Valve Software, the creator of Steam platform and games like Halflife and Portal, has joined the Linux Foundation. It was a matter of when, and not why, Valve would join the foundation as the company is building its own gaming operating system based on Gnu/Linux. The operating system, named Steam OS, will power 3rd party game consoles called ‘Steam Machines‘ which are expected to hit the market in 2014.
Valve’s CEO and founder Gabe Newell said that ‘Linux is the future of gaming‘ at LinuxCon, an event organized by the Linux Foundation, this year.
“Joining the Linux Foundation is one of many ways Valve is investing in the advancement of Linux gaming. Through these efforts, we hope to contribute tools for developers building new experiences on Linux, compel hardware manufacturers to prioritize support for Linux, and ultimately deliver an elegant and open platform for Linux users,” said Mike Sartain of Valve.
Valve, unlike other players looking at the consumer space with their Linux OS, is noted for the marketing of the word ‘Linux’ in its promotion material. According to October stats from the company there are more than 65 million registered accounts for Steam.
With Steam OS Valve is doing what Google did with Android in the mobile space. Today, the gaming console market is controlled by Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft (though Xbox is a loss making division of the company), locking all other hardware vendors out of this market. With Steam OS all hardware vendors will be able to offer gaming consoles, which will compete with PlayStation, Xbox and Wii.