Steam OS, Steam Machines and Valve Software’s “multiple partners”

Steam Client Fedora 20

I think Valve Software has grabbed the most headlines this week with the announcement of Steam OS and the Steam Machine. And Sabayon’s lead developer added to it by release the SteamBox, a remastered version of Sabayon Linux running the GNOME 3 desktop environment.

So it looks like as far as Valve Software is concerned, the future of gaming on Linux is very bright.

We know that Steam OS will be a Linux distribution. But will it be an original distribution or will it be based on an existing Linux distribution. I think later scenario is more likely, and the most obvious candidate will be Ubuntu Desktop. That’s for the operating system.

What about the Steam Machine, the hardware platform that will be released in 2014? For that, we know that based on the quote below, there will be more than one version.

Entertainment is not a one-size-fits-all world. 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.

And based on an article from NVIDIA, we know that one of them will be powered by a Tegra 4 processor, from NVIDIA, the same processor that powers NVIDIA’s own SHIELD gaming console. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Engineers from Valve and NVIDIA have spent a lot of time collaborating on a common goal for SteamOS: to deliver an open-platform gaming experience with superior performance and uncompromising visuals directly on the big screen.

NVIDIA engineers embedded at Valve collaborated on improving driver performance for OpenGL; optimizing performance on NVIDIA GPUs; and helping to port Valve’s award-winning content library to SteamOS; and tuning SteamOS to lower latency, or lag, between the controller and onscreen action.

So NVIDIA is one of those “multiple partners” that Valve Software is working with. Knowing the industry leaders in the mobile processor arena, I think it’s save to say to that the other partners will be Samsung (likely based on the Exynos 5 Octa processor) and Qualcomm (using the latest tier of Snapdragon processors).

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5 Responses

  1. I think the assumption that NVIDIA are working with Valve to get SteamOS on Android and ARM processors is faulty. I suspect this is more likely to be a streaming game on the Shield, not a native play experience.

    1. Steam Os and Android are both operating systems, so how can Valve even attempt to get it on Android. I certainly didn’t make that assumption in this article.

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