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Well now, this is certainly a bummer. While we hoped to be testing out an avalanche of Steam Machine releases this year, it doesn't look like that's going to happen. Instead, Valve just announced that Steam Machines probably won't officially launch until next year, which buys the publisher time to tweak its wireless prototype controllers. Valve wants to make sure the controller is up to par before moving forward.
"We've been getting emails from the Steam community asking us how our in-development Steam Machines are coming along. It's great that you're excited about it, and we know you appreciate it when we keep you in the loop on stuff like this, so we wanted to give you all a quick update," Valve stated in a blog post.
"We’re now using wireless prototype controllers to conduct live playtests, with everyone from industry professionals to die-hard gamers to casual gamers. It's generating a ton of useful feedback, and it means we'll be able to make the controller a lot better. Of course, it's also keeping us pretty busy making all those improvements. Realistically, we're now looking at a release window of 2015, not 2014," Valve continued.
Valve considers the controller to be a core part of the Steam Machine experience. In fact, the controller was one of a three-part unveiling last year, the other two being Steam OS and of course the Steam Machine itself.
Hardware vendors can probably forge ahead with Steam Machine-like boxes, but in the past, they've told us that Steam Machines won't be officially launched until the controller is ready.