Monday, 23 September 2013 23:15

Valve Announces SteamOS A Gaming Optimized Version of Linux

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Not all that long ago we reported on the fact that the gaming community was making a shift away from Microsoft (and Apple) and considering Linux as a viable operating system for gaming. One of the leading proponents of this was (and still is) Valve. For those of you that do not know Valve is the company that created HalfLife and many other very popular games. They also have one of the most popular content distribution services on the market.


When Microsoft and Apple both started moving to their own walled garden approach for games at the desktop and mobile level Vale’s CEO Gabe Newell seems to see a potential impact to their business model. In the months leading up to the launch of Windows 8 Newell was very vocal about the new product and how Microsoft was trying to develop what appeared to be a closed ecosystem. This new eco system was the catalyst for Valve investing in improving Linux enough to use it as a primary gaming platform.

Now the Linux operating system has come a long way over the years with companies like Valve, Canonical and others working to make it much more viable to the consumer. Now Valve has launched their SteamOS, a customized and optimize operating system build just for gaming. They made the announcement today ahead of their much anticipated SteamBox gaming console. As you might expect Valve is not going to cut off Windows or Mac owners, but they are probably going to put more of a priority in building their own new (and open) environment.

So what do you get with SteamOS? Well you obviously get access to Steam services and the large number of games (something like 200) that they have for Linux. They also have media services and, according to Newell, much more that will be available with this new OS. The whole OS is designed to be used in the living room on a large screen HDTV. One nice new feature will be the ability to stream games from your existing PC to the SteamOS box so you can play them on that machine. SteamOS becomes a portal to bring more gaming into the living room with the power of a PC and not the limited and closed functionality of a console.

This new development will be an interesting one in the gaming market. If Valve can get this out to the masses and build a following them it could become a big competitor for Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo and their closed systems. It is a very smart move on Valve’s part especially considering how many gamers are complaining about how closed and restricted these systems are. This new release also explains many of the systems that Valve has been pushing out like the big picture, game sharing and more. Out of all of the companies that Valve will be competing with Microsoft is the one that probably has the most to be worried about and with good reason.

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Read 2550 times Last modified on Monday, 23 September 2013 23:17

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