Valve has just announced its SteamOS, an operating system that will power your living room. We’ve already seen Steam’s Big Picture Mode, which is an interface designed for controller support and use on a television. SteamOS takes this concept further and will be a full-featured multimedia operating system for your living room.
SteamOS will run on the Linux architecture, meaning it will still be some what “open.” Valve states that “the hardware industry can iterate in the living room at a much faster pace than they’ve been able to” with SteamOS. While no hardware has been announced, it’s safe to assume that Valve will release some sort of device this week to run SteamOS. In fact, Valve is readying another announcement for Wednesday (1PM EDT).
In addition to letting you play Steam games, SteamOS will let you stream games from your PC or Mac over your home network. This means the rumored “Steam Box” doesn’t have to be a powerful gaming machine. It could rely on your gaming PC or Mac to stream your games over the network. Music, TV, and Movies will also be supported, though the company says it’s working on bringing these media services online.
Family sharing will also play a big part in SteamOS, allowing you and your friends to borrow games from each other’s libraries. There will also be “Family Options,” which allows users to create separate profiles so they don’t have to see each other’s game libraries.
There is no release date for SteamOS but the company has stated it will be “downloadable soon” and that it will stay “free forever!”
Check out Valve’s site for more information about SteamOS.