Valve Announce SteamOS powered by Linux

steamos_2-610x343Valve has lifted the lid on the first of it’s three announcements and it’s a corker: say hello to SteamOS…

Yep, you read that right: Valve are to release their own Linux-powered operating system.

The OS “combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen,” according to the announcement. In-house streaming to a TV, similar to what’s used in Nvidia’s Shield, is a feature of the OS.

Why an operating system? “As we’ve been working on bringing Steam to the living room, we’ve come to the conclusion that the environment best suited to delivering value to customers is an operating system built around Steam itself,” the company’s announcement reads. Valve says that by working at the operating system level, they’ve managed to improve graphics performance, and can also improve audio and reduce controller latency.

Valve are pitching SteamOS as being the heart of their plans for living room (read: Steambox console) gaming, saying:

SteamOS combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen.”

Valve also emphasises SteamOS’s openness—it’s not the closed system you find on consoles. Users can “can alter or replace any part of the software or hardware they want,” and hardware manufacturers are free to “iterate in the living room at a much faster pace.”

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. 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. Content creators can connect directly to their customers. Users can alter or replace any part of the software or hardware they want. Gamers are empowered to join in the creation of the games they love. SteamOS will continue to evolve, but will remain an environment designed to foster these kinds of innovation.

Steam OS will be available for anyone to download and install on their computers for free, as well as ‘freely licensable’ for manufacturers to install on PCs.

Official Mini-site : http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/SteamOS/

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