Valve has announced SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system “designed for the TV and the living room”.

An operating system built around Steam was the best way to bring that platform to the living room, said Valve.

“In SteamOS, we have achieved significant performance increases in graphics processing, and we’re now targeting audio performance and reductions in input latency at the operating system level,” it said.

“Game developers are already taking advantage of these gains as they target SteamOS for their new releases.”

The free OS will run on “any living room machine” and “combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen”, Valve added.

“With SteamOS, ‘openness’ means that the hardware industry can iterate in the living room at a much faster pace than they’ve been able to.

“Content creators can connect directly to their customers. Users can alter or replace any part of the software or hardware they want.”

Major developers are already on board, but any SteamOS machine can also stream games from Windows and Mac systems over a home network.

Music, TV, and movies were coming to the platform too, said Valve.

“We’re working with many of the media services you know and love. Soon we will begin bringing them online, allowing you to access your favorite music and video with Steam and SteamOS.”

Valve is making the second of its three announcements in 44 hours.