Battle for living room supremacy

Sitting next to many TVs in North America is a game console or two. Even if you don’t have one, you likely know someone who does.

Companies are constantly fighting for popularity and it’s not an easy fight. Gamers are often loyal to their system of choice. They’re always debating about the systems, the games, everything. Right now, people are arguing about these things somewhere on the internet.

A major reason people switch sides is when a company fails to deliver. Companies like Atari and Sega couldn’t make game consoles that people wanted. Now they make games for companies like Microsoft or Sony, who still fight for the biggest share of the console market.

In November, Sony and Microsoft are set to make the next move in this ongoing war when they release their new systems. They’re both approaching the market with bigger, faster machines with prettier looking games. It’s not a big change for them and it’s a method that works. Technology is often about the next big upgrade, rather than reinvention.

Valve, a small company compared to giants like Sony, is getting ready to bring something new to the living room. Most of Valve’s success lies in their digital marketplace called Steam, available for any home computer.

Steam offers thousands of games that you can choose from, and puts them on sale regularly. They help small companies, often referred to as indie game developers, sell their games to a wider audience. It’s a business model that works. Millions of people use Steam everyday.

To compete with the big names of the video game world, Valve is developing SteamOS. It’s a free version of Steam made to work best on your TV, so long as you can hook your TV up to your computer. It doesn’t take much. A good HDMI cable usually does the trick.

Not sure if your computer can handle it? Valve has you covered. On Sept. 25, they announced the Steam Machines. They’re specially built computers set to deliver the perfect SteamOS experience.

Unlike a normal game system, you’ll be free to open up a Steam Machine and upgrade it at your leisure.

Valve says that a group of 300 eligible Steam users will get to test these a prototype machine later this year.

It won’t just be for video games, according to Valve. They want to bring video and music services to SteamOS as well. If their idea pays off, Valve will provide everything your living room needs.

They’re trying to beat out the big companies by providing a system that will do more and last longer.

Swaying gamers to their side won’t be easy, but Valve is hoping that SteamOS will provide something for everyone. They haven’t announced an official release date or cost for the Steam Machines, but they won’t be out before the end of the year.

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