Valve Announces SteamOS
Last year, Valve released Big Picture mode on Steam, a new feature that optimizes Steam for HDTVs and lets users control the software with a gamepad. This was the first step in Valve’s plan to “bring Steam to the living room.” Step two of that plan has just been announced.
After the first timer ran down on the Steam Living Room site, it revealed SteamOS, a new free operating system built around the digital distribution platform. It is built on Linux and according to the site has led to “significant performance increases in graphics processing.” The team is now working on audio performance and input latency.
SteamOS will also include the “openness” of Steam proper. This means that hardware manufacturers “can iterate in the living room at a much faster pace than they’ve been able to.” You can also replace any of the hardware or software on your machine and it will still run SteamOS fine.
With SteamOS also comes four new Steam features that will also be coming to the Steam client. First is in-home streaming, where you can stream games from your gaming PC to your SteamOS machine over your home network. Second is family sharing, where your family members (or friends that you say are your family members) can play games from your library, earning their own achievements and making their own progress. However, those family members cannot play games that you are playing and if you try to play a game that someone else is playing, they will be booted out of it (at least that’s what I’ve heard). Third are parental controls, letting you control who sees what games when they log in to Steam. Finally movies, music, and TV are coming to Steam.
And that’s it for the first announcement from Valve about Steam in your living room. A second announcement will be coming on Wednesday at 1PM EST. We’ll post the details on that as soon as we can.
SteamOS is coming for free in 2014.