SteamOS is Valve’s first big announcement this week


The first of Valve’s three announcements has been unveiled as SteamOS, a “a free stand-alone operating system for living room machines” based on the Linux architecture. It’s said to be an operating system built around Steam itself, with living room TV play in mind, and is due to be made available “soon.”

It’ll tie-in with the recently revealed account sharing options being explored by Valve, and will also allow a few interesting streaming options. The company says it’s working with “many of the media services you know and love” (music, TV and the like) in an effort for all of that to be available through both Steam and SteamOS. Naturally, games are part of the equation too; streaming games from your existing PC to a living room machine running SteamOS will be an option.

For the technically-minded, Valve notes that SteamOS has “significant performance increases in graphics processing” with audio performance and input latency being targeted next. Here’s the overall “vision” for this project:

With SteamOS, “openness” means that the hardware industry can iterate in the living room at a much faster pace than they’ve been able to. Content creators can connect directly to their customers. Users can alter or replace any part of the software or hardware they want. Gamers are empowered to join in the creation of the games they love.

You can read even more about it on this very page. Then ponder the implications. What exactly denotes something as a “living room machine,” for example?

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  • nasarius

    Audio and input latency tweaks make sense, because the Linux code that does those things is open source. You can do a lot just by picking certain configuration options when compiling a kernel.

    But to achieve any significant increase in GPU performance, surely they’d have to work directly with Nvidia and/or AMD, because these companies write their own drivers and only distribute them in binary form. Maybe that’s the case. Regardless, it should be good news for all Linux users.

    However I’m not sure Football Manager and Europa Universalis are the sort of games you’d want to play on a TV in your living room.

  • sorudo

    i can guess……it’s going to be exactly like the xbox 360 OS, only sponsored companies and plenty of “pay for a 1X view” movies.
    i say nay to them, ill just keep it with a video player on my PC and a cord to my TV, it’s easier and saves plenty of frustrations.

  • jpinks

    I feel like Valve is kicking all PC Gamers in the balls. They just want to move to a console. Using a linux based OS is the Lube to make us bend over and take it.

  • Kodes

    They should have called it GLaDOS