Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Games Operating System "SteamOS" - Valve attacks on Microsoft and Sony - Sü

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24 September 2013 19:47

A scene like in “Poltergeist”: SteamOS to draw the user and his cat in the living room in his spell

. (Photo: Screenshot: Steam / Valve )

It’s about dominance in the living room: The game makers Valve announces “SteamOS” its own operating system. In order to run PC games on your TV. For the console manufacturer it could be a dangerous opponent grow – because Valve also enjoys the confidence of the players


The picture is somewhat reminiscent of the horror film “Poltergeist”. In a famous scene of a child sitting in the living room at night, a silhouette, staring transfixed in the light of the roaring television screen.

Valve has become a cat out of the little girl from the living room a futuristic space. There are now five screens that bathe the room in a purple light. The game company known for PC FPS games like “Counter Strike” and “Half-Life” and the puzzle series “portal”, applying with this image, a new operating system designed specifically for computer games that will draw the player in the living room just as captivated as the poltergeist in television.

“SteamOS” is a version of the open source Linux operating system. Optimized for operation games to it from the PC hardware on which it is installed, get more performance than is possible, for example, with Microsoft Windows. Is named “SteamOS” by Valve’s storefront for downloadable games called “Steam” and the English letter “OS” operating system, operating system .

attack on the industry giants

But this system is only one element of a three-part strategy to bring the PC as a gaming device in the living room – and to bring game console manufacturers like Sony and Microsoft in trouble. On Wednesday, a second part of the living room strategy to be announced on Friday expected to be the third and final element for the time being.

Valve, thanks to the success of Steam equipped itself with considerable market power, that blows to attack the leaders in the industry. At Sony, for the launch of the Playstation 3 would allow even that could be installed on the Linux console, before they finally removed this feature via software update. This has angered some users who want a Linux PC in the living room. Microsoft, which already marketed the first Xbox console as a PC near. On the PC, Windows has always been unrivaled when it comes to provide an operating system for PC games.

far. So far, the Linux industry has largely ignored, partly because it was difficult to ensure the functioning of the various Linux distributions available. Providing a distribution specifically for the Games operation could change that. In addition, game developers Valve pushed for some time that more and more PC games are no longer dependent on a Windows operating system. There are now at least 200 Linux-compatible games in Steam’s online store, though mostly smaller independent films. And 2014, according to Valve also some “AAA titles” – ie big budget blockbuster games – especially for “SteamOS” optimized on the market. In addition, there is the opportunity to bring to the TV with “SteamOS” over the private network games from a Windows PC or Mac by streaming.

applies also to be relatively sure that Valve will introduce the so-called “SteamBox” this week – the associated console for “SteamOS” operating system. If you believe the became known in February plans designed Valve the SteamBox not so much as a closed hardware platform, but rather as a blueprint for other manufacturers who want to make themselves a “SteamOS” device in the living room of the users.

A controller with three buttons – a reference to “Half-Life 3″

(Photo: Screenshot: Steam / Valve )

Thus, a manufacturer may even provide a TV directly to “SteamOS” and thus make their own console in the living room completely unnecessary. Valve wants to make sure its operating system, as is customary for Linux distributions in general, potential licensees for free – and called “SteamOS” jokingly a “Co-Operating System”


Full-fledged PC games in the living room, that is. For the console manufacturer a heavy blow. Because of their long hardware cycles – the current generation has been about seven years on the market – the technology lags after a short time the easily upgradable PC afterwards. For this, the consoles dotted with its simplicity and availability in the living room. Both aspects, which apparently takes Valve attack. And also the other functions of the console – for example, the use of video and music streaming services – to “SteamOS” can exercise while still bringing the benefits and flexibility of a PC to the TV


Valve enjoys the confidence of the players

The hurdles are high for the entry of a new candidate on the market for gaming consoles, which the industry giants Sony and Microsoft (and, to a lesser extent at the moment, Nintendo) will be dangerous. But his chances Valve: Steam has long been the world’s most successful platform for the sale of downloadable games. Anyone who has bought a game there, it can be with his password on any PC download, install and play – even on a living room set with “SteamOS”. The catch: The game is forever linked with the account of the purchaser, can not be sold and given only under strict conditions to relatives or friends


But Valve has the confidence and goodwill of the players, because Steam outweigh the disadvantages with comfort features such as online game booths and a lively community for independent games and user projects. And so many potential users of “SteamOS” already have a large collection of games for the future platform. How much revenue does the company actually with Steam is not known, but according to vague company information is likely to be several billion euros annually.

controller, Oculus Rift, or at last Half-Life 3?


covered the company holds in the context of “SteamOS”. On a website specially set up by Valve cryptic symbols and pictures can be seen, including an unusual game controller with only three buttons. Some Reddit users also want to recognize evidence that “SteamOS” will work with the upcoming virtual-reality helmet Oculus Rift. Or that Valve will offer a special controller with interchangeable hardware elements, for some time before a patent has been published. And promotes it at Valve enjoys this guesswork.

Valve not only attracts customers, but the competition with the same. Sony and Microsoft have their consoles but with a different strategy. For Microsoft, which for the current Windows 8 just need to listen to harsh criticism from players, comes the announcement of “SteamOS” the absolute wrong time. The chains with which Microsoft and Sony want to bind their customers’ loyalty have become brittle by now SteamOS. A successful SteamBox they could break eventually.

Link tip: Everything, absolutely everything there is to know about Valve’s hardware plans, the colleagues of The Verge have collected


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