The year of Linux on the desktop or living room is here. Today Valve software announced SteamOS, a free Linux-based gaming operating system designed for the TV, DIY enthusiast and the living room. From the announcement page:
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.
More about SteamOS
- Hundreds of great games are already running natively on SteamOS. More AAA titles coming natively to SteamOS in 2014.
- You can stream games from your desktop and stream those games over your home network to your TV via a SteamOS machine.
- You can play all your Windows and Mac games on your SteamOS machine, too.
- Stream music and video with the SteamOS media services.
- In SteamOS, Valve have achieved significant performance increases in graphics processing, and Valve working on 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.
- You can modify or replace any part of the software or hardware you want. No more lock-ins.
- Valve are working on improving Linux kernel, drivers and debugging tools. This is a great news for both developers and users.
- Standard parental controls for games and streaming services.
Input lag over a network... a horrible experience?
Streaming games over the internet adds the the network latency. However, SteamOS machine and TV will be in a local network. This will keep delay to minimum including encoding and decoding video between the two systems. This is just a guess and I will wait for the reviews.
I think Valve is following Android model. User will get consistent environment for all your devices or you can build your own device. SteamOS will be available soon as a free download for users and as a freely licensable operating system for manufacturers. For more information see SteamOS announcement page.