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SteamOS Announced: New Linux-Based Operating System Designed For Living Room PCs

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Steam, Steam Box, SteamOS, Valve

SteamOS Announced: New Linux-Based Operating System Designed For Living Room PCs

Will Be Free To Download And License

Valve have revealed their first big surprise of this week. Not content with just being a client, Steam will soon be available as a freely-downloadable operating system called SteamOS. As you'd expect, it's based on Linux, but with a focus on straightforward operation on living room televisions.

Naturally Valve's 'Steam Box' hardware will likely take full advantage of this freely-licensable operating system, and we'll find out more details in 48 hours. Until then, we've got all the SteamOS details below.

According to the newly-launched website, SteamOS is a "free operating system designed for the TV and the living room." Linux provides much of the core architecture, but unlike the somewhat arcane original operating system, SteamOS is specifically built to be simple to operate while sprawled on your sofa in front of the telly, effectively offering a console-like user experience with the PC's rich feature set.

Simplicity will apparently be accompanied by power, too, since SteamOS is designed primarily to be a gaming platform. "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," Valve explains. "Game developers are already taking advantage of these gains as they target SteamOS for their new releases."

Steam is naturally built directly into SteamOS, with seamless access to Steam Workshop, the storefront and your Steam account. Well, if it works.

Streaming is also a key part of the new operating system. You'll apparently be able to stream PC and Mac games directly from your existing PC to a "living room machine" running SteamOS over your home Wi-Fi network. In-home music and video streaming will also be available, and are headed to the Steam client in the next update. Valve will apparently announce some deals with media providers very soon in order to offer a range of films and music from the marketplace.

Though an exciting announcement that will make life easier for PC owners who primarily enjoy gaming on a bigger television, this is just the first step in Valve's master plan for living room dominance. SteamOS' gaming and streaming potential will provide the foundation for a range of those aforementioned "living room machines," the details of which will be revealed over the next few days.

The Steam Box is coming. Probably. Definitely.

Add a comment11 comments
Tsung  Sep. 23, 2013 at 19:29

I'm sure I called this... Oh ages ago.. Might not of been here thou' :D

Tsung  Sep. 23, 2013 at 19:29

Double Post!

Last edited by Tsung, Sep. 23, 2013 at 19:30
McBrain  Sep. 23, 2013 at 20:10

I'm sure I called this... Oh ages ago.. Might not of been here thou' :D


You and many thousands of others :/

davidpanik  Sep. 24, 2013 at 09:11

This is exciting news - the game streaming is going to make it or break it though. Will it actually work?

davidpanik  Sep. 24, 2013 at 09:15

Ooh - and there's 2 more announcements to come: http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom

I'm guessing one will be the controller, so what's the other? A base unit?

DivideByZero  Sep. 24, 2013 at 11:54

"You'll apparently be able to stream PC and Mac games directly from your existing PC to a "living room machine" running SteamOS over your home Wi-Fi network"

Wow amazing... oh wait, I have had a PC connected to my TV for about 8 years now.

TV gaming is great for some stuff, but it's no good for online FPS games, too laggy, input lag on TV is much worse than that on a monitor. If you add wi-fi to that, then you are going to suck.

Atucally, I take that back, it's amazing... eveyone play me at CoD (so I can pwn you) ;)

chieftex  Sep. 24, 2013 at 12:08

This is exciting news - the game streaming is going to make it or break it though. Will it actually work?


Quite agree! What I'm dying to know is will the processing be done on my main pc and just streamed to the living room pc, or will the living room pc need to do the work?

I'm hoping it's the former, so I can use a crap (read: cheap) living room PC and play demanding games on it.

chieftex  Sep. 24, 2013 at 12:11


Wow amazing... oh wait, I have had a PC connected to my TV for about 8 years now.


Long hdmi cable? Or is your pc in the living room perhaps? Streaming would be better in both cases, but you are right, network and input lag could be an issue. They do say they are working on input lag in the article though...

googleberry  Sep. 24, 2013 at 16:47

Like it. I've had a living room PC for a few years, but it's underpowered as wizzy components that fit in an appropriately sized box AND have the right heat output characteristics are highly restricted.
Streaming is a very good call. Means you can upgrade your main monster "server" rig to your hearts content without constraint.

Last edited by googleberry, Sep. 24, 2013 at 16:52
chieftex  Sep. 25, 2013 at 11:09

Means you can upgrade your main monster "server" rig to your hearts content without constraint.


This!

X10  Sep. 25, 2013 at 12:51

Means you can upgrade your main monster "server" rig to your hearts content without constraint.


"....computers will be twice as powerful, 10,000 times larger and so expensive that only the five richest kings of Europe will own them."

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