Game distributor Steam will soon be coming to a big screen — in your living room, that is.
This week, game development studio Valve announced it will be releasing SteamOS, a new, completely free operating system that will allow users to (among other things) stream games from a computer to a TV to play them in your living room. This comes on the heels of Valve's previous SteamBox endeavor which is yet to be released. Though the SteamBox is still in development, the release of SteamOS brings promise to Valve's much-anticipated hardware debut, as the future SteamBox will likely be running on this new SteamOS operating system.
SteamOS uses Linux to bring games and movies onto a bigger screen and will work on "any living room machine." The company is working with media services for music, TV, and movies to make it possible to enjoy games and everything else on one platform. It will also function as an open medium for content creators to "connect" with gamers, allowing players to "alter or replace any part of the software or hardware they want." In fact, Valve encourages you to do so and strives to be "an environment designed to foster these kinds of innovation(s)." Sweet!
Family Sharing And Customizable Viewing
One crucial feature of the new SteamOS is the ability to share games with everyone in the household, so if your little sister wants to play your Scribblenauts and earn her own achievements, it's now possible. SteamOS will also have a "Family Sharing" feature which filters what games appear in your own personal game library, so you won't have to see your mom's Castle Story game next to BioShock Infinite while you browse.
Of course, all the previous features of Steam will be up and running on SteamOS, like its cross-platform cloud, social network, worldwide access, and add-on Workshop marketplace. SteamOS will be available "soon" as a free download according to its website, so stay tuned!