Valve has announced SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system that at its core is a solution for bringing gaming to the living room. The OS will be available for free to anyone interested in building “living room machines” or users who can just download it at their leisure.
The entire platform has been made around Steam itself to facilitate gaming on big-screen TVs.
“We’ve come to the conclusion that the environment best suited to delivering value to customers is an operating system built around Steam itself,” said Valve. “SteamOS combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen.”
However, there is still some work to be done until SteamOS can be made to the public. According to the press release Valve has managed to reach “significant performance increased in graphics processing” and is now working on improving input latency and audio performance.
The company also pointed out in its announcement that “hundreds” of games already run on SteamOS and AAA titles being brought in for the SteamOS next year will be made in the next few weeks. This probably includes the rumored Left 4 Dead 3 or another installment of Portal.
SteamOS will also allow users to take turns playing a shared library of games with Steam Family Sharing, which Valve announced earlier this month. And Valve is promising family-oriented controls to ensure that kids don’t have access to games they shouldn’t be playing. In addition, the company said it is “working with many of the media services you know and love” to bring streaming music and video to SteamOS.
The SteamOS announcement was the first of three related to Valve’s approach to living room gaming this week. The second is expected at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday, September 25 and will probably be the Steam Box hardware itself.