Valve announces Steam Machines; opens beta testing sign-ups

On Monday, Valve made the first of three scheduled announcements this week concerning their plans to expand their reach from the PC to the living room. The first was SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system that can not only run games and applications made for the OS but can also stream PC games from Valve's Steam library.

Today, Valve announced the second phase of its plan, called Steam Machines. These will basically be PCs that will run SteamOS and will be made by several different, but still unnamed, companies sometime in 2014. Valve has a prototype Steam Machine of its own that it will be sending to 300 outside beta testers.

People who wish to be considered for the Steam Machines beta can sign up at its website. The process includes going on a kind of quest to complete different achievements within the Steam community. Once all of the quests have been accomplished, users will get a special Steam badge and will be eligible for being picked for the Steam Machines beta. The deadline for entering the beta is October 25th.

Valve does say that anyone can build their own Steam Machine box using SteamOS, just like they can build their own Windows or Linux PCs. Shipments of the prototype Steam Machines will go out to beta testers later this year. Valve has yet to reveal the hardware specs of its own prototype.

Source: Valve | Image via Valve

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wingliston said,
So they announced the Streambox again?

Tones of different SteamBoxes. That is a fail. The main thing that makes PS, Xbox or even iOS popular a gaming platform is lack of fragmentation. When people buying those devices they sure that games will be optimized and will work well. Every platform with tones of different devices with different performance will fail as a gaming platform.

Lord Method Man said,
What a joke. I'm starting to really hate Valve. I wish Steam wasn't such a necessary evil for PC gaming.
I was never a fan of Steam, but I have loved many of Valve's games. IMO, this is a huge distraction from them continuing to put out new titles. Half-Life 3 anyone?

why would anyone buy anything from a company who is purposely trying to sell you a gimped product because they have a vendetta against windows?

I noticed alot of people here mistaking what valve is doing here with the steam system. These systems are not for those people who like to build their own systems.

This is for the market of people who wanna game but don't wanna build their own steam box.

Snake89 said,
This is for the market of people who wanna game but don't wanna build their own steam box.

You mean the people who buy pre-built systems or "regular" game consoles?

seems like an attempt to compete with google play before antroid consoles make an appearance. no software for this weird OS will mean this is dead on arrival.

Maybe a similar idea, but the problem with Android based consoles (Ouya) is that a lot of those games are based around touch. Take a touch game out of its element and you're kind of ruining the fun of it to begin with.

No interest in SteamOS. I can run Steam just fine on my Win8 box, thank you. However, if they release a small form factor box like Apple TV for $99 or less that can easily stream games from my PC to my TV without issue, I'd go for that in a minute.

Steam is directly trying to compete with Sony and Microsoft, thats a given with their consoles launching in a few months and steam announcing this... Wasn't valve really ****ed off about what MS did in Windows 8?

I really enjoy their angle, but they are re-creating the wheel when theres HUNDREDS of linux distros they could work with and have the meat of the project complete. Having that said I don't know what they have in store for their distro to make it outshine competitors.. hopefully something. I think once available it will be the priority system and MS/OSX support will fall off so to speak, forcing steam users to make a USB3 bootstick, install steamOS, or dual-boot.

Steam would have been better off developing with Google for something like chromecast to stream your gaming over ethernet/wireless to your TV set, and also wirelessly send back the KB/mouse details - SteamExtender or something. Maybe thats part of it via VNC or tunneling or something, I don't know. I have computers on all my monitors & TV's, but they aren't 'steam' computers. They can browse the web and stream 1080p. If my steam computer could chug away with its loud fans do the bulk of the work floors away while I enjoy my small fanless extender or VNC-style relaying I'd be happy.

nasvpn said,
HL3 is the only thing that can save them. Even a trailer would make people happy.

You mean Left 4 Dead 3!

I feel that Steam has made Valve a bit lazy. They can take all the time they want to make a game because they are making money off of games on Steam and the TF2 store. The $100 TF2 ring craze has died down a bit but a few months ago I would see about 3 to 6 messages a day. I wonder how many $2.50 keys they sale a day.

The third announcement will be a good list of upcoming AAA titles that will be supported on SteamOS. That is, if they have any intention of this being successful.

By the way, I will laugh if they make Half Life 3 a SteamOS exclusive!

Chugworth said,
By the way, I will laugh if they make Half Life 3 a SteamOS exclusive!

Not sure how I'd react to that.. I do know that for me I most definitely wouldn't switch to a different OS solely for one game though, not exactly hurting for titles by any stretch of the imagination and Steam isn't the only publisher out there. They can keep it thanks, I'll go play one of the other bajillion games from a publisher that actually wants to get paid. Huge financial roll of the dice on that move, namely you don't make money by intentionally limiting yourself to the smallest group of users possible or intentionally alienate what used to be loyal paying customers.. customers can do without Steam, but it doesn't work the other way around.

Yeah but it's a free OS, if by some chance that HL3 was a SteamOS exclusive, I'll probably just dual boot it, but personally I don't think they would alienate a load of people just in an attempt to push out more copies of SteamOS

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