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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Valve unveils Steam Machines, a hardware beta for its living room game console


Valve unveils Steam Machines, a hardware beta for its living room game console
Valve announced Steam Machines today, a living room game console that launches at some point in 2014. The company also announced a hardware beta for its own version of the console; the beta starts this year. Today's news is the second of three planned announcements this week meant to expand the company's digital game distribution service, Steam. The company's issuing just 300 hardware prototypes in 2013 -- "free of charge, for testing" -- and you can enter to become one of those lucky 300 through your existing Steam account (an "eligibility quest" was added to Steam's quest page that will guide you through the process).

Valve says that a variety of "Steam Machines" -- the new name for the company's "Steambox," a living room gaming console for playing PC games -- will become available next year "made by different manufacturers," including Valve itself. The hardware beta, which we first told you about many moons ago, only includes Valve's version of the Steam Machine. All the machines will run SteamOS, the operating system that'll power Valve's big living room push (it was announced earlier this week). There aren't any specs given for the various devices. Valve says that, since there will be a few different options, there'll be "an array of specifications, price, and performance" when we learn more "soon." It sounds like the 300 beta testers can share their experience with the rest of us, though, as Valve's asking for loud, public feedback.

Apparently the beta will include "the nearly 3,000 games" that are available on Steam including the "hundreds already running natively on SteamOS." Everything else is streamable, says Valve. In terms of using a mouse-and-keyboard setup in your living room, Valve says that's an option, but "we have some more to say very soon on the topic of input."

Today's announcement is the second that further elucidates Valve's "Steambox" initiative; a program that's attempting to bring PC games to the living room, squarely aimed at competing with the big three entrenched game console manufacturers (Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony). Both Microsoft and Sony have new game consoles launching this year in the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, respectively.
A new countdown for the Valve's third Steam announcement kicked off just as today's expired, leaving another 48 hours before the final piece of news. Sounds like a controller of some form is in the works for Friday, which we'll have here for you as soon as it goes live. 

Original.. http://www.engadget.com/2013/09/25/valve-steambox-annnouncement-2/
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