Valve announces SteamOS

Written by David Hing

September 24, 2013 // 9:44 a.m.

Tags: #big-picture-mode #linux #steam #steamos #valve

Valve has unveiled its own operating system as the company's next step in bringing the Steam experience to the living room.

SteamOS will be able to run many games natively but will also be able to stream Steam games from a PC or Mac already in the house.

The Linux-based system will also launch with additional Steam features targeted specifically for living room operation, including access to music, television and film, the previously mentioned family sharing mode and options to have parental controls over which titles are viewable on a Steam library.

'Steam is not a one-way content broadcast channel, it's a collaborative many-to-many entertainment platform, in which each participant is a multiplier of the experience for everyone else,' reads the SteamOS announcement. '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.'

SteamOS will be a free download for users and will also be freely licensable for manufacturers. Valve do not have an official release date, but do state that it will available "soon".

Valve has been talking about Linux systems as an alternative to Windows since debates raged about Windows 8's closed system and Valve has been encouraging developers to port titles over to Linux for some time now.

SteamOS follows other attempts for Valve to break into the living room, most notably Big Picture mode which debuted last December. Big Picture mode not only dealt with larger screen resolutions, but also an input system that was more friendly to a control pad rather than a mouse and keyboard.
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