A complete in-depth Q&A on Steam Machine pricing, specs, release dates, and more!
Final versions of Valve’s highly anticipated Steam OS (officially written "SteamOS") and Steam Machines that run it aren’t even out but the misinformation and the company’s legendary opaqueness have created perhaps one of the most misunderstood tech projects in recent memory. There’s simply been so much misinformation that even we can’t keep up with what’s actually fact and what’s fiction at this point. So to help you keep up on current events, we’ve tried to cull all of the relevant SteamOS and Steam Machine information into one single in-depth FAQ.
Updated: Now with specs and even more Steam Machine pictures!
Note: We have since updated the gallery below with more pictures and specs following Valve's CES Steam Machine unveiling.
Up until now, most of the images you've seen of the Steam Machines have been leaked images or renders. With CES 2014 now under way, we decided to round up official Steam Machine pictures and everything we know about the Steam Machines so far. So make sure to peruse the gallery below and let us know what your favorite Steam Machine is so far.
Valve’s operating system is coming out December 13
Prototype Steam Machines will ship out on December 13 to 300 lucky users with the Steam Controller and Linux-based SteamOS in tow. For everyone else, Valve has announced that SteamOS will be available for download once the prototypes ship.
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.
Valve confirms Steam boxes will also support Intel and AMD
When Valve finally unwrapped the specs of the 300 beta Steam Machines last week, many assumed that Nvidia would have a lock on Valve’s Linux-based gaming machines. Today though, Valve broke cover yet again telling us that Steam Machines would support the three primary graphics vendors today.
Valve has just announced some concrete details about their custom-made Steam Boxprototype. The company has built a completely custom enclosure that will house a “high-end, high-performance box, built out of off-the-shelf PC parts.”
Unveiled at CES 2013, the Piston console has long been suspected to be a Steam Machine
Utah-based modular computer manufacturer Xi3 created a lot of buzz when it trotted out the diminutive Piston console at CES 2013, leading many to speculate whether it was actually a Steam Machine (or “Steam Box,” as was the preferred term back then). The company’s chief marketing manager David Politis played it coy when online editor Jimmy Thang probed him on the matter. Now, the company says it will reveal additional details about the Piston on Monday, September 30.
Valve just followed up its SteamOS announcement from earlier this week by unveiling what it calls "Steam Machines," a new category of living room hardware designed to get you playing PC games on the big screen. There will be different hardware to choose based on your needs and budget, details of which will be unveiled at a later time. In the meantime, Valve has designed a high-performance prototype and plans to ship 300 of them to beta testers, free of charge.
Gabe Newell calls Linux the “future of gaming” while pillorying closed platforms
Be it the launch of the Steam for Linux client or Big Picture Mode, Valve has been steadily laying the groundwork for its long-announced invasion of the living room. Although it seems the next logical step would be for the company to show off some dedicated hardware, it isn’t known how far along in the development of the “Steam Box” it is at this stage. But going by some of the comments CEO Gabe Newell made during his recent keynote at LinuxCon, it appears that some sort of dedicated hardware from Valve could show up as early as next week.
The Razer Edge sounds fantastic: a Windows 8 tablet, notebook, and portable gaming system in one. But in actual use, the Edge is a letdown.
The Edge starts at $1,000, with the Pro (reviewed here) climbing up to $1,450. That may be pricey for a "tablet," but it comes with a Core i7-3517U, Nvidia GT 640M LE, 8GB of DDR3/1600, and a 256GB SSD. While it’s supposed to be the happy love-child of a portable tablet and a powerful PC, the end result is a compromised monstrosity.