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Valve Announces Steam Machines


Jack Gardner

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Earlier this week, Valve dropped a knowledge bomb by unveiling SteamOS. Today they revealed that what was rumored to be a Steam Box will actually be multiple boxes from multiple manufacturers coming in 2014.

 

While Valve hasn't said what companies will be creating the hardware, they have said that they will be coming next year and all will come running SteamOS. As a means of testing their own box, Valve will be giving away 300 beta machines to Steam users free of charge. "We have designed a high-performance prototype that’s optimized for gaming, for the living room, and for Steam. Of course, it’s also completely upgradable and open," read the announcement.

 

Want to be eligible to be chosen for the beta? Just follow these simple steps:

 
Before October 25, log in to Steam and then visit your quest page to track your current status towards beta test eligibility
  1. Join the Steam Universe community group
  2. Agree to the Steam Hardware Beta Terms and Conditions
  3. Make 10 Steam friends (if you haven't already)
  4. Create a public Steam Community profile (if you haven't already)
  5. Play a game using a gamepad in Big Picture mode
     
If you have more questions regarding the box, there is a handy FAQ included in the Steam Machines announcement. There are still many unanswered questions related to the specs of Valve's beta box, who will be making the other boxes, etc. However, Valve is making it clear that these boxes will be highly modifiable.
 
There is a third and final countdown for Friday and the last words of the Steam Machines announcement read: "Am I going to be using a mouse and a keyboard in the living-room? If you want. But Steam and SteamOS work well with gamepads, too. Stay tuned, though - we have some more to say very soon on the topic of input." Does this mean we will be seeing a Valve controller reveal? Stay tuned and we'll keep you up to date.
 
What do you guys think of this turn of events? What do you make of Valve's plunge into hardware and operating systems?
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