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Valve's SteamOS promises to bring PC gaming to the living room

By Shawn Knight ยท 23 replies
Sep 23, 2013
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  1. In the first of three scheduled announcements for this week, Steam has unveiled a free operating system designed for the living room that the company promises will combine the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the...

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  2. spencer

    spencer TS Addict Posts: 201   +22

    This looks awesome...I've wanted something like this for while now.
  3. So did the PC just become a console? I'm confused.
  4. MrAnderson

    MrAnderson TS Maniac Posts: 488   +10

    I was waiting for them to do this; it is a natural progression considering where the market is going... the digital store. OS development is a lot of work especially to make sure everything is optimized... Sony and Microsoft years to develope their next gen consoles and are still optimizing them long after release.
    I'm surprised they did not also go in on Android as a Store to facilitate development for Android software like Amazon.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I don't think they will have any trouble getting indie developers onboard... we will see how many big publishers will the take the plunge and hardware partners like AMD and Nvidia will supply a steady stream of drivers for their latest hardware. This will help Linux in the long run if the Linux driver APIs are still compatable with other Linux based distros.

    This is going to be interesting. I'm excited.
  5. Ahmed90

    Ahmed90 TS Enthusiast Posts: 99   +10

    the magic word here is linux :p
    valve dose good job in the technical aspect so thy will build good base on linux for native gaming support this will open the gate for better gaming on all linux flavors something we always wanted

    Personally the only reason I use windows is games so this is great for me am sure the linux community will port this support to community built linux flavors which means much more freedom :D
    H3llion likes this.
  6. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,584   +2,304

    The only real downsides to it are the fact that ALL your games will be "Steamed". Valve is undoubtedly spying on its users to some degree and selling that information, and I haven't heard if you'll be able to run non-Steam games written for Linux. (One would *think* so..that's part of Newell's whole "openness" spiel regarding Linux). However, the potential of a truly user-friendly Linux built for gaming might outweigh any privacy concerns for most people. If SteamOS and the associated set-top box do well I think a true Steambox HTPC and Steambox PC desktop won't be far behind. Valve has played it very smart by tying Steam into everything, but ultimately they'll be hacks letting you sideload Steam games on SteamOS just as you can on PCs right now. Of course their could be very advanced anti-piracy measures built into both the hardware and OS. Newell wants to keep all that console revenue for himself so hacking a Steambox or SteamOS will probably be tough.
  7. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,050   +1,384

    Heres a question, if they DID come out with a steam box, would my current library work with it?
    Since its apparently linux based, id guess not...
  8. If I can install this on my PC, I am all for it! Would be great if they made it all open source, but most likely they'll be proprietary applications running.
  9. insect

    insect TS Evangelist Posts: 349   +132

    Consoles have always been restricted PCs :)
    Also, I already game in the living room. Almost all TVs come with HDMI/VGA/DVI now. Just plug in your PC and off you go. Not sure what the "big news" is here? If anything, I like that the OS will be optimized for gaming and not doing everything in the world.
  10. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,445   +1,215

    Yeah, it would, if the game has a Linux version, at the moment only a hand full of games support Linux, this might change now that Valve has released a dedicated OS for such purpose.

    Anyway, this is good news, if they can get enough people on board (I bet they can as well) then Hardware developers will get on board with Drivers and following suite will be game developers, I'm not much of a programing expert or anything, but surely Linux can't be much harder to program for than Windows?

    This also spells trouble for Microsoft, they keep leaving PC gamers in the dark with the Xbox, they'll now need to step up their game when it comes to games on Windows or they'll lose a decent chuck of sales.

    In fact, I would probably use this OS but there is one tiny detail that will keep me on Windows, Origin, uPlay etc... They do not have, and have not announced, Linux versions of their stores or games, this is a bit of a downer :(
  11. If they market the Steam Box correctly and gives it a competitive price it would spell doom for the console industry.
  12. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,380   +939

    Still will entail having different hardware configurations. So I'm not seeing any real reason to use yet another OS...
  13. coppersloane

    coppersloane TS Enthusiast Posts: 108   +33

    The only downside I see to this SteamOS and hardware is that I despise playing games in my living room that are meant for the PC, unless they were designed for optimal control with a gamepad. Keyboards and mice don't go with living rooms at all. Regardless, thank God someone is innovating in the console arena.
  14. Hankhendrix

    Hankhendrix TS Enthusiast Posts: 28   +9

    SteamOS is a free open OS that is installable on any "living room" PC, and is open to manufacturers. I think it is just generally implying that any personal computer can install the SteamOS. SteamOS's interface, big picture mode, is designed for the living room, but that doesn't mean to say that it can't be used on your desktop/or whatever.Think about it. If they were not to include mouse+keyboard support, they would be alienating a large portion of their current patrons.

