The first pictures of Valve’s prototype Steam Machine are surprising to say the least. With a chassis that’s absolutely miniscule—for a system with a GTX Titan and standard desktop processor—it seems that Valve has been busy designing a custom case with a plastic shroud that ensures that each component in the machine is separate from the rest.
The Verge was granted a hands-on with one of the very first Steam Machines and with the Steam Controller. It seems that Valve wasn’t exaggerating when it said the machine would be 12x12.4x2.9 inches, making this a machine that could easily fit in any home entertainment system. Although games will be the obvious highlight, video and music playback services are planned. There's also the gyroscope built into the controller and a possible VR headset that could be used down the line by Valve to grab biometric feedback.
Valve also told The Verge that the company plans on producing and selling the Steam Controller in-house. The Steam Machines will be farmed out to as-of-yet unannounced hardware partners which will be revealed in January at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show. Don’t expect twenty variations of the same thing—Valve’s leaving a lot of the hardware decisions up to the manufacturers, but we’re impressed by the prototype.
The Seattle Times did a little sleuthing of its own and has learned that SteamOS won't prevent users from getting into the nitty gritty of Linux or from loading Windows onto the machine.
With such a tight fit in the chassis, we can't help but wonder about thermal issues. What do you think of the Steam Machine? Do you plan on getting one or will you stick to DIY systems?