With SteamOS, Valve Is Taking On The Xbox One And PlayStation 4

first_img4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Tags:#gaming#Open Source#STEAM#SteamOS#TV#Valve#video games 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… Related Posts Sony and Microsoft are betting big on their first console launches in seven and eight years, respectively. But it’s no longer just their show.Valve—the company behind Steam, the hit digital-games distribution service—has a wrench to toss into the living-room works. The company has just announced SteamOS, a wide-open operating system that helps PC games make the hop to the TV. Breaking Down BarriersGamers have been watching Steam for a while now in anticipation of the fabled Steam Box, a Valve-built console that’s still in the works. Before the hardware hits, though, we’re getting software: SteamOS, built with Linux, will extend Valve’s distribution service to the living room. Prior to the rise of Steam, PC gaming was idling in a dark age, largely in the hands of Microsoft. Steam is fiercely loved among its users for offering gamers an operating-system agnostic platform to connect with other gamers and manage a collection of games which are synced to Steam’s servers.Here’s what Steam wrote: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. taylor hatmaker 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.Between SteamOS and the Ouya, an Android-based gaming console, the living room is more open than ever. Consumers have an infinite array of combinations for living room entertainment, and Valve will be getting involved in the hardware game soon too. SteamOS offers what it calls “in-home streaming” that lets users stream Steam games from a Windows or Mac machine to a system running SteamOS.See also: Ouya Is A Tiny Box Open To Many Game PossibilitiesThe remaining question: What system will run SteamOS? Presumably the Steam Box, which Valve may announce as soon as this week—though recent layoffs have caused some to call the project into question. (Valve head Gabe Newell’s dismisses that possibility.)Steam also says it’s working on bringing video and music to SteamOS boxes, though nothing’s been confirmed yet.Whether Valve makes the box that runs SteamOS or third-party manufacturers pick it up, the entry of Steam has made the console market more interesting.The Contenders, ComparedSteamOS: No hardware yet, free software that works with any Steam-compatible PCBuilt on Linux and other open-source softwareStreams gameplay from a Windows or Mac PC to the TVLibrary of over 2,000 games, both major and indie titles (Dota 2, Skyrim, Civilization V, to give a decent cross-section of the selection) Indie gamer and developer-friendly (Valve takes roughly a 30% cut)Games all digitally distributed (no discs)Enables mods and hacks not possible or more difficult on major consoles (like putting monocles on crabs in Skyrim—because why not?!)Free to join Steam, no subscription feesOuya:$99 online or through retail partners (Gamestop, Best Buy, etc.)Runs a modified version of Android, the mobile operating systemMod-friendly, easy-open hardware; all systems are built to work as developer’s kitsAll Ouya games must meet a “free to play” requirement (trial modes, free and premium tiers)Games all digitally distributed435 games available in the Ouya library—not impressive, but growingStreaming video and non-gaming apps can be side-loaded onto the Ouya, native apps not yet availableXbox One:Microsoft gaming console, will retail for $499 on November 22$60/year Xbox Live membership required for online play and multimedia like Netflix and Hulu PlusDigital game downloads available over the Xbox Live networkLaunch exclusives: Halo 5, Titanfall, Dead Rising 3, Ryse, Below and (many) morePlayStation 4:Sony’s gaming console, will retail for $399 on November 15$50/year PlayStation Plus subscription required for online gaming, but not for streaming media like Netflix and HuluDigital game downloads available over the PlayStation Plus networkLaunch exclusives: The Order: 1886; Infamous: Second Son; Knack and moreWhen it comes to flashy, big-name gaming titles, indie upstarts like the Ouya and Steam can’t compete—but that’s not really what they’re about, anyway. Once Steam’s living-room hardware gets up to speed, Valve’s gaming platform will likely remain complementary to the major consoles where big titles live. But for dedicated PC gamers looking for a fresh, big-screen experience, SteamOS might just open up a whole new world of gaming—once it finds a hardware home, that is.  9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex…last_img

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