Steambox beta Valve will send 300 SteamOS prototypes to gamers

first_imgToday’s big Valve news didn’t turn out to be that big. Realizing that there’s no one solution for everyone, Valve has taken the SteamBox concept and worked with PC vendors to make multiple SteamOS devices that will henceforth be known as Steam Machines.This past year has been really interesting for gaming. We’ve seen the rise of underpowered mini consoles, like the Ouya, and a massive swell towards the new Microsoft and Sony consoles at the same time. It has become increasingly clear that there’s more than one kind of gamer, and there’s just no such thing as a “one size fits all” game console” any more. It seems that in lieu of a single console, Valve has opted to open the doors to multiple hardware manufacturers to stick SteamOS in a many different kinds of boxes to try and sell to as many people as possible.Steam Machines will be available later on to anyone who wants to buy them, and they will undoubtedly range in price and performance, but in order to kick things off it seems Valve has a present for 300 lucky Steam users. A reference Steam Machine, Valve’s prototype, will be available to a select few to test and help refile the SteamOS experience. In order to try and get your hands on one of these gems, you must follow the instructions on the Steam website and join the new Steam Universe community. As long as you meet their criteria, which includes having at least 10 friends (no doubt to test out Steam Family Sharing) you’ll be in the running to receive one of these devices.Curiously absent from this entire affair is any mention of a controller. Valve’s Gabe Newell lamented the end of video game controller innovation over the last few years, and had attempted to hire engineers to help breathe life into this apparently stale arena. We’ve even seen patent images for a modular controller, so at least the idea must exist in some capacity. Valve has since laid off most of their hardware team, and with no mention of a Steam Machine-specific controller today it’s not clear what happened to that idea.Fortunately, the Steam Living Room announcement page has one more timer counting down to 1PM on Friday, so it’s possible we’ll see the controller then. In the meantime, enjoy scrambling to be one of the lucky 300!last_img read more