Valve‘s been hinting that it had big news about its Steam gaming service and today the company made a major announcement. While the news wasn’t about the much-anticipated Steam Box per se, Valve announced a new Linux based OS that’s focused on the living room. Steam OS is optimized for gaming on the big screen on any PC.
A post on Steam’s website announced the new OS:
As we’ve been working on bringing Steam to the living room, we’ve come to the conclusion that the
environment best suited to delivering value to customers is an operating system built around Steam itself.
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.
The new OS will also allow for streaming from any PC or Mac, so you can run Steam normally on your desktop or laptop but still game on the big screen. Steam OS also allows for media sharing, family sharing and has built-in family protection features.
While no Steam Boxes were announced today, this new OS is clearly meant to power Valve’s PC/console hybrid. There are more announcements coming down the pipeline in the following days, and Steam Box models are likely to be unveiled.
The announcement page went on to tout the great Steam features that will soon be available in the living room:
At the core of SteamOS is everything you already love about Steam.
All the games you love
Hundreds of great games are already running natively on SteamOS. Watch for announcements in the coming weeks about all the AAA titles coming natively to SteamOS in 2014. Access the full Steam catalog of nearly 3000 games and desktop software titles via in-home streaming.
Over 50 million friends
Steam users are what makes gaming on Steam fun. Meet new people, join game groups, form clans, chat in-game and dive into Game Hubs, the center of activity for all your favorite games.
The creative energy of Steam users takes shape in the Workshop – your one-stop shop for the best add-ons available. Here you can create, discover, and download a nearly endless supply of top-quality user-created content.
A cross-platform cloud
Seamless content delivery, storage you don’t have to think about and automatic updates to everything. Switch machines and pick up your game where you left off, and don’t worry about saving your preferences. It’s all in the Steam Cloud.
Steam itself has been a constantly evolving service since its debut in 2003. SteamOS will continue to deliver not only valuable game updates directly from content makers, but also regular additions and new features to the OS itself.
Steam is in 185 countries and has been translated into 25 languages. As a truly global platform, Steam, and now SteamOS, brings entertainment to an audience without borders.