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Valve Announces ‘Steam Machines’

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For months, if not longer, Steam fans have been clamoring over the thought of a Steam Box. Imagine Steam, all wrapped in a semi-cheap package, bringing all the games purchased to your finger-tips right in your own living room. Well, after today, that dream will soon become a reality, just not as a ‘Steam Box’, but as a Steam Machine!

Steam Machine is Valve’s answer to the Xbone, PS4, and Wii U. They will come with SteamOS pre-installed, and will give the player access to all of their AAA games, and more, that they already own on Steam. “Beginning in 2014,” says Valve, “there will be multiple SteamOS machines to choose from, made by different manufacturers.” Of course, at the moment Steam Machines are in prototype mode, meaning they are far from complete.

However, as a Valve lover and a Steam User, it is possible, albeit very unlikely, that you can participate in the beta of Steam Machines. You can participate in a ‘beta quest’ Valve has launched to become one of 300 lucky people who will be able to try out Steam Machines before they are released next year. There are five steps to complete the quest and become eligible for 1 of 300 Steam Machines:

  1. Join the Steam Universe community group
  2. Agree to the Steam Hardware Beta Terms and Conditions
  3. Make 10 Steam friends
  4. Create a public Steam Community profile
  5. Play a game using a gamepad in Big Picture mode

Simple enough, no? Once all these steps are completed, you’ll get a shiny badge for your Steam profile and officially be thrown into the large pool of people waiting to be chosen for their very own prototype, being shipped this year. You must complete the quest by October 25th.

The specs are unknown at the moment, but according to Steam Machine’s FAQ,  it will be completely hackable, and you can really do whatever you want to it. Steam hopes that the winners share their experience and photos of the machine with the world, ultimately getting more people to be interested in a Steam Machine.

So we first heard about SteamOS, and now Steam Machines. Only one announcement is left from Valve this week, but what could it be? Many are saying it’ll be an announcement of their own controller, to go with the Steam Machines, but many others feel like that isn’t a big enough thing to build up excitement for. Others are hoping for the release of Source 2, the sequel to the coding engine that created games like Portal and Half-Life 2. The next announcement will be this Friday, but until then, we can only speculate what they have come up with next.

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