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Valve announces the Linux-based SteamOS

Valve's first reveal is the company's very own Linux variant aimed at living rooms everywhere

Valve has announced the next step in bringing Steam to the living room: Steam OS. Valve president Gabe Newell's open dislike of "closed" operating systems like Windows and Mac OS X has led to the creation of an open Linux-based OS. Steam OS is aimed at the televisions everywhere.

"Steam is not a one-way content broadcast channel, it's a collaborative many-to-many entertainment platform, in which each participant is a multiplier of the experience for everyone else," reads the website. "With SteamOS, 'openness' means that the 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."

A Steam OS machine can stream Steam games from your existing PC or Mac, meaning even if your games aren't Steam OS-ready, they'll still be available in some form on your TV. Valve is also bringing new family-oriented options to the Steam client and Steam OS. In addition to the previously-announced Family Sharing there will also be library filtering, making it easier for users to only see their libraries. Steam OS and the Steam client will also be adding popular music and video services, though Valve did not detail which ones would be making the transition over.

Linux support for major titles hasn't been the best, but Valve is using its muscle to bring AAA games to Steam OS.

"Hundreds of great games are already running natively on SteamOS. Watch for announcements in the coming weeks about all the AAA titles coming natively to SteamOS in 2014," the website teases.

Steam OS will be free for users, and will be available for download "soon". Valve's next announcement will be in two days.

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Mike Williams avatar
Mike Williams: M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.
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