Valve announcement week continues with the second of three announcements. Monday saw SteamOS, and today we get the news that Steam Machines are coming. Besides a wonderfully Steampunky kind of name, Steam Machines are apparently going to be a wide variety of living room game boxes from many different manufacturers at different spec levels for different budgets.
The Steam machines come in two varieties; the Steambox prototype devices, of which about 300 exist, and a wide variety of retail units that we’ll see next year.
In order to get your hands on one of the very few prototype units, you have to complete a “quest” through your Steam account. The quest is pretty simple; many people will already have qualified without knowing they were doing anything special.
- Join the Steam Universe community group.
- Agree to the Steam hardware beta terms and conditions.
- Make 10 Steam friends, if you haven’t already.
- Create a public Steam Community profile, if you haven’t already.
- Play a game using a gamepad in Big Picture mode.
That last is the only one I haven’t yet done, which I can fix in no time later today.
Doing all of that only makes you eligible, it doesn’t guarantee; with only 300 prototype boxes, the odds are frankly pretty low of actually getting one of them. It can’t hurt to try though, right?
Unfortunately they have provided VERY little information on what exactly the specs of the Steam Machines ARE, either the prototype or retail versions. They did provide answers to some questions though:
Retail boxes will be available beginning in 2014.
You do not have to get a Steam Machine. Steam as we’ve known it for 10 years is not going anywhere.
You will be able to build your own box to run SteamOS.
SteamOS will be available for download to try it out, including the source code if you’re into that sort of thing.
All Steam games will work on SteamOS/Steam Machines, with hundreds running natively, and all the remainder working through in-home streaming from a machine running another operating system.
Are you thinking about getting a Steam machine of your own? Do you prefer the idea of building one yourself? Got any speculation on what the third announcement will be? Let us know in the comments!