Last week a mysterious word went out about upcoming Valve announcements, today we see the first of those coming to light. SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system developed strictly with a gaming focus, allowing users to harness titles developed specifically for SteamOS or stream their existing library from their Windows or Mac machine to their Steam box. Users may recognize a similar setup with the Vita and PS4 using Gaikai technology, we’re not seeing it with PC’s within the home network.
Part of this push brings Big Picture mode to the forefront as a HTPC GUI, Valve plans to supplement this push by including music, tv and movie services within SteamOS to allow users a seamless experience as they dive within the offerings. No jumping to a new browser or switching inputs, just one massive entertainment OS for all.
We also found out about Steam and Family Sharing, SteamOS will include that feature out of the gate, allowing family to share games from their libraries with no hassle, allowing full functionality including individual save games and cloud storage. As a living room centerpiece it’s a bit of a worry to have everyone seeing everything available to each member, family options will also allow users to control visible games, features and other personal details from being widely displayed to everyone.
We still have 2 more reveals, we’ll just have to hold tight to see what Valve has up their sleeve next. Many were aware Valve would explore Linux as an open platform for computing after their statements on Windows 8, if it was to this extent is entirely in the air, using Big Picture and a heavy focus on developing a performance environment for gaming is a huge task and they’ve excelled at it as we’ve seen with performance reports on in-house titles they’ve ported in the past year.