Valve announces SteamOS: Stream your games from your regular PC to your new Steam hardware

SteamOS

By on September 24, 2013 at 8:12 am

Valve have revealed that they will soon be launching SteamOS, the new purpose-built operating system designed to run on Linux and hook into your existing Steam installations on both Windows and Mac.

SteamOS, which will be free (and free for hardware manufacturers to license) will not only run most (if not eventually all) Steam games natively, but also allow you to stream your games from your Windows and Mac PCs to your living room.

“In SteamOS, we have achieved significant performance increases in graphics processing, and we’re now targeting audio performance and reductions in input latency at the operating system level,” writes Valve on the official announcement page. “Game developers are already taking advantage of these gains as they target SteamOS for their new releases.”

Valve also promise that they’re working on bringing music, TV and movie services to SteamOS, as well as improved family sharing and new family options that only display appropriate games to appropriate users.

Take a look at the official announcement, and join us in 48 hours time when Steam reveal the next part of their plan for living room domination — which hopefully will show off their hardware.

Source: Steam

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44 comments (Leave your own)

*prays for simple drm-free media streaming capabilities in this device*

 

Oh, right! I get it now. This is why “Windows 8 sucks” – Gabe

 

Interesting idea – saves me from having to move my gaming PC to the loungeroom if I wanna play with a controller in big picture mode

 

So all the convenience of Windows but without the ability to run 90% of my existing software?

Or all of the incompatibility of Linux, but without the ability to control and tweak my own system?

This just feels like Valve making a grab for yet more control – they already control your games, now they want to control your hardware.

 

caitsith01:
So all the convenience of Windows but without the ability to run 90% of my existing software?

So, you expect your living room PC to need to run software which isn’t games/media related? Most people cite things like photoshop/office as “incompatible”. Hardly the most relevant software for a media PC.

Or all of the incompatibility of Linux, but without the ability to control and tweak my own system?

I hope you mean software incompatibility. Hardware-wise, Linux kinda poops all over Windows. Regardless, the assumption is the streaming will make up for the other games you have.

This just feels like Valve making a grab for yet more control – they already control your games, now they want to control your hardware.

Being a Linux kernel with what I assume to be most of the core GNU stuff (lets face it, it’ll likely be another Ubuntu fork), a significant amount of the system will be open source/free. The Steam application itself won’t be, but it doesn’t have to be. I don’t see this being any more dangerous than something like Android? On top of that, if it has Linux at it’s core, you can be damn sure people will tear it apart every inch of it for modding.

The key difference this time, is you own the hardware and can choose not to use it. Many Android systems don’t give you that option.

I’m mainly looking forward to some proper media/steam integration on my living room box without mucking around with multiple logins.

 

caitsith01,

Maybe you should work on your reading comprehension.

Nothing about hardware here.

You have the ability to stream your games from your existing windows box to a lower power media PC if they don’t work directly on Linux.

It’s a Linux distro, I’m not entirely sure what OS they could release that they would have less control over!

 

caitsith01:
Or all of the incompatibility of Linux, but without the ability to control and tweak my own system?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

I don’t use Linux, but even I know what you said is stupid. The whole point of Linux is so you can tweek, change, do pretty much ANYTHING you want with the OS and hardware. What you said shows you have little to no idea what Linux is actually capable of. At all.

 
James Pinnell

I’m keen to see how many games go native, and how easy Steam makes it for them to be compatible. If it’s reasonably simple to port I can see quite a few titles going this way, especially if the performance is sound.

 

So will SteamOS have XBMC included ? if so, I may be interested.

 

wintermuteau:
So will SteamOS have XBMC included ? if so, I may be interested.

I’m REAALLYYY hoping the “O + O” clue is either some form of partnership with XBMC, or possibly an implication of a “plugin” type system where they can be integrated in a cleaner/official way.

 

wintermuteau:
So will SteamOS have XBMC included ? if so, I may be interested.

With some luck “apt-get install xbmc” does the job :P.

Or, from steam big picture mode, add a shortcut to XBMC as a non steam application. Select it, bam!

 

Wow, some really stupid people here.

This is “based on” Linux.

From the description given by Valve that this will not be something you can open up and tinker with like you can with normal Linux distros – that would be consistent with Valve’s general approach to everything. They talk about “openness” in terms of hardware developers and content distributors, i.e. they are talking about not commercially locking vendors out, not about users being able to hack away to their hearts’ content.

