Steam Machines is the official name for the SteamOS powered Steam Box by Valve, and they’re hosting a contest as part of the announcement.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Valves believes its Steam Machines powered by SteamOS could compete against the Xbox One and PlayStation in the living room.
When you compare the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 against a Steam Box running SteamOS, PC gaming hardware is always likely to win out. But Steam Machines will offer up SteamOS in a variety of configurations, ranging from entry level media machine all the way up to a high end gaming platform.
The reason for this diversity is because Steam Machines are actually a list of hardware specifications designed for price point tiers. Valve will not produce a single Steam Machines themselves and instead rely on other manufacturers, making their business plan similar to the Android operating system (although Google does have its own Nexus series of hardware). Some Steam Machines will be optimized for size, price, quietness, or other factors. Valve expects the first Steam Machines to go on sale in 2014.
Valve has designed a high performance Steam Machine that they will be giving away to 300 testers. Steam Machines beta testers are free to customize, install other operating systems besides SteamOS, or even build a robot.
In order to enter the Steam Machines contest you’ll need to meet these qualifications before October 25:
1. Join the Steam Universe community group
2. Agree to the Steam Hardware Beta Terms and Conditions
3. Make 10 Steam friends (if you haven’t already)
4. Create a public Steam Community profile (if you haven’t already)
5. Play a game using a gamepad in Big Picture mode
You can visit your quest page to track your current status towards the Steam Machines beta test eligibility. The Steam Machines prototypes will be shipped out by the end of 2013.
Valve also said they’re going to announce more about the SteamOS and potential special Steam Machines input devices, which are rumored to be biometrics pads capable of sensing moods like fear. Stay tuned.