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Published on September 25th, 2013 | by James Hart

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Steam Machines – Second Valve Announcement

Isn’t that a Daft Punk song? Well, yes it is, but this is about what we’ve all come to expect… Steam based hardware.

The first of Valve’s pieces of news this week was Steam OS, the Linux based, games focussed operating system built by Valve. As expected, they have now announced that machines will become available based on Steam OS from various partners. There are some interesting bits of information though.

There will not be 1 rigid specification, there will be multiple prices, performances, size, etc. This will mean the continuation of various levels of hardware as PCs currently have, but with the commonality of Steam OS. Developers can then focus on a single set of APIs rather than aim for DirectX, OpenGL, etc as well as various flavours of Windows, OS X and Linux, and adjusting their games to suit various performance levels.

The other crucial bit of information is that it will be truly open, like any other Linux distro. We thought this would be the case in the previous news story but it is extremely good news to see it in black and white. This will allow the usual PC options such as upgrading, installing your own software, systems, basically do anything you want.

This solidifies our view that this venture could be a huge moment in gaming, as it will truly bring consoles and PCs together, by allowing a common platform for developers to aim at, much like they get with consoles, as well as ease of purchase and understanding for consumers, who may want to buy the box and get on with it. This common platform will hopefully aid consumers in non gaming ways, as software, tools and features becoming more available for Steam OS. Essentially, this in theory should bring the best of all gaming and computing platforms currently out there into one convenient place, whilst improving in the future.

As a side piece of information to this is that Valve have a prototype machine in development, with 300 to be sent to the community to test and give feedback on. This information can be found below on how to become eligible. You can find the main Steam Machines information page here.

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
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

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About the Author

I have an interest in music, movies, technology and games. Enjoy football, gigs, cycling and swimming. I'm a Java developer and trying to learn Android. I'm 29 and Welsh. I've been interested in games since ZX Spectrum 128K. I've owned a Dreamcast, Xbox, Xbox 360 and PS3 but PC has been my main passion. I am a huge advocate of Steam and believe Valve are one of, if not the most progressive games companies there is.



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