Nothing about hardware here.

Except that installing an entire OS rather than just a piece of software means that Valve is controlling the whole interface between you and your hardware.

So, you expect your living room PC to need to run software which isn’t games/media related? Most people cite things like photoshop/office as “incompatible”. Hardly the most relevant software for a media PC.

Thanks for telling me how I have to use my living room PC. Which incidentally runs whatever I want right now.

Anyway, this isn’t going to actually be Linux, and it obviously won’t run Windows stuff. It will only run games which have been specifically modified by Valve/partners to run on this specific OS.

So, for example, games you might own from GOG.com – no. Or Origin – no. Emulators – no. Or any media streaming setup not built into this OS – no. Etc etc.

Hardware-wise, Linux kinda poops all over Windows.

This statement is false.

I have used all flavours of Windows and many flavours of Linux extensively and Linux hardware support is a nightmarish mess compared to Win 7+ for a lot of moderately recent hardware (e.g. common wireless chipsets).

I don’t see this being any more dangerous than something like Android?

The same Android for which you have to use dodgy hacks to gain control over your own phone, and which in its standard form won’t, for example, let you install ad blockers because Google has decided that you are not allowed to use your phone in that way?

Android is IMHO the best phone OS, but it’s also a good example of the kind of creeping control that companies like to exert over “open” operating systems.

you can be damn sure people will tear it apart every inch of it for modding

Well, I hope that’s right. But do you think Valve is actually going to let people do that? I bet it has the OS equivalent of punkbuster built into it.

You have the ability to stream your games from your existing windows box to a lower power media PC if they don’t work directly on Linux.

The ability to stream your STEAM games, you mean.

I dunno. I think people are seeing the words “Linux” and “open” and making some very big leaps. This looks, walks and quacks like a walled garden designed to limit you to only using Valve controlled/approved software and media on your machine. But we will see when someone gets their hands on it, I guess.

 

Cas Bitton: With some luck “apt-get install xbmc” does the job :P.

Or, from steam big picture mode, add a shortcut to XBMC as a non steam application. Select it, bam!

I will be very surprised if you get root access or a terminal in SteamOS.

 

I don’t get it. How do you get better performance (i’m assuming fps performance) with what sounds like a streaming technology. :S PLEZ SUMWUN ESPLAYN! D:

 

To be fair, I did find this on their site:

Users can alter or replace any part of the software or hardware they want.

However, query what that actually means.

Given Valve’s penchant for control, I think it’s reasonable to remain solidly skeptical for now.

 

caitsith01,

Do you really care that it seems that way though?

You already have a Windows PC which controls everything as is, it’s just another option available to use. I’m not targetting you in anyway but I would like to point out how many people will voice their opinion about something being detrimental in a new service or product when they already use a product with the same features and benefits in some way, shape, or form.

 
Jake Carrington

My arch install has been able to do more than anything I’ve ever used except for gaming, now that I can run arch on my office rig and run SteamOS instead of Windows on my gaming rig via KVM, I cannot express how happy this makes me feel.

Many of the points above have merit, however I believe simplicity was Valves aim to provide a platform for people that ‘just want a gaming rig with streaming capabilities’ as their the money shot (pun intended). I don’t want to run resource hogging, hard-drive devouring applications on a box solely bought to run the latest and greatest, it seems a waste to flood the SSD with applications I can run on a system with half the performance value. So by separating my gaming rig and office machine to unique os’s just provides a fantastic luxury for the home experience.

Valve has also been implementing developing tools via Steam, so I’m sure many of the tools that were ‘strictly’ windows/mac before will soon be available on Valves own platform.

Nothing but great things can come from this.

 

It’s a nice idea for those who have two PC’s so you can stream your main Windows PC to your SteamOS PC that are at a distance from another, but my PC isn’t far away from my TV and is already hooked up to use Big Picture if needed.

 

So if you only have a HTPC that is also your gaming PC this is useless in the early stages?

Hardly any games will be native on this system and if you dont have another PC to stream your stuck?

 

This is most excellent news, in this environment it would be interesting to see if they could develop more efficient video drivers or even allow direct hardware access to squeeze even better performance out of PCs.

 
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