The SteamOS beta has released to the public alongside the initiation of its beta program, which will put 300 prototype Steam Machines into the wild. For the estimated 7,129,999,700 of us not selected for that program, a living room machine running the new, free, Linux-based OS is still doable, though installing it may require some tinkering—Valve suggests you wait until 2014 unless you’re an “intrepid Linux hacker.” Challenge accepted.
At the time of writing, Valve has not officially announced that SteamOS 1.0 “Alchemist” is available for download. We expect a page to go live at store.steampowered.com/steamos/beta/ later today. [Update: it’s live.] Steam Universe group officer Jvert (presumably Valve engineer John Vert), however, has confirmed that the correct download link is at repo.steampowered.com/download/.
Unfortunately, that download will most likely fail right now. To help spread the data, Steamdb has created an unofficial torrent, but use caution when downloading from any unofficial source. [Update: Valve has provided MD5 and SHA512 checksums to verify that your download is genuine.] You can find system requirements and installation instructions in the official FAQ—note that AMD graphics cards are not currently supported.
SteamOS is meant to free Steam’s game library from the desktop, extending Valve’s domain to the living room with a superior couch-based PC experience and some of the features that have become standard on consoles, such as media streaming services. For Valve, it’s also about declaring freedom from Microsoft—SteamOS will only run games with Linux support (of which we expect to see many more in the coming year). That bold statement is tempered by the ability to stream games from a Windows PC to SteamOS over a local area network, though how much it’s tempered will depend on how well streaming works.
We’ll be playing with SteamOS this weekend, and plan to have impressions and installation tips for you as soon as possible. If you’re the patient type, Valve’s Steam Controller and third-party Steam Machines will be available until next year, no “Linux hacking” required, presumably.
1. One of the hackers must take over every channel on TV and deliver a speech that’s like a bad ripoff of a Max Headroom routine. They should scoff at the government, and use the word “sheeple.” Either that, or the hacker should have an underground viral video show that involves crazy stunts and hip hop music.
2. At some point Keanu Reeves must show up. Hopefully with a ton of data implanted in his head and a cyber-dolphin.
3. Every aspect of the plot will be better if you just append the words “virtual” or “cyber” to them. There will be “virtual terrorism” and “cyber war”. References to “e-bombs” a plus. Can you use a firewall to block the virtual terror downloads? Yes!
4. Hacking scenes will involve psychedelic user interfaces that look like something out of an early 1990s music video. Remember, hackers never use command lines. That is boring. Also, something should be controlled by a laser. Every form of physical security will have colorful, 3D interfaces too. There will be touch screens covered in sparkly numbers, retina scans, facial recognition, or holograms.
When you think of the ’90s, you can’t think of it without these 10 Most Influential Video Games. They have created a lot of inspiration and ideas for the games we play today. Ranging from their unique story lines, strategic abilities, and replay value, these titles deserve credit where credit is due. Without wasting any more time, let’s take a look at the 10 Most Influential Video Games From the ’90s.