Earlier this week, Valve announced its open-source SteamOS. Today in the 2nd part of its reveal, Valve has revealed details for Steam Machines which will run SteamOS natively. The first wave of Steam Machines will actually be released later this year to a select 300 beta testers. The 300 who are selected must first complete the Eligibility Quest in order to be qualified to receive one of the first Steam Machines later this year.
So does SteamOS, in conjunction with Steam Machines, mean the end of the Steam client on other operating systems? Not quite. Valve has stated not only will Steam continue to be supported on Windows, but you can even remove SteamOS from a Steam Machine and install whichever OS you prefer. Unfortunately, no images were released showing the appearance or dimensions of any of the Steam Machines, but beta testers who will receive one aren’t under a NDA of any kind. Hopefully, they’ll be nice enough to post some images and videos.
Valve does promise that there will be multiple types of Steam Machines with a specific purpose such as low noise, top-of-the-line, and budget. All of the hardware in any of the Steam Machines will be user upgradeable. There might be some restrictions pertaining to the GPU’s with the latest rumor — from a supposed Valve employee — stating Steam Machines will only work with the past 3 generations of Nvidia cards and the past 2 generations of AMD cards. All future Nvidia and AMD cards will be supported as well.
Any title with native SteamOS support, which is currently in the 100’s, will work fine for Steam Machine owners. Games without native SteamOS support (i.e. games built for other OS’s such as Windows, OS X, or Linux) will require a PC in order to stream the game over a home network to the Steam Machine.
Visit Valve’s teaser page for more information on today’s announcement. Check back in with MP1st on Friday for Valve’s final announcement.
It seems the competition for the living room has turned into a three horse race. What do you guys make of Valve’s announcements? Let us know in the comments below.