    Just as a side note. Does anyone think that it is possible that Valve will release a popular Valve title alongside the SteamOS release? It would certainly help promote the SteamOS.
  15. @ Trillionsin : Your post was deleted by the time I got around to replying, but yes there is. Buy all Valve's games on Steam, that would support them. Pretend each game is a Kickstarter package. :p
  16. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,948   +568

    Wii, N64, PS2, PS1 were not x86 were they? And lots more... consoles are becomings more like restricted PCs but I don't think they were before.
  17. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,876

    I've been waiting for Steam to pick up a bit more on Linux. I knew that when Steam Box came out it would be a good sign for Linux. I'm currently very unsatisfied with Microsoft and will be installing this OS as soon as possible. You can count me as a supporter for Steam OS. And if all goes well, after being loyal for 20 years I may be saying goodbye to Windows.
  18. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,887   +627

    So apparently there's some AAA publishers announcing Linux support for their next games. I think we should wait until this announcement before getting excited.
  19. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,644   +304

    I hope that Windows compatibility is thanks to a tweaked Wine, so Steam OS will really run Windows software natively, not count on native ports or streaming from a Windows PC.

    Still, streaming is something I felt was a way forward for gaming anyway, so it's nice to see it. It would be nice to be able to take advantage of my desktop PC's hardware for gaming on other devices. In my case this would really help my gaming, since I sit a lot at my wife's laptop in the living room.
  20. Ravey

    Ravey TS Addict Posts: 143   +65

    There isn't enough in this announcement for me to make any decision on weather to change to this type of platform. There are still a lot of unknowns.

    Will the SteamOS be compatible with third party software such as Ventrillo or TeamSpeak? And what about other Download systems like Origin or Uplay?

    Will they also release a Steam Web browser? Or even run multiple monitors? What about Virus protection?

    Too many assumptions can be made here. But it appears to me that Valve are focusing more on the console market. Which is why they keep calling it an operating system designed for the living room.

    I would need my above questions answered before I make a commitment.
  21. Mavrickx888

    Mavrickx888 TS Enthusiast Posts: 64   +9

    You're 100% right... there are a lot of questions left unanswered at this point, but we can probably draw on the experience of the others in the console space to get a good baseline on some of the functionality of the SteamOS.

    My guess would be that Valve would try and keep the user in a "guided" experience, sticking to the Steam ecosystem. This means that natively, the SteamOS probably won't support Origin, Uplay, etc in the same way that PSN doesn't support XBLM and vice-versa. That being said, since they claim that the SteamOS will be based around "openness" (Whatever the hell that means), it might leave room for other digital distribution companies to exert some sort of influence on the OS itself. However, I find that scenario highly unlikely unless the SteamOS spreads like wildfire.

    As to the question of the web browser, multiple monitors, and virus protection - it's all a matter of how they decide to approach the operating system and its intended use case. If they're looking at it as a living room piece - which looks like the case, then it will probably have similar functionality to that of the Playstation and XBox. It will most likely have a Web browser and 3rd party app support for things like Youtube, steaming music and video services, and more. However, it most likely won't have any sort of native Virus or Firewall protection because of its "guided" nature (You don't need Anti-Virus if you don't go anywhere viruses are found).

    Now of course that was all just rabid speculation, so I wait with bated breath for more official news. Whatever the outcome may be, it's nice to see another competitor jumping into the mix. All it means is more options for us consumers, so good on Valve!
  22. Moxiy

    Moxiy TS Enthusiast Posts: 39

    I cant wait to get this...
  23. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,948   +568

    Sounds good though.
  24. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 846   +349

    Well its free so it open for us to try it, it will prob be grabbed up by alienware for there x51 systems (which they already offer Ubuntu on with steam pre-installed), it saves someone who wants a basic gaming system in the living $100 for windows, and every company who releases games on PC knows a good chunk of there sales are steam based (if they took that route of distribution of course). Devs have said for years that coding games for linux is easier and the wish they could do that vs Windows, lets see how many actually keep to there word before we get to excited about it. If they have a advanced version of wine where valve goes in and tweaks each game to specifically work on steam OS this would prob succeed a lot more, but without major dev support (activision, ubisoft) dunno how far this is gonna go.

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