Valve, the company behind the Steam platform, spoke boldly about its SteamOS plans in the past. It was all about creating an operating system designed from the ground-up for gaming and adding this operating system to hardware known as Steam Machines.
The Linux-based boxes were hailed as an open source alternative to Windows 10 and Mac OSX, but after all the tough talk, it’s almost impossible to find a commercial system with SteamOS at the center of the experience.
It leaves us to wonder what’s happening, and if the OS is dead and already buried. However, it would seem as if Valve has yet to give up on this project, which is a good thing.
According to Pierre-Loup A. Griffais, and employee from Valve, SteamOS is still a thing within the company, and the reason it was removed from the platform is due to low traffic.
This is understandable because the Linux-based operating system wasn’t taking off as some had expected, and the release of Windows 10 and DirectX 12 probably made things even more difficult.
“While it’s true Steam Machines aren’t exactly flying off the shelves, our reasons for striving towards a competitive and open gaming platform haven’t significantly changed. We’re still working hard on making Linux operating systems a great place for gaming and applications,” according to Griffais. “We also have other Linux initiatives in the pipe that we’re not quite ready to talk about yet; SteamOS will continue to be our medium to deliver these improvements to our customers, and we think they will ultimately benefit the Linux ecosystem at large.”
The plan right now is to improve the Vulkan graphics API, a major competitor to DirectX 12. Valve wants to bring the API to every major platform, which includes iOS and macOS. Furthermore, the team wants to make sure the API is well supported on the Linux platform to keep it at the same level as other platforms.
Griffais went on to add that Valve is investing significant resources into Vulkan. Additionally, the company has several Linux initiatives in the works, but there’s no intention to speak about these plans in detail as of right now.
SteamOS Sits at the Forefront of Innovation
The good news right now is that SteamOS will be the primary platform for Valve to deliver Vulkan-related innovations, and that’s good for the operating system and those in support of it.
Apparently, what’s in the works could benefit the Linux ecosystem overall, but at the moment, it’s all talk. Valve has been making plans and talking for years, but has failed to make any major step that gives the impression of its seriousness.
As it stands, then, Windows is still the leader in the PC gaming arena, and that’s not going to change any time soon. We doubt Valve can compete with Microsoft in this space on its own, so don’t be surprised if a major partnership rises up in the years to come.