Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 23rd Sep 2013 17:29 UTC

As we've been working on bringing Steam to the living room, we've 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. It will be available soon as a free stand-alone operating system for living room machines.

Valve goes beyond just building a Linux distribution and grafting Steam on top of it. They are actually working very closely with hardware manufacturers and game developers, which has already resulted in graphics performance improvements. They are also working on reducing input latency as well as audio performance. In other words, they are very serious about upending Windows as the default PC gaming operating system.

In SteamOS, we have achieved significant performance increases in graphics processing, and we're 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.

Valve also unveiled that it's working with the major game developers so that triple-A titles will be natively available on SteamOS. As for your existing Windows games - SteamOS will support game streaming from your existing PC so you can play them on your SteamOS machine in the living room (or anywhere else, of course). 'Hundreds of great games' are already available natively on Linux through Steam, too.

This is just the first in a series of three announcements, and it stands to reason that the second one will be a dedicated SteamOS machine from Valve. The third announcement? Well. It's got a three in it, so Half-Life 3 is pretty much confirmed.

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RE[4]: Next card, Microsoft?
by Dasher42 on Mon 23rd Sep 2013 23:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Next card, Microsoft?"
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My loyalty to open source platforms feels exceedingly vindicated when I check the news these days with all the liasons Microsoft and Google have had with the NSA, and it has felt vindicated ever since I migrated from the Commodore Amiga to a platform where the technical merits were driving community involvement without idiotic corporate management killing it.

That's the kind of environment I'll develop for, and even modify closed source games on because I like having a real development toolchain at hand instead of a bunch of random tools someone wrote in Visual Basic. I may have relied on Cygwin to get some of the same result back when I did the Sacrifice of Angels mod for Homeworld or the Foundation plugin SDK for Bridge Commander, but these days, my desktop is pure Linux.

I for one have bought recently Skyrim, Civilization 5, Planescape Torment, and X-Plane 10 expressly to play on a Linux-only Core i5 desktop. I've been dual-booting Linux since 1994, and I haven't kept Windows on any desktop since 2009. I vastly prefer the arrangement since I have an OS underneath that's open source, highly performant, and has a full development toolchain handy. Further, if the motherboard were to be toasted or I had another machine to migrate to, I could transfer the SDD and HDD out of it and straight into any other x86-64 + Nvidia rig and run without a hitch, without having to buy a license for the new CPU.

Back in 2004 I was buying hardware expressly to do my development projects on, and then ran Gentoo with USE flags compiled to keep performance-killing software sound mixing off of my system completely. The result was a sweet run of games like Neverwinter Nights.

I love this platform, and those games which offer Linux binaries I particularly appreciate. To each their own, but I try to run as much of an open source platform as possible while still having cool gaming experiences.

If Valve plays its cards right, folks like me are going to have more great options, and standards in gaming are going to be even more cross-platform so Windows, Mac, and Linux are all well supported. The fringe benefit? Once you've got a working Linux binary of a game, it's even easier to run it on other new platforms - FreeBSD for example. Less lock-in and more freedom is good for everyone.

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