Valve's Steam Box made official as 'Steam Machines', beta coming soon, final hardware in early 2014

By on September 25, 2013, 1:00 PM
valve, steam, beta, gaming, prototype, steam box, steamos, steam machines

Valve on Wednesday announced Steam Machines, a hardware beta for the company’s upcoming planned takeover of the living room. In the second of three announcements this week, the company said they are working with multiple partners to bring a variety of gaming machines to market next year, ultimately allowing gamers to be able to choose the hardware that makes sense for them.

Valve believes the best way to ensure that the right products are getting made is to let gamers try them out and make changes as necessary during the creation process. To this end, the company will be shipping 300 prototype Steam Machines to users free of charge for testing.

All machines will run SteamOS (the company’s own operating system announced earlier this week) although beta participants are free to hack the box by running another OS, changing hardware and installing software as they see fit. Specifics on prototype hardware weren’t mentioned although Valve promised to share more on that front soon.

The beta will include access to nearly 3,000 games on Steam, hundreds of which are said to be running natively on SteamOS already. The remaining titles are said to work seamlessly via in-home streaming. A mouse and keyboard won’t be necessary as SteamOS works with gamepads but if you prefer a PC-style of play, go right ahead, Valve says.

Interested parties are invited to log into their quest page to track their current status towards beta test eligibility and perform a few other tasks (if you haven’t already) like joining the Steam Universe community group, make 10 Steam friends, etc.

Valve’s third and final announcement is expected around this time on Friday.




User Comments: 14

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

This has gotta be causing some waves in the Sony and Microsoft world. From a strictly gaming standpoint, they can't compete with what Steam has to offer.

JC713 JC713 said:

I hope this increases the amount of games developed using OpenGL.

stateofjermaine stateofjermaine said:

But they don't really have to, though, do they? I mean, they sell hardware by pushing their mutually exclusive AAA IPs. Isn't that how they've stayed around this long?

This has gotta be causing some waves in the Sony and Microsoft world. From a strictly gaming standpoint, they can't compete with what Steam has to offer.

1 person liked this | TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

But they don't really have to, though, do they? I mean, they sell hardware by pushing their mutually exclusive AAA IPs. Isn't that how they've stayed around this long?

This has gotta be causing some waves in the Sony and Microsoft world. From a strictly gaming standpoint, they can't compete with what Steam has to offer.

Oh, no doubt about that. But I can't help but think that when this box gets released and people see what's available to them - and it's a lot, those very few exclusive titles won't seem so important.

stateofjermaine stateofjermaine said:

But they don't really have to, though, do they? I mean, they sell hardware by pushing their mutually exclusive AAA IPs. Isn't that how they've stayed around this long?

This has gotta be causing some waves in the Sony and Microsoft world. From a strictly gaming standpoint, they can't compete with what Steam has to offer.

Oh, no doubt about that. But I can't help but think that when this box gets released and people see what's available to them - and it's a lot, those very few exclusive titles won't seem so important.

For sure. And hopefully it will drive competition, and bring couch-gamers around to some great [typically PC] franchises.

Guest said:

TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Oh, no doubt about that. But I can't help but think that when this box gets released and people see what's available to them - and it's a lot, those very few exclusive titles won't seem so important.

It all depends on what the final price of the Steam Box will be. If it's $800 or more, I rather continue gaming on my PC.

penn919 said:

Remember, SteamOS runs on linux so they've still got their work cut out for them. Microsoft and (to a lesser extent) Sony don't have to worry too much yet. We'll have to see how many developers are willing to port their games over which should be a significant challenge.

Guest said:

I think we can all guess as to what is coming on Friday... :)

Guest said:

Considering how AMD and Nvidia have just came out stating that they are going to be working diligently on improving their Linux drivers I think both Microsoft and Sony have something to fear.

Unless Valve prices themselves to much higher than Sony or Microsoft I know what I will be purchasing...

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I hope Friday has news of the next chapter in Half-Life!

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Steam has said that their final announcement will be in regards to Input. Ideas? I say a wireless controller like the Xbox 360 one, but of course de-badged and hard-coded into SteamOS.

Guest said:

Im gonna cancel my PS4 pre-order...... Welcome back to my living room Steam.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Remember, SteamOS runs on linux so they've still got their work cut out for them. Microsoft and (to a lesser extent) Sony don't have to worry too much yet. We'll have to see how many developers are willing to port their games over which should be a significant challenge.

I don't think it will be running on Linux but an actual version of Linux.

I'm very curious to see what they can do to make Linux work for gaming (and by work I mean not having to spend a lot of time and effort to make games run).

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