Steam Announcements Pt2: Steam Machines

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅25.09.2013 18:05:31

A powerful new category of living-room hardware is on the horizon.
Join the hardware beta now.
Choose the model right for you in 2014.

Valve have followed up Monday's SteamOS announcement with another bombshell, even if it has been anticipated for months: the Steam Machine. Coming to market in early 2014, multiple partners will be selling SteamOS machines, and although the prototyping process is still ongoing you may be chosen to participate in the beta period!


As expected, the second announcement is regarding the much anticipated Steam PC hardware. Known colloquially as 'Steam Boxes' believed to have been in the works since 2011, the now official Steam Machines will make their market debut in 2014 after Valve complete a prototyping/beta process.

Although Valve are assembling Steam Machine prototypes for testing it doesn't appear that they will be selling systems themselves. The concept, including specifications and certification of levels of performance, will be licensed to manufacturers for use. Detailed specifications for Steam Machines aren't included in this announcement, but at the very least they're likely to include discrete GFX cards, multi-core x86/x64 CPUs and high-speed wireless network capability. As NVIDIA have largely missed out on this generation of console releases it's reasonable to suggest that they will be strongly involved in the graphics portions of a Steam Machine specification.

Likely suspects for of HP, Dell as well as more gaming orientated brands such as MSI, GIGABYTE, ZOTAC and more. Each Steam Machine will be designed for gaming and SteamOS, but will be optimised for various acceptable noise levels, size etc. It may be that the Steam Machine model is one of multiple tiers, indicating performance levels and other information critical to those with a PC in the living room. In essence, the Steam Machines will provide a hard and fast categorisation system for gaming PC specs, improving the information available to the average buyer whilst also ensuring that the market for native SteamOS titles grows.

Those seeking to be a part of the Steam Machine beta will have a number of hoops to jump through before they are eligible for selection.

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

Full links and an FAQ can be found here:


Valve make it plain in their FAQ that gamepad gameplay is a big target for SteamOS and the living room experience, and that additional information on Steam controller hardware will be available soon. This is almost certainly a nod to the final reveal, due Friday.

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