18 years after the conclusion of Shenmue II, Yu Suzuki returns with the long-awaited crowdfunded sequel - decades in the making.
Shenmue III Review - Party Like its 1999
We sit down with Game Director Jeff Kaplan and Lead Designer Geoff Goodman to discuss story versus PvP, sound design, Push, and the game’s interesting launch plans.
Overwatch 2 – The Big Interview
We've run Red Dead Redemption 2 through its PC paces as the series finally lands on the Desktop platform!
Red Dead Redemption 2 is Finally on PC - How Does it Fare?
We've taken to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order like a Womprat to sand. But how does it hold up?
Light or Dark? Our In-Depth Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Review
Post by Dan @ 07:53am 24/09/13 | 31 Comments
To help facilitate their foray into the living room and propose a more open future for gaming and game development, Valve Software has announced SteamOS, a new operating system built on Linux framework that will soon be released as a free download.
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.
Additionally, Valve has detailed some new key features accompanying the announcement, that will be integral to SteamOS, but also offered to the traditional Windows/Mac/Linux Steam Client: In-home Streaming, Family Sharing, Family Options, and Music, TV, and Movies:
In-home Streaming

You can play all your Windows and Mac games on your SteamOS machine, too. Just turn on your existing computer and run Steam as you always have - then your SteamOS machine can stream those games over your home network straight to your TV!

Music, TV, Movies

We’re working with many of the media services you know and love. Soon we will begin bringing them online, allowing you to access your favorite music and video with Steam and SteamOS.

Family Sharing

In the past, sharing Steam games with your family members was hard. Now you can share the games you love with the people you love. Family Sharing allows you to take turns playing one another’s games while earning your own Steam achievements and saving your individual game progress to the Steam cloud.

Family Options

The living-room is family territory. That’s great, but you don’t want to see your parents’ games in your library. Soon, families will have more control over what titles get seen by whom, and more features to allow everyone in the house to get the most out of their Steam libraries.
Bold moves from PC gaming's favourite fellows, and two more announcements still to come this week.

Swing by store.steampowered.com/livingroom/SteamOS/ for more details.




valve softwaresteam





Latest Comments
carson
Posted 08:07am 24/9/13
This is a cool idea. I wonder if they will expand the OS to run other programs, not just games.
Eorl
Posted 08:12am 24/9/13
Heck yeah, this is going to be awesome for my current HTPC in the living room. The notion that Valve are also looking into streaming services sounds promising, hopefully the OS works well and there is enough uptake.
TufNuT
Posted 08:13am 24/9/13
yet another OS.. YAY way to tackle "fragmentation" lol..

also this sounds like they couldn't get Ubuntu to do what they wanted so they bastardized their own version..
nic
Posted 08:18am 24/9/13
Now tell me they'll support XBMC and I'm sold.
Dan
Posted 08:20am 24/9/13
also this sounds like they couldn't get Ubuntu to do what they wanted so they bastardized their own version..
Kidding? It's going to be a completely open platform, and given that they targetted Ubuntu with previous development, I'd be surprised if much of the SteamOS software couldn't also be made to run on Ubuntu for Linux users that don't want to completely change over.

Seems obvious that the main reasons they wouldn't want to keep using Ubuntu is to be able to more holistically tailor the entire experience to Steam users.

Also, this:
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. Game developers are already taking advantage of these gains as they target SteamOS for their new releases.
Hollow Gr4m
Posted 08:21am 24/9/13
F*** YES! So I can plug my laptop into my tv and play all my steam games... HOLY S***E. If they get Ableton and other software working on this I'll never use Windows again.
kappa
Posted 08:49am 24/9/13
This + XBMC app = f*****g win.
glynd
Posted 08:59am 24/9/13
Always wanted an excuse to splash out on a HTPC and this might be that excuse. How much do they go for these days? Got a HD5850 and about 4gb ram lying around the place ... worth building my own or just getting a complete package?
deadlyf
Posted 09:24am 24/9/13
The Streaming thing sounds promising. You could potentially put SteamOS on a small HDMI dongle PC like some Android media players (Chromecast etc.) and stream from your gaming PC, letting the beefy machine do all the work.

Of course you could also just buy one of those Belkin HDMI streamers but I'm hoping the SteamOS will have some decent control options that simplify interaction while using it on the TV and also allow peripherals to be plugged in and utilised.
Eorl
Posted 09:27am 24/9/13
Always wanted an excuse to splash out on a HTPC and this might be that excuse. How much do they go for these days? Got a HD5850 and about 4gb ram lying around the place ... worth building my own or just getting a complete package?
Wait a few days, Valve are also expected to reveal some form of hardware to go with the OS. I'm hoping for at least two versions, a $100 base entry that acts like Apple TV to stream games to your living room, and then a dedicated box for Linux gaming.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 09:47am 24/9/13
Hmm This SteamOS may end up being a blind king hit on the PS4/Xboned. A console level of market share for Steam games... that could have big impacts.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 09:48am 24/9/13
Although perhaps it is too late in the show to really change things this time around, although it is sure to alter the mid-generation era of the new consoles.
Khel
Posted 10:16am 24/9/13
A console level of market share for Steam games... that could have big impacts.


