SteamDB creator Martin Benjamins posted an analysis of the recently announced Valve operating system SteamOS.
“Let’s be honest here, both the biggest feature and biggest problem SteamOS has is that it’s based on Linux,” he wrote.
Benjamins says that SteamOS will be primarily based off Ubuntu. In a previous blog post, it was revealed that Valve has had an Ubuntu repository under the category “hometest” dating as early as April which, according to Benjamins, “is obviously short for SteamOS being tested in people’s homes.”
Despite how preferable a lighter version of the OS would be, Benjamins said that most of Valve’s testing has been carried out on Ubuntu and the only existing repository they have is Ubuntu. “It’s looking like Ubuntu will be the thing they ship SteamOS with. Please prove me wrong, Valve,” he said.
Valve said yesterday that “game developers are already taking advantage of these gains as they target SteamOS for their new releases.” As of now, one of the problems with having a Linux-based system is that not a lot of games are supported. Though SteamOS technically gets around this by the inclusion of in-home streaming, this should only be considered a temporary solution.
“[In-home streaming] won’t be optimal, there will be latency and quality issues (it is Steam after all) but in the end it’ll push more and more developers to develop natively for Linux as their games aren’t being played the way they want them to be played if they’re being streamed.”
During Gabe Newell’s LinuxCon Keynote, he mentioned that Valve is developing a Linux debugger with another company. According to Valve, debugging and improving graphics performance is a lot easier on Linux due to the accessibility of its OS and hardware.
“With Valve’s ‘debugger’ coming up, developers will have a much easier time developing for Linux than they are having now on Windows,” said Benjamins.
As mentioned in the SteamOS announcement, the new operationg system will also include features that will support music, TV and movies. According to Benjamins, the Steam Beta client has two things disabled that offer clues about these features:
- Playing local music, making playlists, all from Steam. Import your iTunes music, or play music from a network share.
- Built-in Spotify support. Already mostly implemented in Steam beta, but disabled.
“We haven’t seen the next bit in the Steam client yet, but we can pretty much assume this is a given. Netflix. What’s the best way to get TV and Movies on a PC? Netflix? Maybe Hulu,” he continued.
“This brings a lot of good things to the gaming spectrum, however it also means a rather limited catalog at this point.”