Valve has made its first real move toward its vision of having a "Steam Box" in every living room: a native Linux client for its popular game and software digital community.
Steam for Linux launched today for the popular Ubuntu distribution of the open source Linux operating system, along with an extensive sale on Linux-native games, including Valve's recent ports of Half-Life, Counter-Strike Source and the free-to-play Team Fortress 2.
Co-founder Gabe Newell has been pushing for Linux-powered plug-and-play computers incorporating Valve's Steam client, to be manufactured both by Valve and by hardware partners.
Incorporating Steam's TV-friendly "Big Picture Mode" already, his Steam Box concept is technically a reality as of today for those who want to build their own.
"Our perception is that one of the big problems holding Linux back is the absence of games," Newell recently said. "I think that a lot of people...donít realize how critical games are as a consumer driver of purchases and usage."