Valve is apparently making three big announcements this week; the first of which has just been revealed. A week ago, Gabe Newell went on record to say that Linux is the future of gaming. What he was talking about is now a little clearer with SteamOS: an operating system that appears to be designed to be the central control system of a living room.
As a gaming platform, it will allow users to play their Steam games on a TV; assuming that the next big announcement will the existence of the Steambox. It will also allow users to share games among family members, while allowing them to have their own save files and track their own individual achievements. Which is great with families that don’t want to end up buying multiple copies of games to play together.
Parents who want to keep certain games away from children (i.e. M rated games) will be able to hide those games from family. Although the website seems to approach the problem from the opposite direction. The announcement seems to indicate that it’s the kids who don’t want to see their parents games.
Music and video streaming services will also be appearing on the platform, although there are no details about who or what will be jumping on the bandwagon. More importantly, Valve is making the OS free for users to download for personal use, while allowing manufacturers to license it for their own use. This sounds like Google’s Android mobile OS for consoles, but more importantly, it could unify the console and PC gaming communities.