Valve’s biggest step into the living room so far is SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system made to be used on televisions. The new system will be free to download and install on any machine “soon” and will be compatible with hundreds of games at launch, Valve revealed on its product page.
Valve didn’t specify what games will run on SteamOS at launch, but the page shows images of Metro: Last Light, Trine 2, Crusader Kings 2, Total War: Rome 2, and Football Manager 2013. Non-compatible games can still be streamed from a PC or Mac running Steam on the same home network.
Since SteamOS is being built from the ground up as a gaming system, users can expect “significant performance increases in graphics processing” as well as better audio performance and reduced input latency. Developers are already taking advantage of the streamlined system for new releases, Valve said.
It isn’t just for games, however. Valve’s working with several media services to bring music, TV, and movie streaming to Steam and SteamOS. With a SteamBox reveal expected later this week, Valve could soon give media streaming set-top boxes a run for their money.