So last week saw a plethora of exciting new announcements from Valve the producers of what must be the most popular PC, Mac and Linux based PC download service Steam. Steam Itself already offer’s PC gamers a whole ream of fantastic services, cloud saving an active and easily accessible modding community… least of all is the fantastic saving many Pc gamers manage to exploit during the infamous Steam Christmas and Summer sales, no doubt you’re steam catalogue is just as woefully backlogged as my own.
For a while Valve have been hinting and how they plan on bringing this fantastic service to those who wish to game on their PC in the comfort of their favourite arm chair on a massive 50 inch TV as opposed to a computer chair in front of a laptop screen. Well first we had Steam in Big Picture mode a reinterpretation of the Steam interface that made it immediately more accessible to controller users.
But Valve don’t intend on stopping their no, no they’ve got bigger and better plans than big picture. Also announced last week was on three separate announcements eagerly anticipated by all I’m sure. First was the Steam OS.
Steam OS is an operating system based on a Linux architecture but is intended to work in conjunction with Big picture mode in bringing Steam to the living room. Here’s a description from Valve themselves.
“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.”
Some of the main features Valve is boasting that will make PC-living room gaming a reality are the ability to Stream you’re games from any Windows or Mac directly to your Steam OS machine, (Could this be the end of the Nvidia Shield?), the’res also the ability to create Family sharing accounts with Steam where other members of your family will be able to access any games in your own library when you’re not using them. A fantastic way for those select games gathering dust to finally see some game time!
There was also also the announcement that Valve would be creating it’s very own ‘Steam Machine’ and not just one! According to Valve’s statement many different Steam Machine’s are currently under development in order to offer consumers the best option for their living room. All machines will run the previously mentioned Steam OS and will be released in 2014, but if your as keen as myself to get your hands on one before everyone else, 300 lucky Steam users (Kinda’ like a golden ticket aye?) will be selected to partake in a Hardware Beta, details on how to take part can be found on the Steam website, I suggest you sign up quickly I already have!
Last but almost certainly not least was the announcement of the Steam Controller, up until now you cant deny that the Xbox 360 controller has been the champion of those PC gamers choosing to pick up a game pad over a keyboard and mouse, It’s definitely my chosen method of gaming on the PC , but again Valve is looking to change this with the announcement of its very own PC controller. Featuring dual track pads as opposed to a mass of face buttons (they can even be used as speakers) and a touchscreen in the centre It really is an exciting piece of hardware and is included as one of the machines up for Beta testing to the select few. More details on the controller itself can be found here.
It really is an exciting time to be a PC gamer and with announcements from Valve such as these could we be about to see a re-birth of PC dominance? with more Steam box’s than Xbox’s sitting in the living room I really think It’s a possibility. B sure to keep your eyes on Expansive DLC where we’ll be covering more Valve announcements as they come.