Valve has a lot going on lately, with ongoing betas of Steam for Linux, as well as Big Picture Mode (and presumably Half Life 2: Episode Three). As it turns out, those two programs are directly related.
Speaking to Kotaku at the Video Game Awards, Gabe Newell alluded to Valve selling their own branded PCs with the Linux version of Steam pre-installed, with hardware that will be “… a very controlled environment”. It seems that their goal is to make a PC that is as easy to use as a console, with Gabe using the term “turnkey”.
It seems that the end goal of Steam for Linux is completely bypassing Windows, and using Linux as a base for a dedicated Steam OS. They will continue to develop Big Picture Mode for Windows of course, Gabe saying that “If you want more flexibility, you can always buy a more general purpose PC. For people who want a more turnkey solution, that’s what some people are really gonna want for their living room.
“The nice thing about a PC is a lot of different people can try out different solutions, and customers can find the ones that work best for them.”
Gabe has been slagging Windows for quite a while now, and his intentions are as clear as ever now. He is a very influential man in the game industry, and if anyone can convince developers to work on Linux ports of their game, it’s him.
2013 will be an interesting year for PC gaming. New consoles are expected to be announced next year, which will allow the PC to finally flex its muscles. And with Gabe taking whatever replaces XBOX 360 and PS3, as well as Windows itself, we will definitely have a lot to talk about.
At the very least, we are going to step up our coverage of gaming in the living room for sure. Stay tuned for that!