Home / News / Games Accessory News / Valve announces SteamOS for living room gaming

Valve announces SteamOS for living room gaming



Steam, the popular cloud gaming service, will soon be available on living room machines thanks to the forthcoming launch of its own operating system.

The SteamOS operating system, announced on Monday, is based on Stream's current offering combined with Linux architecture and promises to bring a gaming experience built for the big screen.

The software will be available "soon" the company says, as a free stand-along OS for "any" living room machine, with manufacturers free to incorporate the software into their devices.

"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," Valve wrote on its website. "Game developers are already taking advantage of these gains as they target SteamOS for their new releases."

Valve's success has so far been in PC gaming, but claims once its new SteamOS is running on those big screens, users won't have to give up their favourite games or online friends.

Gamers will also be able to play all of their Windows and Mac games on the SteamOS-enabled machine also via streaming straight to the TV.

The company also plans on integrating popular on-demand music, TV and movie platforms within Steam OS. The family sharing option, announced this month, is also on board allowing gamers to share their purchases with up to ten friends and family members. There's also a Family Options mode that allows different users in the households to choose which games are seen by who, allowing everyone to get the most out of their Stream libraries.

Valve says there are hundreds of games already running natively on SteamOS, with forthcoming announcements regarding AAA titles in early 2015.

This is the first of three big announcements coming from Valve this week, where we may see the launch of the much-vaunted Steambox console, which naturally would run SteamOS.

Stay tuned for more info from around 6pm UK time tomorrow, when Valve will be posting details.


September 24, 2013, 8:19 am

I wonder if those "hundreds" of games that run on SteamOS are really running "natively" or if there is deep and tight integration of some sort of WINE layer?

Certainly looks like a good development; if the media streaming facilities work well then this is a compelling option for the living room...

The only thing I'd like to see in addition (although fairly unlikely unfortunately given the Linux base) is support for Blu-Ray playback and this would be an all-in-one replacement of my aging PS3 (a.k.a. LoveFilm and Blu-Ray player in my house!)

Hamish Campbell

September 24, 2013, 9:44 am

I'm struggling to sort out how this hangs together:

Steam manages your games, but you still download them to your PC/MAC/Linux machine and play them as usual.

SteamBox is a potential console that would run these games, presumably it would use SteamOS as its OS.

SteamOS (without Steambox): Is this running on a low power machine hooked up to the TV, which then allows the PC to run the games as usual and stream the picture to the tv and controls back to the PC?

Or is it actually only for a high powered machine and actually runs the games?


September 24, 2013, 12:50 pm

Seems to be a bit of both. Can play games, but can also stream them, which would make sense in not needing to high powered pcs (or macs).
Obviously you'll need a good home network for the streaming to work. Wonder what sort of compression is used on the video feed.


September 24, 2013, 3:45 pm

"significant performance increases in graphics processing" - like 1 extra FPS? I want to see this benchmarked and proven before I even bother looking into this OS some more. Not to mention I will need to see all my games on it first.

Gareth Barber

September 24, 2013, 10:54 pm

This could kill windows for the home market, well if open/libre office were any good anyway.

DirectX is one of the main reason people choose windows over Mac and Linux (more so Mac as linux is still a bigger compared to commercial OSs)

comments powered by Disqus