Valve Announces Steam OS: An OS Just for Games

Valve Software today announced — in a mysterious kind of way — its first major step towards melding all aspects of PC gaming into one cohesive ecosystem: Steam OS.


It’s been rumored for a long time that Valve would push for adoption of a Linux-based operating system to run games on. Gabe Newell, Founder and CEO of Valve, always hinted that “Linux is the future of PC gaming,” and today Valve makes it true. Steam OS will be based on Linux, and according to Valve, will offer support many of the titles already available on Steam today, as well as triple-A titles, to be announced in 2014.

On the Windows side, PC gamers have been clamoring for Microsoft to pay attention to games for some time. With the software giant’s focus on mobile products, gamers have been feeling left by the wayside, and many are disappointed with Windows’s direction, as well as a lack of priority updating DirectX. Up until very recently, it was widely circulated that there wouldn’t be a DX12 release in the near future, but Microsoft announced several weeks ago that DX11.2 would be available for those upgrading from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1. Unfortunately, DX11.2 will not be available for Windows 7.

Given the circumstances surrounding gaming on Windows, there’s a good chance that Valve will be able to rally support around Steam OS, which will in all likelihood push for OpenGL 4+ support.

According to Valve:

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. 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.

Steam OS is slated to arrive “soon” says Valve, and to be “free forever.”


Valve’s unveiling page, shows two more significant parts of the Steam strategy, to be unveiled over the next several days, so keep a close watch on what may very well be the next evolution of PC gaming.

Source: Valve Software

by Michael Hoang, on September 23, 2013