The 10 steps of Valve's ongoing quest to conquer the living room

5. Construct hardware dedicated to that OS

And to go along with SteamOS is the evolution of the Steam Box that everyone (us included) couldn't shut up about last year: Steam Machines.

Steam Machines are hardware designed to run SteamOS out of the box. Valve still has its own dedicated Steam Box, which is currently in its prototype phase, but there will also be a wave of Steam Machines from other hardware makers.

Valve calls the Steam Machines "a powerful new category of living room hardware." We've yet to see exactly what form they'll take, but there will be plenty of options.

Steam Machines

The Steam Machines will take many forms

This is how Valve will get Linux into the living room, and it has to do so before the rest of these steps can follow. The only way that will happen is if SteamOS on Steam Machines and Valve's own Steam Box really is as accessible as a game console right out of the box, but with the openness of PC gaming.

6. Revolutionize controllers

This one's a gamble, but it could ultimately pay off.

We'll be frank: the Steam Controller that Valve unveiled last week after SteamOS and the Steam Machine program is just plain bizarre.

The buttons have all been moved around, and instead of control sticks it's got two feedback-giving trackpads and a touchscreen.

It looks nothing like the controllers we're used to, which could turn out to be a good thing or a bad thing.

Steam Controller

Change is not always bad

Either way, it's definitely too early to tell - but we know Valve has been experimenting with new control schemes for a while, and we imagine they wouldn't have unveiled the Steam Control if there wasn't more to it than meets the eye.

7. Earn support from developers

This is a big one, but Valve really needs to nail down support from game developers for its new platform to take off.

However promising the new world of Steam gaming seems, without all the games that Windows gamers enjoy, it's never going to be successful.

We know Valve has been courting developers for some time, but releasing games on SteamOS won't be simple since the system is based on Linux.

And right now Linux has just a fraction of the games Windows does, despite Valve's claims that it's the future of gaming.

Valve needs to nail developers down, though lucky for the company it has time as Steam Box prototypes aren't shipping yet and other Steam Machines aren't due until 2014.

8. Don't forget what living rooms are for

This may not matter to gamers, but to everyone else who uses the living room it's important that Valve secures support from non-gaming entertainment content providers.

How many people do you know who bought an Xbox 360 for GTA IV or Halo, and these days just use it as a glorified Netflix player? Those people have gotten used to using their game consoles for other purposes, and for Steam Machines to replace consoles in the living room Valve will need to step up the entertainment options significantly.

That holds especially true with the Xbox One and PS4 on the horizon; the next generation of game consoles will be the most entertainment-focused yet.

Valve committed a while ago to releasing non-game items on Steam, and now it's going to have to follow through on that big time to remain successful.

9. Don't stop looking to the future

Valve has proven that it's a company that looks ahead, not behind, and it needs to continue to do so.

Newell was talking about wearable computing last year, and with Samsung's Galaxy Gear now releasing and the iWatch's arrival breathing down our necks, that branch of tech is only going to get hotter.

Newell has said that Valve is looking to take on the big boys, like Apple - not just Microsoft and Sony - in its battle for dominance. That certainly shows more foresight than your average gaming company.

Most of all, Valve's recent endeavors to develop its own OS and hardware - based on open source Linux, no less - prove that it will keep looking forward. And that's definitely a good thing.

10. Damn it, give us Half-Life 3

That said, we still wish Valve would look back one more time to its most beloved franchise and finally give the world Half-Life 3.


This story needs an ending

There's not really much else to say about it. We want it, and they know we want it. We like to think it's just a matter of time - though it may turn out to be a long time.

It may be wishful thinking, but does else think Half-Life 3 would be the perfect launch title for SteamOS?

Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.