Steam Machine Release Date Hits This Friday … The Beta, That Is

The Steam Machine release date is almost here … for Beta consoles that is. Valve is releasing the new console with the controller and OS on Friday, but don’t expect to walk into your local Walmart and grab one.

The beta prototype of the Steam Machine is being sent to 300 people lucky enough to be selected for testing. This is something we wish other console makers would do, putting the console to the test in the hands of the people who would actually buy it. Microsoft refused to do that even when the Xbox One was shipped early, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.

The latest Steam console being developed is coming from Digital Storm, and the liquid-cooled hybrid machine has been teased with the price tag of a little less than $2,000. Basically, they are going for the full PC experience and aiming for the goal that Microsoft tried to use with the Xbox One. While Digital Storm’s Steam Machine price isn’t very competitive, what it has under the hood will make the console wars laughable.

Other dedicated Steam Machines are rumored to be in the console level range of around $500.

Sony and Microsoft could both be put to shame when the Steam Machine release date hits supposedly in early 2014. The specs are not solid because it is being built with the ability to upgrade in mind. Its parts can be swapped out as the user sees fit, but know that it will be made for performance.

Microsoft might also want to consider making it easier to swap out parts after it was reported that its native hard drive is next to impossible to replace.

The lucky few who receive the prototype console will also get a badge on their Steam community profile designating them as Beta participants. Unfortunately, the console will only be sent to Beta testers in the US, because otherwise the feedback would considerably delay the final product.

Valve released a statement about this fact:

“It means we can’t collect beta feedback from Steam customers worldwide, which is pretty unfortunate. All things considered, we’re sure it was the right decision, because the alternative was to delay the whole beta beyond the point when we’d be able to incorporate any feedback into the 2014 products.”

It is unclear just how many versions of the Steam Machine will be in circulation when it launches.

Valve’s console will be universally compatible with SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system which will also be available on the Steam Machine release date. Further information will be released at the Consumer Electronics Show on January 6 in Las Vegas.

With the Steam Machine specs and price, the PS4 and Xbox One could be in trouble.