In the first of three big announcements promised by Valve this week, the company has announced free, Linux based operating system designed around their Steam game distribution platform.
Steam OS, coming soon, will allow you to stream games from your Steam library on Mac or PC to another computer on your network running Steam OS. Essentially, your computer acts as a server for your game library. Valve is also promising music and movie streaming services will be available on Steam OS, so we're likely looking at services like Hulu and Netflix being available as well.
While this isn't quite a Steam powered console that everyone has been hoping for, it should be great for playing your Steam library in multiple rooms without moving your primary computer, or having to have it connected to your TV.
Will a Steam Box be in the cards for one of the further announcements this week? We'll have to wait and see. It seems a safe bet to assume that Valve has some kind of tie in hardware for this to announce. An affordable box to run Steam OS on would go a long way to making it viable for the average consumer. After all, you essentially need two PCs to run Steam OS. Since it's Linux based, that also really limits the games that are available to run natively on the box as opposed to streaming from a Windows based Steam library.
What else does Valve have in the cards for their announcements this week? Perhaps a killer app for their new OS? Perhaps a little game called Half Life 3? We'll have to stay tuned, but Valve is declaring war for the living room, and you can bet Sony and Microsoft are keeping an eye one what they're up to.