The second of Valve’s three big announcements for the week just arrived and it is as much of a non-announcement as it is possible to imagine. Valve confirmed that they will be partnering with a variety of manufactures to produce multiple variations of what they are dubbing “Steam Machines” in order to flood the market utterly and completely. Of course, this is not in and of itself actually news and we still have no official hardware specifications from Valve itself. What Valve has said is, “We have designed a high-performance prototype that’s optimized for gaming, for the living room, and for Steam. Of course, it’s also completely upgradable and open.”
While the company will not be producing Steam Machines in house for mass consumption, a limited number of models for beta testing have been produced and will be sent out to 300 lucky participants sometime this year. According to Valve, “The specific machine we’re testing is designed for users who want the most control possible over their hardware. Other boxes will optimize for size, price, quietness, or other factors.” Those selected to participate in this beta will be sent one of these machines completely free of charge. Furthermore, the company is stating that, “A small number of users (30 or less) will be chosen based on their past community contributions and beta participation. The remainder will be chosen at random from the eligible pool.” The instructions for joining that pool are as follows:
According to Valve, these Beta machines will be shipped out before the end of 2013 with the final products available for sale sometime in 2014. Again, just to be clear, no hardware specifications have been revealed as of this writing. Valve has one final announcement remaining and according to the countdown clock we can expect to see it at 1 PM Eastern this Friday. Stay tuned to Blistered Thumbs for continuing coverage of this and other gaming news and be sure to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.