Steam service powers ahead with new OS reveal. First of three big announcements this week.
Valve’s ongoing push for living room space continued with yesterday’s announcement of SteamOS, “a stand-alone operating system for living room machines,” the company said on their official Steam store page. Utilizing the architecture of Linux, SteamOS is touted as an open, family-friendly “cooperating system,” designed for the TV and living room.
“Steam is not a one-way content broadcasting channel,” reads Valve’s SteamOS description. “It’s a collaborative many-to-many entertainment platform, in which each participant is a multiplier of the experience for everyone else.” According to Valve, this includes faster living room integration from hardware manufacturers and streamlined communications between content creators and their customers.
Additionally, Valve’s new system has four features for the family space. These crowd-pullers include in-home streaming, which runs straight from players’ existing computers, music, TV and movies (in the near future pipeline), and Family Options and Sharing. The latter two allowing family customization, featuring each member’s profile - highlighting their preferred content and game sharing between friends and family, which still enables individual Steam achievements, including Steam Cloud saving. These features can also run in the regular Steam client.
This is the first of three big announcements slated to drop this week from Valve; all of which surround the company’s living room strategy, presently veiled on the SteamOS title page.
This veil, observed on the main page, cites three symbols at the bottom. The first symbol - reminiscent of a power-on icon, now illuminated in white - navigates to the SteamOS description page. The latter two are currently grayed out, though the second symbol, featuring the same power-on icon (within brackets) has a timer below it - counting down to this Wednesday 1pm EST.
The third and final symbol - minus a timer - shows two power-on icons with a plus symbol between them, illustrating how the OS and (we’re assuming) SteamBox work in conjunction.
The SteamOS announcement stems from Gabe Newell's LinuxCon keynote address, where he outlined Valve's plans to push the Linux platform through Steam. This strategy goes directly against closed proprietary systems like PS4, Xbox One and Wii U; favoring a more open arrangement with greater user interactivity, connectivity, and modifying.
At the end of Newell's LinuxCon talk, he alluded to hardware details this week, obviously referring to SteamBox, though no one expected an video game OS announcement. Needless to say, the implications of SteamOS go far beyond video games. A Linux based operating system running through Steam also challenges industry titans like Apple, Google and Microsoft, which isn't so bold as it is exciting. After all, competition drives innovation.
There's no official release date for SteamOS, however, the promo page does say the system will be available soon as a free download.