Valve this year came big and announced that it will be pushing the boundaries of being a software based company and expanding itself to include hardware as well. In light of that, Valve made three announcements which were about an operating system based on Linux called “Steam OS”, a way to enter the living room and compete with consoles with its “Steam Machines” and the third announcement being about a revolutionary new type of controller called “Steam Controller”. These machines are mainly touted as using Steam as a platform along with Big Picture mode to provide console couch like gaming experience. Valve defines Steam Machines as:
Finally, a multiple choice answer
Entertainment is not a one-size-fits-all world. We want you to be able to choose the hardware that makes sense for you, so we are working with multiple partners to bring a variety of Steam gaming machines to market during 2014, all of them running SteamOS.
A few pictures surfaced the internet which showed staff of Valve showing a Steam Machine and several Steam Controller prototypes. Steam Machines are supposedly high-end computers primarily to be using Valve’s own Steam OS and Steam with Big Picture mode for the living room. The Steam Machine prototype looks very similar to a home console in terms of size and shape, hence featuring all the power of a high-end PC in a small, sleek box.
Valve experimented with a lot of controllers before finally setting in for a controller that sports Dual Trackpads, moving away from the traditional Analog Sticks currently found on mainstream and wide variety of controllers.
A variety of Steam Machines, and entertainment applications for the new platform, are likely to be unveiled in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and go on sale by mid-2014. Currently around 40 of Valve’s employees out of 330 are working with the hardware to make the PC platform better for entertainment.
What do you think about the Steam Machines? Does it have what it takes to challenge the home consoles? Let us know in the comments below.