Valve Announces Steam OS, The Steam Operating System, For Steam
It’s finally here! The first of three big announcements Valve has been teasing since late last week. Prepare yourselves, Internet, for the word of god passed to us from the heights of Mount Sinai a striking new way to continue to never see Half-Life 3, passed to us via a static, largely content free announcement on Valve’s official site.
“Thousands of games, millions of users. Everything you love about Steam. Available soon as a free operating system designed for the TV and the living room.”
So reads today’s announcement that Valve’s solution to the question of how to bring “Steam to the living room” is the creation of an operating system built from the ground up for Steam.
The operating system, built (as expected) on Linux, promises to run “on any living room machine,” with four new features designed with the living room experience in mind.
Family sharing, previously announced, is as cool-sounding but as limited as it looked last week. “Family Sharing allows you to take turns playing one another’s games,” Valve says, “while earning your own Steam achievements and saving your individual game progress to the Steam cloud.”
Music, TV and film rentals/purchases will be facilitated in some unspecified way. “We’re working with many of the media services you know and love. Soon we will begin bringing them online, allowing you to access your favorite music and video with Steam and SteamOS.” Presumably, this means Spotify on your TV.
The new “Family Options” appear to be some kind of limited parental controls, or perhaps a way to keep the ‘rents from knowing you’ve been playing violent video games they don’t approve of. “The living-room is family territory. That’s great, but you don’t want to see your parents’ games in your library. Soon, families will have more control over what titles get seen by whom, and more features to allow everyone in the house to get the most out of their Steam libraries.”
Finally, in-home streaming all but confirms Valve has its own console in the works, though in what appears to be a rather convoluted way. “You can play all your Windows and Mac games on your SteamOS machine, too. Just turn on your existing computer and run Steam as you always have – then your SteamOS machine can stream those games over your home network straight to your TV!”
Few additional details were revealed. No doubt we’ll know more in two days, when Valve makes it second announcement. Check back on Wednesday at this time, and meanwhile, we’ll keep you posted as more information becomes available.