Series of SteamOS powered living-room machines.
Those of you who thought the second announcement would be a Steam hardware one, me included, were right. Valve has announced the Steam Machines, a variety of SteamOS-powered gaming machines that will join the market in 2014.
Completely open and customizable, they stay true to Valve’s PC philosophy; in other words, a console that can be modified to keep up with the times, running a Linux-based OS, the game-based SteamOS. As Valve puts it:
Can I hack this box? Run another OS? Change the hardware? Install my own software? Use it to build a robot?Sure.
300 consoles will be shipped to Steam users for testing, and you can participate — the details are here. The prototypes are shipping this year.
Different manufacturers will bring different machines; I suppose, manufacturers translates to AMD, Nvidia etc. Machines will be optimized for power, noise, size, price, and “more factors”, as “entertainment is not a one-size-fits-all” affair. It’s been made clear that it works with a mouse and keyboard, but a gamepad is also equally good and convenient to use, and will probably be (or resemble) the Big Picture Mode that Valve introduced earlier this year.