I doubt it'll be that level of impact, that it'll probably make a dent. I can see it appealing to the PC savvy gamers who might pick this up instead of a console, but to a dedicated console gamer I can't see it swaying them. At the end of the day its still a PC, still needs driver updates, still needs hardware upgrades, still gotta fiddle with complex graphics settings, etc to get best performance/quality. To your average Call of Duty playing console frat boy who knows nothing about PCs, thats not going to be an experience they want.

I'd definitely grab one though, even if its just to stream games from my PC to my tv and play PC quality games with a console-like experience.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 10:25am 24/9/13
Well that depends on how they present it Khel, they could operate it in two modes: Basic and Advanced.

On Basic mode, it acts just like a console. When you buy the certified SteamOS hardware, it will be at certain level of performance and specs just like a console. Every game released on steam would require a mandatory recommend system that specifies which hardware level it needs (SteamOS 1, SteamOS 2) something like that. Of course that means that Valve can only release a certified system every couple of years to keep it simple.

Advanced mode would open the OS up to the level PC gamers expect, allowing upgrades, and the rest.

I wouldn't write off the frat boy users just yet, I would think that valve what to get their hands into that cake too as such they will try to make the system as usable for the frat boys as much as they can. Perhaps not straight away, they'll be working on it for sure.
Khel
Posted 10:26am 24/9/13
Yeah thats a fair point, have to see what they do with their hardware
konstie
Posted 10:32am 24/9/13
Yeah thats a fair point


wow, it's not often you read these sort of responses on this forum :) it's refreshing!
Dan
Posted 10:33am 24/9/13
At the end of the day its still a PC, still needs driver updates, still needs hardware upgrades, still gotta fiddle with complex graphics settings, etc to get best performance/quality.
There's no reason that all of those things couldn't be smoothed out for the kind of target audience that you're suggesting.

If corps like Dell, HP, Acer et all start making nice little compact systems to SteamOS spec, they could very easily be as luddite-friendly as a console.

Most interesting is that where current PC specs are versus the upcoming new console generation. When the Xbox 360 was launching, it had a ATI GPU that was at the cutting edge of PC GPUs of the day. Whereas both PS4 and XBO are already behind in that metric today. PCs will likely be outperforming consoles at reasonable price-points a lot faster than they did last generation. Then there's the fact that all next gen console games are x86, so easier to port across all three this time.

The market is ripe for SteamOS.
trillion
Posted 10:35am 24/9/13
it's the cat's pyjama's that really whips the lama's ass

also, what do i need to do (call my banks and creditors?) when i think my wallet has gone walkies possibly stolen by someone? i was just about to duck out to the shops to grab a dvd and put a deposit on a Ferrari ;p
Ha
Posted 10:41am 24/9/13
byt duz it have the wifis and at lest 4 gs?
deadlyf
Posted 11:04am 24/9/13
I can see it appealing to the PC savvy gamers who might pick this up instead of a console, but to a dedicated console gamer I can't see it swaying them.
For me the thing that is going to remain the biggest factor will be exclusivity. MS and Sony have exclusive platforms so when they fork over money to a developer for exclusive titles they are guaranteed that they are the ones that benefit. Steam aren't really in the same boat, they don't get a return on the sale of every Steam game if the game isn't bought through their store (I believe).

There is also the problem where they don't support a large number of PC games because they allow DLC and such to be sold through the game client or publisher based stores like EA content and many MMO's.
Most interesting is that where current PC specs are versus the upcoming new console generation.
Similar to above really, MS and Sony can bargain with chip manufactures to get very good prices, they can also subsidize the cost of the hardware through software sales which I don't think Steam will be in a position to do.

My guess is that unless nvidia do some kind of deal with Valve we will see very similar components in the official Steam box to what is on offer in consoles, ie low end, cost effective AMD cards and possibly even AMD CPU's.
Dan
Posted 11:27am 24/9/13
I'm still not convinced that an official "Steam Box" is on Valve's agenda right now. I know that the concept has had huge traction in the games press, but I don't think that any actual comment from Newell/Lombardi/Abrash that I have read indicates that they will be shipping a complete PC box design of their own, but might be leaving all of that up to third party manufacturers building to a SteamOS-spec.

It's possible that the "hardware" Valve has been hinting at might be limited to peripherals -- biometric devices, controllers or some kind of custom keyboard tailored to using the web and playing games in the living room -- these are all things that Valve has been known to be tinkering with.

Or they could just be doing the dongle thing, with something the size of Google's Chromecast that's the size of a USB stick, plugs directly into a HDMI port, and can handle the SteamOS video-streaming features from a user's main gaming PC to their living room TV.

The idea that they have actual "Steam Box" complete PCs in the works, has actually come out of speculation and conjecture from only a handful of reports. It's still a definite possibility, but I still have my doubts.

It's actually impressive how secret they had managed to keep the SteamOS announcement.
Hogfather
Posted 11:35am 24/9/13
This is f*****g awesome!

