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Valve dominates a massive portion of the PC gaming market with its huge library of games on the steam platform and the company has today announced a free android based operating system dubbed “SteamOS” which is designed for the TV and living rooms alike.
The company says that while it’s been exploring the best way to bring Steam to the living room and with the highly anticipated Steambox in development – it has decided that an operating system “built around Steam itself” is the best way forward in the cut throat gaming market.
Valve explain that “the rock-solid architecture of Linux” will be available in the near future as a free, standalone operating system.
At the moment we are still curious as to what exactly what SteamOS will run on though. Valve says the traditional Steam client and SteamOS will support in-home steaming, meaning gamers will posses the ability to play all of their existing Windows and Mac games via the SteamOS “machine” hooked up to their TV. Could this be seen as competition to the “remote play” functionality offered by the PS3/PS4 and PS Vita/PSVitaTV?
Valve has explained that it is also working to bring media services to the platform, but a crucial feature if SteamOS machines are to compete with the Xbox One and other set-top streaming boxes.
This new platform means that Valve has to attract renewed support from the development community. Valve explain many of its games are already running natively on SteamOS, while the aforementioned in-home streaming will cover everything else missing from its 3,000 plus library.
Valve’s decision to create its own standalone platform isn’t too surprising however as Gabe Newell, CEO of Valve and a former Microsoft employee, gave backing to a Linux platform last year by sharing that he thought that Windows 8 as a “catastrophe”.
Valve has explained that the SteamOS will be free to license for manufacturers and also a free download for users but as yet we are in the dark as to what hardware this OS will appear on or when it’s penned in for release? Possibly the same time as we get the Steam Box perhaps? Only time will tell.