Steam Machine prototypes shipping this week for 300 lucky beta testers

300 Valve-produced systems and controllers leaving the factory on Friday; participants will be notified today at 2 p.m. PDT.

If you're lucky, you could be just days away from trying out Valve's new, living room-focused Steam Machine and its new haptic feedback controller. Valve has announced that the 300 selected Steam Machine beta testers will be notified today at around 2 p.m. PDT.

Prototype Steam Machine units and Steam Controllers will leave the factory on Friday for delivery. All beta testers will also receive a special badge for their Steam Community profile that designates them as a beta participant. On top of that, numerous native Steam OS games will be added to beta testers' libraries.

Though it was not Valve's original plan, due to "regulatory hurdles," the Steam Machine beta test is limited to United States residents only, the company said today.

"It means we can’t collect beta feedback from Steam customers worldwide, which is pretty unfortunate," Valve said. "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."

This decision only affects the 300 prototype Steam Machine units, not the commercial versions of the systems that will go on sale in 2014. Further details around these systems will be shared during the Consumer Electronics Show on January 6.

In addition, Valve announced today that SteamOS will be available for all Steam users when its hardware ships on Friday. It can be downloaded by individual users and commercial OEMs. Valve also teased that its in-home streaming beta will begin "soon."

Valve's Steam Machine prototype is built from off-the-shelf PC parts and is fully upgradable, meaning users can swap out the GPU, hard drive, CPU, or the motherboard if they want to. Check out the system's specifications below. Pricing for the final version has not been announced.

Numerous third-party Steam Machines will also be available in 2014 from a variety of manufacturers. Last month, iBuyPower showed off its own prototype, which features a multicore AMD CPU and a discrete AMD Radeon R9 270 graphics card for $500.

    • GPU: some units with NVidia Titan, some GTX780, some GTX760, and some GTX660
    • CPU: some boxes with Intel : i7-4770, some i5-4570, and some i3
    • RAM: 16GB DDR3-1600 (CPU), 3GB DDR5 (GPU)
    • Hard drive: 1TB/8GB Hybrid SSHD
    • Power Supply: Internal 450w 80Plus Gold
    • Hard Drive: 35GB HD space
    • Dimensions: approx. 12 x 12.4 x 2.9 in high
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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
198 comments
coltonreading
coltonreading

i am the beta tester for this shit... not kidding

Stedmister
Stedmister

" Beyond gaming, Valve envisions SteamOS being a platform for streaming television and movies, as well as games that are already running on a Windows or Mac box."

From Cnet

Halloll
Halloll

I feel sorry for the people who get the low end versions, they will feel obligated to test them even though they probably have a better PC.

Leefx
Leefx

wtf! its just a fkin PC that you plug into a telly lol

sviat93
sviat93

@Leefx  PS4 for example is the same "just a fkin PC that you plug into a telly" but with a different OS and worse graphics, or you think Sony can use anything different than CPU, GPU, HDD, RAM, hybrids of that, etc? 

Karmazyn
Karmazyn

Ok, I built my own Steam machine and I do not think that I saved any money. So I had a two years old PC which I have recenlty upgraded. Video card (Matrix Platinum R9 280x) cost me £340 + new PSU (850W) £90 + HDMI cable (6M) £6.49 + HDMi to display port convertor £12 + Xbox 360 wired controller £24.99 + RAM upgrade 2 x 8GB £69.00 + new case £49.99. Eveyrhing cost me £592.47. I upgraded my current PC which runs on intel i7 with Asus Evo mainboard. All in all it was quite expensive.

Anyone that think that building your own PC is cheaper than buying a console is wrong. If Steam box is cheaper than my PC I still think that I can achive more with my PC so I am not bothered that I paid a lot for an upgrade.

P.S. I would love to test new Steam controller though.

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

Just buy the components off shelf and use youtube to make your own. I estimated I saved as much as 200$ this way. My spec, will works for me brilliantly:


Intel core i5 - 4570

2TB HDD, 250GB SSD

8GB RAM - 1600 Mhz

750 watt Thermaltake gold power supply


Waiting a bit more so I can up and get the GTX 780 Ti or whatever comes by then.



meatz666
meatz666

@Gamer_4_Fun I wouldn't waste money on a i5. It'll become dated pretty soon, and will need to change both processor and mb in your next upgrade. Go for a low budget i7, so in the future, you might only need to upgrade the cpu.

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

@meatz666 Why the MB, my MB supports LGA 1150 socket, compatible with the latest gen i7.

deth420
deth420

@Gamer_4_Fun @meatz666  


I would like to correct,  "Intel chipsets have much more instructions per clock speed and better power management and it trumps AMD's 8 core chipsets with ease. "


While the intels do  surpass the amds in a lot of areas, the amd actually fared better in multi core applications, such as zipping, video trans coding, and a couple of other areas where the application actually utilized multiple cores.

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

@meatz666 If you play a great deal of RTS, you will notice slight difference in performance. Otherwise, there is absolutely no reason to spend extra 250$ for 4 more threads. Intel chipsets have much more instructions per clock speed and better power management and it trumps AMD's 8 core chipsets with ease. 


