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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.