Valve Announces SteamOS

Valve promised three big announcements and the first – revealed today – is that it is working on its own Linux-based operating system called SteamOS. Valve said that it came to the conclusion that the best environment for delivering games is one that it has created. While Valve promises that the new OS will be open-ended as Linux-based operating systems usually are, some are concerned that Valve is creating its own version of the “walled garden” that the company complained about with Windows 8.

“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,” the SteamOS page states. “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.”

Obviously the OS will work well with Steam Big Picture Mode, which makes using Steam games easier on high definition television sets, though Valve has not said if it is working on custom hardware to go along with the OS or if it will rely on third-parties.

Valve promises that you’ll still be able to play all of your Mac, Windows, and Linux games from within Steam OS, and that it supports family sharing, various movie and music services (could we see Netflix and Hulu on Steam OS? Maybe), and much more.

You can learn more about it here. Valve plans to make two more announcements this week.

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  1. 0
    slimeball9999 says:

    Now that DRMOS is coming out, perhaps people will properly start referring to Steam as its own platform rather than calling it PC gaming. It's its own closed, hostile ecosystem. (Clearly I'll be avoiding it.)

  2. 0
    Zen says:

    I think part of the issue is that myself, along with many of my friends, have our main PC's connected directly to our living room TV and use it for everything.  This is why I find it troublesome to either "boot" into another OS when I want to swap functions instead of me just hitting Alt-Tab and doing what I need to.  As a stand alone system that lets me do some of this in my room or basically as it's own console could be interesting though to let me go away from the TV on something other than my laptop and an HDMI cable.  :)

  3. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    The impression I am getting from this is it is meant to be installed on a separate computer from your normal day-to-day PC. So you will have your Windows PC which you use for work with the Steam client installed in your office and your SteamOS htpc-like plugged in to your TV in the living room. 

    This way, when you are in your living room and you want to game SteamOS is right there or if you are on your PC in the office and want to game the Steam client is right there. With the game streaming, you don't lose access to the games that are not Linux compatible as they just stream from your Windows PC in the office to your TV.

    E. Zachary Knight
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  4. 0
    MaskedPixelante says:

    I'm confused. Is this an actual OS, or is it something you throw on a laptop you don't use that turns it into a set-top box that lets you stream from your master PC to a TV?

  5. 0
    Zen says:

    Still just going to play all of the games I have been able to play as usual on my Windows PC.  I get some people will be excited for this, but my PC is used for work as well as gaming…often while jumping back and forth between the two.  Can't do that if I have to reboot into another OS every time.  So hopefully I can still just use the normal Steam Client and not start running into restrictions because I don't use their OS or new hardware. 

  6. 0
    DorthLous says:

    Windows 8… The death of Steve Jobs… The rise of the Linux compatibility and drivers support… With a strong gaming platform, Linux might just have all it needs to conquer the market within one or two OS generation.

  7. 0
    Zen says:

    It's a Linux based OS you have to install apart from Windows.  So I would have to reboot to go from one to the other if I go between games or work…but I do both congruently so this wouldn't work for me.  And my PC is connected to the TV now lol…no streaming required.  As soon as I got this TV it became the monitor I use for picture and video editing. 

    They still have a few announcements yet to make, so one of them is more than likely a dedicated piece of hardware as well. 

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