Thoughts: Steam OS

Instead of making a microconsole to stream our Steam stuff to our TVs or other such typical microconsole nonsense, Valve is making a linux-based OS for our living room. No more hauling machines or laptops out to hook up to the big TV, no more long cables of death, none of that. We can just install the free OS, turn on computer, and just stream it over the network. It also sounds like it’s going the cloud-based gaming route and letting us purchase and buy stuff to stream directly from them, but I’m not sure I’m reading that correctly.  This bit confuses me a bit:

Access the full Steam catalog of over nearly 3000 games and desktop software titles via in-home streaming.

They’re jumping onto the media entertainment bandwagon also, with plans for Music, TV, and movies, but it’s unclear if it’s an app thing like YouTube and Netflix and Hulu+ being on every damned electronic device under the sun, or we’re just doing a home sharing thing.

Family Sharing is another interesting feature which sounds promising. Valve is letting anyone play the games you have, in your house of course, under their own profile and stuff, so they’ll be able to earn their own achievements and not mess up your own progress and such. I like this. Assuming I’m understanding it correctly. Their progress and stuff gets saved into the clouds and next time they’re over, or whatever, they can resume where they left off. You also have some parental control kinda thing allowing you to control what games get seen under the OS, or who sees what. Though, I wonder how it will handle multiple Steam users under one roof, though. Would we be able to pool everything together? Yes, obviously only one person is going to playing on the big screen, but if you have five people living in your house with Steam accounts, would you be able to have access to all of those libraries? How would that work? Or is the thing only going to be tied to one machine?

It sounds interesting. For cloud-based gaming, I did OnLive. I jumped on it during a time when I didn’t have a system to play the games I really wanted, and with the addition of a mobile app, the idea of playing favourite games on my tablet or phone really appealed to me. They had several games I wanted to play too cheap to resist and I enjoyed playing them. I got to play a lot of games I wouldn’t have been able to until more recently, and I still haul the microconsole over to my other house so I can enjoy Amnesia, Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 2, Evil  Genius, and the other games I purchased during those moments of intense boredom. Granted, the games on there that really mattered to me I now have on real hardware, it’s still a nice thing to have. Unfortunately, it’s not a nice thing for people who must deal with unnecessary bandwidth caps, then they’re still doomed.

I’m more interested in Vita TV. I don’t own a Vita and it doesn’t interest me as a console, but there are a few games I’d like to play like Gundam Breaker, Soul Sacrifice, and Ys Memories of Celceta. $100 is a nice compromise. I’ll be getting my hands on one of these bad boys after the dust settles on my PS4 splurge. That is, unless I can make myself not buy games from now until then. Damn low willpower *grumble*.


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