FULL STEAM AHEAD
Why Valve may be the next big name in your living room.
In addition to making the acclaimed Half-Life and Portal game series, Valve owns Steam, the world’s most popular online game distribution channel. But it’s not content to just be a developer and distributor of games – Valve wants to be a presence in your living room, with their own gaming hardware. Here’s what we know. operating system they’ve dubbed SteamOS.
Gabe Newell, co-founder and CEO of Valve, has gone on record to call Windows 8 a “catastrophe”, at the same time he has stated his belief that Linux is the future of gaming. Seeing that Valve’s own title Left 4 Dead 2 delivered a 270.6 FPS baseline when running on Windows 7 with Direct 3D drivers, while the port to Ubuntu 12.04 32-bit clocked in at 315 FPS, Gabe Newell may very well be right.
With SteamOS, Valve is putting its money where its CEO’s mouth is. Not only will the operating system be optimized for gaming, it will also provide access to other service such as internet content streaming. Rumors have all but confirmed that music-streaming Spotify will be one of the platforms included. With their own operating system and hardware plans revealed, Valve completes the set with their own Steam Controller, which Valve says offers a “vastly superior” way to play from the sofa.
The Steam Controller does away with the joysticks and replaces them with dual, circular, high-resolution track-pads. Haptic control has been added with the help of magnets. A four quadrant touch screen is also placed in the middle of the device. Valve has stated that the Controller will be compatible with all past, present and future titles to be distributed over Steam.