Valve Dreams Up Steam Machines
I’ve little technical savvy to me, sadly, but far as I can gather, Steam Machines are gaming devices that perform mechanical work using steam as a working fluid. Wait, shit, that’s a steam engine. Wiki screwed me again.
Second attempt: a Steam Machine is living-room hardware that, naturally, runs the newly conceived SteamOS. In 2014, Valve will allow a multitude of different manufacturers to market their own Steam Machines, the logic being that consumers will have a litany of choices at hand to suit their needs – be it size, performance, or price.
Valve is still creating their own line of prototype boxes, however, in order to tune, tighten, and harness user feedback into designing a meaner, leaner Steam Machine. “At Valve we always rely on real-world testing as part of our design process,” said the company. “The specific machine we’re testing is designed for users who want the most control possible over their hardware.”
“Most control possible” is a canyon beneath under-exaggeration. Valve says you’ll be able to hack the box, change the hardware, install your own software to it, or even utilize an altogether different OS. Eventually, you’ll be able to download SteamOS, even its source code (“If you’re into that,” says Valve).
Valve’s own version of the Steam Bo – Er, Steam Machine will be undergoing a very limited beta that could land you, potential participant, with a free machine at your doorstep. How limited of a beta, you ask? Only 300 devices are being made available. Entry rules hereabouts. Go. Run. Now.