SteamOS is Valve's free Linux operating system

By Alice O'Connor, Sep 23, 2013 10:15am PDT

Valve has revealed the first of its big three Steam-related living room announcements of the week: a custom Linux operating system intended for living room PCs with big screens, named SteamOS. It'll even support streaming Windows and Mac games from your gaming PC. Valve's working on new multimedia and family features for Steam too.

"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," Valve said in this morning's announcement.

It says it's beefed up Linux's graphics-pushing power, and is also tuning audio performance and input latency. Supposedly native Linux versions of more AAA games will be announced "in the coming" weeks, but for everything else there's streaming anyway. If you don't have a powerful PC sitting by your TV, though, that's not necessarily a problem as SteamOS can stream games from your bigger, faster gaming PC over a home network.

Valve's working on more general living room features too. Along with Family Sharing, it's bringing family options to customise who exactly sees which games on shared accounts.

Steam and SteamOS are integrating support for and music and video "media services" too.

SteamOS will be a free download released "soon," and Valve is offering it to PC manufacturers too. Valve says it'll announce when "in the coming days" as it continues its big living room reveals. The next will come at 10am Pacific on Wednesday.

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