Valve Brings PC Gaming to Living Room With Steam OS
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Valve Brings PC Gaming to Living Room With Steam OS

November 16, 2019

(Image source: Valve) BY MATT PICHT 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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