The first of three announcements from Valve appeared on their teaser page today, and so we now know that SteamOS is a reality. This is one of those announcements that makes perfect sense in hindsight, though very few people were really talking about the possibility ahead of time. The Linux-based OS will be free, customizable, and built for the living room.
Valve is touting a strong focus on graphics speed from the OS, and that they have their sights set next on audio and input speeds. Valve apparently aren’t the only ones, as they’ve been working with third party developers on new game releases for the OS.
They’re also calling the new OS a “Cooperating System,” a collaborative many-to-many entertainment platform. One interesting example of what this means is that “Users can alter or replace any part of the software or hardware they want. Gamers are empowered to join in the creation of the games they love.” This points to a larger platform than just the long-rumored Steambox, which we still expect to be one of the remaining two announcements.
Other features they described in brief include in-home streaming, where anyone on your network with Steam on their computer can stream games from their computer to the TV; Family Sharing, the already-launched feature that lets you share games within your family, and parental controls for managing who sees which game titles from which Steam profiles.
As soon as the SteamOS announcement went live today, the teaser page updated with a new 48 hour countdown on the second of three circles indicating the planned announcements. Check back with us on Wednesday to find out what else is new in the expanding Steam universe.