I have a number of s***** PC ports of otherwise good games that play well in console setting but getting signal from my PC to the TV and controls etc is always just a huge pain in the arse, and 2 gaming PCs is too expensive.

PC f***en master race, all the way to the lounge room unfunfunf
ChaosDreamer
Posted 12:03pm 24/9/13
"SteamOS will be available soon as a free download for users and as a freely licensable operating system for manufacturers. Stay tuned in the coming days for more information."

That's where the business is at. They are releasing it to manufacturers for free. That is huge. It is one of the major contributing of how android came to dominate the phone market. Steam may release their own hardware, as Google does, but more to the point you can have all the major PC manufacturers getting in on the party. Particularly as many of those companies are starting to become pissed with Microsoft. 'Alienware steambox','Asus Steambox' hell an 'Oculus Sixsense Steambox'. It's just a matter of these companies putting together a living-room friendly box at a competitive price.

If this 'console generation' lasts as long as the previous, I will have a steam box that blitzes the consoles from Sony and Microsoft. It's all win for us and Valve. Yay the future!
Hogfather
Posted 12:28pm 24/9/13
Well, a "Steambox" will only be able to run Steam games for Linux directly, so you'll need a "real" PC for most of your Steam library until the titles are ported or more are produced.

Unless the XBone fails spectacularly I'm not imagining a s***load of uptake for native Steam on Linux, its far too easy to port xbox DX to Windows to add PC+Steam to the supported platform list ... that will also seemingly happily stream to a wimpy lounge room install. Assuming the streaming works well, this could actually be good news for MS lol.

I can see lots of PC people buying (or using their existing) cheapy HTPC to play games on, especially if you can whack XBMC / Plex on it too. Buying dedicated gaming hardware for it is another matter ... its a long, long road to a significant install base of gaming-capable Steam for Linux platforms.
Python
Posted 02:01pm 24/9/13
Does this mean I can sell my steam games?

..oh :\
Lewk
Posted 02:04pm 24/9/13
So with two simple words, Valve have obliterated the Ouya console from the face of the Earth; "Introducing SteamOS". Can we clap this? I feel we should be clapping.
Dan
Posted 02:16pm 24/9/13
An OUYA console should be powerful enough to handle streaming of Steam games, so assuming people can get SteamOS running on it (which might not be too hard), it could be repurposed as another terminal for playing your streamed desktop games on a TV somewhere else in your house.
glynd
Posted 02:22pm 24/9/13
One interesting piece of hardware would be if Nvidia Shield could install the SteamOS...doesn't that have an HDMI out?
redhat
Posted 02:25pm 24/9/13
This looks seriously awesome, cya later windows.
Eorl
Posted 02:31pm 24/9/13
So with two simple words, Valve have obliterated the Ouya console from the face of the Earth; "Introducing SteamOS". Can we clap this? I feel we should be clapping.
I have a feeling the SteamOS is going to be an instigator for more of these devices, and like Dan said you'd be able to just install the OS on there and utilise it as a streaming device. From what I've gathered so far this is more like the idea Valve has, and they may not necessarily offer their own SteamBox, but instead push for third-party hardware manufacturers to do it like Dell or HP.

Also I found this comment on the new announcement and pretty much agree with it, especially Valve being one of the few that can somewhat shift the market.
Somebody had to break this cycle, and it needed to be an organization with enough clout to actually make it viable. With the glimpse of the future we've seen in Windows 8, and Microsoft aggressively pushing "the cloud" with all of their services including Xbox LIVE it doesn't take much to see that Windows 9 or 10 is aiming for a totally cloud OS just like Google's Chrome OS. It wouldn't surprise me if Microsoft was actively trying to kill the PC gaming market in an effort to try and bolster console sales. Seems like a Ballmer type of idea.

Valve is really the only figure out there that can make a Linux distro competitive with the Windows market in terms of game support. I think in a few years people will be looking back and thanking Valve for saving the PC gaming market from collapsing as Windows 9/10 support dwindles and sales suffer as a result.
Moving away from DirectX is a good thing, tying new DirectX updates to a new $100 OS is pretty bulls***. OpenGL, OpenAL, etc are going to replace the DX suite and we'll be better for it.
copuis
Posted 02:44pm 24/9/13
man, i see this as a really great thing into the future,

think about the games you often see on the sales, there is a really broad age group that they are aimed at, and how most people upgrade their PC's

get your 2-6 years out of a PC gaming rig, that rig get handed off to your partner or becomes a media machine

now those games can be enjoyed with-out having to buy a console version and a PC version,
can now be enjoyed without forking out for a big powerful gaming rig for you, your partner or the many kids you may have

i see this as a great way that valve is keeping our costs down, while still letting us enjoy as many games as we can

I really hope that EA come back to the party after the poor money grabbing attempt that was origin, (i've not reinstalled origin, and will unlikely until there are some major changes, it was s*****, worked poorly imo, and really missed the point (it was clear that it was more about looking after EA, than looking out for us)
Commenting has been locked for this item.
31 Comments
Show