Valve has given gamers a gift. With the possibility of a fresh gaming console on the horizon, fans of the famous online gaming store Steam cheered at Valve’s announcement of the birth of their new operating system, SteamOS. Gamers are hoping that the Linux-based operating system will be available for any device that can be connected to a TV. Will other systems invite SteamOS in to play? That has yet to be decided.
Valve’s famous titles like “Portal” and “Half-Life” put the company on gamers’ radars. Steam, which touts itself as “the ultimate entertainment platform,” currently has about 3000 games for its PC-based service. At any given time, millions of gamers are online in “the community.” According to Valve Corporation’s SteamOS dedicated webpage, “SteamOS combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen. It will be available soon as a free stand-alone operating system for living room machines.”
While Valve says that they’ve been negotiating with “many of the media services you know and love,” users keep the faith that the new operating system will be able to stream movies, TV and play music. That’s what they want in their living rooms. Valve says hundreds of games are in the works specifically for the system. Steam’s current library will be ready to play through the streaming capabilities. Step away from your PC; this is Steam gaming for the living room.
Family sharing adds a “multiple user” feature to the system. Included are parental controls so the kids aren’t in on Mom and Dad’s games. “Steam guarantees instant access to more than 1,800 game titles and connects its 35 million active users to each other – and to us,” states the Valve corporate website. The revolutionary experience that Valve gives gamers with the new SteamOS comes in the form of their “cooperating system.” The new system will feature on “openness” that will connect the users to hardware, software, and content developers. As gaming and play develop through use, content can be amended and updated while games are being played. “Gamers,” Valve says, “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.”
Another benefit of the system is that it is free, as is Steam’s “Free to Play” ever-growing list of games. Manufacturers also enjoy a “freely licensable operating system” within which to create. Last week, Gabe Newell, Valve Founder and CEO, dropped hints that a gaming box, the anticipated Steam Box, will be announced in the coming weeks. The Steam Box will complete Valve’s open-source environment chain by joining Steam and SteamOS.
What’s the rush?
The competition is not far behind. The gaming community is also anticipating new hardware from two powerhouses. Sony’s PS4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One will be landing on store shelves soon. Newell’s announcement shows Valve’s desire to get to the gate first, and confidence to compete with the industry stars.
Valve’s new SteamOS gives gamers options.
By: Jennifer Knickman