Valve announces SteamOS, customers hesitant
Published: Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 03:10
The Steam train is still chugging along. And with Valve’s announcement of Steam Operating System, it won’t be stopping any time soon.
Valve’s new operating system, dubbed “SteamOS,” was announced by the company last week, and this OS will allow Steam to be more flexible than ever by being able to work with their PC demographic while also having the ability to jump to consoles. According to an interview with Valve CEO Gabe Newell via theverge.com, Newell has wanted Steam to be available on console for years, and Valve’s implementation of Big Picture proves that.
Many students at SHSU had mixed opinions about the news of SteamOS. Senior student Andrew Bannon, vice president of Sam Houston Association of Computer Science, said that the concept sounds nice, but that’s about it.
“It sounds great on paper,” Bannon said. “But I already have a badass PC for Steam. I don’t want to buy another console to use SteamOS when I’ve got a $1,500 machine that does it all already.”
Senior student Drew Carson, president of SHACS, took the argument a step further.
“For those asking why there isn’t an all-in-one device already, the answer is simple,” Carson said. “We already have one. It’s called a PC.”
Last year when Steam integrated their new (optional) interface Big Picture, it not only enabled a streamlined display on TV, but also enabled an intuitive interface made just for controllers. This is the next step in Newell’s plans on making his recently announced Steam Box a reality.
According to Steam’s website, there are also four new features added into the OS: In-home streaming, family sharing, family options and streaming media.
The in-home streaming allows users to play all of their Windows and Mac games on their SteamOS enabled machine. All users have to do is turn on their computer and run Steam, then their SteamOS machine can stream the games via internet into their TV, according to Steam.
Family sharing addresses the issue of sharing Steam games with family members. This feature will allow users to take turns playing each other’s games while earning their own Steam achievements and saving their individual progress on the Steam cloud.
Family options cover the potential problem of family members’ games overlapping onto each other’s library. This will allow families more control over what titles get shown by whom.
The last feature is media streaming. According to Valve, they’re currently working deals with media services to stream music, TV and movies to SteamOS.
For developers, the real draw is SteamOS’s freedom to let game developers do what they want in-house.
According to Steam’s website, “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.”
This means that SteamOS allows indie developers to connect directly to their customers. This enables developers to use Valve’s software and hardware how they see fit by letting users alter anything they want. SteamOS also allows gamers to join in on developers’ creations.
SteamOS will be free to download but won’t be available until 2014.