PC gaming juggernaut Valve, which operates the popular Steam digital distribution platform, announced that it's coming for your living room with a new operating system and devices that will play games on your television.
The company, whose Steam service is basically the iTunes for selling video games, made the announcements in a series of revelations on its website.
"Entertainment is not a one-size-fits-all world," Valve said. "We want you to be able to choose the hardware that makes sense for you, so we are working with multiple partners to bring a variety of Steam gaming machines to market during 2014, all of them running SteamOS."
Earlier in the week, the company announced plans for its SteamOS, a game operating system that will bring PC gaming to the couch and television.
It's a similar strategy to how
It's potentially a major shift in console gaming, which has been dominated for years by
Valve, by comparison, is a proponent of open source development, as evidenced in its announcement.
"Q: Can I hack this box? Run another OS?" the company said in a Q&A section. "Change the hardware? Install my own software? Use it to build a robot? A: Sure."
Steam has provided a huge boost for indie development, since it allows them to sell directly to customers without a traditional publisher.
That means gamers will have a lot more options. It could also mean indie games that have made their name on Steam will now be more accessible to console players as well.
That's a big selection; there are nearly 3,000 games currently available on Steam. That decimates the libraries of the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and
"While it might initially be easier for indie games to get noticed in entirely new ecosystems like the OUYA, the size of the Steam audience has made it the must-be-here-to-matter store for PC games," Curry said. "If Valve keeps supporting and improving their indie-outreach efforts, like Greenlight, then SteamOS and Steam ... could mean great things for developers who want to sell their games directly to gamers in their living rooms."
"Personally I think Apple is the sleeping giant in the living room," he said in an email. "Already have a
Valve's announcement also met with a huge response online. The online community Reddit -- one of many forums for gamers -- immediately began dissecting the news.
"This is actually really exciting," user C_Coolidge wrote on Wednesday. "It opens all kinds of doors. The barrier to entry into the console market just got a lot lower."
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