If you have ever built a gaming PC to replace your aging console, you know that there are some caveats to deal with. Windows OS is designed for the desktop, not the living room. And while Steam has a built in living room mode, you still have to get there. There are other issues inherent to a desktop based system – basically, it can be better.Developers will be able to program more directly to the hardware, which will give it a huge performance advantage over WindowsSteamOS is Valve’s effort at building a system that living room PCs can use to completely replace video game consoles. It is based on Linux, so will be completely modifiable by the end user. Most importantly, developers will be able to program more directly to the hardware, which will give it a huge performance advantage over Windows. If you’ve ever wondered how the relatively weak hardware of gaming consoles can manage to get good performance compared to a similarly specced PC, this is why.
Since it’s a new OS, many current important games won’t be able to run on it. Valve has worked around that by adding streaming support. Many new consoles can do this – Nvidia Shield can stream from a GeForce powered PC, Vita TV can stream from a Playstation 4, for instance, and SteamOS will be able to stream games from your Windows based desktop PC.
This is potentially the most important thing to happen to PC gaming in a long time, and gaming in general. It could lead to the end of dedicated gaming hardware, and the Xbox One, Wii U, and PS4 may be the last of a dying breed.
For more information, head to Valve’s announcement page.