Valve Introduces SteamOS: The Operating System for Video Gaming

Valve Announces Its Own SteamOS Linux Operating System

by Anton Shilov
09/23/2013 | 11:00 PM

Valve Software, a game developer and the owner of Steam video game distribution service, has announced its own operating system that is specifically designed with video games and Steam in mind. SteamOS features a number of capabilities not available on other platforms, including improved performance of graphics processing, in-home streaming and a number of other technologies.


“As we have been working on bringing Steam to the living room, we have 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,” a statement by Valve Software reads.

Valve’s SteamOS, running on any living room machine, will provide access to games and user-generated content available. It will be available soon as a free stand-alone operating system for living room machines. SteamOS-based PCs can stream video games over a home network straight to a TV. Family sharing allows gamers to take turns playing one another’s games while earning own Steam achievements and saving individual game progress to the Steam cloud. Eventually, SteamOS will also gain compatibility with music, TV and video distribution services.

In SteamOS, Valve has achieved significant performance increases in graphics processing, and is 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, according to the company.

Thanks to “openness” of SteamOS, hardware industry can iterate in the living room at a much faster pace than they’ve been able to. Content creators can connect directly to their customers. Users can alter or replace any part of the software or hardware they want. Gamers are empowered to join in the creation of the games they love. SteamOS will continue to evolve, but will remain an environment designed to foster these kinds of innovation.