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Valve Announces Steam Machines, You Can Win One Too

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Valve have announced SteamOS, their own operating system based on Debian Linux that will be placed on a variety of gaming machines due for release in 2014.

QuoteSteam Machines - Entertainment is not a one-size-fits-all world. We want you to be able to choose the hardware that makes sense for you, so we are working with multiple partners to bring a variety of Steam gaming machines to market during 2014, all of them running SteamOS.

QuoteWhile these products are still in development, we need your help. As always, we believe the best way to ensure that the right products are getting made is to let people try them out and then make changes as we go. 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.

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. How? Read on!

Well now looks like the SteamBox isn't far away at all, 2014 in-fact! This is really fun news and best bit I think is that anyone can win one of the 300 they are giving away as well!

How To Win

QuoteBefore October 25, log in to Steam and then visit your quest page to track your current status towards beta test eligibility
1. Join the Steam Universe community group
2. Agree to the Steam Hardware Beta Terms and Conditions
3. 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

Very nice of them, it's all marketing though of course to get people to picture them, video them etc.

Their FAQ is very fun to read as well, especially this;
QuoteCan I hack this box? Run another OS? Change the hardware? Install my own software? Use it to build a robot?
Sure.

So their consoles will be very open, so they are sticking to what they said about it before. You could install Windows on it if you wanted but that defeats the pointing of buying a SteamBox as you would be buying it for SteamOS ideally, at least that is what I hope people would buy it for.

The Last Announcement
So I don't think a controller will be the last announcement, I will be surprised if it is considering their FAQ mentions they will give us more info on that soon so that blew my last prediction out of the water. What do you think it will be? It could be any number of things now:
  • A controller
  • Source Engine 2, imagine source engine 2 that's freely licensable and easily accessible to any developer
  • Android Integration (For selling/playing games), they already have an application on Android after all


You know the drill though, another two days to wait, let the waiting game commence!

Personally I hope it isn't Android integration with a store and games for it because that will move it away from the desktop some more.

Lots of questions, lots of fun to be had. We shall see how this all pans out, be sure to send us in all the info you lot get so we don't miss anything, best way for that is the Submit Tip button on the navbar.
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23 comments
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abelthorne 25 September 2013 at 5:00 pm UTC
As they're saying in the FAQ about controllers that more info is to come soon, I guess that friday's announcement will be for a new joypad (probably three buttons and bundled with a cat).
Lord Avallon 25 September 2013 at 5:37 pm UTC
I don´t think it will be the controller or Source 2 (I really hope I am wrong here), but considering  the symbol of the first announcement is a circle, well I could bet that it´s integration with other OS (I read some rumors it could be compatible with PS4), but it´s my speculation, considering it´s Valve everything is possible. I don´t think Android integration fits here because Steam Machine is much more than a cell phone, it´s targeted to hardcore players in my point of view.
Kristian 25 September 2013 at 5:50 pm UTC
"(I read some rumors it could be compatible with PS4)"


Lord Avallon, where did you read that?
adolson 25 September 2013 at 7:01 pm UTC
This site needs a way to distinguish quotes pasted from other sites, and editorial blurbs because it's messy to read like this.

In any case, I'm pretty excited about this. If there's a hardware option I can justify spending on, my PS4 purchase will be suspended indefinitely.

Edit: As for the next-to-last comment in the article, the whole point of SteamOS and Steam Machines is not to move away from the desktop, but to expand into the living room. That's the whole goal. Nobody in their right mind is going to run SteamOS on a desktop PC on a desk - what's the point? All your Steam games will work on your regular desktop OS natively or via streaming, and any performance increases etc afforded by SteamOS will be offset by the time you spend rebooting between OSes to do real desktop PC tasks.. Yeah, some crazy people might do it, but it's really not the intent and seems foolish, truly.

Also, I don't expect to see an Android Steam Store. It's possible, but it makes little sense. I think a more robust Steam client, with streaming capabilities, maybe the ability to use an Android device as an input device and second screen - those things make sense. Even Sony's doing that. But is that Friday's announcement? I dunno. The earlier rumors suggest Source2 and a game, and that seems believable, but there's gotta be more to it.

