He attributes a "democratization effect" from the likes of Kickstarter, Humble Bundle and even Steam Workshop. In-house streaming means "owning every room."
Valve has said they have no desire to 'lock in' SteamOS features and want to let people do what they want with it at every level; Ken Levine gives this a thumbs up.
"I think we’ve seen a move toward openness,” Levine tells . “There’s been a democratization effect with Kickstarter or the Humble Bundles, or even Steam Workshop, where you putting faith in the audience to help enhance the experience and make the experience better. And that requires openness to a certain degree.”
SteamOS is Linux based so what about our Steam Libraries? “There’s a lot of Linux porting to do, but if you’ve done a Mac version of something, you’re pretty close already, because Mac is based on the Unix kernel,” he says, adding it's nice to have something "where nobody can say, ‘Okay, this is what we’re doing with it, whether you like it or not.’ I think that’s interesting, because it’s not something we’ve traditionally seen.”
“The message to me is that it’s an operating system designed around gaming, and it’s pretty open,” he continued. “Linux is a means to an end.” The in-house streaming to screens these Steam Machines would be connected to means that Linux wouldn't be standing in the way of game compatibility as the PCs would be running it, not SteamOS.
"To me, an important part of the future is in-house streaming, where you have a machine somewhere in your house, and you can stream that gameplay out to any screen in your house, effectively turning those screens, whether it’s a TV or a monitor or an iPad or whatever, into a dumb terminal, and relying on the processing power of a central powerful machine.” This has been the principal behind OnLive, which uses cloud servers to stream games to users.
“It means you can choose to be screen agnostic,” he says. “Like, owning the living room could be less interesting than owning every room. And for the gamer perspective, being able to play in any room, pause your game, go to bed, go to your iPad, pick up a controller, and play from there.”
Check out thebetween Ken Levine and PC Gamer. Valve will be working with manufacturers to launch 'Steam Machines' at varying prices and specs, with the SteamOS available for free.