Valve have made their first reveal of the week and it is a bit more all encompassing than I for one first thought. I was expecting simply a reveal of the Steam Box today, instead we have received word of SteamOS, Valve’s foray into replacing Windows and Mac on what is a Linux based system. There is bound to be a lot to take in from the next two announcements (next coming Wednesday) over this week, so you can find a brief run-down after the break.
– SteamOS is being designed as an operating system for the living room and is underpinned by a Linux based system.
– It will be available ‘soon’ and, as with all Linus systems, will be free.
– You won’t lose your Steam friends or features “you don’t have to give up your favorite games, your online friends, and all the Steam features you love just to play on the big screen. SteamOS, running on any living room machine, will provide access to the best games and user-generated content available.”
– There are major performance boosts under the hood and developers are already targeting the SteamOS for future releases. “In SteamOS, we have achieved significant performance increases in graphics processing, and we’re now targeting audio performance and reductions in input latency at the operating system level.” There are hundreds of games already running on the SteamOS with announcements for 2014 titles coming soon. With home-streaming you can still play your current Steam catalogue.
– It will be an open, evolving and supportive system. “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.”
– The Workshop and Cloud features will be present and correct.
In-home Streaming – “You can play all your Windows and Mac games on your SteamOS machine, too. Just turn on your existing computer and run Steam as you always have – then your SteamOS machine can stream those games over your home network straight to your TV!”
Music, TV and movies – “We’re working with many of the media services you know and love. Soon we will begin bringing them online, allowing you to access your favorite music and video with Steam and SteamOS.”
Family sharing – “In the past, sharing Steam games with your family members was hard. Now you can share the games you love with the people you love. Family Sharing allows you to take turns playing one another’s games while earning your own Steam achievements and saving your individual game progress to the Steam cloud.”
Family Options – “The living-room is family territory. That’s great, but you don’t want to see your parents’ games in your library. Soon, families will have more control over what titles get seen by whom, and more features to allow everyone in the house to get the most out of their Steam libraries.”
We will have thoughts and analysis of this, and the other Valve reveals later this week.