Following Monday’s announcement of the SteamOS, Valve has (as expected in some quarters) revealed that a range of ‘Steam Machines’ designed for living room use will be on their way in 2014 from a “variety of manufacturers.” All of said machines will be running SteamOS.
Details are a little lacking in this second announcement, as it doesn’t feature any examples of the sort of hardware these living room PCs will be packing. However, the tone of the piece is about “choos[ing] the hardware that makes sense for you,” so that would suggest a pretty wide range of options. Further into the general FAQ, it’s said that various boxes will “optimise for size, price, quietness, or other factors.”
Alongside that, the main news from this is that Valve have created 300 prototype Steam Machines/Boxes and want the great general public to test them out. This is a “high-performance prototype” that’s also “completely upgradable and open.” If you want to be in the running to put fingerprints all over one of these, here’s what you need to do:
THE HARDWARE BETA ELIGIBILITY QUEST:Before October 25, log in to Steam and then visit your quest page to track your current status towards beta test eligibility1. Join the Steam Universe community group2. Agree to the Steam Hardware Beta Terms and Conditions3. 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
Once you’ve done all of that (in any order,) you’ll receive a badge on Steam to confirm your eligibility. Entries will be taken until 25 October, at which point the list will be locked.
The FAQ promises that more information about Valve’s prototype box will be on the way “soon” (maybe even *gasp* a picture of it,) and there’s quite possibly a tease for Friday’s announcement in the sentence “we have some more to say very soon on the topic of input.” Valve controller on the way? Maybe.