Introducing Valve’s Linux-based SteamOS
by Malik Forté on September 23, 2013
Remember those three Steam-related announcements Valve teased us about late last week? Well, the first countdown timer has concluded and Valve has just pulled the curtain open on its new, free-to-license, Linux-based operating system, SteamOS. Valve is aiming to transform Gabe Newell’s admiration for the Linux OS architecture into an all-inclusive, living-room television solution.
The unveiling happened through a dedicated page on Valve’s Steam website, giving us full details on the initiative regarding the new operating system and its enhancement of the living-room experience. From the release:
“As we’ve been working on bringing Steam to the living room, we’ve come to the conclusion that the environment best suited to delivering value to customers is an operating system built around Steam itself. SteamOS combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen. It will be available soon as a free stand-alone operating system for living room machines.”
Valve also announced four new features that are being added to the Steam equation, including in-home streaming, family sharing, family options, and media services such as music, movies, and television. In-home streaming allows you to stream your Steam games (say that five times without getting tongue-tied) over a home network from your PC or Mac to your television. Family sharing and family options allow you to grant others access to play the games from a single Steam account. As for the media services, you can expect most of your favorites like Netflix and Hulu to be on hand.
The method by which Valve intends to roll the software out is unclear at this time, but I feel it’s rather safe to speculate that SteamOS will serve as the operating system for the yet-to-be-announced “Steam Box.” Nevertheless, SteamOS is a paramount development and, if executed properly, could revolutionize the living-room gaming experience forever. We have two more announcements left to go, with the next one coming in on this Wednesday. In the meantime, I’ll be holding onto my butt, as Samuel L. Jackson suggested in Jurassic Park, while waiting for anticipation, not a velociraptor, to eat me alive. Stay tuned!