The thought of a PC gamer normally goes along the lines of someone who is locked away in the study or spare bedroom, hunched over a desk, intensely staring at the screen from a foot away, furiously moving the mouse and bashing away at the keyboard for hours on end into the wee hours of the night. This stereotype has long been held, and for good reason, as this is exactly how PC games were mostly played.
I say “were”, because over time, the landscape has slowly been changing, and where gaming consoles once reigned supreme in the lounge room, we have started seeing sleek and powerful PC’s appear, that blend in with the TV cabinet, and can be set up to use your favourite gamepad or console controller, and configured and upgraded in unison with the evolution of gaming graphics and sound.
A major player in the PC gaming world is Valve. They created a piece of software in 2003 called Steam, which in essence is a content delivery system that primarily functions to allow for the download, installation, and automatic management of PC games.
On Tuesday, Valve announced they would be releasing a dedicated Linux-based Steam operating system called SteamOS, with the idea of expanding on the current Steam client to add additional functionality such as media sharing, media services, live streaming, Family Sharing, and parental controls.
The operating system would be freely available to any user to install on their own hardware. Today, they made a second announcement – SteamMachines – “a powerful new category of living-room hardware”, which are built to run SteamOS, and take advantage of the operating system features.
Valve will be creating their own prototype, but the idea is that there will be multiple Steam Machines available made by different manufacturers, with Valve saying “there will ultimately be several boxes to choose from, with an array of specifications, price, and performance.” There is a third announcement due for release on Saturday, and most believe this will be in relation to a Steam gamepad/controller.
The move of the PC in to the realms of the console in the lounge room has started to generate a lot of pace in the last few years, and with these latest announcements from Valve, this idea will be seen in more homes than ever, and become reality far quicker than previously expected.
Stay tuned for a more in depth analysis of these announcements from Steam, and what could be in store for us gamers in the near future.