In the second part of its cryptic announcement series, Valve Software announced it is creating its own hardware for living room gaming — called Steam Machines — and is asking 300 Steam users to beta test the products it currently has in development.
Valve did not reveal anything about the Steam Machines, only that several different models exist, all designed for gamers to enjoy PC gaming through their television.
“Entertainment is not a one-size-fits-all world. We want you to be able to choose the hardware that makes sense for you, so we are working with multiple partners to bring a variety of Steam gaming machines to market during 2014, all of them running SteamOS,” the announcement page said.
On Monday, Valve announced SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system designed to allow players to stream games on televisions. It will work on Steam Machines and also be available for third parties to build hardware around.
There are around 3,000 games on Steam right now, and Valve said hundreds of them are already compatible with its new operating system, but the list hasn’t been revealed.
Steam users can sign up to be in the Steam Box beta pool by completing five steps by Oct. 25. On that day, the pool will be closed and users will be notified if they’ve been selected. The five steps are:
Join the Steam Universe community group
Agree to the Steam Hardware Beta Terms and Conditions
Make 10 Steam friends (if you haven’t already)
Create a public Steam Community profile (if you haven’t already)
Play a game using a gamepad in Big Picture mode
Beta users will receive their Steam Machines by the end of the year, according to Valve, and retail versions will be out in 2014.
There has been speculation for years that secretive Valve Software was planning on entering the hardware business. The company still has one more announcement related to SteamOS and the Steam Machine; its cryptic website said it will come at Friday at 1 p.m. ET.
Image: Valve Software