Edit Again: if there is an open-source engine, they should call it OpenSource. haha
liamdawe 25 September 2013 at 7:04 pm UTC
adolsonThis site needs a way to distinguish quotes pasted from other sites, and editorial blurbs because it's messy to read like this.

In any case, I'm pretty excited about this. If there's a hardware option I can justify spending on, my PS4 purchase will be suspended indefinitely.
We do, I'm using it right now ;)
scaine 25 September 2013 at 7:19 pm UTC
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Well, I'm drunk and optimistic, so I'm very hopeful that Friday's announcement will involve HL3 and it being exclusive on SteamOS/Linux. Cos that would rock.

In fact, in a little epithany : I wonder if there will be a Half Life 3 / Portal 3 tie in. Players on full HL3 Steam for Linux will be playing a full FPS kill-fest, while players on Portal 3 / SteamOS will be playing a more cerebral, puzzle-based adventure that influences the online adventures of your Freeman-based friends?

Yeah. Maybe not. But a sweet idea while I'm wallowing in my alcoholic fuzz.
s_d 25 September 2013 at 7:22 pm UTC
liamdaweWe do, I'm using it right now ;)

The top part is not properly quoted, though.  In the first paragraph: "We want you to be able to choose the hardware that makes sense for you, so we are working with multiple partners to bring a variety of Steam gaming machines..."

It's almost certainly not GOL's "partners" who will be bringing Steam machines into commercial availability (unless there's some huge stuff going on!).

"How to Win" is a direct quote, as well.
mirv 25 September 2013 at 7:39 pm UTC
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If the last announcement is a controller, then I don't see it as much more than marketing on Valve's side. Living room to me seems dominated by controllers more than keyboard & mouse, so it would simply be something to encourage adoption of a steambox. I doubt they would mind if in a year other companies were making controllers both cheaper and better.

If it's a game on the other hand, it would likely tie in somehow to their whole living room theme, somehow (I guess a game that would be suitable for a controller interface). I do wonder if they could simply have SteamOS provide networked input (thinking bluetooth to steambox, but heavy graphics lifting on main pc in another room).

Timing is interesting too - I guess they want to try get in there before console releases and dig into that market. They're basically telling manufacturers "we have the software for a console, if you can provide the hardware". I was already going to use my htpc in this fashion, but it's not exactly powerful enough for gaming. If SteamOS provides a kind of input-over-network however, then that's different.
Lord Avallon 25 September 2013 at 8:40 pm UTC
Kristian"(I read some rumors it could be compatible with PS4)"


Lord Avallon, where did you read that?
Here: http://kotaku.com/created-this-about-3-days-ago-so-far-i-got-the-first-o-1371938678

But as I said it´s pure speculation and imagination, I really don´t think it will happen but, as PS3 had a limited support from Steam, who knows? I also read here: http://ps4daily.com/2013/09/sonys-gaikai-could-stream-playstation-games-to-pcs-and-tablets/  that Sony wants to stream Playstation games to other platforms, have you ever imagined an agreement between Sony and Valve to stream PS titles through Steam? I am entering in the field of total speculation and exercise of imagination but it would be awesome!
s_d 25 September 2013 at 8:47 pm UTC
scaineWell, I'm drunk and optimistic, so I'm very hopeful that Friday's announcement will involve HL3 and it being exclusive on SteamOS/Linux. Cos that would rock.
Haha, well last week, with the exception of one "hedging my bets" version of my third prediction, I've pretty much called the majority of this week's announcements.  The only prediction that hasn't been fulfilled is my HL3 prediction 
So, there's still time for Source 2 to debut with HL3, which I don't think would be an exclusive, as that would be suicidal and not really Valve's style. I don't think they want to pit platforms against each other, and are careful not to belittle Windows gamers directly, just MS itself.  What they'll do, I think, is to optimize the game to Hades and back, and simply release the performance numbers in an understated way... which is exciting to me, since those will be kernel changes, and as such will get contributed back. hough the kernel maintainers may not accept them right away (e.g., Google's Android & wakelocks).
That said, regarding Portal, I could totally see them doing something there, since Portal came out of the Half Life universe to begin with.
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