Valve Company, a far-famed developer and PC games distributor, joined the nonprofit Linux Foundation that oversees a wide range of activities associated with the development of Linux. The fact should be underlined that Valve is actively promoting Linux as a first-class gaming platform to compete with game consoles and platform PC.
The growth of interest in Linux
At the first stage, the company has produced a version of Valve Steam client for Linux and has worked extensively with video card manufacturers to improve the performance Linux- drivers of NVIDIA, Intel and AMD devices for improved productivity. As a result the company has attracted the interest of game developers to Linux, while the number of available Steam games for Linux has been brought up to 250, taking into account the fact that in the beginning of the year the number of Linux games reached the mark of 40 projects, and as of early summer it has experienced a growth in 2.5 times only.
In the early September the optimistic Valve dreams about a new gaming ecosystem became a reality; based on the Linux operating system and the SteamOS, a series of new gaming consoles under the name of SteamMachines was officially announced. SteamOS is positioned as a free operating system that allows modifications, replacement of components and derivative systems creation. The platform is not tied to specific hardware, and it will be available in the form of separate assemblies, suitable for self-installation on ordinary computers. The main component of the system and the basic interface is represented by Big Picture, a Steam Engine mode (a version of Steam for Linux is completely analogous to the version used in SteamOS).
Third-party companies and enthusiasts will be able to create their own devices based on SteamOS, thus allowing a new gaming ecosystem to be independent from particular hardware manufacturers and software developers. Currently a bunch of prototypes of devices, positioned as TV connectable home entertainment centers, combining the functions of media centers, internet browsers and platforms for running games, are being tested. It is planned to release several models for different price categories, allowing the users to select the equipment in accordance with their own preferences. The release of the first models based on SteamOS is expected in 2014. Unfortunately, the company representatives ignored the questions regarding the approximate price of the neoteric gadgetry.