Well, it wasn’t the complete console we were expecting. But do not worry. Valve, the game service operator and development studio, announced SteamOS on Monday – this finally gave us confirmation of a PC gaming hardware, we’ve known as “SteamBox”.
Valve unveiled the launch of their Linux OS on Monday via the Steam website. A page had been set up with a countdown timer, indicating an imminent release. Strapped with the title:
“The Steam Universe is Expanding in 2014”
We all knew Valve had something big to share. We have head whispers, here and there about a rumoured Valve hardware; many are surprised that we’ve yet to come across any leaks regarding a possible console. Valve launched its ‘Big Picture’ software back in 2011 – paving the way for a possible console launch. Effectively an enlarged copy of the desktop client, users could experience the power of Steam games directly on their TV; along with the world’s first, first person web browser – Valve obviously had long term plans.
Gabe Newell has recently bashed Microsoft after the launch of Windows 8 and its Windows Store, saying it would have restricted freedom of developers – hence the timely move towards Linux, isn’t so strange after all.
SteamOS is a step further than making the Steam desktop client available on Linux, it is Valve’s chance at modelling a complete user experience and defining their brand from the rest of the market. It will allow them to “connect the dots for customers who want Steam in the living-room” – a logical progression some might say. A system ‘built around Steam’ that will be tailored for PCs in the living room. SteamOS will be easier for consumers, content creators and bog standard gamers.
The new OS will be able to stream games, Mac or PC, from your current Steam account and will also debut the Steam Family Sharing plans. Valve has also worked closely with media services to be able to bring media service content directly to your big screen. Valve has said it has: “achieved significant performance increases in graphics processing, and we’re now targeting audio performance and reductions in input latency at the operating system level,” – in short your Steam is experience is just going to keep getting better.
We are still not clear on how you’ll control SteamOS – it is a PC – but will you be able to buy a dedicated controller or use a keyboard and mouse. It seems like it maybe the former as Valve has designed various unique inputs to enable an analogue controller to intuitively input data.
But we didn’t get any hardware…
Valve didn’t give us the SteamBox, their announcement on their website has led us to believe that Valve might have more up its sleeve. The teaser website clearly shows three circular icons – the first of which has been filled on with the launch of SteamOS. With a countdown timer indicating less than 6 hours until something else…
Valve has said it will make three new announcements this week regarding their future for gaming. This relates directly to the three circles and the new message posted on the Valve website. So don’t feel like you’ve been let down, there is more to come. Valve will be making several announcements – hopefully it will involve hardware, but what else awaits?