Video game company Valve has long dominated the computer gaming market with their Steam distribution service. Now the company is thinking outside the box with Steam OS: an operating system designed for the living room.
The first of three big scheduled announcements this week from the company, Steam OS is a Linux-based, “stand-alone operating system for living room machines.” It’s billed as a platform for streaming computer games to a TV. (Via Valve)
Valve has already hinted at a move in this direction with Big Picture, a Steam user-interface designed for television released in December 2012.
The Verge reports Steam OS seems to be a swipe at Microsoft’s Windows 8, which has come under fire from Valve in the past.
“Valve co-founder Gabe Newell famously called Windows 8 a ‘catastrophe’ and has publicly blamed Microsoft's operating system for tanking PC sales. Windows 8 also comes with its own built-in app store, which theoretically has the potential to siphon off Steam's video game revenue.”
But an OS isn’t much good without hardware to run it, and Valve has promised two more big announcements this week. Could the fabled “Steam Box,” the long-rumored Valve-brand console, be on its way? Kotaku says yes, and it’s about time.
“For almost a year now, Valve has been teasing the idea of Steam-branded hardware. … Last December, Valve boss Gabe Newell told me that the Steam Box would compete with Sony and Microsoft's next-gen offerings. The company has been slowly trickling out details since then.”
A writer for Forbes thinks otherwise, saying Steam’s business model has always relied on accessibility for third-party developers. “Valve’s platform and primary source of revenue is digital distribution. … It’s in their best interest to open up their toolbox to partners, not to create a closed ecosystem or hardware environment with their own branded box.”
Valve’s next big announcement is scheduled for Wednesday at 1 p.m. Eastern.
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