Steam, the saints of the gaming industry and superhero to EA’s supervillan Origin, has announced it will be releasing a free operating system SteamOS.
It is feared that the release of this could severely disrupt the market shares of the likes of Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox. Before their coming hardware reveal, Valve spoke about their ideas for a Linux-orientated OS that will be “available soon as a free operating system designed for the TV and the living room.” In true spirit of Linux systems, the software will be open-source for any manufacturers wanting to make their own hardware.
“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.”
I think I can safely say that I speak for most, if not all, PC gamers when I say this is a dream come true. This has been rumored, discussed and even demanded by people for a long time now and it is great to see Valve stepping up to the challenge after their awesome, but not so successful, release of the Steam console, Piston.
The challenge they face here is the same that they faced when developing the console, they need to get publishers on board! The fact that there are so few games for Piston tells me that they didn’t do a good job of it the first time around; so the question is, will they make the same mistake, or will they learn? Because people are so devout to their game franchises, it is mandatory to get the support from some major publishers. I’m going to buy the new Xbox One just to be able to play the new Halo game. I’ll more than probably sell it after that and get a 360 (unless the multiplayer is good).
My biggest problem is that I work inside linux (Ubuntu 13.04 if you’re curious) and I love it. I’d stay in there and never come out if I could, but I need to have Windows so that I can play games; and because I’m quite fickle about when I want to game, I often find myself in Windows all the time, just in case I want to jump into Saints Row IV (or GTA V when it comes out on PC). So an OS that will allow me to have my work and social and gaming all in one is something that I welcome with open arms.
Well Steam deliver? Well so far, they haven’t failed me!