Steam has become the standard for PC gaming. It has gained popularity since its humble beginning ten years ago. It’s hard to believe it has been a whole decade since that famous train has rolled onto our desktops. Since then Gabe Newell and his team have brought us some classic games such as, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, and Half Life 2. So I was excited to hear last week that Valve has some big announcements that they wanted to share with us.
The big day is finally here!
The folks at Valve have announced three new things, so let’s break them down.
1. Steam OS: An operating system built around Steam that uses the architecture of Linux to build a great gaming experience for all. This means that you can play any of your steam games from the comfort of your living room. With SteamOS we will get higher performance rates and better graphics processing. SteamOS will also be somewhat open, Valve says:
“Users can alter or replace any part of the software or hardware they want. Gamers are empowered to join in the creation of the games they love.”
To get a more in-depth explanation of the new OS, take a look at this article here.
2. Steam Machines: Valve promises this piece of hardware to be the “multiple choice answer” depending on where and when YOU want to game. The machines will be releasing early 2014.
According to Valve, many different manufactorers will take to making various versions of the Steam Box, including a beta box from Valve itself. Gamers will also be able to build their own box to run Steam OS.
Players who are interested in participating in the beta for these machines are required to complete the list found on that page, including playing one game, with a gamepad, on the Big Picture feature.
Valve states that they will begin to release Steam Boxes at the beginning of 2014, but owning a Steam Box is not required to continue your Steam PC use. The PC platform will continue to grow and expand. The Steam Box, however, will come with all games currently listed on Steam.
The third announcement, coming this Friday, is still unknown, though many have speculated that Half-Life 3, exclusive to the Steam Box, will be announced. However, due to this comment at the very bottom of that page…
Am I going to be using a mouse and a keyboard in the living-room?If you want. But Steam and SteamOS work well with gamepads, too. Stay tuned, though – we have some more to say very soon on the topic of input.
3.Steam Controller: With Steam OS and Steam Machines moving the game to your living room, it wouldn’t make sense to not have a controller for all of this. With this new controller you will be able to play your games from the comfort of your living room without all those extra chords.
This wireless controller has dual trackpads, a touch screen, and it is compatible with almost every game that is in the Steam database. The controller is different because in Valve’s words it has “precise aiming within a large visual field now benefit from the trackpads’ high resolution and absolute position control… [it is] capable of delivering a wide range of force and vibration, allowing precise control over frequency, amplitude, and direction of movement.” The new design looks sleek and it truly a unique way to incorporate all three of these announcements together.
Functionality and design are the focus of this new controller but the controller won’t be released until sometime next year just like the machines. Also something to note is that the controller will be able to work with any version of steam! Whether you buy a new machine or stick to your good ol’ PC you can use this controller. I will definitely get one of these because it sounds like the perfect solution to play games that aren’t necessarily “keyboard and mouse” compatible.
The news about a console from Steam is really making me wonder whether the next-gen consoles are in trouble. I know that there are a lot of Steam fan-boys and girls that are going to eat up all three of the new features. The PS4 and Xbox One won’t be affected until early next year but in the long run I don’t think that the next-gen consoles will be able to compete with PC-like machines.
So, there you have it folks! All three announcements have been revealed! Do you think these changes are going to affect the next-gen consoles by luring in the PC market? Are you excited for these new changes? Tell me what you think below!