Valve have announced a new Linux-based operating system specifically designed around their Steam service and online store—it’s called SteamOS, and its purpose is to let you access your Steam games in the living room via streaming from an existing PC. On the Steam website, Valve write:
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.
SteamOS supposedly offers “significant performance increases” in graphical processing, and Valve say they’re currently pursuing audio improvements and reductions in input latency as well. The OS will also support media and music streaming services.
The SteamOS operating system will be available as a free download soon, and will also be available as a freely licensable operating system for hardware manufacturers.
The goal of SteamOS, Valve say, is to allow users to have the ability to alter or replace any part of the software or hardware they’re using. The operating system appears to be one of three steps in a Valve “living room” strategy. Two more steps in their plan look like they will be revealed soon.