Those of us who are PC gamers may be familiar with Steam’s “Big Picture” mode, which is technically their way of having a game pad friendly environment for PC’s when you cannot be bothered with your mouse and keyboard.
It seems as if Valve are not content with this and have decided to use this platform to launch their own gaming OS – Steam OS.
“Thousands of games, millions of users. Everything you love about Steam. Available soon as a free operating system designed for the TV and the living room.”
Valve are proclaiming it will incorporate everything we love about Steam and that they’ve been working hard behind the scenes to bring Steam to the living room and the best option is to deliver an OS built around Steam.
Steam OS will combine Linux architecture with a game experience built for the big screen. The good news is it will be available for free as a stand-alone operating systems for living room machines, effectively turning your mini or micro ATX setup (if you have one) into a Steam based console.
Valve claim you will still be able to enjoy all the features of Steam as they say;
“You don’t have to give up your favourite games, your online friends, and all the Steam features you love just to play on the big screen. Steam OS, running on any living room machine, will provide access to the best games and user generated content available.”
Steam OS is already making good progress with the company claiming they have achieved ‘significant performance increases in graphics processing’ and they have now switched their focus to audio performance and reducing input latency at OS level.
Valve is also claiming that Steam OS will generate a new found “openness” which will help hardware developers to infiltrate living rooms at a faster rate than before, and that game developers are already taking advantage of Steam OS to optimise their new releases.
Steam OS is not just a living room version of Steam there are new features available which will include the following;
• In –home streaming - enabling your living room machine to connect to your PC games on your main PC and play them on the big screen.
• Music, TV and movies – Valve claim they’re working with many media service providers to bring their services to Steam OS.
• Family Sharing – you will now be able to share your games on your home network with other users so you can each earn your own Steam achievements.
• Family options – a feature that will allow each user to show the content they want, which means kids can hide their parents annoying content from their own and vice versa.
Steam OS will also utilise the existing Steam Workshop. So, Steam OS users will still be able to use their existing customised content. Whilst providing the option to create further content on their big screens.
There is no release date confirmed as yet only the announcement, “Downloadable soon. Free forever!”