Don't beleive me, just check the benchmarks, i7 will give you 2-3 frames at best, which is absurd for it's mammoth pricing. I suggest spent that extra money on the GPU, i5 won't be the bottleneck.

meatz666
meatz666

Why console fanboys come to comment on this? Go comment on more PS4s on Walmart, or Forza review. This is a "we love new technology" article only. Why is so terrible someone going against the Windows monopoly, when it comes to games, huh? What is wrong on defining a low cost gaming OS and config, so PCs are cheaper, and people have more options to game?


Again: NOT EVERY PRODUCT PRODUCED IS TAILOR-MADE FOR YOU!

West123
West123

Internal 450w 80Plus Gold!!!! how many of your battle station pcs have +700w? its overkill i tell you!!!  

meatz666
meatz666

@West123 Mine has 800w. TO tell you the truth, 450w sounds low for those graphic cards... Strange...

meatz666
meatz666

Awesome.

The lowest setting is superior than "next gen".

But I don't envy them... My PC is alright. 

simo_tmm
simo_tmm

US residents only... what a mean sucker punch.

gamingnerd121
gamingnerd121

@simo_tmm Just think about it. US will beta test the product for EU, so it's more stable. :)

vegard1985
vegard1985

@simo_tmm Yeah it's BS. I, like countless other non-US residents, signed up for the beta knowing there actually was a (small) chance to get selected. It would have been fine if they just announced it from the start. My PC is better than most of the Steam boxes, but it's the principle. That, and I would have loved to test out the controller.

PS4Lives
PS4Lives

I knew Linus would be one of the earliest lucky gamers to receive this machine and he will not stop speaking ill to the other platforms.  

obsequies
obsequies

@PS4Lives did he get one? cool yeah google keeps sending him their crappy chromebooks

PS4Lives
PS4Lives

@obsequies Any big youtubers who keeps saying kill your consoles to buy gamin PC. I hate them .

laurtl
laurtl

"Though it was not Valve's original plan, due to "regulatory hurdles," the Steam Machine beta test is limited to United States residents only" gg valve USA masterrace ,european noobs go away, im am dissapointed,,, VERY dissapointed.

PS4Lives
PS4Lives

BPLD

RROD

YLOD

and now we have

"G"LOD

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

Part of me hopes this will work.

But only in the sense of I hope this shows hardware manufacturers that putting basically a PC into a (quite large) box is actually possible, with heat and power and all the rest of it.

That way Sony and Microsoft might be more tempted to turn even more into the PC realm next gen and bump the power rating up so it can run graphics cards and CPUs that otherwise wouldn't be able to run at full capacity.

Might shut Nvidia up a bit then.

Imagine a console with a Titan that was dedicated to the console and an i7 and a shit tonne of RAM. Sony and Microsoft wouldn't need to upgrade for the next twenty years. I mean it would probably take a while to max out a Titan without optimisation, and then they would have a good number of years optimising all of the game.

Steam has those things but the games will still be unoptimised and so there is still a good chance they will run like shit. Depending on what phase of the moon it is, I always forget that is a factor. Or yeah and I seem to get iffy results on PC if I wear the wrong underwear. Didn't see that one coming.

gamingnerd121
gamingnerd121

@Dannystaples14 I for one hope it's the opposite. Cheer on Nvidia for rooting the constantly evolving scene. :)


The next few years is going to be interesting hardware wise. They're speculated to be so far from current gen, but it'll still be held back by it.

West123
West123

@gamingnerd121 @Dannystaples14 well if game developers see an increase in pc players the games will get bigger...not better just bigger...im thinking of how many games have pushed hardware...crysis 1 and bf3/4 so the pc sourly needs more devs on its side  

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@gamingnerd121 You want Nvidia to keep releasing overly priced graphics cards that have more power than any person on the planet will ever need to play games and forcing game developers to be constantly making games that are unoptimised messes because there are about seven hundred different components making optimisation impossible even if they wanted to?

All of which runs right back round to people NEEDING to buy top end graphics cards to brute force their way through all of the unoptimised games and Nvidia loving it?

You do know Nvidia are just a bunch of money grabbing thieves right?

They know that PC games are badly made but they don't care as long as people keep throwing money their way. In that regard I place them on the same level as EA. If not above them.

And all so PC can play pretty much the same catalogue of games as on console. Except real time strategy and Indies that is.

The only reason I go anywhere near PC is because Steam is dirt cheap.

arqe
arqe

Why even Valve doing "Single Player" machine version of PC ? I really dont get it.

Okey lets say "ALL STEAM" library goes to "Linux" and i can play all my 250 steam games on Steam Box.

I'll be using my Keyboard / Mouse combination for RTS / MOBA games. Because others will crush me if use gamepad. No matter how good i'm.

I'll be using my Keyboard / Mouse combination for FPS / Action RPG / RPG games because others will crush me if use gamepad on those genre's also.

There is no "Sports" game on Steam , EA dominating that genre so no Origin i suppose.

It all comes down to Racing games and TV thing.

I can get any controller i want and use it with my PC.

So people will buy this thing only for "Hooking up to TV" ?

