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Your Move: Steam OS Could Bring Big Changes For PC Gaming

omrb / Flickr / Creative Commons

For as long as I’ve been gaming, console games have been played on the couch in front of a TV, and PC games up close to a computer monitor.

Now, the video game company Valve is blurring these lines. The company has created one unified platform, so you can play any of your games either in front of a computer or a TV, whichever you prefer.

Earlier this week, Valve-- the company behind the Half Life and Team Fortress games and the Steam online game store-- announced Steam OS, a new computer operating system made solely for gaming.

Based on the Linux operating system, Steam OS is intended to be installed on a computer connected to your living room TV. It will allow you to play the growing library of Linux games available on Steam.

But for games that are only available on Windows, it will also allow you to stream the game from your more powerful gaming computer so you can play any of the more than 2,000 Windows-based games in the Steam store through Steam OS. In addition to a keyboard and mouse, you’ll be able to use any game controller you can hook up to a computer, including those from the Xbox 360 or the PlayStation 3.

This is great news for gamers, as PC game prices tend to be lower and go on sale more frequently than console games, and today’s best gaming PCs can vastly outperform even the yet-to-be-released PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

This should push more developers to release their games on Linux, which could potentially drive more people into using Linux as their day-to-day operating system and give Microsoft some much-needed competition.

Samuel McConnell is a games enthusiast who has been playing games in one form or another since 1991. He was born in northern Maine but quickly transplanted to Wichita.