The introduction of Steam as a hub for buying PC games revolutionised the distribution model for PC gaming. Steam creators Valve are now hoping to introduce the next revolution in PC gaming with the introduction of the Steam OS.
The mission statement for the Steam OS is to bring thousands of games, millions of users… everything you love about steam… available as a free operating steam designed for the TV and the living room.
From this statement we can assume the primary function of the steam OS will be to allow users to stream their PC gaming content from their gaming PC to their television through a network connected hub.
As this is the first of three announcements regarding Steam this week, speculation is gathering pace as to whether the fabled Steam Box will be announced this week. Some analysts have predicted three version of a steam box, an entry level Apple TV style hub which will allow you to stream games, an better steam box which will most likely have a dedicated GPU for playing modern games at 720p quality, and a fully featured steam box which would likely be a fully fledged gaming PC in a custom steam box case.
I have been interested in PC gaming for a long time but have been put off by the high entry price, but recent developments by AMD in developing APUs with solid integrated CPU and GPU capabilities mean that this barrier to entry is becoming less of an issue.
The rest of Valve’s announcements regarding steam this week will give a fuller picture of what they have planned. Steam as a gaming hub may just have reached a critical mass where the development of a gaming specific OS for the living room could be a big success. Unlike the likes of the Ouya gaming console, Steam already has a solid consumer base who would see extending their steam experience to their living room as a natural progression in their gaming experience.
Whether a steam OS is likely to have a big impact on the PS4 or Xbox One remains to be seen, however by the time the next generation of console is launched Steam OS is likely to have a big enough consumer base that they will begin to eat into Sony and Microsoft’s sales.
Do you game on your PC? Would Steam OS excite you? Can you see Steam OS cannibalising PlayStation and Xbox sales?
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By Fred Creedon [button color=”blue” size=”small” link=”https://twitter.com/FredLikesTech” target=”blank” ]Fred’s Twitter[/button]