Valve, the company behind the online Steamworks game service as well as the publisher of such hit games as Portal and Half-Life, took a major step forward today in introducing a new service that would make it more convenient for people to play PC and Mac games on their televisions.
The company introduces the SteamOS, which is free of charge and promises "thousands of games, millions of users" across the service. The operating system will run games written expressly for it and the thousands of PC and Mac games you might have running on your home computer into your living room's big screen TV.
The announcement states, "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. It will be available soon as a free stand-alone operating system for living room machines.
Though Valve didn't quite make clear what the "living room machines" in question are, there is a slight possibility the service could interact with next-gen consoles, like the PlayStation 4. Nothing is official yet, though. Valve has two more announcements coming up this week, so perhaps we'll see some clarification on how the service will work with such devices. We may see the introduction of an actual SteamOS-powered console, and perhaps a long-awaited new game from Valve designed to work with the SteamOS.