Valve earlier hinted that they will be announcing certain things to bolster their claim of trying to capture living room audience and make PCs mainstream.
The company announced SteamOS which is an OS that runs on open source Linux. Now since majority of games are made with Windows in mind, this really alienates a large amount of people but it is imperative that Linux gaming takes off in some way for Valve.
So what’s the thought process behind such an announcement? They want to use Linux and create something that provides a good alternative to Windows for people who play games on the PC.
SteamOS will allow them to create customized Steam Boxes for people to use in their living room, and this is the major part of their strategy. They have a few more announcements planned and we have no idea what it could be. A controller, maybe?
This is something not for a person who already plays on the PC and uses Steam, or maybe connects his PC to the TV via HDMI, however, the main reason for such an initiative by Valve is to expand their market and make PC gaming more mainstream.
Sadly, it does not look like the company is going to get a large chunk of OS market share with this move because well, Linux, and they will have stiff competition from EA and Ubisoft who will very well make their own clients in Linux to compete with Valve, just like they are doing now.
However, it’s something nice that a company is trying to look for alternatives and innovate in an area. Here’s their official description of the SteamOS.
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.
Valve encourages developers to release more games on Linux if the SteamOS is going to be a success, the developers have to play a major role here. The company is relying on the openness of the software to encourage content creators to bring their games directly to consumers, cutting out the middlemen.
Ultimately, it the success of the entire business model depends on how the market reacts to it, and buys the inevitable Steam Box running on the SteamOS in droves. The initial Install base will decide how many developers and manufacturers hop in on the bandwagon, and if the market is too rigid to change, then Valve would have to change their business model.