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SteamOS not quite ready to take on the Big 3

SteamOS isn't the "SteamBox", but it's definitely a move in the right direction for Valve. In case you haven't heard, Valve introduced their new linux-based SteamOS today catering to those who want to enjoy Steam in the comfort of their living room. With SteamOS, Valve has "achieved significant performance increases in graphics processing, and [they're] now targeting audio performance and reductions in input latency at the operating system level". If that wasn't enough to entice you, SteamOS will also allow you to stream all of your Windows and Mac games on your SteamOS machine. SteamOS improvements over your current OS remain to be seen as no footage has been released to the public.

As great as SteamOS sounds, I don't really see this gaining a lot of traction, at least not until we see a dedicated machine for it which could come as early as next Wednesday ( http://store.steampowered.c... ). For now, it sounds like consoles from the Big Three still reign the living room. The two biggest concerns I have about Steam being in the living room is, players and games.

Currently, players who play video games in the living room enjoy the comfort of using a controller and sitting in practically any position ( Is SteamOS going to support the use of controllers? My guess is yes. However, I think those who enjoy Steam prefer to use a keyboard and mouse (just a guess). As a PC and console gamer myself, I am conflicted. When it comes to using a keyboard and mouse, I prefer to sit at the edge of my seat staring at the screen from around a foot or two away. When I use a controller I don't really have a sitting preference (if I do it depends on the game). This could be attributed to many things such as TV size, room size, seating, etc. but I think gaming with a controller has much more flexibility than using a keyboard and mouse. Which would you prefer if you had SteamOS?

Onto the games. With the PS4 being able to support a keyboard and mouse (though I suspect only a few games will take advantage of this), what incentives does a gamer have for putting SteamOS in their living room? Transferal of their Steam library I guess. But where's EA in their living room? Most people I know have both Steam and Origin on their PCs. Without EA support I can't see Valve taking over Sony and Microsoft in the living room. Remember the Dreamcast ( I loved Dreamcast, but with other competitors with more 3rd party support, Sega could no longer compete. In order to compete in the same arena, you need the games to back it up. With PS4 and Xbox One focusing more on independent games, does SteamOS have a chance? Maybe.

The best way I see SteamOS being implemented into the living room is through the "SteamBox". I don't think users would want to move their PC to the living room (unless it's already there) or even partition their HDD for the OS. A separate machine like the "SteamBox" seems more ideal. Even then I think they'll need to hold onto their cash cows such as Half-Life, Portal, Team Fortress, etc. and keep them as exclusives (or timed-exclusives) for their system in order to really compete. If that's not enough move units, then they'd probably have to make a comeback by releasing those games on the Big Three (Two) and and perhaps ditching the "SteamBox" all together. But for now, I can see SteamOS only being used by those familiar with Steam and not taking away any customers from the Big Three. What do you guys think?

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Pandamobile1640d ago (Edited 1640d ago )

Valve's primary goal with SteamOS is not to invade the living room (though that is a feature of it).

Their goal is to get games on Linux. They want to move PC gaming away from Windows and put it somewhere safe and protected in case Microsoft do something astronomically stupid with Windows in the next 10 years.

In short, it's safety net for the future. I might do a blog post on this tomorrow.

svoulis1640d ago

I half agree with you Panda, mainly because of PS4 running on OpenGL more devs may be able to "easily" port games to Linux, and that makes me happy. I do in fact think they are hoping to be a "competitor" in the living room, maybe not right away but kind of a slow "try it out" process.

I just hope driver support is completely optimized for the GPU's on SteamOS as it is for Windows.

Whitefox7891639d ago

I agree with you, SteamOS was more of a response on Gabe's end to the disaster of Windows 8.

SilentNegotiator1640d ago

It doesn't need to; it's just Steam expanding options to users.

PopRocks3591640d ago

I was gonna say, has Steam ever even been considered direct competition for any of the three main consoles? I always thought it was meant to be a quality option for the PC crowd.

Heck, I'M a console gamer primarily and I play a lot of games through Steam.

crxss1640d ago

Now that steam is invading the living room, I would consider it a direct competitor.

meatysausage1639d ago

you would still need a decent pc to stream to the living room. Its a great idea which ill be using but for those who simply want an easy console wont be too interested in it.
Correct me if im wrong

crxss1640d ago (Edited 1640d ago )

I think valve would love for steam to replace someone's home console (what firm wouldn't), that's one of the big reasons they're releasing the steambox and steamos. I mean look @ the URL name for steamos, "living room" is clearly the focus. There focus might be settling into the living room right now but eventually they'd want to take market share away from the Big 3 (that's what you'd want if you released a console). I'm just not sure if valve can really put a dent in the big 3. Perhaps they'd be satisfied with just moving a portion of their already active steam users to the living room.

If you have steam already, would you get steamos or the steambox? I'm probably not.

Whitefox7891639d ago

I would personally have to see more of the OS before considering it, just to see how stable of an OS it is.

If anything I would have two partitions on my PC one for gaming SteamOS and one for work Windows 7.

crxss1639d ago

I don't see it completely taking over Windows, Mac, or even Chrome OS (for those who use that), but that's probably not Valve's intention. A partition or full machine in the living room strictly for games/multimedia is their aim.

s45gr321639d ago

I am debating to upgrade my gaming rig or wait for the steambox. That is if the steambox is a powerful gaming system. Will steam put a dent to the big three absolutely due to its amazing deals and steals, free online gaming, mods a click away, and full backwards compatibility. If Valve somehow someway manages to get steam in the living room and is accessible or easy to use man the big three will lose the market .

Pintheshadows1640d ago

Considering I already have my PC hooked up to my TV this doesn't appeal to me in anyway and even then, bar getting more games to run on Linux, i'm not sure I see the point of SteamOS. I looked really hard but maybe it just isn't aimed at me.

crxss1640d ago

haha i think you are their target market which is kind of funny since you don't seem all that interested in it

s45gr321639d ago

True is definitely not aimed at you but if this steam OS is done through the steambox (hopefully similar to ps vita tv) then and only then it may be a game changer. Let's wait and see how it pans out.

s45gr321639d ago

I will wait for the next Valve announcements to see if the Steam OS is worth it or not

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