn't the FIRST time they've tried, and frankly fell flat. Linux has many short comings and is a pain to develop on for anything graphical (which is why most apps you see for it actually render using web tech and not native graphics tech like OpenGL or Vulkan). To write something that natively ran on Linux would require a complete rewrite of our application, an application that has been in development for almost a decade. To start completely over for a 3% market share and a machine that at MOST at this point has only a potential 110k units sold is a pretty hard sell. If we DID get a Linux build up and running it most certainly wouldn't be solely with the intent of releasing to the deck, Linux desktop user base is FAR larger than the number of users the deck will sell in it's lifetime, and we'd need to hit quite a few of those users for the work to be profitable.

Mild correction here. Others including myself who have been closely following the Steam Deck long before when we just knew of just an obscure quote from Gabe Newell in mid 2021 and we pieced that together with AMD’s enigmatic Van Gogh, find SteamDB’s numbers to be a bit off the mark in this case. We are looking at annual production in the millions, given the fact that Valve is going for production totaling in the hundreds of thousands of units per month by April. That easily dwarfs the 110,000 preorder estimation and proof positive why SteamDB is often an educated guess at worst and sometimes a wildly off the mark guess at worst at that and not necessarily gospel truth.

 

EDIT: That 110,000 number was for just the first 90 minutes. The total preorders as of late February are 810,000-900,000. That said, having spoke to a user who has been following this very closely, SteamDB’s algorithm is tuned to Steam software and not hardware and so preorders are likely already at 1 million-plus.

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Link:

https://steamdb.info/app/1675180/graphs/

Edited by Hifihedgehog
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57 minutes ago, WatcherXP said:

I was lucky enough to be a week 1 Steam deck recipient, every single day i with that LB was on the device.

Wait?!? You already got it working? I am right now copying my Launchbox files over that’s great news if you did.

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