They really need "hipster" customers , or casual non-multiplayer gamers.

obsequies
obsequies

@arqe @obsequies if this is even 50 dollars more than the price to make a comparable pc but looks better then why are you knocking it?!?!?!?1 you just said its a pc

obsequies
obsequies

@arqe @obsequies go away and make a pc or something cause obviously to you anyone interested in this is either broke or can't figure out how to build something 

arqe
arqe

@obsequies @arqe Just give me 1 reason why should people playing games consider this over a PC.

obsequies
obsequies

@arqe "theres no sports games on steam" are you kidding me? thers too many

obsequies
obsequies

@arqe steam has what over 50 million users. no multiplayer?

obsequies
obsequies

@arqe you can run origin on a steambox you know...its not a console

arqe
arqe

@obsequies @arqe You got any rational comments or gonna cry about my rational ones ?

obsequies
obsequies

@arqe @obsequies This is obviously catered to a certain demographic man I don't know whybyou can't see that..its simple. You try to say you know something but its that simple. You don't want it. You don't think that valve will be able to make the pc any smaller than it has while still mainting the speed of a propper rig? yeah thats right this could be a luxury console. That alone is enough for a person to buy it. The fac that if it is sold in bulk on a semi closed system means that it could be sold at discount compared to buying crap off newegg.com. Like come on these are simple things that you should have thought about by now. The fact that it can run windows alone..like lol

obsequies
obsequies

@arqe @obsequies are you going to buy or have you gotten a next gen console? Cause you can't argue that this blows the consoles away. Now you have to argue this against the "pc" and its not even in the same category because half the crap pcs people put together remind me of the 90s with LEDs

obsequies
obsequies

@arqe @obsequies you say one moment that steam doesn't have sports games but then the next you compare it to a pc preferring it...so the pc is ok without too many sports games?

PS4Lives
PS4Lives

@obsequies @arqe 50 million Mouse & Keyboard users. That's won't work on merging them with the new Steam machine users in the same lobbies. 

arqe
arqe

@obsequies @arqe last console i bought was on 2008 , and for some exclusives thats all.


All i do is trying to find LOGICAL reason thats all. I got 250 games on my Steam account. If i disliked why would i use their service ?

And i'm wondering did you even considered they are using same hardware as PC , not customized ones like Consoles.

Okey now. If you think Nvidia or AMD lets say Titan Model.

Titan card is around 1000$ right ? ANd you think Nvidia will let them sell that card for 750$ ? No they wont disvalue their own product ? Steam can cut the price at their own end. No you wont be getting "HUGE" difference in money. Actually , you still will be able to find cheaper hardware "standalone".

So as you can see Money is not the issue here.

2nd , OS. SteamOs is just modified version of Linux. And will be working with "Linux Supporting Games". How many Linux supporting games even on Steam itself ? Yeah the correct answer is "Not Much" , they will grow but it'll take time.

So there will be not much games.

3rd , like you said you can make a small box for a PC and use it with TV. So mobility is not an issue either.

So still trying to find a logical reason.

obsequies
obsequies

@PS4Lives I play with a controller against people all the time. Maybe I'm just better

PS4Lives
PS4Lives

@obsequies No it won't be even gameplay specially on MMOs and FPS games.

obsequies
obsequies

@arqe @obsequies I would rather pay the same price for a valve sticker and smaller steambox than a home made pc that looks slightly cheaper and larger

arqe
arqe

@obsequies @arqe you are not getting any of this. no more logical argue with you. thanks anyway.

arqe
arqe

@obsequies 'its the same hardware you fool.

can you even read or understand anything ? " did you even considered they are using same hardware as PC , not customized ones like Consoles." what did i say here ?

obsequies
obsequies

@arqe @obsequies did YOU even consider that they are using the same hardware and why it isn't a bad thing?

arqe
arqe

@obsequies @arqe Did i said anything bad ? Did i said Steambox is a bad thing ? Did you really understand what im saying here ?

ALl im saying is "There is no PLUS" thing for SteamBox to be considered over PC but got "Minus" things. Did i said anything bad about hardware ? You saying Hardware will be cheaper with Steambox and im saying No it'll not be cheaper. Why is it so hard for people to thing things through rationally.

Nvidia will not let Valve to sell Titan equipped console for 750$ or something. The 1 titan Costs around 1000$.

And add i7 on it add ram - motherboard - controller , case, THERE IS NO WAY ON EARTH THIS WILL BE CHEAPER THAN hand Picked HARDWARE !

But doesnt matter you gonna find something in this comment too. I dont even know why im trying to reason with you.

arqe
arqe

@obsequies @arqe You could've just said that in one comment.

If you consider Pes 2014 is a game , thats your choice. Doesnt matter 50 million users or not. Do you play multiplayer games to get crushed ?

This is steam , we all be going to play on same servers so yeah Mouse / KBoard will crush Gamepad players.

And SteamBox wont be supporting "Quarter" of Steam games at first , you expect it to play Origin ?
All im saying , There is No Logical Reason to buy SteamBox. And if you are going to use Windows On on it. Still as you can see , no reason.