Today, Valve formerly announced what everyone on the internet has long predicted – the SteamBox. Rather SteamBoxes, yes plural, in the form of Steam Machines. In fact, you can join the hardware beta right now, but first, some details.
Following the SteamOS announcement from Monday, Valve states,
“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.”
Clearly, Valve is departing from the “one size fits all” mentality of console makers, but this isn’t really a surprise given the scores of different machines that already run their software. Valve seems to understand the PC gamer more deeply than anyone else, and understand that choice is important to their consumers.
For those of you looking for Valve’s own hardware, fear not. They are currently developing a prototype (emphasis added below).
“While 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.”
The key takeaway here is the “high performance prototype that’s optimized for gaming” detail. Once again, Valve has a very real chance of disrupting the current landscape of consoles by creating a device that is far more powerful and far more capable than the next generation consoles.
Curiously, Valve failed to provide any hardware specifications nor prices for these Steam Machines. However, because I know many of you will ask, here are my predictions/wishlist for what may be in Valve’s own prototype:
- 3.5 GHz quad core Intel i7 Ivy Bridge
- 12 GB System RAM
- 1 TB HDD @ 7200 RPM
- 256-500 GB SSD
- Nvidia GTX 780/AMD 7970 GHz Ed.
- Priced: $700-800 US
So, how can you participate? Fortunately, Valve has provided the following, which can be completed in any order:
“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 eligibility
And there you have it folks. With Valve’s second of three announcements out of the way, we’re heading straight to what is hopefully a climactic flourish. My guess is that the final announcement will be this Friday. Don’t forget to check Steam’s announcement page for FAQ’s regarding Steam Machines.
One more left…
Images Source: Steam