Valve teases first dedicated SteamOS hardware

Valve Software has made its second announcement relating to Steam-powered consoles this week, by inviting gamers to become one of the first proud owners of a PC designed specifically to run SteamOS, the Linux distro that the company revealed on Monday. The long-expected Steam Box is here. Sort of.

Sadly, you can’t have one yet. Well, maybe not.

Under the title Steam Machines, Valve has outlined its plans to give 300 Steam subscribers PCs of varying specs and power to beta test SteamOS with. According to the website, this is a precursor to a full-scale commercial launch with several manufacturers making Steam-powered PCs for games.

Anyone can apply to be one of the lucky 300 testers, simply by following the instructions below:

Before 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

There’s nothing in the T&Cs that precludes people outside the US from signing up, although you will need to enter ‘NA’ in the address details to get the form accepted. We’ve pinged Valve a mail to clarify on that one. The site does, however, confirm that Steam Machines will be regular PCs, that you can install other operating systems on if you wish.

What’s more exciting, however, is the prospect of what’s to come on Friday. Apparently there’s another Valve announcement due regarding SteamOS, and this time it’s likely to be something controller related. Now here’s something people keep forgetting. Engineer Michael Abrash has been blogging about Occulus Rift-like virtual reality controllers from his position within Valve for nearly two years now.

Whatever should we read in to that?


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