Valve Software, a game developer and the owner of Steam video game distribution service, has unveiled its Steam Machines initiative. The systems, which will run Valve’s SteamOS, will be available from numerous manufacturers next year. At present, Valve introduces beta program that will let select users to test drive one of the upcoming Steam Machines.
“Entertainment is not a one-size-fits-all world. We want you to be able to choose the hardware that makes sense for you, so we are working with multiple partners to bring a variety of Steam gaming machines to market during 2014, all of them running SteamOS,” a statement by Valve reads.
Essentially, a Steam Machine is a personal computer based on SteamOS operating system and equipped with a gamepad or a different set of controller. Beginning in 2014, there will be multiple SteamOS machines with an array of specifications, price, and performance, made by different manufacturers. Since SteamOS will be available publicly and free, every experienced user will be able to design and build his or her own Steam Machine.
Valve has designed a high-performance prototype, which is completely upgradable and open, that is optimized for gaming, for the living room, and for Steam. This year Valve is going to ship just 300 of these boxes to Steam users, free of charge, for testing. Beta testers are supposed to
The nearly 3000 games on Steam. Hundreds already running natively on the SteamOS, with more to come. The rest will work seamlessly via in-home streaming.