Valve announces “Steam Machines,” hardware designed to run SteamOS, coming in 2014

Valve announces “Steam Machines,” hardware designed to run SteamOS, coming in 2014

Today, to the surprise of just about no one, Valve announced that it will begin selling hardware to go with its upcoming SteamOS. There wasn’t much in the way of details about the hardware itself, although we did learn that we’d be able to buy a box in 2014.

“We have designed a high-performance prototype that’s optimized for gaming, for the living room, and for Steam. Of course, it’s also completely upgradable and open,” the announcement states. “This year we’re shipping just 300 of these boxes to Steam users, free of charge, for testing. You can make yourself eligible to get one.”

Head over to the official page to learn how to do just that.

There will be multiple designs of the hardware released in 2014, and they will be made by different manufacturers.

“We're conducting a beta of the overall Steam living-room experience, so we needed to build prototype hardware on which to run tests,” they explain. “At Valve we always rely on real-world testing as part of our design process. The specific machine we're testing is designed for users who want the most control possible over their hardware. Other boxes will optimize for size, price, quietness, or other factors.”

No images of the hardware yet, but it looks like you’ll be able to pick the box that’s right for you, or install the software on a PC you already own. Apparently “hundreds” of games are already running on the SteamOS, and more are on the way.

This is pretty interesting stuff, and there’s one more announcement coming on Friday. What do we think it will be, and are you interested in buying PC hardware from Valve or one of the company’s partners?

One more interesting bit, from the end of the announcement: “...Steam and SteamOS work well with gamepads, too. Stay tuned, though - we have some more to say very soon on the topic of input.”