Today Valve made their second out of three planned announcements for this week. First they revealed the SteamOS, and the most recent announcement was that they will be releasing many systems designed specifically for their new OS.
Valve started creeping into our living rooms earlier this year with Big Picture, a special display mode that enables the user to turn Steam into an easy to navigate, console-like experience for use with a controller. Now that the OS and dedicated hardware has been announced we can expect these machines (which are basically consoles) to take over our living rooms as early as 2014. So far the only differences between traditional consoles and the Steam Machines is that the latter will be fully upgradable and come in a vast array of models with different hardware to meet the needs of many demographics. The fact that the Steam Machines will have access to the amazingly priced games and frequent sales that Steam offers makes these “consoles” stand out among the competition.
Valve will be sending out 300 prototypes to those who complete the hardware beta eligibility quest, which involves joining the Steam Universe community group on Steam, agreeing to the terms and conditions of the quest, having 10 Steam friends, creating a public Steam Community profile, and then playing a game using a gamepad in Big Picture mode. Thirty of these lucky beta testers will be selected based on their past community contributions and beta participation, with the rest being sent out to random users who complete the quest by October 25.
Are you excited about these Steam Machines? Do you think they will kill consoles and leave Valve as the sole gaming superpower? Let us know in the comments below!