Valve has more in mind for the livingroom aside from Steam Box, apparently. Valve has announced Steam Machines, which it calls a "powerful new category of living-room hardware." Steam Machines will hit the market starting in 2014.
Steam Machines won't consist of a single hardware option. You'll be able to choose "the hardware that makes sense for you" according to Valve. Valve is currently working with "multiple partners" in an effort to bring a multitude of Steam-ready gaming machines next year, all of which will run SteamOS. Valve announced SteamOS on Monday.
While you'll have multiple Steam hardware options to choose from, Valve is also working on its own hardware that's currently in the protytype stages. You'll also have a chance to participate in the beta testing of this prototype by following the directions below.
How to Sign up for the Steam Box Prototype Beta
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
In order to have a chance to get a prototype Steam Box, you have to complete the above instructions by October 25. Only 300 prototype Steam boxes will be sent out, so sign up ASAP to better your chances.
The Steam console will be customizable in terms of both hardware and software. You'll also be able to build your own SteamOS-friendly system. Beta testers will be able to share their experience online and help Valve streamline and perfect this machine. Specs, sizes, prices and exact date of availability regarding any version of the Steam Box have yet to be revealed, but Valve promises that more will be revealed "soon."
You'll be able to use a mouse and keyboard with a living room Steam machine, but Valve also says that they have "more to say very soon on the topic of input." Chances are likely that a controller reveal is coming Friday, which is when Valve is set to make its next annoucement. Based on past statements made by Valve exec Gabe Newell, we wouldn't be surprised to see inputs that measure biometrics come Friday.
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